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SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN 

PORTUGAL 






•:■ 



'» » » o 







GILBERT J^ft.KE«?. 



It was Coi.o.mha da Sii.vas. 



SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT 



IN PORTUGAL 



BY 



GILBERT WATSON 

AUTHOR OF ' THREE ROLLING STONES IN JAPAN ' 



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS 



LONDON 
EDWARD ARNOLD 

41 & 43 MADDOX STREET, BOND STREET, W 

1904 
[Ali rights reserved] 




M 






» • • • 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER 



PAGE 



I. IN WHICH HADOW IS INTRODUCED - - - - I 

II. FROM LISBON TO MERTOLA 5 

III. EXPERIENCES, PICTURESQUE AND SOCIABLE - - 20 

IV. WE JOIN OUR STEAMER 3^ 

V. DOWN THE GUADIANA TO VILLA REAL AND FARO - 36 

VI. FARO 42 

VII. WE SEEK TO ENLIST RECRUITS - - - " 45 

VIII. WHERE ARE THE CAVES ? 5^ 

IX. A SAINT WORTHY OF A HALO - - - "55 

X. IN WHICH WE CONVINCE MANUEL - - - 66 

XI. WE BEGIN OUR CAVE-LIFE 7^ 

XII. AN UNEXPECTED INTRUSION 84 

XIII. WE EXPLORE THE CAVES §9 

XIV. BARTOLOMEO'S STORY 93 

XV. I MEET WITH COLOMBA ioO 

XVI. DAILY LIFE IN OUR CAVE 113 

XVII. THE EPISODE OF THE STEPPING-STONES - - - I24 

XVIII. REPTILES AND HOSPITALITY 13^ 

XIX. THE SUN-BONNET 14^ 

XX. SAINTS AND SUNSETS 15^ 

XXI. ALMOST A LOVE-LETTER ^57 

XXII. BARTOLOMEO LEADS THE WAY - - - - 164 

XXIII. THE GREAT HUNT FOR LITTLE REPTILES - - I7I 

XXIV. CONCERNING A LAMB AND OTHER MATTERS - - 177 

V 






573268 



vi CONTENTS 



PAGE 



CHAPTER 

XXV. carmen's visit 185 

XXVI. COLOMBA ONCE MORE I9<^ 

XXVII. THE EVE OF DEPARTURE I98 

XXVIII. A MOONLIGHT MEETING 200 

XXIX. FAREWELL TO THE CAVES 2o6 

XXX. SALIR 212 

XXXI. THE LITTLE CEMETERY 217 

XXXII. THE OPEN ROAD 221 

XXXIII. A SURLY WELCOME 225 

XXXIV. BARON BEMAFIM 23O 

XXXV. A SUPPER-PARTY 235 

XXXVI. ' DIVERS DISCOURSES NOT VULGAR ' - - - 247 

XXXVII. A PLEASANT RECEPTION 258 

XXXVIII. WANDERINGS IN THE NIGHT .... 264 

XXXIX. THE FIGHT 269 

XL. WE LOSE OUR WAY 276 

XLI. ON THE ROAD TO SAN PEDRO - - - - 283 

XLII. FAREWELL 



288 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



* IT WAS COLOMBA DA SILVAS ' - 

* MERTOLA ' 

* THE HOLY FATHERS HAD BEEN MAKING 

MERRY ' 

* A SINGULAR OBJECT WAS IN POSSESSION OF 

MY ARMCHAIR ' 

' SHE WAS ASLEEP ' 

' carmen's VISIT ' 

* HER BROOM CARRIED ALL BEFORE IT ' 

' A HUMBLE ESTALAGEM ' . - - - 



frontispiece 
to face page 20 



3> 



5> 



58 

94 

148 

188 
250 
290 



Vll 



*Give me the clear blue sky over my head, and the green 
turf beneath my feet, a winding road before me, and a three 
hours' march to dinner — and then to thinking ! It is hard if I 
cannot start some game on these lonely heaths.' 

William Hazlitt. 






SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN 

PORTUGAL 



CHAPTER I 

IN WHICH HADOW IS INTRODUCED 

* And you will come with me, dear boy ?' 

' My dear Hadow,' said I, ' give me time. Now, tell me 
once more what your plans are.' 

Hadow took the pipe out of his mouth, and blew a cloud 
of smoke into the air. His short, thick hair stood on end, 
as though the brain beneath it scorned to possess a covering 
capable of being parted like that of other men. He was 
enthusiasm and energy personified. The light of science 
blazed in his blue eyes. His speech had all the accuracy of 
a weighing-machine, and his manner v/as as the manner of 
one accustomed to view humanity as just so much concen- 
trated chemistry. 

' Ever since we met in the Saeter's hut in Norway — you 
remember, Hein ? I've had it in the back of my brain to go 
again to Portugal. It will be glorious. There are, I tell 
you, caverns in the Sierra de Monchique mountains — the 
Algarve, you know. It may be so old as the Mid- 
Pleistocean times. We will explore them ! Ha !' 

' How did you come to hear of them ?' 

' I heard of them when I was there many years ago, and 
again lately from a very good friend of mine — Tom Warden ; 
he knows Portugal like his pocket. He is engineer in the 
San Domingo copper-mines on the Guadiana. He, too, has 
travelled in the Algarve. The animal will be useful, for he 

I 



2 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

tells me he will come with us, if we pay his expenses. He is 
a dear boy, and I tell you he speaks very well Portuguese, 
better than I can English.' 

* But is there any likelihood that we will find anything ?' 

' Any likelihood !' repeated Hadow with scorn. ' They 
are limestone caverns — unexplored ! Know you not the 
rudiments of palaeontology ? — hmestone caverns are rich in 
remains of all prehistoric periods. Ancient river-beds are 
good ; lake-bottoms, too, are not to be spoken of with the 
sneeze ; but limestone caverns ! Think you only of Kent's 
Hole, near Torquay ! of the Dordogne caves in France ! of 
the Neanderthal cave in Germany ! of the cave at Engis in 
Belgium ! of the cave ' 

' Stop, stop !' I implored, for Hadow, mounted upon one 
of his hobby-horses, was riding that scientific animal with 
such fury that I could not hear myself think for the thunder 
of his hoofs. ' How can my ignorant brain explore more 
than one cave at a time ? My dear fellow, if you enumerate 
every cave that honeycombs the earth's surface, you deprive 
me of all power of thinking. I will concede that the Portu- 
guese caves are overflowing with primitive man. Now let 
us talk of expense.' 

Hadow's face fell. 

' Ah,' he sighed, ' that is the difficulty. See you, this 
English University of yours, to which I have the honour to 
belong, buttons up its pockets when I go to ask for funds. 
They will take all kudos gladly, but no risk. But ' — and 
here he beamed anew — ' we will do it, even if I must sell my 
father's snuff-box. Portugal is a cheap place — if we buy 
mules, we will sell them again — food costs but little. Now, 
dear boy, I do not like to ask too much of you, but if you 
could pay half, I ' 

' Say no more,' I interrupted ; ' I am with you heart and 
soul. I know but little about caves, and still less about 
palaeontology ; however, I shall be delighted to see the 
Algarve. Now, what luggage shall we take ?' 

' So little as possible. I sometimes take what you call a 
knapsack, but as we may ride much, let us each get a pair of 
saddle-bags. We will take our guns, and I will also take an 
express rifle ; say, is it agreed ?' 



IN WHICH HADOW IS INTRODUCED 3 

* Good,' I assented ; ' when do we start ?' 

* The steamship London sails from Shadwell Basin, 
London Docks, for Lisbon, on the 27th of June, three days 
from now ; can you do it ? If that is so, I will engage our 
passages at once. Eh ? What say you V 

' Count on me ; FlI be there,' I cried ; and, having arranged 
matters to our mutual satisfaction, we parted for the night. 

I sat long by the fire before I sought my bed. Hans 
Hadow, M.A., Ph.D., F.R.S., Professor of Palaeontology and 
Zoology at the University of X., dominated my thoughts. 
He was in many respects a remarkable man. Born and 
educated in Germany, he had for several years made his 
home in England. No one, however, could have mistaken 
him for an Englishman, either in personal appearance or in 
character, for his methodical habits, his thoroughness, his 
capacity for stripping facts to the bone, all pointed unmis- 
takably to a subject of the Kaiser. Endowed with ex- 
ceptional natural gifts, his superb physique was only equalled 
by his thirst for knowledge. There were, indeed, few 
countries he had not visited, few subjects which did not 
excite his interest, few European languages of which he had 
not more than a superficial knowledge. 

His peculiarly English name chimed incongruously with 
his peculiarly German personality. How he came by it was 
a mystery. Perchance, English blood had flowed in the 
veins of one of his remote ancestors ; or, perchance — and 
this solution appears to be the more probable — the name 
had been originally German, and, on account of some slight 
structural alteration — the substitution of an H for a G, let 
us suppose — had become Anglicized once and for ever. Be 
this as it may, it misled no one as to his nationality ; to come 
into his presence was to cross the German Ocean ; to hear 
his talk was to dream of Sauerkraut ; to live with him was 
to be banished to Berlin. 

The scene of our last meeting returned to me, depicted in 
the glowing embers. Again I saw the dusk falling over 
Norwegian hills, the rude village huddling under the moun- 
tain-spur, and I, a weary traveller, seeking accommodation 
for the night. Again, as I paused uncertain whither to turn, 

I — 2 



4 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

a door opened, and from the comfortless interior, dimly 
lighted by one old lamp, came again the sound of a deep 
voice, just as I had heard it years before. ' That,' said I, as 
I smiled into the fire, ' is Hadow, haranguing four Norse 
farmers in their own dialect.' And so it was. 

The Professor had passed his vacation in Norway. His 
self-imposed tasks struck me as being so above the capacity 
of the average mortal that I made careful note of them at the 
time : 

No. I. — The study of the invertebrate zoology of Norway, 
in the pursuit of which he had discovered some distant con- 
nection of the Norwegian toad — a poor relation unknown 
even to Michael Sars. 

No. II. — The study of peasant patois, his only assistance 
being, I remember, a dilapidated dictionary by Ivar Aason, 
entitled ' Norsk Ordbog.' 

No. III. — The collecting of old Norse folk-tales and ancient 
legends, for which purpose he had sought out and inter- 
viewed all sorts and conditions of men scattered over the 
length and breadth of the country, including minstrels, 
boatmen, vagabonds, gipsies, and paupers. 

No. IV. — The study of runic inscriptions ; a ponderous mass 
of manuscript bore witness to his labours on this subject. 

No. V. — The acquiring of anatomical specimens of the 
fauna of Norway for his museum — viz., bear, lynx, glutton, 
reindeer, lemming, elk, and wolf, all of which he obtained. 

Such was, and is, Hadow ! Verily his deeds and words 
cry aloud for a biographer ; but who am I that I should 
attempt to don the garment of the mighty Boswell ? My 
one hope is that the Professor may never read these pages ; 
for such is his innate antipathy to all those who attempt that 
which they are not fitted to perform, that, should he fall 
foul of my unscientific account of this scientific expedition, 
my life would not be worth a moment's purchase. I am of 
opinion, however, that all will be well. I have taken my 
precautions. The title alone is more than sufficient to turn 
him aside ; ' Sunshine and Sentiment,' as I treat them, have 
no place in his scheme of the universe. 



CHAPTER II 

FROM LISBON TO MERTOLA 

' Bang ! bang ! bang !' The door cf my bedroom in our 
Lisbon hotel remonstrated loudly against such treatment. 
Roused thus noisily from peaceful sleep, I listened to the 
reiterated blows with disapproval. My slumbering senses 
returned to their ranks under protest — they had not antici- 
pated so rude an awakening. 

' Who is there ?' I shouted. 

* I am it,' roared the deep voice of Hadow. 

He burst into the room. 

' Donnerwetter /' he ejaculated, in high indignation. ' Still 
in bed !' 

' I usually spend my nights in this way,' I observed mildly. 

He snorted, wheeled to the window, tore aside the curtains, 
wheeled back to the bed, and finally shook his fist in my 
face. 

' Torpid animal ! do you think you are hibernating ? 
Hein ?' 

I yawned. 

' Know you how late it is ?' he continued — ' a quarter-past 
five ! Have you forgotten that the steamboat starts at six, 
and that if we miss it we lose the train for Beja ? Also, that 
we have ordered breakfast for five o'clock ? Say, now, have 
you forgotten all these things ? Hein ?' 

The ejaculation ' Hein ' is very characteristic of Hadow ; 
it is a species of canorous snort, expressive of indignation 
or contempt, impatience or interrogation, as occasion de- 
manded. Whatever delicate shade of meaning be attached 
to it hereafter, two things may invariably be taken for 



6 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

granted : first, that its energy all but knocked you down ; 
and, second, that it w?s pronounced with a French accent. 
I blinked at him. In the gray light of dawn he loomed 
into unnatural importance— he all but filled my little bed- 
chamber. His broad shoulders, fresh complexion, bright 
eyes, and upstanding hair, all radiated wakefulness ; even 
his great moustache seemed to scorn the suggestion that it 
had ever caressed a pillow. He was the last person one would 
wish to see at a quarter-past five. 

I raised myself on my elbow, and inspected him with 
solemnity. 

* Professor, tell me : did you go to bed, or did you sit up 
aU night ?' 

' More foohshness !' he retorted good-humouredly. ' You 
know well that I go to bed always early ; but, lazy fellow, I 
tell you to give you shame that I have already been half an 
hour this morning at Portuguese patois, and half an hour 
reading that nice old book on cosmography by Pedro Nunes, 
which I bought yesterday at the bookstall. And now, if you 
do not come soon, I will eat all the breakfast.' 

' By Jove ! I'll get up,' I said hastily, flinging back the 
bedclothes. 

Hadow chuckled loudly. 
f ' Ho, ho ! that is how to move you, is it ? I have to lead 
you by your pampered stomach ? Greedy animal !' 

Still chuckling, he ran out of the room, and I was left to 
my own devices. 

Upon reaching the dining-room, I found Hadow busily 
employed, for he had already made so considerable an incur- 
sion on the loaf, and levied so heavy a tax upon the coffee- 
pot, that, fearing all would vanish, I made haste to claim 
my share. 

Eating in Hadow's company reminded me always of the 
gastronomical races associated with school-life, when two 
boys vied with each other as to who could eat the faster. 
Hadow had the greatest contempt for eating — theoretically, 
that is ; for, truth to tell, in practice he played a very excel- 
lent knife and fork. To eat at all was, in his mind, to waste 
time, to pander to carnal lusts, to debase the intellectual 
to the level of the physical. He did not eat— he stowed away 



FROM LISBON TO MERTOLA 7 

food-stuffs ; he packed himself against time. It was a 
wonderful performance. Of drinking he had a much more 
lenient opinion, and prided himself, not without cause, upon 
the steadiness of his ' head.' He was — and I can well 
believe it — the one student capable of drawing a straight 
line with a piece of chalk upon the floor after a Heidelberg 
carouse. Strange to relate, the proud consciousness of 
having performed this feat was dearer to the Professor's 
heart than all the honours which grateful universities had 
heaped upon him. And yet, why should we wonder ? All 
great men have their hallucinations : did not Milton prefer 
' Paradise Regained ' to ' Paradise Lost ' ? Did not 
Frederick the Great esteem his French verses more than his 
victories ? So it is no subject for marvel that Professor 
Hadow was prouder of that undeviating line than of the 
many letters that trod admiringly in the footsteps of his 
illustrious name. 

Out into the gray of the dawn — for such it appeared to me, 
although, truth to tell, the sun was already beginning to 
gild the Eastern sky. The air was chill ; few wayfarers 
walked the streets ; the world of Lisbon was still abed, un- 
conscious of the pleasure to be gained by early rising. 

Hadow, full of energy, drove his somewhat short legs at 
an unconscionable rate, plunging down stony declivities at 
a pace that I tried in vain to emulate. Close behind us 
came two porters laden with our saddlebags. They took 
the greatest interest in our belongings. Several beggars lay 
asleep at the door of a church. The noise of our footsteps 
recalled them to life ; one of their number — an old and tooth- 
less woman — held out a skinny hand. 

' For the love of the Blessed Virgin, senhor !' she whined, 
addressing Hadow. 

' Get out of my way!' responded the Professor. 

' Ah,' wheedled the aged crone, with a leer, ' the Enghsh 
senhor but jests ! A cavalier with so fine a moustache could 
not refuse a lady !' 

Hadow chuckled ; a coin dropped into the claw-like hand, 
and a blessing followed us as we strode away. 

The railway-station from which the traveller leaves Lisbon 



8 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

for Beja lies on the further bank of the Tagus. No bridge 
spans the river at this point, so that intending passengers 
are obhged to make use of a Httle steamboat that phes to 
and fro at stated intervals. 

Soon we had taken our seats, and were paddling merrily 
over the sparkling waters of the river. The atmospheric 
effect was singularly beautiful. The water shone with a 
cold glitter that trembled into silver and sparkled with an 
infinity of dazzling lights ; it resembled a sheet of chain 
armour undulated in sunshine. Gazing towards the shore 
we had so recently quitted, Lisbon appeared like a phantom 
city, her outlines wavering in the morning mists. Situated, 
as is the fair capital of Portugal, upon an imposing eminence, 
her houses, churches, palaces, loomed upon the eye, a tower- 
ing mass of various architecture, wreathed in the veer of 
shifting vapours. The haze promised heat ; it was but the 
morning coquetting with the sun before it gave up the 
earth to the unimpeded sovereignty of his sway. 

Notwithstanding the hour — six o'clock chimed from the 
city towers — many travellers had collected on board the 
little steamer. With the exception of ourselves, all belonged 
to the working classes — hard-handed sons and daughters of 
toil whose day began with, or perchance before, the sunrise. 
Hadow conversed with several of our fellow-passengers ; 
they responded to his advances with alacrity and good- 
humour. 

' Dear boy,' he said, pausing by my side after a round of 
sociability, ' talk to everybody of what they know best ; 
above all, be practical. Now, see you that animal in the 
blue blouse ? He is a butcher, and goes to buy oxen ; he 
told me much interesting news of how the Portuguese manage 
their slaughter-houses. The man next him on the right is 
a carpenter, but the beast disappointed me ; he is a red 
Republican, and will only talk politics, of which he knows 
nothing.' 

As he spoke, an old gentleman in a battered sombrero, 
with a ragged cloak thrown over his left shoulder, produced 
a guitar, and, sweeping the strings with practised fingers, 
broke into a lively air. Not a soul on board but listened with 
delight. When he sang a refrain, that occurred at intervals, 



FROM LISBON TO MERTOLA 9 

several of his audience joined the chorus ; their voices were 
extraordinarily true and sweet. 

The impromptu concert was nearing a close, when Hadow 
clapped me on the shoulder ; his face expressed satisfaction. 
' See !' cried he in his enthusiasm, ' these musical nations, 
how nice they are ! This old man, poor, you can see, but 
filled with love for music, treats us to this fine song only to 
make us happy. Ach, my friend, where would you find such 
true love of art in your mercenary England ? Hein ?' 

He had barely finished this elegant speech, when the 
wandering minstrel made a low bow and offered him his hat. 
Hadow's jaw fell, and, for the future, the subject of ' mer- 
cenary England ' was avoided. 

' First class, Professor ?' inquired I at the station. 
' Herr Gott ! nein P ejaculated he, wheeling upon me in 
disgust. ' To travel by train at all is foolishness ; what for 
a way of seeing the country is it to shut one's self in a travel- 
ling-box ! But to travel in a padded box, as if you were a 
lunatic, and to pay more to be alone, as if you were suffering 
from small-pox — there is madness for you ! No, no, dear 
boy ; if you travel with me you go third class, and that only 
because there is no fourth.' He gave a chuckle, and stroked 
his great moustaches. 

' I believe you love hardships,' said I, as we strolled along 
the platform. 

' I call them not hardships,' he retorted. ' I hate luxury 
and to be pampered like a — a dachshund. When I was a boy 
I would never sleep in a bed ; no, I slept on the floor — that 
was good for me — winter and summer, with only one blanket. 
I hate your hot-baths, and great-coats, and afternoon teas, 
and all signs of degeneration ! Bah !' 

Hadow would have made an excellent stoic ; had he Hved 
in the times of Diogenes he would have rallied that cynical 
philosopher upon the luxury of his home life — he would have 
taught him to scorn the shelter of a tub. 

The country to the immediate south of Lisbon is flat and 
void of interest. The eye rests on nothing but vast and 
monotonous plains, sandy and sterile, lying naked beneath 
the blue of the sky. As the traveller advances into the in- 
terior, however, he meets with evidences of vegetation ; 



10 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

great aloes form the boundary between fields and roads ; 
the massive stems with their spear-like points rear themselves 
to a height of from six to eight feet, and woe betide the luck- 
less trespasser who attempts to storm the line of their fortifi- 
cations. 

Here and there, surrounded by the formidable leaves, 
rises the curious growth that occurs but once in the lifetime 
of the plant, looking for all the world like an immense 
candelabra fit for the dinner- table of a giant. Oleanders, 
too, red and white, are to be seen growing in graceful clumps, 
the beautiful and glowing tints of their blossoms forming a 
refreshing contrast to the gray and dust-strewn monotony 
of their surroundings. 

There was in the scene a curious and delightful charm 
peculiar to the countries of the South. These children of the 
tropics, lured from this gray soil by no cloud-enveloped 
sun, sang to the imagination with voices sweet and seduc- 
tive as were the songs of the syrens. They conjured up 
unfamiliar lives set in a strange environment — children 
accustomed to play under flowering oleanders, old people 
seated at cottage doors, watching the sun set over the 
aloes. 

Inside our horse-box of a compartment the babel of 
tongues was deafening. All spoke, and no one listened. 
So fiercely animated were the many speakers that to hear 
them you would have imagined that blows were imminent ; 
nothing, however, was farther from their thoughts, and it 
needed but a humorous word, an unexpected gesture, to 
turn their apparent fury into laughter. 

One old fellow who sat opposite interested me much, as 
did his companion, an old woman of still greater age than 
himself. He wore a gray night-cap with a yellow tassel, 
and a tattered coat adorned with metal buttons. It was 
many days since he had shaved, and the bristles upon his 
chin stood out like the stubble left by last year's corn. He 
had a kindly eye, and his courtesy and gentle care towards 
the old lady was delightful to behold. She was even more 
picturesque than he ; round her head she had tied a scarlet 
handkerchief, beneath which her hair, v/hite as silver, 
straggled downwards in artistic confusion. Unlike the 



FROM LISBON TO MERTOLA ii 

generality of Portuguese women, she had one of those dear 
old faces that resembled a rosy-cheeked apple— so placid, 
so simple, and so kind that you could not but love her at 
first sight. She sat with her hands folded in her lap— the 
labour of the better part of a century had left its mark in- 
delibly imprinted upon them— taking but little interest in 
her surroundings, save when spoken to by her companion. 
At the sound of his voice, however, she invariably smiled, 
and all the gentleness and sweetness of her nature became 
apparent in her happy and contented expression. 

Later in the day the old man produced a parcel containing 
a fowl, a loaf of black bread, a piece of cheese, and a bottle 
of wine. Tearing the chicken into many portions with his 
fingers, he invited us to partake. The grace with which he 
did the honours of the meal charmed us. He appeared to 
be genuinely sorry when we declined. 

At one of the little stations we purchased half a dozen 
oranges from a pretty girl. She made a charming picture 
standing on the platform with her basket of fruit poised 
lightly on her head. We were charged a sum which sounded 
exorbitant in the quaint coinage of Portugal, but which 
was in reality something less than a halfpenny. 

At 2 p.m. we reached Beja. Barely had we rescued our 
luggage from the grip of the authorities— our saddle-bags 
proving so mysterious that we, as their owners, came in for 
much suspicious criticism — than we were accosted by a 
burly fellow of cut-throat appearance. Under his sombrero 
a yellow handkerchief was knotted round his temples ; 
his dress was so patched that it would have gone hard with 
anyone to have told its original colour. His legs were 
swathed in cloth gaiters of a somewhat theatrical appear- 
ance, so adorned were they with tags and tassels, while his 
feet were encased in sandals made fast with leather thongs. 

' x\re you the English gentlemen from Lisbon ?' said he. 

We answered in the affirmative. He then informed us 
that his name was Jose, and that he had been sent by the 
Senhor Warden to guide us to Mertola, a distance of thirty 
odd miles by road. 

' We will start after you have lunched,' continued Jose. 
' Follow me, Senhor Cavaliers, to a little inn at which I am 



12 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

well known — they have the best wine in Mertola. It is not 
to be despised, I assure you.' 

Talking volubly the while, he flung both our saddle-bags 
over his back as if they were bath towels and bustled us 
out of the station. His manner had a touch of gracious 
condescension ; if there were any question of social in- 
feriority, of a surety it lay on our side. Jose was a Portu- 
guese ; he owned mules, he was king of the road ; he would 
have patronized the German Emperor and the King of 
England with the same impartiality with which he bestowed 
his patronage upon us, the most humble of their subjects. 

' You are prepared for brigands ?' he asked, pointing to 
our guns. For the first time I detected a note of admiration 
in his voice. 

We denied the soft impeachment. 

' Why, then, these guns ?' 

We spoke of wild animals. Jose looked at us for a moment 
incredulously, then shrugged his shoulders with ill-concealed 
scorn. 

' But,' I questioned, ' game is to be found in Portugal ?' 

' Game ! Bah ! There are, I am told, wild animals in 
the mountains ' — and he jerked his head towards the south — 
' but that does not interest me ; had it been brigands now ! 
Deos ! that is fine sport ; but all these guns to shoot four- 
footed vermin ! Bah !' 

We entered a long and narrow street, Jose and Hadow 
side by side, I treading closely in their footsteps. 

' I am surprised at you,' I overheard Hadow remark. 
' You, who are a fine fellow, not to know more about the 
game of your country ; that is very bad. Hein ? Why, I, 
who have been in Portugal but once before, have shot both 
lynx and chamois, and I have heard tell of wolves.' 

' Deos ! senhor,' returned the muleteer, ' that is all very 
well for you cavaliers, but for me it is different. I leave 
wolves alone, and pray the Blessed Virgin they may do the 
same by me. I have no time to think of such things — I 
think of mules.' 

' How many mules have you ?' inquired the Professor. 

' Five, senhor, but one is lame ; it has been useless for 
ten days. I left it with a friend in Mertola. But here we 



FROM LISBON TO MERTOLA 13 

are, senhores ; this is the inn I spoke of. Do not forget to 
try the wine ; you will not regret it.' 

So saying, Jose hurried to the kitchen, having first given 
us to understand that he would be ready to take the road 
at 3 p.m. 

The innkeeper, a swarthy-looking fellow, received us with 
scant courtesy, in spite of Jose's recommendations, and the 
inn being full of soldiery, we were glad to snatch a hasty 
meal, after which we started to visit the castle. 

' Not a bad old building this, Hein ?' said Hadow, beaming 
on the circle of ruins with the utmost approval. 

' It's a splendid situation,' panted I, for the ascent had 
been steep. ' And what a magnificent view !' 

' Extensive, yes. The Romans knew well how to choose 
fine sites for their castles. And, dear boy, is it not wonderful, 
all this was built a.d. 534 ? And look you only at that 
south gate, and, down to the west, at that fine aqueduct ; 
you would say they could not be older than one hundred 
years.' 

We strolled hither and thither among the ruins, and 
finally seated ourselves upon a moss-covered wall — part of 
the outer line of fortifications. Sunshine deluged the scene. 
Far below us lay the roofs of Beja, and widespread towards 
the hazy distance the vast province of Alemtejo slumbered 
in the noonday warmth. 

Hadow remained seated for one minute and a half, then, 
accusing himself of ' great laziness,' sprang to his feet and 
started on a tour of inspection. Pencil and note-book in 
hand, he measured distances, copied inscriptions, jotted 
down details, with as much enthusiasm and importance as 
though he had been personally engaged by the Romans to 
rebuild the entire castle. Every now and then he returned 
to me, for such was his sociable nature that to talk to a 
' foolish and ignorant animal ' was in his mind preferable 
to not talking at all. His phraseology was at times abusive, 
but I never dreamt of taking offence — it was Hadow. As a 
' torpid reptile ' I was swept off my feet with vituperation ; 
but as a ' dear boy ' I returned to favour with smiles. My 
philosophic mind learned to dwell contentedly between these 
two extremes. 



14 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

' What think you of all this ? You do not speak. Say, 
now, does it interest you, Hein ?' he demanded, after he had 
monopolized the conversation for a quarter of an hour by 
unpacking himself of a theory that accounted satisfactorily 
for the durable quality of Roman bricks. 

I started. 

' Interest me ? Yes, indeed it does. I think any ruin 
is interesting. What a pathetic storehouse of memories !' 

' J a wohl ! and of bricks,' assented Hadow genially. 

* Bricks !' I ejaculated. ' Y-e-s, I suppose so. But 
think what this particular ruin has seen ! what tales it 
might tell us of the days when Beja was no sleepy little town 
of Alemtejo, but a stronghold, bustling with all the pomp 
and circumstance of martial glory — the Pax Julia of the 
Romans, the headquarters of the Caesars.' 

' It never was,' grunted Hadow. 

' Think, my dear Professor,' continued I, seizing his arm 
in my enthusiasm — ' think, if but one of these bricks could 
talk.' 

He shook me off with a snort. 

' Herr Gott ! silly animal ! If you would learn to talk 
yourself it would be more to the point. What foolishness 
is this about bricks talking ? As if bricks could talk ! 
Ho ! ho ! ho !' 

' Hadow,' said I sadly, * you are deficient in imagination.' 

He laughed the louder. 

' I am sorry for you,' I continued ; ' at all events, you 
must own that I am a richer man than you. You possess 
facts only, whereas I possess facts plus fancies.' 

' Bah !' he retorted good-humouredly ; ' do not boast of 
a disease ; every madman has fancies, and, I tell you, the 
madder they are — Herr Gott ! — the more fancies they have.' 

* You appreciate fancies at times,' I remarked. ' You 
collected folklore in Norway, and in Spain, too, if I remember 
right.' 

Hadow shrugged his shoulders, and began to fill the bowl 
of his large cherry-wood pipe. 

' Das kann sein^ he assented, as he puffed out great 
volumes of smoke. ' ]a wohl, das kann sein ; but, dear 
boy, such tales are the foundations of history. I do not 



FROM LISBON TO MERTOLA 15 

collect them for their so foolish notions, but for the grain of 
truth that hides in each of them. Even foolish stories and 
superstitions are good. Dock ! See, now, do they not trace 
out so fine, like a beautiful map, the intellectual progress 
of a people ? Hein ?' 

' Then you had no real interest in the stories as stories ? 
You simply learnt them as you might learn a nonsense 
alphabet — if it happened to be the only book available — 
to aid you in learning a language ?' 

Hadow rubbed his hands together. 

' Bravo ! that is good. You surprise me, dear boy ; it 
is much to see sense, even if you do not possess it. Bravo ! 
I have hope I will make a man of you yet : you have some 
faint glimmerings of intellect.' 

' Thank you, Professor,' said I gratefully ; upon which 
we both laughed, and, bidding farewell to the castle, de- 
scended to the town to keep our appointment with Jose. 

We were nearly a quarter of an hour late, and reproached 
ourselves with our unpunctuality, but we had little reason 
to do so, for not a sign of our muleteer was to be seen. In 
vain we looked for him in the dilapidated shed which passed 
muster for the inn stables. There stood the mules, saddled 
and bridled for the road, but of their master there was no 
trace. While we stood in doubt as to what course to pur- 
sue, a squeal in a woman's voice, followed by a stentorian 
laugh in a man's, came from a loft overhead. We at once 
recognised the laugh. 

' Jose !' we called. 

* Coming, my masters!' shouted that individual, and two 
heads appeared in the opening above us. In a moment 
more Jose and his companion scrambled down the ladder 
and stood before us, convicted but unashamed. 

' You are very late, Jose,' we remonstrated. 

' Bah !' he ejaculated good-humouredly, picking scraps 
of hay from off his jacket. ' We have still much time before 
us — there is no hurry. I was just making hay, and Teresa 
was assisting me — ^were you not, Teresa ?' 

Thus appealed to, the girl, who was a buxom lass with eyes 
as black as night, turned away with a giggle and ran into 
the inn. 



i6 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

The mules were then brought into the courtyard, and our 
saddle-bags securely fastened on the fore-peaks of the high 
Moorish saddles. We commented favourably on their 
appearance, and indeed, with their gay but faded trappings 
and musical bells, they were as picturesque a cavalcade as 
you could wish to see. Jose was touched — to praise his 
mules was to praise himself — were they not his children ? 
Yet, with a rigid adherence to etiquette, he affected to dis- 
parage them. 

' Bah !' said he ; ' they are good enough beasts, but at 
times they are devils : that gray one bit me last week. I 
tanned her little hide for it, I promise you. But they are 
good, as mules go. Carramha 1 ' And having sung this 
qualified praise, he kicked one of them on the stomach to 
make it stand still. 

Off we trotted, our guns in our hands, for all the world 
like a cavalcade of brigands. A voice in our rear, raised 
in shrill farewell, caused us to look round. It was the un- 
repentant Teresa flinging a final salutation after her lover. 

' A fine woman that,' observed Jose meditatively, and 
then, as neither of us commented on his remark, ' Carramha P 
he added, ' I should not be surprised if I married her one 
of these fine days.' 

A lazy gendarme eyed our party with evident suspicion, 
but being reassured by our guide's unmitigated patois, he 
wished us godspeed, and rejoined his comrades in the guard- 
room. 

Our mules trotted right merrily along the road — not with 
the lusty abandon of a horse, but with a ' sober daintiness 
of gait,' as of three diminutive ladies dancing a minuet. 
Their twelve little hoofs kicked up a vast quantity of 
dust, which floated away behind us in a dense cloud. 
Our bells jingled out a merry peal of travel music, each 
brazen throat singing its song of the road. The sunshine 
blazed down upon us, but its heat was pleasantly tempered 
by the breeze which raced past. Our muleteer encouraged 
the animals both with voice and gesture. ' Forwards, my 
little angels !' he would cry in hoarse endearment, but, 
should one of them happen to stumble, his tone would change, 
and he w^ould consign it to eternal punishment with a variety 



FROM LISBON TO MERTOLA 



17 



of oaths. Possessed of a fair bass voice, he sang several 
songs, accompanying himself with the butt-end of his whip 
on the hindquarters of our mules. It resembled the beating 
of carpets, for, with every blow, a cloud of dust would arise, 
which, floating away, would join the larger cloud kicked up 
by the trotting hoofs. The mules, however, were accustomed 
to being treated as muffled drums, and, beyond a slight 
quickening of the pace, paid but little heed to their 
master's eccentricities. Thus was our journey enlivened 
both by conversation and song. 

The country over which we passed was wild and un- 
frequented. Desolate moors stretched away on either side, 
over which our road wound like a coil of gray ribbon. Now 
and again a herd of swine would come into view — fierce- 
looking brutes, of a dark-red colour — herded by some un- 
couth peasant, who eyed us with a dull and meaningless 
stare till a turning in the road hid us from his sight. Imagine 
having to spend one's days the companion of swine ! To be a 
prodigal son beyond all hope of redemption ! Truly it is 
no life for a man. 

It was seven in the evening before Estalagem Nova (New 
Inn) was reached. This is the half-way house between Beja 
and Mertola. It is but little better than a shed, and its 
position in the midst of these wide and desolate moors is 
one of intense loneliness. The innkeeper proved to be a 
connection of our guide's, and regaled us with home-made 
liqueur which was excellent in its way. 

After our little steeds had been fed, we took again to the 
road ; on, into the dusk, trot, trot, trot, with the shadows 
lengthening around us, and the glory of the sunset fading 
from out the western sky. 

Unaccustomed as I had lately been to the saddle, I found 
myself growing weary. Hadow, however, by no means 
shared my feelings. 

' Tired !' he exclaimed, ' with this very little ride ! What 
nonsense ! Why, it is nothing ! I could sit this httle four- 
legged mule by the week.' 

' Hadow,' said I, ' you are unsympathetic ! Have you 
never been tired, or ill, or anything, in fact, but as objection- 
ably strong as a traction-engine ?' 

2 



i8 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

He shrugged his Atlantean shoulders. 

' Tired ?' he repeated meditatively. ' No, never. But ill ? 
Yes ; once I had influenza, and some foolish person sent 
for a doctor ; the animal gave me a bottle of medicine 
which I found was very bad for the geraniums : two of 
them died next day Ho ! ho ! I had a narrow escape. 
However, I soon got well, and all the foolish people said : 
''Ach, what a clever doctor!" I did not contradict 
them.' 

It was eleven o'clock and black night when we reached 
Mertola. At the inn we were disappointed in not obtaining 
news of Mr. Thomas Warden, the engineer from the San 
Domingo Mines, who was to accompany us on our expedi- 
tion. I was all for supper and bed, but Hadow would not 
hear of pandering to our merely bodily necessities, so off we 
started on a wild-goose chase after the missing man. The 
innkeeper preceded us with a lantern. Without its aid we 
would have been utterly lost, as the streets were dark as 
Erebus and silent as the tomb. It was a weird experience. 
The landlord zigzagged in front of us like a huge firefly, while 
we followed blindly in his track. The feeble light danced 
on the uneven pavements, splashing the houses with momen- 
tary effect, then plunging them once more into even deeper 
obscurity. I stumbled along in a dazed and stupid con- 
dition. It is strange how curiously like another person 
one feels at such a time ; one-half of me was reduced to the 
level of the brutes through hunger and exhaustion — seven- 
teen hours' journey, seven of them in the saddle, is enough 
to tire a man not above sharing the weaknesses of humanity 
— the other half was busy elsewhere, engaged principally, I 
believe, in composing seductive menus, yet, even in the 
midst of such congenial employment, it found time to com- 
miserate its unfortunate twin brother and to breathe a 
word of encouragement into his ears. 

' Here is the house,' said the innkeeper. 

We were standing in a narrow street in front of a great 
door, ornamented with iron knobs, upon which the light 
from our lantern cast a fantastic glow. 

' The house of Senhor Vargas, agent for the San Domingo 
Mines ?' asked Hadow. 



FROM LISBON TO MERTOLA 19 

' Yes, yes,' returned the other. ' I know it well. Let us 
knock.' 

Suiting the action to the word, he lifted a heavy iron 
knocker, and the silent street re-echoed to his blows. An 
old woman opened the door, and, after much parley, intro- 
duced us into the presence of Senhor Vargas, from whom 
we learned that the Senhor Thomas Warden would, without 
fail, arrive in Mertola on the following day. This was satis- 
factory, so, bidding the senhor boas noites, we retraced our 
steps to the inn, and soon were regaling the inner man on 
poached eggs and black bread, washed down with some 
excellent wine that, to our thirsty palates, tasted of nothing 
so much as bottled sunshine. 



2—2 



CHAPTER III 

EXPERIENCES, PICTURESQUE AND SOCIABLE 

Sunshine ushered in the Sunday. It streamed into my 
room, and reproached me with lying so long abed. Up I 
sprang, and, crossing to the window, feasted my eyes on the 
view. Having arrived at Mertola under cover of the dark- 
ness, the beauty of its situation came to me as a delightful 
surprise. Rarely have I seen a town so picturesque, I 
might almost say so romantic. It recalled to mind tales 
read long ago of baronial strongholds girt about with ram- 
parts, approached only across the insecure footing of a 
drawbridge. From my lofty position I could see its massive 
walls rising sheer from their foundations of solid rock. The 
roofs, red-tiled and all aglow in the early sunshine, were 
dominated by the ruins of a picturesque castle that fretted 
the morning sky with a dark line of battlements. Imme- 
diately below flowed the Guadiana — a broad and stately 
stream — while beyond rose range upon range of mountains 
receding into the blue distance. 

We were seated at breakfast, when the door burst open 
and a stranger rushed into the room. 

' Hadow V exclaimed the newcomer, his face wreathed in 

smiles. 

' Warden, dear boy !' cried Hadow in delight. 

I was introduced, and looked with interest at Mr. Thomas 
^Varden, in whose society we were to pass many pleasant 
wandering days. He was in his twenty-eighth year, fair 
hair and moustache, eyee of clear northern blue, and a lithe 
and active figure. Dressed in white duck trousers and 
\n old navy-blue jacket, a flower in his button-hole, and 



20 



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aiLBF.KT .lAM-C:*-' 



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Mkrtola. 



EXPERIENCES, PICTURESQUE AND SOCIABLE 21 

geniality imprinted on his bright and morning face, his 
appearance had all the freshness of a breeze — one all but 
expected the table-cloth and window curtains to be stirred 
into sympathetic agitation. His was a nature that possessed 
the secret of inspiring confidence and even affection. The 
most taciturn found their tongues in his presence, and won- 
dered afterwards wherein lay the charm which had drawn 
them out of habitual reserve. The charm lay in his ex- 
ceeding naturalness and his cheery habit of looking on the 
bright side of life ; he w^as so much at home in your presence 
that it v/as but natural that you should feel equally at home 
in his. 

'Breakfast!' exclaimed Warden. 'Capital! I've only 
had one so far, and that was two hours ago. Eat a couple 
of eggs ? I should think so. Nothing like morning air to 
give a man an appetite.' 

' We have expected you last night,' said Hadow, as he 
plied him with eatables. 

' I know ; I intended to come, but I couldn't get away 
from the mines. Capital coffee this. Did my friend Jose 
meet you at Beja ?' 

' Yes ; the animal was waiting for us at the station.' 

' Good man ! The last time I commissioned him to meet 
some friend of mine he reached Beja two days late, and was 
surprised to find that they had left the platform. He said 
there was absolutely no hurry, and that Mertola had been a 
fixture ever since he could remember. Good fellow, Jose — 
one of the best, but, like his compatriots, he has curious ideas 
about the value of time. Manaha, as the Spaniards say ; 
with them the present is a preparation for a future that 
never comes.' 

' Dear boy, you grow philosophical,' bantered Hadow. 

' Five years here has taught me that,' answered Warden. 
' It was either philosophy or suicide. I chose the former. 
So we are all going to the Algarve, are we ? That's 
capital !' 

' But can you spare so much time ?' inqu,red Hadow. 

' Quite easily. Work is slack at present and one of the 
fellows has promised to take mine off my hands. There's 
not a nicer part 'of Portugal than the Algarve. The moun- 



22 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

tains are magnificent. But I expect you know it better than 
I do, Professor, eh ?' 

' J a wohl, I have been there ; I have many dear friends. 
We will get on famously.' 

* I suppose we had better sail down this pleasant Guadiana 
to Villa Real and then work along to Faro ?' continued 
Hadow. ' That is what I make to be our way.' 

' That's it,' rejoined Warden. ' And then we come back 
to Mertola • right across the mountains by Salir, Alte, Bar- 
tolemia, San Pedro, Quintan, and Mosquito to Pomarao. 
Oh, I looked it all out on the big Ordnance map at the 
mines !' 

' It will be a great expedition — colossal ! We will find 
many skeletons. Hoch ! hoch P chuckled Hadow, rubbing 
his hands and beaming on us out of the fulness of his heart. 

Warden winked at me in great amusement. 

* I suppose you have become a convert to skeletons ?' 
said he. 

I gave a laughing assent. 

' My friend Hadow,' he continued, laying a hand affec- 
tionately on that worthy's shoulder, ' is a past-master in 
skeletons.' 

' Nonsense ! nonsense !' chuckled Hadow in high delight. 

' Ah, but it's true,' continued Warden, still addressing 
me. ' He took even me in once, the rascal ; he was so jolly 
and kind that I thought he really liked me for myself, and 
what do you think the fact of the matter was ? Well, 
he had discovered — I know not how — that I had a slight 
malformation of the left shoulder, and the ogre wanted it 
for his museum !' 

' Foolish talk, dear boy,' said Hadow good-humouredly. 
* Now, as you have gorged your little carcase, let us all go 
to the castle. It is good to see, Hein ?' 

' Indeed it is,' assented Warden. ' And afterwards I 
will take you both to call on a friend of mine who I am sure 
will interest you.' 

The ruined castle proved well worthy of a visit. As before 
mentioned it dominates the town, being built on the crest of 
the hill on the slopes of which Mertola is situated. The view 
that summer's morning from the tower was magnificent, and 



EXPERIENCES, PICTURESQUE AND SOCIABLE 23 

embraced a wide tract of country. Roman inscriptions 
were still legible, carved on the lintels of the doorways. 
Hadow translated them for us and waxed very learned, 
much to our edification. The murmur of the Guadiana 
reached us in faint pulsations as the breeze rose and fell. 
The broad stream flashed back the sunlight as though it 
ran over plates of silver, and away in the distant folds of the 
hills it glittered like a chain of jewels against the mist- 
draperies of the morning. A wide and unusual calm slept 
over the scene. 

Descending from the castle hill we traversed the narrow 
and tortuous streets of the town. I recalled our lamplit 
walk of the previous evening, and marvelled at the joyous 
transformation wrought by the daylight. The white-walled 
houses were full of interest now : balconies overhung the 
road ; the iron of their trellis-work, wrought into fantastic 
patterns, was often of great beauty. They gave an air of 
lightness to the sombre character of the architecture. One 
would imagine how, of an evening, bright eyes would peep 
over the topmost scroll, and little ears would listen for the 
music of the serenade. But such romantic episodes lurked 
only in the imagination, for though I looked long at them 
no sign of life was to be seen, not even through the slits 
of the outer Venetian blinds that jealously screened the 
windows. 

We wandered on and on, picking our way over the large 
and uneven cobble-stones. Through dark and forbidding 
doorways, barred to the outer world by some ponderous 
wrought-iron gate, we caught sight of picturesque interiors, 
tiny courtyards ablaze with flowers, recalling to mind 
the sunht fatios of Spain. The shadows lay blue and 
cold, but every here and there some opening to the south 
allowed a shaft of sunlight to fall, and the advent of its 
appearance was as welcome as it was unexpected. Few 
passers-by were to be seen, the noonday hours — as in all 
Southern cities — being consecrated to the siesta. Yet, at 
times, we were obliged to stand aside to allow some caval- 
cade of mules laden with firewood from the mountains to 
jangle past. The muleteers, dark-looking fellows in dusty 
capes and large sombreros, walked alongside. Their hoarse 



24 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

shouts and the cracking of their whips awoke the echoes. 
They made quite a stir of animation in the hfeless streets, 
and for long after they had passed I gave ear to the chime of 
the receding bells and the clatter, clatter of the many hoofs, 
till the distance stole the sounds from me. 

The friend to whose house Warden conducted us was 
Senhor Vargas, our acquaintance of the previous evening. 
We found him within doors, and v/ent through the ceremony 
of formal introduction. Hearing that Hadow was interested 
in antiquarian research, our host — himself an enthusiast — 
proposed that we should adjourn to the house of one of bis 
friends — Senhor da Costa, renowned for his knowledge of 
all matters appertaining to bygone times. The senhor, a 
grave and learned gentleman of old-fashioned appearance, 
was discovered poring over a Latin inscription carved 
upon a block of granite. He peered up at us, blinking his 
eyes behind his horn spectacles, and ruffling his silvery hair 
with both hands. There was a dignified reproach in his 
manner, as of some venerable owl disturbed in its medita- 
tions. His house gave the incomer a delightful sensation 
of coolness ; the whitewashed walls and the light matting 
laid over the woodwork of the floor came as a perceptible 
relief after the dusty roads and great heat of the outer world. 
No museum could have afforded greater pleasure to the 
connoisseur in antiquities than did the large airy apart- 
ment in which we were received. Turn where one would, 
the eye rested on objects both curious and interesting, relics 
of the past, and as one gazed at them the spirit of antiquity 
took the imagination prisoner. The view from the windows 
was glorious. The house was built into the outer wall of 
the town, the windows having the appearance of loopholes 
from which besiegers could be shot in a possible siege. 

When he had recovered from his surprise, Senhor da Costa 
welcomed us with old-fashioned courtesy ; his manner had 
all the dignity and polish which tradition teaches us to 
associate with the grandees of old Spain. With his hand 
on his heart he entreated us to consider him, his family, and 
all his worldly possessions as but existing to do us a service. 
It was but the honeyed tongue of flattery, and woe betide 
the man who was of a mind to take him at his word ! They 



EXPERIENCES, PICTURESQUE AND SOCIABLE 25 

have but one expression for such a fellow. They say, ' He 
has no shame.' His words, however, fell agreeably on the 
ears, and pleased us as much as though we could rely im- 
plicitly upon their veracity. Alas ! however learned I may 
now appear upon the subject of Portuguese etiquette, my 
knowledge was dearly purchased, for in the house of Senhor 
da Costa I was put seriously to the blush, and for the moment 
appeared in their eyes as one ' who had no shame.' 

It is extremely dangerous to admire any object apper- 
taining to a Portuguese. You are at once requested — nay, 
implored — to consider it yours. Such is his apparent gener- 
osity that he hesitates on the brink of no sacrifice : his 
house, his horse, his most treasured possessions, change 
hands in the twinkling of an eye. They are yours before 
you know where you are. The only road out of the dilemma 
is to assure your host that you are utterly unworthy of such 
blessings. He will contradict you with heat, but do not 
despair ; make yourself out to be a terrible fellow, a con- 
scienceless rascal, a house-breaker, a horse-stealer ! In the 
end you will succeed in convincing him that it is for the 
best that he should keep his own. You will lose his belong- 
ings, but you will gain his esteem, and, believe me, the latter 
is the sounder investment. Now, previous to our visit to 
Senhor da Costa, this canon of Portuguese etiquette had 
not been sufficiently impressed upon me — in fact, it had been 
left out of my education altogether. Hadow, too, in spite 
of past experiences in Portugal, had forgotten this national 
peculiarity ; so that before Warden could interfere, we had 
embarked on a voyage of admiration that threatened to 
have serious consequences. 

I was the first to transgress, for, catching sight of a sketch 
of Mertola in an olive-wood frame, I rashly remarked upon 
its beauty. It was at once presented to me. Hadow ex- 
pressed his admiration of a valuable work on ancient Portu- 
guese coins. In another minute it was his. We never 
dreamt of refusing. ' What delightful people !' we thought ; 
' how kind ! how hospitable ! and, above all, how generous P 

Solid gloom fell upon Senhor da Costa, but as he con- 
tinued to press his property upon us we paid it no attention. 
Warden was in despair. His signs were disregarded, and, 



26 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

all unconscious of the enormity of our conduct, we gaily trod 
the path that leads to worldly prosperity. The last straw 
fell when Hadow shamelessly accepted the skeleton of a fine 
baboon, a particular pet of our host's. Then Warden's 
soul rose in rebellion : luring us into a corner, he informed 
us what he thought of our behaviour. We were thunder- 
struck. I draw a veil over the next ten minutes. Eating 
humble pie is not an occupation that lends itself to cheerful 
description. Suffice it to relate that our characters were 
restored, and that, although poorer, we were distinctly 
wiser men. 

Senhor Vargas and Senhor da Costa were Spaniards, but^ 
out of compliment to Warden and me, the conversation was 
carried on entirely in Portuguese. Hadow was equally at 
home in either language. My command of Portuguese was 
limited ; thanks, however, to having studied incessantly 
ever since the idea of our trip was first mooted, I was able to 
follow the general drift of conversation, and even to play a 
small part when occasion offered. Every day added to my 
stock of words, and under the apt tuition of my friends I 
was soon able to hold my own without disgracing my pre- 
ceptors. 

The two elderly Spaniards embarked on the dangerous 
waters of antiquarian discussion. They were, I doubt not, 
old antagonists, and in the habit of differing with regard to 
many of their discoveries, but to me their argumentative heat 
was disconcerting. So engrossed were they in their verbal 
engagement that we were entirely forgotten. Hadow 
listened to them with amusement ; he twirled his great 
moustaches, his eyes twinkling with the humour of the 
situation. With a word he could have set them right, but 
as they were totally unaware of the presence of a greater 
antiquarian authority than themselves, he refrained from 
interference. 

The object of their discussion was a remarkable animal 
discovered by Senhor da Costa in a recent excavation which 
he had conducted in the neighbourhood of Mertola. It was 
small, and of mouldy appearance ; it possessed four rudi- 
mentary legs, a suspicion of whiskers, and two well-defined 
bumps on its forehead. The friends agreed that it was a 



EXPERIENCES, PICTURESQUE AND SOCIABLE 2 



/ 



relic of the Bronze Age, but as to its family they could by no 
means come to an amicable understanding. 

' It is undoubtedly a goat,' remarked Senhor da Costa. 

' It is distinctly a cat,' asserted Senhor Vargas. 

Hadow suppressed a chuckle. 

' Have you observed these ?' exclaimed Senhor da Costa 
in gentle triumph, laying a finger on the bumps. 

' Indeed I have,' answered his friend. ' I studied them 
closely with my magnifying glass ; they are conclusive 
evidence in support of my theory.' 

Senhor da Costa waved his hand. 

' Do not they prove to you, my dear friend, that it is a 
young goat ? Are they not the budding promise of 
horns ?' 

' Far from it,' replied Senhor Vargas warmly. ' These 
interesting bumps are without doubt bumps of locality, and 
to my mind incontrovertible evidence that it is a cat.' 

'Bah!' ejaculated Senhor da Costa in good-humoured scorn. 

The eyes of Senhor Vargas flashed with annoyance. 

' It is true,' he cried, smiting the table with his fist. 
' Only listen to my theory, and I will convince 3^ou in two 
minutes. Cats in the Bronze Age, having to depend largely 
upon their knowledge of the country in order to follow the 
rapid movements of bronze mice — who were nomadic in their 
habits — possessed larger and more visible bumps of locality 
than are to be found on the craniums of felines at the present 
day.' 

Hadow chuckled again. 

' I cannot agree with you,' replied our host with heat. 

Senhor Vargas shrugged his shoulders with an air of com- 
miseration. 

' It is impossible to treat this affair too seriously,' cried 
Senhor da Costa, ruffling his white hair with both hands. 
' For me it is a matter of principle. I stake my honour on 
these horns. I tell you, my dear Vargas, this goat ' 

' Cat !' corrected his friend loudly. 

' Goat !' shouted Senhor da Costa. 

The two friends faced each other. There ensued a painful 
pause. 

' Senhores, senhores !' interposed Hadow hastily, ' I pray 



28 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

of you to consider ! This little cat-like goat and goat-like 
cat, truly it is not worth so many words !' 

In consequence of this diplomatic interruption, the adver- 
saries cooled rapidly. Recalled to our presence, they were, 
I think, ashamed of having given vent to so much scientific 
heat. They betrayed a desire to become reconciled. Senhor 
da Costa offered his snuff-box with the most conciliatory of 
smiles ; Senhor Vargas, not to be outdone in generosity, 
took a pinch, saying in tones of conviction : 

' My dear Da Costa, it is very like a goat P 

Peace being restored, an incident occurred that I cannot 
recall without a smile. 

' Senhores,' said Senhor da Costa, addressing us in his 
kind and courteous manner, ' you are doubtless thirsty ?' 

We pleaded guilty. The old gentleman rubbed his hands. 

' Good ! How very fortunate that I have one bottle of it 
left !' 

We beamed approval. 

' Yes, yes,' continued our host, nodding his silvery head ; 
' it must have been my good star that induced me to spare it 
for this occasion. It foresaw that one day I would have the 
honour of entertaining Englishmen.' 

So saying, he ran out of the room. Senhor Vargas turned 
to us. 

' I know not,' said he, ' of what wine my friend Da Costa 
speaks, but it must be very precious ; he has a fine taste in 
vintages, and an excellent cellar.' He sighed regretfully. 
* Yes, a most excellent cellar !' 

Our host returned, bearing a tray upon which were a bottle 
encased in cobwebs and five small wine glasses. His expres- 
sion was a study in sensations ; justifiable pride, however, 
predominated. Our efforts not to take too visible an interest 
in those proceedings met with but scant success. Warden's 
eyes sparkled, Hadow licked his lips, and as for me, my 
throat of a sudden became parched as the sands of Egypt, 
and I was of opinion that nothing short of the Nile and all 
its tributaries could restore it to its normal condition. 

Slowly and carefully Senhor da Costa filled the wine- 
glasses. The liquor was amber-hued ; a slight effervescence 
sparkled in its depths. 



EXPERIENCES, PICTURESQUE AND SOCIABLE 29 

' Do me the honour, senhors, to accept of a glass.' 

We pledged each other in silence. Where had I tasted 

that subtle flavour ? It reminded me of — I knew not what. 

I looked at my friends. Hadow was knitting his brows. 

Warden gazed at the ceiling. Then my eye caught sight of 

the label, which the sleeve of our host had partially deprived 

of its dust ; on it was written : 
' Bass and Go's Pale Ale '/ 



CHAPTER IV 

WE JOIN OUR STEAMER 

Bedrooms were at a premium. A fair, or some other local 
excitement, had filled our inn to overflowing, and we three 
were obliged to share the same room. It was a small apart- 
ment, originally intended for a box-room, and our three beds 
filled it like the pieces of a Chinese puzzle. However, by 
dint of undressing in the passage and washing out of the 
window, which overlooked the main thoroughfare of the 
town ; we made the most of the tiny space allotted to us. I 
grumbled at the discomfort, Hadow affected to be annoyed 
at the unusual luxury, and Warden treated the whole affair 

as a joke. 

The day began with a somewhat gruesome episode. 
Hadow disappeared in the early gray of the morning with a 
canvas bag slung over his shoulder. We were, at that time, 
too sleepy to pay much attention to this eccentric proceed- 
ing ; upon his return, however, with the bag distended to its 
uttermost, we questioned him closely. He sat on the edge 
of the bed and laughed. 

' What think you I have here, dear boys ?' chuckled he, 
patting the canvas bag with every sign of satisfaction. 
' Ha ! you would never guess,' he continued, as we shook our 
heads. ' What say you to hones ? Yes, I think the whole 
skeleton— a very fine specimen— bee-u-tiful !' And he pro- 
ceeded to lay out on the bed the osseous fragments of what 
had once been a human being. 

It came out that, lighted by the lamp of science, he had 
visited a neighbouring graveyard, and unearthed one of its 
occupants. I confess to being shocked ; but, then, I am, as 

30 



WE JOIN OUR STEAMER 31 

Hadow called me, a sentimentalist, and by no means a 
scientist. This array of pitiable memories, discoloured and 
earth-begrimed, affected my imagination unpleasantly. 
Had I seen them — as doubtless they now appear — properly 
articulated and white as ivory, occupying some glass case 
in Hadow's museum, I would have taken their uncoffined 
condition as a matter of course. But here, newly torn from 
their kindred dust ! — mutely reproaching us from the bed ! 
No, it was too horrible ! It was like time meddling with 
eternity. Was death ' like all the rest a mockery'? Truly 
the skull appeared to be of this opinion, for, as it lay 
upon the bedclothes, it grinned at us with the fixed and 
mirthless merriment of the tomb. 

Bidding farewell to the innkeeper, we started to join our 
steamer. I think our departure was considerably acceler- 
ated by a remark of Warden's, to the effect that he believed 
there existed a Portuguese vendetta, the sons and all male 
relations of a man whose grave has been violated being bound 
by oath to avenge him. I have never seen Hadow so near 
being alarmed. Understand me ! I do not go so far as to 
say that he was afraid, but he examined his express rifle with 
interest, and bustled us out of the inn with a precipitancy 
which was nothing short of indecent. 

The morning was, as usual, perfection. 

' Who is that boy ?' exclaimed Hadow suddenly. 

We turned round. A small but sturdy specimen of the 
genus ' boy ' marched behind us. He was dressed in 
extremes — that is to say, he wore a man's hat many sizes 
too large, and a boy's trousers many sizes too small — but 
as these extremes met in a jersey which fitted him surprisingly 
well, the effect of the whole costume was not as startling 
as might otherwise be expected. This diminutive voyager 
carried his travel-effects in a blue handkerchief with yellow 
spots, and, as he was treading closely upon our heels, ap- 
peared to be the natural tailing-off of our party. 

' Who is that boy ?' repeated Hadow. 

' That,' said Warden, not without hesitation — ' that is 
Pedro.' 

' Pedro ?' repeated Hadow. ' What Pedro ?' 

' My valet,' explained Warden. 



32 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

* Valet /' shouted Hadow. Had you placed a irain de luxe 
or an umbrella at his disposal, he could not have been more 
seriously annoyed. That Warden, whom he had oftentimes 
extolled to me as the essence of Spartan simplicity, should 
break out into a valet was a terrible blow. He eyed the valet 
grimly. That individual, blandly unconscious of hostile 
scrutiny, was visibly endeavouring to dispose of a mass of 
adhesive sweetmeat, that for the moment rendered him 
incapable of articulation. ' Where is your lady's-maid ?' 
he growled, addressing Warden in tones of the deepest 
irony. 

' I may find her later on,' replied Warden cheerfully. 

Hadow laughed ; it was impossible to resist Warden's 
good-humour. That delinquent took him by the arm, and 
said : 

' Never mind, old man ; I can faithfully promise you that 
Pedro will not add to the comfort of this trip. Besides, I 
really could not help it ; I had to bring him — the fellows at 
the mines insisted on it.' 

' Where did you pick him up ?' I asked. 

' In Pomarao ; he is an orphan, and, to tell the truth, I 
was sorry for the lonely little chap ; he attached himself to 
me like a stray dog.' 

We had by this time reached the banks of the Guadiana. 
The little river steamer, moored to a buoy in mid-stream, 
looked a civihzed and incongruous object compared with the 
feudal town and wild mountain scenery. A. rowing-boat 
conveyed us on board, and soon we were sitting beneath the 
awning, in pleasant anticipation of the coming journey. 
There were numerous passengers. Warden, on the best of 
terms with all and sundry, joked with the girls, chatted with 
the old v/omen, offered cigarettes to the men, and appeared 
to be a perfect savings-bank for copper coins, to the 
delight of the children. They all knew him, and his in- 
formation concerning their domestic affairs verged on the 
miraculous. 

' Ha, my best of mothers !' he would cry, addressing a 
stout peasant-woman, ' this is indeed pleasant ; to see you 
always brings me luck. And how is my Marguerita this 
morning ?' 



WE JOIN OUR STEAMER 33 

A small and particularly dirty baby was held out for in- 
spection. Warden made weird noises in his throat that 
afforded Marguerita food for serious thought. The mother 
was delighted. 

There were two ladies on board — typical Southerners 
— stout and lazy, with scarce energy sufficient to wield 
the large fans that took the place of hats and parasols. 
Attired in black, with lace mantillas draped over their heads, 
they formed objects of interest to the masculine eye, but, 
for my part, I could well have dispensed with the thick 
powder with which they had covered their faces. They sat 
very near to each other, conversing in undertones, and oc- 
casionally breaking into a merry laugh that came pleasantly 
to the ear. Although affecting to be unconscious of our 
presence yet at times the dark eyes would peep at us over 
the fan-rims with an interest which their fair owners were 
unable to conceal. 

To my gratification. Warden discovered that he was 
acquainted with them. They received him with smiles and 
a gentle flutter of fans. 

' Introduce us,' I whispered, interrupting a ramble in the 
flowery fields of compliment. 

' Certainly. Dona Julia, Dofia Fausta, permit me to intro- 
duce to you my friends,' etc. 

Hadow clicked his heels, and bowed a la Heidelberg. 
The ladies were visibly touched. I seated myself beside 
Dona Julia. 

' Do you live in Mertola ?' I asked, by way of starting con- 
versation. 

' Just Heaven !' she cried in French. * No ; I come from 
Seville.' 

' It is celebrated for beautiful ladies and — and fine oranges,' 
said I, with a bow. 

She smiled. 

' Et vous, monsieur, what do you here ?' 

I threw out my hands. 

' Mon Dieu, madame ! I travel. I am a bird of passage. 
Nothing delights me so much as to see the beauties of other 
countries.' And I bowed to her with all the grace at my 
command. 



34 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

Dona Julia was visibly flattered. 

' Mais, dites 7noi, monsieur, how comes it that you are 
English ?' 

' A mere accident of birth,' I said lightly. 

' But the Enghsh men are so cold, so— so unappreciative ; 
where, then, have you learned to say these pretty things ?' 

' My father travelled in Spain,' I answered gravely. 

Dofia Julia beamed on me with ever-increasing approval. 

' Have you been long in Portugal ?' I inquired, after a 
pause. 

The lady sighed. 

' Not long, if you count the weeks,' she said mournfully, 
' but to me years. You know, monsieur ' — here she leant 
forward, and we retired behind the fan — ' we Spaniards love 
not the Portuguese ; to us the very name of Portugal spells 
banishment from our own beautiful fatherland.' 

I murmured my sympathy, and then, after a discreet 
interval, we rejoined the outer world. 

Scraps of Hadow's conversation reached us from time to 

time. 

' Est-ce possible ?' cried Dona Fausta, in tones of horror. 

' The bones may be larger, madame,' asserted Hadow in 
French, ' but you will find upon comparing them with those 
of the present day that the species has not materially 

altered.' 

At that moment we were all startled by loud cries. 

' Pedro !' exclaimed Warden, and he disappeared in the 
direction of the engine-room. 

It appeared that the irrepressible youth had been riding on 
the piston-rod when the engines, giving one revolution, had 
shot him into an oil-tray. The engineer extracted him with 
excusable violence from his dangerous position, but for days 
we were reminded of the escapade by the insufferable smell 
of machine oil. We began to sympathize with the engineers 
who had expelled him from the mines. 

As wc glided down-stream, Mertola struck us as even more 
imposing viewed from the river than when seen from the 
shore. High above the sea of surrounding houses the ruined 
castle stood out trenchant and clear. Less boldly prominent, 
but still a notable landmark, a white-walled building of 



WE JOIN OUR STEAMER 35 

monastical appearance caught the sunhght. The high outer 
walls, broken at intervals by some dwelling resembling a 
watch-tower, hedged the town about with jealous care. 
Two or three houses had escaped its vigilant circumference, 
and stolen unperceived to the river-bank, where they had 
established themselves within touch of the rushing water. 
I should not wonder if they paid dearly one day for their 
temerity. The Guadiana asserts herself at times with a 
violence which strikes terror into the hearts of the most 
courageous. High up within the town affixed to one of the 
houses is a marble slab ; upon it are written the following 
words, their very simphcity fraught with horror : ' To this 
spot rose the waters of the Guadiana on the terrible night of 
7th December, 1867.' 

Nothing tells more clearly the tale of Mertola's past, of 
her dread of surprise, of her struggle for existence, than her 
mode of communication with the outer world. The only 
means of ingress and egress, as seen from the river, is a bridle- 
path — so narrow that no two mules can traverse it abreast 
— which winds upwards to the town. Its position is pre- 
carious, for on the one side is a precipice, while on the other 
the frowning walls rise sheer to a height of some forty feet. 
The entrance-gate to which this path leads is of enormous 
strength and protected by a ponderous drawbridge. 

Our last impression of the town is one which I shall never 
forget. There it lay, Hterally steeped in sunshine— pictur- 
esque beyond words. But that which impressed me most, 
and which imparted a sense of unreahty to the scene, was the 
fact that, although the day was well advanced, no sign of life 
was to be discerned. The air was clear ; every detail stood 
out within the eye of the morning ; yet so silent was it, so 
apparently deserted, that it might have been the abode of the 
dead, or, more happily, some enchanted city ' asleep in 
lap of legends old.' Yes, that pleased me. The ruined 
castle contained some sleeping Princess, invisible to mortal 
eyes, and the huddle of sunlit houses was but silent and 
still out of tender and loyal sympathy. 

We glided onwards ; a turning of the river hid even the 
castle from us. And so, farewell to little Mertola. 



CHAPTER V 

DOWN THE GUADIANA TO VILLA REAL AND FARO 

The banks of the Guadiana.. high and precipitous in the 
neighbourhood of Mertola, gradually decreased in size as we 
neared the sea. From bold and rocky headlands they de- 
teriorated to a succession of sand-hills. Along their margin, 
where the water laved their shifting base, clumps of cane 
grew luxuriantly, the feathery foliage all a-quiver in the 
morning breeze. The river ran with a slow, deliberate move- 
ment, neither retarding nor accelerating its pace — a stately 
advance befitting the dignity of so important a stream ; for 
was it not a national landmark of no little interest — the 
boundary-line between Spain and Portugal ? 

The scenery oppressed me. Had I been alone, it would 
have haunted me like a nightmare. I could imagine no 
worse fate than to be stranded on one of those sand-hills, 
without knowing whither to turn for assistance. But travel 
scenery has this peculiarity — it is unreal ; it is composed of 
the stuff that dreams are made of ; even as we see it it 
vanishes ; and when we are most engrossed, it is already far 
astern. The imagination alone can stray at will among the 
scenes that smile at us from afar — can foot it towards 
the distant town, or bask awhile upon the sun-steeped 
bank. 

It is a dead and dreary region, full of loneliness and 
monotony ; the sand shifts and the reeds rustle, and per- 
chance a seabird comes on expanded wings to spy out the 
poverty of the land, and then, finding it even poorer than he 
anticipated, wheels in the still air, and is off in search of 
happier hunting-grounds. 

36 



DOWN THE GUADIANA TO VILLA REAL Z7 

And yet this ' dark Guadiana ' has been the spectator of 
stirring times : 

' Whilome upon his banks did legions throng 
Of Moor and knight, in mailed splendour drest : 
Here ceased the swift their race, here sunk the strong ; 
The Paynim turban and the Christian crest 
Mix'd on the bleeding stream, by floating hosts opprest.' 

But now this is all over and done with ; the Guadiana 
has probably forgotten all about it, for long ago she carried 
the tale to the ocean, and it became one of the songs that the 
sea sings to all who give ear to her music. 

Our little steamer paddled noisily in mid-current ; in- 
significantly important, its miniature bustle contrasted with 
the calm and unaltered movement of the water, for the river 
heeded it no more than if it had been a gnat disporting itself 
on a summer's evening. 

It was strange to think that away to our left, over the 
barren dunes, lay Spain — the land of romance — as alluring 
to the imagination as some volume of chivalry. I confess to 
drawing a deep breath as I gazed with half-closed eyes away 
over the sunlit plains to where the mountain ranges of the 
interior met the blue dome of sky. Spain — there was 
witchery in the very name ! Was it not the land of Cortez 
and Pizzaro, of Carmen and Don Quixote, of Mantilla and 
Serenade ? I know not what lit my thoughts with so 
romantic a glow, unless, indeed, it were the presence of 
Doiia Julia. I turned from the contemplation of sand-hills 
to gaze at the marble of her complexion, and seemed to 
behold the white walls of Seville all aglow in the sunlight. 
She, worthy soul, passed her time principally in consuming 
oranges, a delicate tribute of affection to the chief export of 
her native city. She was full of the milk of human kindness ; 
a little cream of tender personality had collected on its 
surface, and I enjoyed the light occupation of skimming it 
off. She seemed to me the personification of every virtue 
that ladies are heir to — both inherited and acquired. She 
promised to send me her photograph, and I swore never to 
forget her. Neither promise was kept. And yet, why 
should I thus unjustly accuse myself ? My promise has 
not altogether been broken, for whenever my thoughts 



38 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMP:NT IN PORTUGAL 

stray, as at times they do, to the Guadiana, the memoiy of 
that sunht morning smiles at me, and the lady of the white 
face and black eyes awakes a sigh for the days that are no 
more. Many fine things have been written about youth, 
but no pen can sufficiently eulogize its sublime powers of 
self-deception, its enviable faculty of seeing only what it 
desires, its capacity — as in my case — for discovering Perfec- 
tion lurking under violet-powder, and Romance beckoning 
from an atmosphere of Seville oranges. 

It was hard upon two o'clock when Villa Real came into 
sight. It is a straggling and squalid town, lying low, 
within sound of the sea. Our steamer came to anchor at 
the distance of a dozen yards from the shore. We clustered 
to the vessel's side, and gazed at the crowd whom the in- 
terest of our arrival had summoned to the banks. 

' There is neither landing-stage nor boat,' I remarked. 
' Villa Real appears to be somewhat primitive.' 

'That is so like Portugal!' said Warden, with a laug]i. 
' To my certain knowledge it is at least five years since they 
decided to set up a landing-stage, and, as yet, it has not even 
been begun ! We are forced to get upon the backs of these 
fellows.' And he pointed to a dozen men who came wading 
out to meet us. 

' I do not approve of this,' objected Hadow ; ' to make 
such use of a man is too luxurious. Have not I two legs ? 
Are they afraid of cold water ? Nein ; Gott Bewahr ! I 
will go alone.' 

So saying, he divested himself of shoes and socks, and, 
rolling his trousers well above the knee, lowered himself over 
the vessel's side. A shout of indignation greeted him. 
The professional waders resented this encroachment upon 
their time-honoured prerogative. I am of opinion that such 
a performance was unprecedented in the annals of Villa 
Real. 

The ladies of the party were as averse to such a mode of 
landing as was the Professor. 

' Quel pays harhare P cried Dofia Julia. ' Do you imagine, 
monsieur, that I will trust myself to the arms of a man ? 
Mais non ; jamais de la vie P And her fan fluttered with 
outraged propriety. 



DOWN THE GUADIANA TO VILLA REAL 39 

* It is but for a few minutes/ I said consolingly. ' You 
can shut your eyes.' 

' Non ! non ! non ! that would make no difference. I 
should feel his odious arms around me. Cest insupportable ! 
If it were a Spaniard, now, I would have shame, but it would 
not be so bad.' 

* Or an Englishman ?' I inquired. 

She flashed her dark eyes on me with a smile. 

' Un Anglais ! quel idee ! But where is one who would 
undertake the task ?' 

' You see him before you, madame !' 

She struck at me playfully with her fan. 

' Mechant ! you are not serious ; et puis, voyez vous. I 
am too fat ; you would let me fall ; I should drown. Mon 
Dieu ! I am horribly afraid !' 

I ran my eyes over her ample proportions ; my heart mis- 
gave me. The situation was serious, for had it not become 
an affair of honour ? I had left no opening for retreat. 

' Dofia Julia,' said I with solemnity, ' did you learn history 
at your school ?' 

* Uhistoire ?' she repeated doubtfully. ' Mais oui, mon- 
sieur.'^ 

' Then you must remember that what an Englishman lays 
his hands on he never relinquishes.' 

* Que vous etes drole P she giggled. 

' My one difficulty, I explained, will be, not, as you 
imagine, to prevent you falhng, but to unclasp my arms 
when we reach shore.' 

Doha Julia rippled with laughter. 

' I advise you to take that man, Doha Julia,' said Warden, 
pointing to one of the waders. ' I know him well ; he will 
be very careful.' 

The lady clasped her hands. 

' But I am too frightened,' she cried. ' I will drown !' 

' There is no need for alarm,' soothed Warden ; ' and as 
for drowning, it is impossible. Should you fall in, the water 
will barely reach your ' 

' Monsieur !' exclaimed Dofia Julia, interrupting him in 
tones of the most painful apprehension. 

Warden all but blushed. 



40 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 
' I assure you,' he said earnestly, ' I ' 



' Not another word, monsieur, I pray you ; mats, dites 
moi, is there no other way than this ? J^ai peur, horrible- 
ment feiir. mon Dieu /' 

The cries, the shrieks, the lamentations that arose would 
have entirely misled the uninitiated observer ; the ' Rape 
of the Sabines ' would have been the only parallel catas- 
trophe to which he might have likened it. A heartfelt 
prayer of thanksgiving for my deliverance escaped my lips 
as I watched their progress towards the shore. 

Doiia Fausta was no whit behind her friend in obstreperous 
behaviour. The crowd were convulsed with merriment. 
Upon the bank we bade the ladies a tender farewell. They 
were sadly dishevelled and quite out of breath. 

' Adieu, monsieur, ei bon voyage,^ panted Doiia Julia, 
laying a little plump brown hand in mine. ' Never again 
will I believe that all Englishmen are unappreciative.' 

' Let them but hold this little hand and look into these 
great eyes,' said I gaily, ' and, SaprisH ! I defy even an 
Englishman to be unappreciative.' 

' Flatterer !' she gurgled, ' mais je vous pardonne, vous 
m^eies ires sympathique. Adieu, oil plutot, au revoir.^ 

' Au revoir,^ I echoed ; and, with a final pressure of the 
yielding fingers, I ran after my companions. 

The afternoon was well advanced, and much of our journey 
lay still before us. We had arranged to sleep at Faro, 
distant a matter of thirty miles from Villa Real. Consider- 
able difficulty was experienced in obtaining carriages to 
accommodate our party. Thanks to the interest and energy 
displayed by Mr. Parkinson, one of Warden's friends, Villa 
Real was ransacked from end to end, and we inspected the 
result from the doorstep. A nondescript trap drawn by two 
mules, a venerable tricycle, and a small bicycle of the de- 
scription known as ' bone-shaker,' were all that could be 
mustered. The owner of the tricycle demanded higher pay- 
ment than did the possessor of the bicycle. 

' Look,' said he, ' at the extra wheel ; what an advantage 
that is, to be sure ! It is like having three legs.' 

Our departure was witnessed by a large crowd. Indeed, 
I think as soon as the news of our arrival had spread, few, if 



DOWN THE GUADIANA TO VILLA REAL 41 

any, of the good people of Villa Real remained within 
doors. 

Our presence caused quite a stir of excitement in the sleepy 
little town ; it shook itself into temporary animation before 
it sank back once more into the land of dreams — the country 
of procrastination. 

Away we drove, followed by a chorus of farewells. The 
vehicle held but two people in addition to the driver, so that 
we were forced to take it in turns to ride the tricycle, the 
' bone-shaker ' being given over to Pedro. Many a laugh 
did the little fellow's performance afford us. He rode it in 
hot haste, and managed to coax a wonderful amount of speed 
out of its ancient and noisy wheels. Whenever he spoke or 
was spoken to he invariably fell off, and, as Pedro was of a 
most sociable nature and much addicted to conversation, 
the result can better be imagined than described. 

Dust rose in clouds and floated away behind us. Trees, 
hedges, and even occasional wayfarers were covered with a 
dust-mantle that shone white in the sun. 

We stopped twice in order to change mules. Night sur- 
prised us long before we reached our destination. The latter 
part of our journey lay along a dark and desolate road 
bordering upon the sea. 

It was hard upon midnight before Faro came into sight ; 
our wheels clattered over the cobble-stones, but the in- 
habitants of the benighted town were all abed ; not a living 
soul was to be seen. The ' night-porter ' of the inn (how 
ironical the term ! for he slept with such goodwill that we 
put near a quarter of an hour to awakening him) was at 
length prevailed upon to unbar the door. His red night- 
cap and guttering candle lighted the dark entrance with 
picturesque effect. Supper was declared to be beyond recall, 
the servants having retired for the night ; so we made the 
best of a bad job, and, climbing the narrow staircase, betook 
ourselves to bed. 



CHAPTER VI 

FARO 

The heat of that day spent at Faro haunts me still. Later 
on we were several thousand feet nearer the stars, and had 
all the breezes of heaven to keep us company ; but in that 
furnace called Faro, stranded at sea-level, with never a tree 
to fling the hem of its shadow over us, we felt it terribly. 

In spite of the sweltering atmosphere, I summoned up 
sufficient energy to wrestle with Portuguese verbs. My 
studies in the language, though irregular, were always 
carried on with much goodwill and a great desire to master 
its difficulties. My experience is that more than half the 
difficulties are overcome by an honest appeal,to the senses. 
The spirit may be willing, but the weakness of the flesh calls 
for encouragement. I pandered to mine cheerfully. I con- 
sulted my carnal barometer before I opened the book. To 
be more exphcit, I found much consolation during these 
blazing morning hours in conjugating the verb to freeze. 
' I am freezing ' came as pleasantly to the ear as the tinkle 
of falling water. It reminded me of all the delights of winter, 
and I came near to imagining myself powdered with snow- 
flakes. 

' The mind is its own place ' — this habit of mine has 
oftentimes stood me in good stead. I remember on one 
mournful occasion, when I would have given worlds to have 
said with truth, ' I am loved,' Philosophy whispered, ' Thou 
mightst have been loved,' and Hope chiming in with ' Thou 
mayst be loved,' I took my two comforters by the hand and 
made a fresh start. 

When I had sufficiently frozen myself, I became conscious 

42 



FARO 43 

of a growing hunger, so without loss of time I attacked the 
verb ' to eat.' 

* I will eat,' cried I aloud. 

I had no sooner spoken these words than the door opened 
and Pedro peeped in. 

' Where is it ?' he questioned. 

' What ?' inquired I. 

' That which you eat,' he explained, immensely interested. 

His eyes roved round the room. There was a want of 
imagination about Pedro. When he understood that it 
was a species of new game patented by myself, he oftered to 
join me, but he never recovered from his first disappoint- 
ment sufficiently to treat the matter with any degree of 
liopefulness. Our studies proceeded after this fashion : 

' Let us eat, Pedro,' I began. 

' I could eat,' he answered with conviction. 

' We are eating,' I quoted joyfully. 

' I might be eating,' he retorted gloomily. 

' We have eaten,' I said with satisfaction. 

But that was too much for poor Pedro, and he rushed from 
my imaginary banquet in a condition bordering on tears. 

Hiring a boat, we spent the afternoon in exploring the 
bay. 

Between the town and the sea lies a swamp of many 
miles in extent. At high water this wide expanse is covered 
by the incoming tide, but, as the water recedes, numberless 
sandbanks rise into sight. These are black in colour, and 
are formed by a species of spongy clay or mud, possessing 
qualities akin to a quicksand. Intersecting the sandbanks 
are labyrinthine watercourses through which the tide ebbs 
out to the sea. The appalling desolation and hideousness 
of this wide expanse, lying waste beneath the blue of the 
sky, must be seen to be realized ; words are inadequate to 
convey a truthful idea of the depression that wraps it round 
as with a mantle. 

We rowed to and fro, but no signs of life were to be seen. 
On a promontory we sighted a deserted village. We learned 
from Warden that it had once been occupied by tunny- 
fishers, but that owing to the falling off of the trade it had 
long since been abandoned. The ruined houses — dark and 



44 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

forlorn — harmonized with the sadness of the scene. We 
lay on our oars and discussed them in whispers. The 
silence was oppressive. One sound alone broke on the 
stagnant air — the hoarse boom of far-off waves. It had a 
melancholy and monotonous fall — the very spirit of a dirge. 
The sunset that evening took us by surprise. It was a 
transformation scene. The more apparently unattractive 
a landscape, the better it lends itself to the witchery of 
atmospheric effect. Swamps possess this power to a marked 
degree. They regain their pristine loveliness at the first 
stroke of the sunset's wand — the unsightly becomes beauti- 
ful, desolation flames into glory. And yet, it was not a 
beauty that appealed to calm and peaceful thoughts. No ; 
there was something awful in the lurid transfiguration. The 
great sun, hull-down on the horizon, might well have been 
some huge vampire sucking into itself the light and vitality 
of the world. The very creeks ran blood, the very air flamed 
with sanguinary reflection. And as the world felt the tide 
of its strength ebbing thus irresistibly sunwards, it grew 
grayer and grayer, more and more ghostly, till it sank at 
last to its twilight grave and night fell, solemn and sad, over 
land and sea. 



CHAPTER VII 

WE SEEK TO ENLIST RECRUITS 

LouLE was our next halting-place. The town lies distant 
from Faro a matter of seven miles. Our cavalcade started 
in high spirits. The muleteer, who strode in front, carolled 
love-songs of old Portugal with all the strength of his lungs. 
Warden, who brought up the rear, executed gay solos upon 
a tin whistle. I have not had previous occasion to mention 
this accomplishment of Warden's, but gratitude forces me 
to confess that his tin whistle contributed in no small 
degree to the success of our trip. Deprived of its tuneful 
presence, our travelling days would have lost much of the 
jollity which otherwise distinguished them. It is wonderful 
how a merry tune puts heart into a man, how it shortens 
the long road, and makes us forget the tired body. To see 
Warden astride of his mule — I say astride, but encamped 
would be a more accurate term, for he occupied its back as 
though it were a plain of considerable dimensions, it being 
a matter of indifference to him whether he peeped between 
the ears or overlooked the tail — to see him, as I say, upon his 
mule with red face and eager lips, discoursing some world- 
worn air, was a mental tonic to us all. To hear the merry 
notes shaking themselves out into the sunlight set our blood 
a-dancing in very sympathy. Even the mules fell under 
the influence of the tin whistle ; ' Annie Laurie ' got into 
their legs at once, and the musical information that the 
' Campbells were coming ' made them brisk forwards at such 
a rate that you would swear they were mulishly determined 
to avoid an introduction. These to us were songs of the 
' open road,' they spoke of all the joys of travel, hackneyed 

45 



46 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

and indifferently played though they were ; yet for my part 
I cannot hear one of these old tunes now without a feehng 
akin to heartache, for they set me dreaming of those marches 
in the early morning, of the sunlight and the breeze, of the 
fairyland of expectation, of the wonderland of reality. 

The love of travel is indeed an incurable disease, and if, 
as was the case with me, it steals into the hot blood of your 
youth, Heaven help you ! While life lasts you will never 
be a free man again. 

What is it that torments us when in the cold gray of our 
Northern homes we read of the sunny South, the magical 
East, the lands that lie in the very eye of the sunlight ? Is 
it not this travel-sickness ? Oh, these golden lands of 
travel ! how they allured me in the days of my boyhood ! 
And now that I am older, how they allure me still, calling 
to me across the seas that separate us with voices that 
awake the very echoes of desire ! Haunted by their voices 
I attempted once to put the longing that possessed me into 
words. One verse came near to expressing my thought, 
for it spoke of travel-sickness as — 

* Dreams of grov/n-up childhood, 
Visions of the night ; 
When existence seemeth gray, 
Narrowing in the appointed way : 
Whispers o'er a syren sea» 
Calling vou, and calling me, 
Out into the light.' 

Out into the light ! Ay, there you have the very kernel 
of the matter, and when I think of the sun-steeped sands 
of the desert, of the Spanish main, of the coral islands of the 
Pacific, I am filled with fear lest the time should come for 
me to die before I am permitted to visit them. 

There is a delightful anecdote related of a French cure. 
He was a very old man. A friend accosted him once in 
some Eastern city. ' How comes it,' inquired the friend, 
' that at your time of life you travel thus far from home ?' 
• My son,' replied the old man, ' for nigh seventy years I 

lived at N ' (mentioning a little village in Northern 

France), * doing, I hope, a httle good, but seeing nothing of 
the great world. One day I fell ill, and in my dreams I 



WE SEEK TO ENLIST RECRUITS 47 

fancied that I was summoned before my Maker. " And 
what," said the good God to me — " what think you of the 
beautiful world in which I permitted you to live ?" " O 
Lord," I replied, " I have seen but little of it. For seventy 

years, as Thou knowest, I lived at N " And the good God 

answered me thus : " Go back," said He, " to the beautiful 
world, and this time do not fail to visit many lands. Was 
it for nothing that I shaped it after My own heart and made 
it beautiful beyond words ?" And so,' continued the old 
cure, ' I travel always — whenever I have a little money — 
and I have seen already many lands.' 

As we journeyed onwards our eyes rested on the moun- 
tains. To us they were the delectable mountains, the goal 
of our desires, for were not our caves concealed in one of 
these wild ridges that raised itself so boldly against the 
morning sky ? 

At Louie we found rooms in an inn situated in the principal 
street of the town. We stayed there but one night, our 
object being to purchase stores against our intended sojourn 
in the caves. The entire afternoon was spent in making 
purchases, and after several hours of exhausting argument, 
we found ourselves possessors of the following necessary 
articles : Tinned sardines, three iron forks, ditto spoons, ditto 
cups, several cooking dishes, and a large blanket rug apiece 
in which to wrap ourselves at night. Not an extensive or 
luxurious outfit, but were we not travelling with Hadow ? 
Warden, to whose firmness we owed the intrusion of the 
sardmes, had much difficulty in carrying his point. Hadow 
made ironical suggestions relating to ' nightingales' tongues ' 
and other far-fetched delicacies, but Warden stuck to his 
sardines in a way that aroused my gratitude. Hadow was 
forced to yield. We also became owners of a number of 
implements to be employed in excavating the caves, viz., 
spades, pickaxes, baskets, etc. The acquiring of these few 
and simple objects took not only much time, but very con- 
siderable powers of conversation. Each article was haggled 
over, and by the time our equipment was complete we were 
both hoarse and exhausted. But all this was as nothing 
compared to the difficulties that beset us when we attempted 



48 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

to engage the services of Portuguese workmen. We might 
have been recruiting-sergeants in a hostile country, we were 
looked upon with such evident suspicion. A crowd of no 
inconsiderable size dogged our footsteps — their faces men- 
aced us at every turn. At this crisis Warden was a tower 
of strength; he rose to the occasion nobly. His command 
of epithets surprised even those who knew him best. He 
addressed the mob in racy, nervous Portuguese. He might 
have been a Parliamentary candidate disputing a desperate 
seat, for he tried every trick of the trade. He cajoled, he 
flattered, he perjured himself frequently, he menaced, he 
abused, he lashed them with irony, he transfixed them with 
epigram. To hear him you would have imagined that he 
was inviting a select party of Israelites to enter the Promised 
Land — our rocks ran wine, our caves overflowed with milk 
and honey. And were they convinced ? By no means. 
They were steeped in prejudice. ' Caves !' quoth they ; 
' What caves ? Who has heard of such caves ? Old Pedro 
who brings wine from over the mountains has not even 
heard of them, and if anyone knew, it would be Pedro, for 
has he not traversed the ranges for the last fifty years ? 
Where was Pedro ? He would tell us himself ; ay, that 
he would.' Pedro, being produced, thanked his God that 
he had other and saner occupations than looking for caves, 
which, in his estimation, were the abode of evil spirits, 
otherwise, ' why were they so dark ?^ He said this trium- 
phantly, looking round him with the air of one who has 
scored a point. ' Was it not well known that devils and 
such unholy vermin ' — here he crossed himself — ' loved dark- 
ness rather than light ?' A hoarse murmur of assent rose 
from the crowd. Warden wiped his face, but Pedro had 
not done with him. What, inquired the old man, frowning 
at us — what wanted we with caves ? It was well known 
— had he not seen himself ? — that we had bought spades, 
pickaxes, and other mysterious objects. That was sus- 
picious. There were no vineyards to be tilled in the moun- 
tains — wine must be brought from far — up there it was all 
rocks. Could one dig rocks ? No, no ; we were clearly 
to be avoided. Shaking his gray head, he washed his hands 
of us. We were in despair. 



tVE SEEK TO ENLIST RECRUITS 49 

Help came from an unexpected quarter. The similarity 
of his name with that of our chief persecutor so moved 
Pedro minor to remorse that he began to bestir himself in 
our behalf. He had, he informed us, an uncle living in 
Louie ; he proposed to visit him and seek his advice as to 
the best course for us to follow. Warden gave his consent, 
and away sped Pedro in search of his relative. Late that 
evening he returned accompanied by not one, but four men ! 
Our first impression was that Pedro had discovered a colony 
of uncles, and our hearts sang a paean of praise in eulogy 
of the prolific clan of Pedro ; but he explained in great glee 
that with the assistance of his relative he had induced 
these noble senhores tc enter our service. The senhores 
were unmistakably nervous^ and the meeting — seen by the 
light of a smoky oil lamp — piesented the appearance of 
a conspiracy. How they talked ! They harangued Warden, 
argued among themselves, appealed occasionally to Pedro. 
It was interminable. I lay on an apology for a sofa and 
listened drowsily. I must have slept, for I remember 
suddenly becoming conscious that the workmen had left 
the room, that Warden and Pedro were shaking hands, 
and that Pedro's yearly salary was to be augmented by 
a microscopic rise. I grasped the situation. Providence 
chooses humble tools to work out her inscrutable ends. 
Geese seived the Capitol, Pedro rescued us — beautiful 
analogy ! 

Talk no more, O Hadow, of the unpardonable crime of 
possessing a valet ! Was not this Pedro's apologia pro 
vita sua ? Were we not, thanks to his small person, to 
march on the morrow with full ranks and light hearts to 
the conquest of the caves ? 



4 



CHAPTER VIII 

WHERE ARE THE CAVES ? 

Dawn glimmered over the mountains, mist lay along the 
valleys ; Nature, like some coy wood-nymph, was taking 
advantage of the early hour to indulge in a dewdrop bath. 
We came upon the goddess unawares, and gazed Acteon- 
like at the freshness of her beauty ; but at the first indication 
of our presence she melted away, dissolving with pleasing 
metamorphosis into the loveliness of her inanimate children. 
But we were not thus easily deceived ; had we not seen the 
hem of her mist-mantle as she flitted before us ? Were not 
her eyes in the flowers — her smiles in the sunbeams ? 

We had stolen out of Louie at an early hour to escape from 
the hostile criticism of its inhabitants. In our capacity of 
cave-hunters we awoke suspicion, and we knew not to what 
lengths their misguided zeal might lead them. They might 
even convince themselves that they would be discharging 
a religious duty in stoning us ; and as the streets of their 
inhospitable town lent themselves but too well to such a 
performance, we judged it wiser to embrace discretion and 
travel betimes. 

We made an imposing procession, as, counting our mule- 
teer, we mustered nine of a party. 

At first we kept to the track that had conducted us out of 
Louie, but as the direction it followed did not satisfy our 
muleteer, we quitted it for a rough path that struck to the 
right. We had by this time rounded several spurs, and were 
sensibly nearing the mountains. The blue of the summer 
morning clothed them as with a mantle ; they were but a 
deeper note in the azure gradation that melted into the 

50 



WHERE ARE THE CAVES ? 51 

ethereal blue of the sky. The Divine Artist had but given 
them a second wash of heavenly cobalt, with a gleam of gold 
on the uplands and a suspicion of purple where the valleys 
receded into shadow. 

Bold and barren as the Sierra de Monchique appeared on 
our first acquaintance with them, yet our more immediate 
surroundings were softened and rendered beautiful by a 
vegetation almost tropical in its luxuriance. Fig, plum, 
and olive trees grew in clusters along our route, giving the 
country the appearance of a wild and much-neglected 
orchard ; while at intervals groves of cane lent a peculiarly 
foreign aspect to the scene. Our path lay along the banks 
of a little brook ; the noise of its waters tinkled pleasantly 
on the ear. Its course was overhung by a dense growth of 
flowering oleanders that grew to a height of seven to eight 
feet. Through these we were obliged to force our way — a 
labour attended by no little difficulty, as the path, being 
seldom traversed, the oleanders grew in wild and wayward 
entanglement. The difficulty increasing as we advanced, 
we dismounted and led our mules. As the oleanders 
crashed before the strokes of our muleteer, the startled deni- 
zens of the miniature forest fled in alarm. A kingfisher 
wheeled to the left with sudden cry, and, seeking the sunlight, 
sped down-stream, a flame of indignant blue ; a hare that 
had been dozing in some leafy covert sprang to its feet and 
vanished at racing speed, its long ears laid level with the 
working muscles of its back. The air was hot and stagnant ; 
there was a sad want of ventilation in that oleander world ; 
one could not but think that the atmosphere had been un- 
changed for weeks. The advent of our coming, brutal as it 
must have appeared to flowers and animals, did a kind and 
salutary service to the little forest ; it opened windows over- 
head through which the sunlight and the breeze could 
wander at will. 

Leaving the oleanders behind, we struck upwards. The 
path had by this time vanished — lost in the mazes by the 
brook — and we were obliged to trust to the hillside and to 
seek assistance in the undeveloped bump of locality possessed 
by our muleteer. Both misled us. Even the instinct of the 
brute creation was at fault. That popular fallacy failed us 

4—2 



52 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

completely. The St. Bernard dog may support the delusion 
when he carries refreshments to the sno wed-up voyager, but 
the Portuguese mule lost among his native hills is as hope- 
lessly at sea as a ship without a compass ; he carries nothing 
but consternation to your heart. If we had taken his advice, 
we would have remained seated even unto this day. The 
experiences of that morning proved a severe test to mulish 
character ; we weighed him in the balance, and found him 
wanting. But, no ; I do him wrong. He is hardy and sure- 
footed, but you are apt to lose sight of these excellent 
qualities when you fmd yourself confronted by such objec- 
tionable vices as laziness and obstinacy. Obstinacy, by the 
way, should be written in large capital letters ; no printer, 
however, can supply letters of sufticient size to show this 
characteristic in its true and glaring light. 

To lead a mule up the face of a mountain savours of insanity ; 
it is a peculiarly disagreeable form of nightmare. I would go 
far to escape from another such experience. Imagine the 
situation. There you are — he at one end of the bridle, you 
at the other. In front of you is a rock, one of the million 
that await you. Slipping your arm through the reins so 
as to leave your hands at liberty, you scale it, and, turning 
round, endeavour to persuade your mule to follow you. 
And does he respond ? By no means. He feigns not to see 
you. He appears to be entirely engrossed with the scenery, 
or to be dreaming of Stables in Portugal, which is his equiva- 
lent for ' Castles in Spain.' Recalled to the exigencies of the 
present, he affects surprise, then attempts to wedge himself 
into some rocky cleft, although it is evident to all that if 
allowed to carry out his plan he would stick there to all 
eternity. You pull and he pulls. You ruin your temper 
and his mouth beyond all hope of recovery. You are ex- 
cited and voluble — he is calm and silent. You are streaming 
with heat — he has every appearance of coolness. He shows 
you the yellow of his eyes, and settles himself down to starve 
you out, patient, dogged, immovable — the very personifica- 
tion of obstinacy from clenched jaw to quivering rump. O 
ye gods ! was it for nothing that he was created a mule ! 
As you strain at the bridle, a shout is heard, and the muleteer 
comes running to your assistance. A well-directed blow, a 



WHERE ARE THE CAVES ? 53 

few kicks, and your adversary changes his mind. Gathering 
his legs swiftty beneath him, he launches himself with un- 
expected suddenness forwards and upwards, and together 
you proceed to the next battle of the rocks. 

We halted on a tiny plateau to recover breath. Above, 
below, around, the eye rested on nothing but rocks and rocks 
and yet again rocks piled one upon the other, barren and 
naked as on the morning of creation. A quiver of heat lay 
over them — golden in the foreground, but melting as it 
receded into the blue of the distant hills. No living thing 
was to be seen. 

Thankfully I threw myself into the shadow of a boulder. 
Pedro, curling himself up, fell on the instant fast asleep. 
The mules, relapsing into daydreams, flicked at the flies with 
their long tails. It was very peaceful. 

Hadow, however, was by no means content with inaction. 
Standing in the full glare of the sun, he gesticulated violently. 

' Hi, Jose !' he shouted, addressing our muleteer, ' what 
mean you by bringing us here ? We are no chamois to 
spring up such places. Where is the path ?' 

Jose opened wide his vast hands — a comprehensive gesture 
disclaiming all responsibility whatsoever — then, seating him- 
self beside me, began leisurely to roll a cigarette ; perfect 
indifference was written large on his swarthy face. There 
was much of the mule in Jose. What might have occurred — 
for Hadow's nature chafed at the delay — I know not, but 
precisely at that moment the head of a goat appeared above 
us and gazed down upon our party with faint curiosity. 

Another and yet another came into sight. They sprang 
up unexpectedly upon all sides, from behind every rock and 
stone. The goatherd was worthy of mention ; the same 
external characteristics were stamped indelibly upon the 
man as upon the animals, the same faint curiosity, the same 
slow and meditative manner ; their very costume was 
similar, for he was clad in skins, and wore them as though 
they were his natural covering. He was an aboriginal man, 
rude and wild as the rocks among which he lived. 

Warden hailed him in patois, but he shook his head, and 
made as if he would pass us. Upon being addressed by Jose, 
how^ever, he deigned to pause, and even to reply at some 



54 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

length. From the information ehcited it appeared that 
the path lay to the westward, and that the caves were to 
be seen from a valley at no inconsiderable distance 
from the hill we had been attempting to climb. Following 
his advice, we succeeded, after a long and tedious scramble, 
in regaining the path, and proceeded onwards at a more 
rapid pace. 

It was by far the hottest day we had experienced ; the 
vertical rays of the sun beat pitilessly upon us. 

A brook ran down the valley mentioned by the goatherd. 
I shall have occasion to speak often of that thrice-blessed 
little brook. It was always our friend, but I doubt if it was 
at any time more welcome than on that broiling afternoon. 
Parched as we were with thirst, the sight of its cool and 
running waters acted as a delightful anodyne to the fever of 
the day. We flung ourselves down beside it and drank deep, 
pouring it over our heads in the fulness of our satisfaction. 
The mules shared our feelings. The baggage-mule in par- 
ticular, taking advantage of a temporary lapse of attention 
on the part of her master, flung herself into a pool, and satu- 
rated her pack gleefully in the rushing water. In the midst 
of these relaxations we were startled by a cry. 

' The caves ! the caves !' shouted the muleteer. 

In a moment even the brook was forgotten, and, all excited, 
we gazed eagerly at the summit of the opposite hills. There, 
framed in a setting of gray cliffs, were two dark openings 
looking from the distance little larger than pin-holes ; with- 
out a doubt those were the longed-for caves. Our satisfac- 
tion knew no bounds ; everyone shook everyone warmly by 
the hand. In honour of the occasion, a flask was produced 
from the person of the dripping mule, healths were drunk 
with Portuguese honours, and the tin whistle proclaimed the 
glad tidings to the mountains in the appropriate strains of 
' Home, sweet home.' 



CHAPTER IX 

A SAINT WORTHY OF A HALO 

Picture to yourself a little chamber, eighteen feet by twenty, 
hollowed out of limestone rock, time out of mind, by the 
hand of Nature. It is not above six feet in height at the 
entrance, but rises to a considerably greater elevation as one 
approaches the interior. The walls and floor are composed 
of layers of stone seamed with fissures ; at the back is a large 
pile of loose boulders, from which, if one climbs, one can see 
a low and narrow opening leading to a series of larger and 
loftier caves in the interior. At the entrance is a narrow 
ledge not more than six feet in breadth beyond which the 
ground falls in deep declivities far into the gorge below. 
Innumerable boulders, often of enormous size, have lodged 
themselves into every nook and crannie — every precarious 
terrace that breaks the sharp descent — boulder piled upon 
boulder testifying to the great forces of Nature that must 
have caused this giant upheaval long ages ago. This habita- 
tion of the rocks was to be to us a home for many a day to 
come. Here were we to eat, and sleep, and pass our time 
in glad companionship with every benign and salutary influ- 
ence that links itself to the world of outdoor nature. 

But if the details of our cave-home can be described with 
reasonable hope of imprinting them upon the reader's mind, 
it is far otherwise with the outlook which we commanded 
from our threshold. It was beautiful beyond compare — 
beautiful with no sylvan softness, with no smiling prospect 
of meadow and forest, but with a stern and savage beauty 
which in its more sombre moods came near to verging upon 
the terrible. We were so high — our vantage-point was so 

55 



56 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

commanding — that we felt at times as though we were the 
occupants of a balloon. The fancy is not altogether far- 
fetched ; for when the clouds rolled past us, rank upon rank, 
as oftentimes they did on their way to or from the distant 
ocean, we appeared to share in their slow and stately pro- 
gress, and to be sweeping onwards with them high over the 
wild disorder of the hills. 

To me the principal charm of our incomparable view lay 
in the fact that it was the favourite playground of the 
elements. Not an atmospheric change, but there it was, 
plainly visible before our eyes. We could foretell the future 
— we became weather-prophets of more than usual accuracy. 
The cloud which darkened some distant glade with the blurr 
of falling rain held no secrets from us ; we consulted our 
friend the wind, and then marked its course upon the 
vast map that lay spread out beneath our feet. Sunshine 
and shadow chased each other all day long over these pla3dng- 
fields of Nature. Oh, it was a brave show — a pastime for the 
gods ; and, indeed, one could imagine them lying reclined 
on Olympus watching just such another scene. It elevated 
the mind above the petty cares of humanity, and instilled 
something of the incommunicable spirit of Nature into the 
watcher's heart. The mountains seemed uphfted on the 
wings of their own loveliness. The glories of the sunrise, 
the splendours of the sunset, flamed before no unappreciative 
audience, for not a hill in all that vast and crowded amphi- 
theatre but flushed with sympathy — ay, and retained its 
glad and radiant face till the sun was high in the heavens 
or night had drawn her curtain over the scene. 

The afternoon was well advanced before we had unpacked 
our belongings and deposited our various treasures in 
different parts of the cave. Not having broken our fast since 
dawn, we set Pedro to light a fire, and as soon as it was well 
under weigh prepared ourselves some cofiee, off which, with 
an allowance of a biscuit or two apiece, we made a scanty 
meal. Now, no great sustenance is to be derived from coffee 
and biscuits, however delicious they may taste at the time, 
so, having drained the last drop and searched for the last 
crumb, we came to the conclusion that the first thing to be 



A SAINT WORTHY CF A HALO 57 

done was to set out in search of more solid food. But 
where to go ? Louie was too far off, and we knew not of any 
other village nearer at hand to which we might turn for 
assistance. 

' You must go to Carenta,' said Jose, pausing in the act 
of repairing the pack-saddle of his baggage-mule with pieces 
of twine. 

' Carenta ?' questioned Hadow ; ' it is not on the map. 
What for a place is this Carenta, Hein ?' 

' And can one obtain food there ?' asked Warden. 

' Yes, yes, senhores. Deos ! it is as I say. Take the 
word of a muleteer. It is small, there is no denying ; but it 
stands high, and can be seen from afar. I will direct you to 
it — you shall not go wrong, I promise you. And as for food, 
you have but to go to the house of the good Padre Callada ; 
anyone will show it to you. Ohe ! what a good man ! — a 
saint, I believe. He would feed a multitude with two small 
fishes, his heart is so large.' 

This was out-scripturing Scripture, but as we gazed at our 
worthy muleteer we at once absolved him of any intention 
to ' cap ' Holy Writ ; his face was sufficient index to the 
unimaginative powers of his mind — its expression was pure 
mule. 

' But, Jose,' objected Warden, ' what will become of your 
mules in your absence ?' 

' Have no fear, senhor ; the little dears will await my 
return with their customary patience ; you know our Portu- 
guese proverb. I doubt if they would move a foot unless I 
were close behind them.' And he pointed his remark by a 
complacent grin directed at the toes of his heavy wooden 
shoes. 

Instructing Pedro and his four assistants to clear away the 
numerous stones which littered the entrance and floor of our 
new home, and bidding them fetch a supply of fresh water 
from the brook, we set out on foot, Jose leading the way. 

It was a ticklish piece of rock-climbing, and tried our 
mountaineering powers to their utmost. Jose was not to be 
turned aside by any of the innumerable natural obstacles 
which Nature had strewn so lavishly in our path. He was a 
species of fly ; his naked feet — for he had left his shoes behind 



58 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

him as a hint to the baggage-mule — appeared to possess 
adhesive quahties unknown to those of other men. 

At last the saddle was reached, and, peeping over, we spied 
the blue haze of another valley, bounded by ranges upon 
ranges of distant mountains. Upon the farther side and 
topping a hill, a collection of houses dominated by a church 
spire was to be seen. 

' Behold, senhores ! there is Carenta !' cried Jose. 

Receiving a liberal gratuity with national politeness ex- 
pressed in an infinity of bows, our guide bade us farewell. 
He stopped again and again as he receded to wave his 
sombrero to us and to shout some parting instruction ; then 
a rock caught him from our sight, and we fared forwards 
alone. 

It was a long and fatiguing walk. The distance as seen 
through the limpid atmosphere of the hills proved deceptive. 
The nearer we approached, the farther off seemed the little 
village. Carenta coquetted with us like some mist-maiden, 
some Will-o'-the-wisp, some ' mirage ' that 

* Allures from far, 
Yet, as we follow, flies.' 

It was hard upon six o'clock before we actually vanquished 
space and set foot within its walls. 

The first person we met willingly guided us to the house of 
Padre Callada. We might have discovered it for ourselves, 
for, being the abode of the village priest, it was, as is in- 
variably the case, superior in every way to its neighbours. 
Within a whitewashed room, the windows of which com- 
manded a magnificent view, we found the Padre in the com- 
pany of two gentlemen of the same cloth. Upon a table in 
the middle of the room was a large dish of pears, two bottles 
of wine, and three stout tumblers ; one bottle was empty, 
the other but half full, while the glasses all bore rosy evidence 
of having been extremely busy. There was no doubt but 
that the holy fathers had been making merry. They had 
discarded their flowing upper garments, and sat uncere- 
moniously in shirt-sleeves — a most sensible innovation con- 
sidering the excessive heat of the day. Padre Callada was of 
short stature and of most rotund figure. His face, round 



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G1L.BEI^T ^^^C^^-Ei^, 




The holy FArHKR,-. had been making merry. 



A SAINT WORTHY OF A HALO 59 

and red as the sun when it sets in a mist, glowed with the 
combined effects of heat and hospitahty ; his expression 
was at once engaging and good-natured. Here, you felt, 
was no bigot, no lean cEsthetic to scowl sullenly on joys 
which he could not appreciate, but a jolly friar, with a taste 
for good wine, and possibly an eye for a wench. Even so 
must Friar Tuck have appeared when, having galloped 
through a Latin grace, he turned gleefully to a venison pasty. 

His companions had less of the stamp of good fellowship ; 
yet they flagged not far behind him in appreciation of the 
joys of good living. Their portly stomachs — ' capon-lined,' 
I warrant — allowed no doubt to be entertained on this 
subject. One of them had evidently been relating some 
humorous anecdote immediately prior to our intrusion, for 
the others were in the full swing of irrepressible laughter. 
The very echoes of the whitewashed room chuckled, the very 
glasses danced upon the table ! 

Padre Callada received us with open arms — literally open 
arms — for in the fulness of his hospitable heart he embraced 
us all. 

Blessings on thy shaven pate, best of little priests ! 
I know not whether in this unappreciative world, where 
rewards are meted out with too niggard a hand and true 
merit but seldom recompensed, thou art admitted to the 
congregation of saints ; but if unhappily thy virtues are 
still unrecognised, let it console thee that in our memory 
at least thou art adorned with no insignificant a halo — 
the best that gratitude can frame or love conceive ! 

Yes, the Padre went straight to our hearts ; he divined 
that we were starving. At that moment it was the only key 
to our affections. What a confession ! And yet could 
it well be otherwise ? From daw^n to dusk in the open 
air, on the mountain sides, makes a man deaf to all but 
the voice within — not the ' still small voice ' heard, per- 
chance, on some day well punctuated with meals, but the 
clamorous voice of a wild animal roaring for food. 

' Nothing to eat since dawn !' cried the Padre when he 
had heard our piteous tale — we had wisely suppressed all 
mention of the coffee and biscuits. ' Oh, my sons, my 
sons ! What is this ? Poor boys ! I will see what can 



6o SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

be done. Take a glass of wine in the meanwhile with my 
good friends Padre Sebastiano and Padre Gregorio, and I 
promise you in a little you shall eat — yes, yes, you shall eat !' 

He bustled off with a jangle of keys and a shuffle of 
sandals, and I heard him repeating to himself, ' Eaten 
nothing since dawn ! Poor boys ! well, well !' 

Conversation languished during his absence, for although 
we exchanged courtesies with the Padres, and even went 
the length of toasting them in the excellent red wine, yet 
fatigue and hunger are sad dampers to intellectual exer- 
tion, and we were in no frame of mind to shine in small 
talk. Padre Seba,stiano produced a horn snuff-box, out 
of which we all took a pinch. We did this in order to 
ingratiate ourselves with him, for there is nothing a Portu- 
guese dislikes so much as a man who declines favours which 
he ought to accept, except, indeed, a man who accepts 
favours which he ought to decline. There is but a narrow 
ridge of possible security between these two evils along 
which the traveller may crawl to a better understanding, 
but a man must have a clear head and carry his tact ready 
in his hand to win his way v/ithout an occasional slip. 

Flies buzzed in and out, making a little stir in the languid 
air ; while, from without, sounds of increasing animation 
rose from the village street, telling the listener that rural 
life was awakening after the great heat of the day. 

At length the shuffle of approaching sandals announced 
the glad tidings that the Padre was returning from his 
errand of mercy ; and, sure enough, there he was, accom- 
panied by a buxom and black-eyed maid, each bearing 
a tray laden with good things. Such a feast ! The very 
enumeration of the dainties makes my mouth water even 
now, for I still taste them on the palate of recollection, 
which, by the way, has this advantage over the palate of 
fact, that the more you taste the hungrier you becom.e. 

An omelette, done to a turn, brown and luscious, and of 
such generous proportions that the large dish on which it 
overflowed could with difficulty retain it ; a fowl, cold and 
chill, but none the less alluring, his modest drum-sticks 
pressed close to his plump sides, a silent invitation to hungry 
teeth ; an immense loaf of black bread ; plates piled high 



A SAINT WORTHY OF A HALO 6i 

with figs and pears ; and last — yet oh, how far from least ! — 
three bottles of good red wine. 

' There, my sons !' exclaimed the presiding deity of the 
banquet, stepping back and surveying it critically with 
head on one side — ' there,' he continued, rubbing his fat 
hands together in an ecstasy of satisfaction, ' it is not 
much, but to men who have eaten nothing since dawn it 
will be welcome. Fall to, fall to ; let me see it disappear.' 

We needed no second invitation. The omelette vanished 
as if b}^ magic ; the plump fowl, influenced by the dissecting 
knife of Hadow, flew into our plates ; the wine flowed as 
though it could flow for ever. Our host hovered around 
us like a hospitable bee — he fairly buzzed with importance. 
The more we ate the better pleased he was. The wine was 
his special charge. 

' You drinl: nothing !' he would cry. ' Let me fill that 
glass, so ! That is better. See, I too will take a glass, 
just to keep you company. Do not be afraid, it will do 
you no harm ; it is very old ; you cannot get such wine 
within twenty leagues. Empty the bottles. Have no fear ; 
there is more where this comes from — I have a good cellar. 
Drink, my sons, drink !' And he quoted a beautiful Portu- 
guese proverb to the effect that it is a poor heart that never 
rejoices. 

When the remains of our repast — and there were but 
few, I promise you ! — had been removed, we turned our 
attention to coffee and cigarettes. Conversation became 
general. As was but natural, our appearance in these 
unfrequented parts and the reason thereof exercised their 
minds to no small degree. All three priests were, in fact, 
brimming over with curiosity, and yet such was their 
national politeness, and such their fine sense of what 
was due to an honoured guest, that had we not given 
them encouragement not a question of a personal nature 
would have passed their lips. To satisfy this natural and 
kindly interest in our affairs was of a surety the least we 
could do in return for the hospitality which we had re- 
ceived ; so for the next quarter of an hour questions and 
answers flew fast, and our new friends were soon in pos- 
session of the general outlines of our expedition. That 



62 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

our replies astonished them they made no pretence to 
conceal. I doubt if in the whole course of their uneventful 
lives these worthy souls had ever been brought face to face 
with such a conundrum as we must have presented to their 
limited experience. They eyed us with wonder not un- 
mixed with a sort of compassionate consternation ; a doubt 
as to our sanity evidently existed in their minds. Padre 
Callada voiced the general impression. 

' Caves !' he said musingly. ' Yes, I have seen them 
from the bridle-track to Louie. But in the name of all 
the good saints, my sons, you will not live there ?' 

' Such is our present intention,' we replied. 

He raised his hands to heaven, and, wheeling round, 
caught the incredulous eyes of his friends fixed upon him. 
All three shook their heads and shrugged their shoulders. 

' But,' continued the Padre, ' you tell me that you look 
for bones ! Now, what sort of bones do you expect to 
find ?' 

' Prehistoric man,' explained Hadow, * or it may be the 
remains of the mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, cave-lion, cave- 
bear, reindeer, Irish elk, horse, etc., etc' 

As this inventory of osseous expectations proceeded, the 
eyes of our new friends grew wider and wider ; their eyebrows 
all but disappeared beneath their skull-caps. 

' I have never heard of such creatures,' ejaculated our 
host, in a tone that banished all delusions relating to such 
fabulous monsters from every well-regulated mind. 

' They are very, very old,' said Warden. 

' How old ?' demanded Padre Gregorio in a deep voice. 
It was the first time he had spoken : he startled us con- 
siderably. 

' Hundreds of thousands of years.' 

' It is impossible ! The world itself is not so old ; it is 
but six thousand years at most ; how, then, can " woolly 
bears " and " Irish men " be older than the world ? Ha !' 
and he glanced round him with triumph. 

' And,' continued Padre Callada, ' you say these bones 
are to be found in the caves. But you have been deceived, 
poor boys ; there are no bones.' 

' Eh ? How know you that ?' ejaculated Hadow in 



A SAINT WORTHY OF A HALO 63 

alarm, the dreadful idea that the caves had possibly been 
desecrated by other excavators occurring to him for the first 
time. 

' How do I know ? But very well. The goatherd who 
comes here at times to milk his goats slept there one winter's 
night when a storm raged in the mountains.' 

' Well ?' 

' Well, he found no bones, of that I am quite sure ; for 
we spoke about the caves, and had there been bones there 
I would most assuredly have heard of them..' 

' But, my father, he could not see them ; they lie deep 
underground.' 

* Underground ! ' ejaculated the Padre, raising both 
hands.' 

' Yes, yes,' cried Hadow, the mere mention of bones 
exciting him like strong wine. ' Yes, yes,' he repeated, 
mounting his hobby-horse in hot haste. ' They may lie 
deep. We cannot tell yet how deep, but we know fairly 
well what we have to expect ' — here he thumped the table 
with his fist, and continued, with sparkling eyes : ' First, 
you have blocks of limestone — perhaps very big — then 
" black mould " ; then a floor of stalagmite of possibly a 
granular character ; then a layer called " black band," 
composed mainly of charred wood ; then " cave earth," or 
a species of light red loam ; then another stalagmite floor ; 
then below all comes what is known as " breccia," which 
is a curious dark - red deposit. Oh yes ; I tell you they 
may lie deep. But we will find them !' 

The three priests stared at Hadow, as he galloped furiously 
into the interior of the earth ; their jaws dropped. 

The silence that followed this indiscreet outburst was 
oppressive. Padre Callada was the first to break it. 

' My sons,' said he earnestly, ' give up these caves ; take 
the advice of an old man, it is for your good. I can see 
that some unprincipled person has deceived you ; poor 
boys ! It is quite impossible for bones to get under all 
these extraordinary things you tell me of. No, no ; were 
the bones there they would lie on the surface — unless, 
indeed, they had been buried, in which case it would be 
sinful to disturb them. God would not hke it ; He will 
raise them up in His own good time. I do not trust caves ; 



64 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

they are often the abode of evil spirits, and I would be 
sorry if harm befell you. Go home, my sons, and leave 
the caves alone — such is my advice.' 

' It is well said,' assented his friends with one voice. 

We looked at the leader of the opposition, and our hearts 
misgave us. We were sorry to pain the good man, he 
was actuated so entirely by unselfish motives ; and yet 
the impossibility of explaining our conduct in its true and 
scientific light so that he would see it with our eyes dis- 
heartened us. 

' My father,' said Warden gently, ' what you ask is im- 
possible. Consider for yourself : we have come far to 
excavate these caves ; land and sea have been crossed, 
difficulties and dangers have been overcome. Would it 
speak well for our perseverance were we to listen to your 
friendly advice and turn back now — now that we have 
acturJly set foot within the caves themselves ? No ; much 
as we value your opinion, much as we are sensible of your 
kindness, we must go on. The bones await us ; we will 
not disappoint them. I have spoken.' 

' Hear, hear ! This, too, is our opinion,' said Hadow and 
I simultaneously. 

The three priests gazed at us in silence. Padre Callada 
* more in sorrow than in anger,' his friends with evident 
disapproval. Padre Gregorio crossed himself repeatedly. 
It was plain that his thoughts rested upon the ' woolly bear,' 
born before the creation of the world. The mere idea of 
such a premature birth was highly repugnant to him. 

' Ah, well,' sighed our host at length, ' I see that I cannot 
convince you, and I know not but what I admire you for 
your firmness. Were I once more a boy, and did I love 
bones as fondly as you appear to do, I also, even I, might 
be tempted to excavate caves. But, my sons, have you 
spoken to the owner of the caves — the Senhor Manuel da 
Silvas ?' 

' Not yet,' replied Warden. ' Where is he to be found ?' 

' His cottage stands not far from here. It is farther 
down the valley ; you cannot mistake it, it stands alone. 
His consent you must obtain ; you see, it is his ground. I 
would advise your calling on him now, as it is on your 
homeward way.' 



A SAINT WORTHY OF A HALO 65 

' Ach, that is good advice,' said Hadow. 'We can then 
start work to-morrow without loss of time.' 

We rose to take our leave, but the Padre cried : 

' Stay, stay, my sons ; there is a little something I wish 
to give to you'; and running out of the room, he presently 
returned carrying a basket in which I caught sight of two 
giant loaves and several bottles of wine. 

' To please me,' he panted — for his exertions had de- 
prived him of breath — ' to start your housekeeping. Yes, 
I shall of a surety sleep better to-night if I know for certain 
that you will not want for breakfast to-morrow.' 

We found no words with which to thank him. 

* And, my sons,' he continued, ' if by chance you require 
assistance, do not forget that Carenta lies just over the 
mountain, not far distant, and that you have now a friend 
there ever willing to do you a service.' 

' There is still a favour you can do us, my father,' began 
Warden. 

' Name it, my son,' cried the Padre gaily. 

Warden proffered him a gold coin. 

Padre Callada drew himself up to his full height, his face 
flushed ominously ; all the pride of his race concentrated 
itself in the scornful gesture of his hands. We stared at 
them both in consternation, and for a moment the tick 
of a great clock in the passage was distinctly audible. 
But we need not have felt anxious, nor doubted the tact 
of our friend. 

' For the Mass,' he said gently. 

Padre Callada grasped both his hands impulsively. 

' My son, my dear son, forgive me ! I doubted you — I 
was wrong. For the Mass — yes, that I can accept ; for in 
the service of God I am the most humble of servants.' 

He escorted us to the door, bubbling over with cheerful 
conversation ; instructions as to our route, messages to our 
new landlord and especially to his two daughters, assur- 
ances of affection, fell from his lips in a steady stream. We 
left him on the confines of the village — for he insisted on 
accompanying us thus far upon our road — and filled with 
gratitude and an excellent dinner we tramped away into the 
gathering dusk. 

5 



CHAPTER X 

IN WHICH WE CONVINCE MANUEL 

Day was all but dead, and dusk came creeping up the valleys, 
as we started in the direction indicated by the Padre. It 
was the hour of the afterglow, the most beautiful of the 
twenty-four. The western sky still flushed with rose and 
paled with amber, where the last smiles of day had vanished 
behind the blue and distant hills ; while away to the east 
one peak, more lofty than its neighbours, showed still a 
radiant crest lighted by the rays of the sunken sun. A 
sensible coolness pervaded the air, and as we felt its gentle 
and refreshing influence, our bodies grew more delicately 
alive to the delights of the hill-road with its attendant 
train of mountain scenery. But although our powers of 
appreciation were sensibly quickened, yet our thoughts 
— immersed in the blue glooms of dusk — attuned them- 
selves to the pensive and almost melancholy character of 
our surroundings. This gradual and mysterious approach 
of night, mustering its forces among the hills and stealing 
upwards to the conquest of the heights, acted on the spirits 
like an opiate ; and as we fell more and more under the 
witchery of its charm, our voices were unconsciously hushed, 
and we moved onwards like men in a dream. 

The path which we had been advised to follow led us along 
the lower edge of the hill, at some distance from the extreme 
depth of the valley. After walking for the better part of 
half an hour we descried the white walls of a cottage, and 
feeling convinced that it was the house of which we were 
in search, we accordingly bent our steps in that direction. 

' Dear boys,' said Hadow in a low voice as we walked 
along, ' it is just possible that we may have some difficulty 

66 



IN WHICH WE CONVINCE MANUEL 67 

with this Manuel da Silvas. I know, and so do you, Warden, 
what for peoples these Portuguese peasants are ; the animals 
are mules for obstinacy and he-asses for stupidity. My 
advice is, do not let us tell him all. You did see what those 
priests thought of the affair ; our cave to them was a sort 
of bottomless pit — eh ?' 

* Say rather a whited sepulchre, full of dead men's bones,' 
I suggested. 

' Not bad for one so young,' approved Hadow. ' You 
have some glimmerings of wit, in spite of your diary. But, 
to continue, if priests, who are learned, are stuffed with 
such notions, what can be expected from peasants ?' 

' What would you have us say ?' inquired Warden. 

' Say only that we want to camp in his caves, and can 
afford to pay for the luxury. But no mention of bones, 
I pray you. He would not understand bones ; do not let 
us cast pearls before swine.' 

' Would you like to tackle him yourself ?' 

' No, no, dear boy ; I am too choleric. I can pardon 
anything but stupidity and indifference to bones. I would 
fume and perhaps brain the animal with his own jaw-bone. 
No, it would not do. Now you, with your ever sweet smile 
and inexhaustible patience ' 

' Flatterer !' chuckled Warden. 

^ Ach nein ! You are all that and more. You under- 
stand these peasants ; you shall be our spokesman.' 

As he said these words we reached a boundary fence 
which separated what appeared in the semi-darkness to be 
a patch of garden from the surrounding wilds. It was 
broken in many places, and offered no opposition to who- 
ever desired admittance. The cottage was small, but it 
was impossible to distinguish details ; a dim light burned 
in one of the windows. 

Making our way to the door, we knocked gently. 

It was opened to us by a young girl; a still younger 
girl peeped over her shoulder. 

' Is this the house of the Senhor Manuel da Silvas ?' 

* Yes, senhores.' 

Even as she said the words, I saw her glance from one 
to the other, a growing wonder in her eyes. Her sister 

5—2 



68 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

whispered in her ear, but she shook her head. The door was 
but half open, and the hght coming to us from behind the 
girls, we were unable to see them with any distinctness. 
The fingers of the speaker still rested on the handle of the 
door, as though reluctant to trust such strange and un- 
expected travellers ; and truly, when I think of the lateness 
of the hour and the unusual appearance we must have pre- 
sented, I cannot but sympathize with her caution. 

' If,' continued Warden in his most courteous manner — 
' if the senhor is at home, and if it is not inconvenient to 
him, my friends and I beg the honour of an interview.' 

This polished address attained its merited reward. Gentle- 
men of such courtly phrases could not be otherwise than 
honest — at least, such was evidently the opinion of Senhora 
da Silvas, for there was a distinct unbending in her manner 
as she replied : 

* The senhores will pardon me if I keep them waiting. I 
go to tell my father.' 

She vanished from the door, and left us standing on the 
threshold. Sounds of voices reached us, a broken voice, 
half bass and half falsetto, chiming in with a clear girlish 
treble. The consultation proved satisfactory, for in a 
moment she was back again, and requested us to enter. 

The inner room into which we were conducted was 
lighted by a brazen lamp of Moorish design. Its four wicks, 
unprotected by chimneys, burned with a dull and smoky 
flame. With its aid we could distinguish the figure of an 
old man crouching over the blazing embers of a wood fire. 

His long and grizzled hair appeared innocent of the at- 
tentions of brush and comb ; his features were regular ; his 
eyes dark and of unusual brightness ; his hollow cheeks — 
fallen in owing to an almost entire absence of teeth — made 
him appear older than he really was. Crouching over the 
smouldering logs, he resembled nothing so much as some 
ungainly and ancient fowl. His two daughters stood beside 
him, the elder a handsome girl of the warm Southern type ; 
the younger had an elf-like appearance, partly on account 
of her diminutive size, and partly owing to the almost un- 
natural intelligence expressed in her childish face. But we 
had little time to take more than a general impression of 



IN WHICH WE CONVINCE MANUEL 69 

the ladies of the household, for their father addressing them 
in an undertone, they reluctantly left the room. 

The old man peered at us, an apathetic wonder visible 
in his eyes, then waved his hand and requested us to be 
seated. We had some difficulty in complying with his 
request, as seats were rare articles of furniture in the humble 
dwelling ; by dint of reversing a tub, however, and pressing 
a chest into our service, we were at last accommodated. 

Manuel da Silvas looked from one to the other for some 
time in silence, his eyes resting on the well-stocked basket 
of the Padre. 

' What have you to sell ?' he demanded at last. 

' We have nothing to sell,' replied our spokesman. ' We 
are travellers come from far to see your line country.' 

' Ugh !' grunted Manuel. ' I know not about its being 
" fine "; it brings in little money.' 

' You do not farm it, then ?' 

* Farm it ! Blessed Virgin ! Can one farm rocks ? No ; 
land has no value. I own a little, but I am poor — very poor. 
Taxation, too, is severe, and it takes me all my time to 
collect the taxes ; there is little enough left over, I can tell 
you. But what did you say you had to sell ?' 

' Nothing. But if you own land can you not get 
tenants ?' 

Manuel flung his head back and indulged in a dry laugh — 
it was a laugh, although it resembled a cough. 

' Tenants !' he cried in derision, his voice breaking into its 
usual thin falsetto. ' Holy Mother of God ! it is well seen 
that you are strangers. Who would lease rocks ? Who 
can farm stones ? Why these questions ? Who are you, 
senhores, and why come you here ? I have never seen you 
before.' His eyes returned more and more suspiciously 
to our basket. ' Are you sure you have nothing to sell ? 
You say these things but to make me curious, in the hope 
that I v/ill pay more, eh ? Is it not so ?' 

' No, no,' replied Warden. * I will tell you soon the object 
of our visit ; but is it not the case that you are the pro- 
prietor of some caves not far from here ?' 

* Yes ; there are two caves over the mountain,' mumbled 
the old man, biting his nails. 



70 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

' Would you be willing to lease them to us for a few 
weeks ?' 

' Eh ? What is that you say ?' 

Warden repeated his question. Manuel gazed at us open- 
mouthed, incredulity and amazement in his expression. 
All at once he laughed another cough. 

' Ho ! ho ! ho ! Why come you here to make jokes ? 
Lease my caves ! Well, of all strange ideas, that is the most 
strange ! Lease my caves ! Well, well !' 

* But we are in earnest ; with your permission we will 
rent your caves by the week.' 

' What would you with them ?' 

' We want to live there.' 

' Live in my caves ?' 

' Why not ? It is a fancy of ours, and we are quite pre- 
pared to pay for it.' 

We could see that it was necessary to treat him with 
unusual patience. He was old and a peasant — his wits 
were dull. He might be led, but he would never be driven. 

' But what do you want with my caves ?' he repeated 
obstinately. 

' Senhor Manuel,' said Warden, ' you are poor ; you com- 
plain of taxes ; your land is of little value ; you have no 
tenants. Well, here come three Enghshmen who are pre- 
pared to pay you one thousand reis ( =4s. 5d.) a week, just 
for the right of living in your caves, and you do not jump 
at it !' 

' Ah, well, perhaps — it may be — but it is so strange. 
Look you, no one has ever wanted my caves before !' 

' I should not think there was much demand for caves 
in this neighbourhood,' said Warden grimly. 

' Demand ! No, perhaps not — at least, not yet. Who 
can tell ? They are the best caves, my wife used always 
to say.' 

' Listen,' interrupted Warden. ' You are poor ?' 

' You may well say that. With land that is all rocks, 
and two daughters to clothe and feed, it is difficult to see 
one's way. Why, it was only yesterday I met a good 
neighbour of mine at Carenta. " Jose," said I, " do 
vou " ' 



IN WHICH WE CONVINCE MANUEL 71 

Warden interrupted him. 

' And you would gladly earn money if it could be done 
with no cost or trouble to yourself ?' 

' Y-e-s,' said the old man cautiously, rubbing his unshaven 
chin with the palm of his hand. 

' Well, then, let us live in your caves. We will pay you 
good money — in your hand — say, is it a bargain ?' 

' I — do — not — know. If it were a house, now, and you 
wanted to live in it, I would say yes, and welcome ; but 
a cave ! It is very remarkable ! Who has ever heard of 
such a thing ? If you wished to buy onions, now, I could 
let you have some quite cheap. They are large — the finest 
in the valley. Shall I show you some of them ?' 

' No !' shouted Warden ; ' we are talking of caves, not 
onions.' 

Manuel moved uneasily in his chair. It was plain to 
us that his fingers itched for the money, and yet the singu- 
larity of our proposition troubled him. Three strangers, 
fallen from the skies, as it were, mysteriously visiting him 
after dark was a puzzle that required more than his limited 
amount of brains to solve. 

' Yes, yes,' he muttered ; ' but I do not know you. What 
is your reason for making such a strange request ? How 
can I tell that you are not planning to do me an evil turn ? 
It was only the other day that a man tried to sell me a mule 
that was ' 

' For the love of God, stick to the subject in hand, or we 
will never finish ! Now, Senhor Manuel, you are a wise 
man ; think for one moment. We will be good tenants. 
You shall always be paid beforehand — a thousand reis in 
your hand every week — is that clear ?' 

' But what do you want with my caves ? It is so odd, 
so unusual ! I know not what to say. After all, a thousand 
reis is very little. They are good caves — they are worth 
more than that. No, no ; I think I will wait and see if 
someone comes who will give me more.' 

Warden looked at us. There was a suppressed con- 
flagration in his eyes. 

' Did you ever see such an old addlehead ?' he muttered 
in English. 



72 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

* What is that you say ?' snapped Manuel suspiciously. 

' Listen,' continued Warden. ' If it was good land I 
could understand your objections ; but reflect — it is only'a 
cave ! What, after all, is a cave ? A hole in a rock ! Of 
what use is it to you ?' ^ ^ 

' Oh, you would wonder ! It belongs to me — yes, and it 
belonged to my father before me. A cave is a cave — you 
cannot get out of that. It is something solid. You always 
know where you are with a cave — it is always there.' 

' But has it ever earned you money ?' 

Manuel stroked his chin thoughtfully. He was racking 
his brains to try and discover the reason which prompted 
us to drive so singular a bargain. 

' N-o-o,' he rephed at length ; ' not yet, but one day, 
perhaps. No, no ; I can see that we will not agree. I 
would rather sell you my onions. They are large and ' 

' May the foul fiend fly away with both you and your 
onions!' cried Warden, shoving his chair back in sudden 
anger. 

' S-h-h ! s-h-h !' whispered the old man, crossing himself 
nervously. ' Do not talk in that wicked way. One never 
knows — he may be here now !' and he peered into the 
dark corners of the room with the utmost concern. 

Warden glared at him. I could not have believed that 
so much animosity — I might almost say bloodthirstiness — 
could find its way into the eyes of our friend. But he did 
not despair — he was but pondering a new move. All of a 
sudden he jumped up. 

' Ah, well, Senhor Manuel, it is a pity we cannot agree. 
After all, it does not much matter. We might wear your 
caves out ! You will easily get other tenants, I am sure. 
And as for us, I hear of some caves to the north — larger ones 
— which will suit our purpose much better. Good-bye.' 

We walked to the door. The sound of heavy breathing 
from the direction of the old man told us that Warden's 
parting shot had taken effect, but we did not look round. 
Our retreat was conducted with silent dignity. We had 
quitted the room, and were on the point of closing the door, 
when an agitated cry of ' Senhores, Senhores !' came from 
behind us. Warden turned on his heel. 



IN WHICH WE CONVINCE MANUEL 73 

* Did you call ?' he asked. 

' How much did you say you would pay me ?' 

* It really does not matter, Senhor Manuel, seeing, as you 
wisely said, that we cannot agree !' 

' But how much ?' 

' I did name a thousand reis, but ' 

' Make it five thousand a month, and I will agree.' 

And so it was settled. A further argument resulted in a 
promise on our part to buy most of our provisions from our 
new landlord — a promise which added greatly to the amicable 
character of the proceedings. Wine being produced, we 
drank to the success of the caves ; Manuel pledged us, then 
we pledged Manuel. Festivity and good-fellowship were the 
order of the night. I know not whether it was the effect of 
the wine, or the sight of our money, or the mention of Padre 
Callada, whose kindly messages we called to mind, but, 
whatever the cause, the fact remains that the old gentleman 
grew more and more friendly — nay, affectionate — as the 
minutes passed. He drew his chair closer and closer to us, 
patted us on the knees, and peered up in our faces with smiles 
of tenderness. 

When we rose to depart, he protested loudly. 

' Do not go yet ! Another glass of wine, my dear, dear 
friends — just when we have become so gay, such good 
comrades ! What happiness to have met you ! The English 
are a fine race. A little quarter of an hour longer — yes ? 
Ah, you will go ?' 

' We must go, Manuel ; it grows late. But may we not say 
farewell to the ladies ?' 

He chuckled loudly. 

' They are in bed, senhores — the best place for young girls 
at this hour of night. They can do no mischief there. Ho ! 
ho ! You are really going. Well, then, I, too, will come.' 

In vain we protested. 

' Yes, yes, it is black night ; no moon is to be seen. You 
might lose your way and wander all night on the mountains. 
With me you will be quite safe. I will conduct you by a 
mule-track to the very caves themselves.' 

There was no denying the advantage this would be to us ; 
we remonstrated no longer. The old man carefully stamped 



74 SUNSHINE3AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

out the smouldering embers of the wood-fire, then, after he 
had shouted many parting injunctions through the keyhole 
of his daughters' bedroom, led the way into the open air. 

' Wait for me here, senhores,' he said ; ' I go but to saddle 
my donkey. I will be with you in five minutes.' 

He was as good as his word ; the specified time had barely 
elapsed before we saw a light zigzagging up to us, and 
Manuel, carrying a lantern and mounted upon a diminutive 
donkey, placed himself at our head. Off we started. It 
was the most weird march imaginable. The path by which 
he led us was but a bare foot in breadth — a thread of dim 
security coiled among a sea of invisible dangers. The light 
showed us only the outlines of a shadow-figure and portions 
of a ghostly donkey. Now and again some rock bordering 
our track came into the dancing halo, then disappeared in- 
stantly as if snatched away by the fingers of night. But 
comparatively useless as was the lantern, it gave us a feeling 
of companionship — a sense of something tangible and visible 
in the immense void of surrounding darkness which we would 
not have been without for worlds. The night air fanned us 
gently, its touch was soft as velvet ; it carried strange scents 
on its wings — the deep breath of the mountains and the 
freshness of falling dew. A hoarse chorus of frogs, rendered 
well-nigh inaudible by the distance, rose from the depths of 
the valley ; but up where we were, on the little track which 
climbed ever higher on the mountain-side, no sound was to 
be heard save the tramp of our feet stumbling onwards in 
the darkness. I looked upwards at the mountains ; the 
sombre outline of their crests loomed like a solid wall of dark- 
ness against the deep and starlit azure of the sky. We 
marched in silence, save that, now and again, Manuel cursed 
his donkey in a muffled roll of Portuguese oaths ; for the 
rest, each one was intent with his own thoughts, and too 
much occupied with the difficulty of avoiding stones, to con- 
verse. Speaking for myself, I was weary, and lifted my legs 
mechanically ; one idea alone possessed me — to reach the 
caves, so that I might sleep. 

At length we topped the brow of the great hill that separ- 
ated our valley from the valley of Carenta. The glow of a 
distant fire put fresh heart into us. It shone from the ledge 



IN WHICH WE CONVINCE MANUEL 75 

in front of our cave, and had, as we found later, been lighted 
with singular thought fulness by Pedro, so that we might 
have a beacon to guide us homeward in the dark. The star 
in the east was not more welcome nor yet more beautiful to 
the magi than that httle fire was to us, dulling and glowing 
alternately as Pedro supplied it with fuel. It spoke to us 
of all we longed for — of home, of shelter, of bed. When we 
were come a httle nearer we gave a view-haUoo with all the 
strength of our lungs. The mountains caught up the cry 
and shouted it to each other, bandying about the sounds, 
from misty peak to misty peak, till they grew weary of the 
sport, and relapsed once more into their solemn and ancient 
stillness. The path led us round the further side of the cave ; 
had we but known of its existence at an earher hour, we 
might have saved ourselves the long and dangerous chmb of 
the afternoon. 

We discovered Pedro in the act of dancing a Portuguese 
breakdown ; great joy, he explained, always affected him 
in that manner. Our workmen were by this time asleep, 
having taken possession of our second cave. 

Manuel refused to part from us. In vain we entreated him 
to go home ; in vain we reminded him of his duties as a 
father, and of the unprotected condition of both house and 
daughters. He coughed at us in scorn. 

What was friendship, he asked, if it was to be turned 
aside by mere domestic details. He talked for such a length 
of time that, weary with words, we entreated him to say no 
more, but go to bed. Wrapping himself in an immense 
blue cape, he lay down, and soon was snoring peacefully. 
As for me, barely had I placed my head on my saddle-bags 
than the subtle glue of oblivion sealed my eyehds together. 
My friends, Portugal, the caves, even Manuel da Silvas, 
were forgotten, and without loss of time I fell asleep. 



CHAPTER XI 

WE BEGIN OUR CAVE-LIFE 

Never, I trust, will I be called upon to pass another such 
night ; it haunts me like a nightmare even now. My noc- 
turnal experiences at Faro had been unpleasant — the inn a 
very den of vermin — but this, our first night in our new 
home, was infinitely worse ; it out-heroded Herod ! It would 
take the stoicism of a Hadow combined with the philosophy 
of a Mark Tapley to discover anything in the experience 
save an incentive to black and bloodthirsty thoughts. 

Foremost in the ranks of my foes were the mosquitoes. 
The mountain-air had apparently put a keen edge on their 
appetites, for they fell on the exposed portions of my body 
with shrill trumpetings of satisfaction. 

Another evil of which I have to complain was the hardness 
of my rock-bed. Separated as this was from me but by the 
single thickness of a blanket, it chafed me beyond belief. 

Then there were the bats. The entrance to the cave was 
constantly darkened by their erratic flight, for no sooner had 
dusk fallen than they issued from their homes in legions. 
There is something creepy and cold-blooded about a bat — 
something weird and all but devilish. I own to a feeling of 
positive aversion, almost amounting to fear, when I am 
brought within danger of personal contact with these bird- 
like reptiles, these wandering spirits of the night. The light 
colour of my blanket was possibly an attraction to them, 
for they zigzagged so closely to my head that my hair was 
stirred by the swish of their invisible wings. 

Yet, in spite of those enemies to slumber. Nature asserted 
herself, and I fell into a doze. How long I slept I know not, 
but it appeared to me that I had but had time to close my 

76 



WE BEGIN OUR CAVE-LIFE 77 

eyes when the sound of a voice recalled me to consciousness. 
The voice was painfully familiar to me ; there was no mis- 
taking the droning undertones breaking into the weird 
falsetto — querulous, monotonous, persistent. By the light 
of the stars — for the night had cleared, and a thin ghmmer of 
starlight was in the air — I could see Manuel seated on his 
blue cape. He was scratching himself vigorously. Even 
as he scratched he grumbled, and from the few words I 
managed to overhear he was consigning his tormentors to 
regions hotter even than a Portuguese summer. 

I lay still, and listened and watched and waited, and all 
the while the droning of the old man's voice and the scratch, 
scratch of his busy fingers continued with maddening mono- 
tony. At last I could bear it no longer. 

' Manuel,' cried I, ' can you not keep quiet ?' 

' It would be difficult, senhor. Ugh ! pestiferous vermin ! 
They give me no peace.' 

Scratch, scratch, scratch ! 

' Why do you scratch ?' I said testily. ' Much better leave 
them alone ; you only annoy them.' 

But even as I said the words, I became conscious of an 
attack upon my own body — an attack so irritating and so 
painful that, uttering an exclamation of annoyance, I 
furtively followed his example. 

The old man chuckled. For some time we scratched in 
silence. 

' I wonder much why the good God created vermin ?' 
observed the thin falsetto vindictively. 

' For the same purpose that he created 3'ou,' I growled, 
with perhaps unnecessary rudeness. 

The old man desisted from his occupation m surprise. 

* No, no, senhor ; do not think it for a moment. We are 
very different, I assure you. Their ways are not my ways, 
although their God is my God.' 

' You both disturb honest folk at ungodly hours.' 
' Is it my fault, senhor ?' 
' It is my misfortune, Manuel.' 

He pondered over this singular view of the matter, then 
said with decision : 

* It is the fault of the blue cape.' 



78 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

' How so ?' I inquired, peering at him in the semi-darkness. 

' I lent it to a friend of mine for a week. It came back 
lively as a village fair. It is quite spoilt. Formerly it was 
an excellent bed ; it had its fleas, of course, but nothing to 
this — just a scratch or two before one slept. But now ! 
Holy Virgin !' and scratch, scratch, scratch completed the 
sentence. 

Sheer fatigue forced my eyelids together. I fell into a 
restless sleep. Again and again I awakened during the night, 
always to find Manuel talking and scratching. I doubt 
whether he slept at all ; perhaps he dozed at his post, and the 
sounds which reached me were merely of a mechanical and 
somniferous nature, like the snores of Pedro. 

I was awakened for the last time by the consciousness 
that someone was leaning over me, so closely that I was 
sensible of a warm current of breath on my face. Opening 
my eyes, I saw by the gray light of the dawn that had 
begun to gather in the east a dark and hairy face within 
two inches of my own. It was alarming, to say the least of 
it ; a cry escaped my lips. The face disappeared as if by 
magic, and a clatter of hoofs on the floor of our cave betrayed 
the intruder. It was Manuel's donkey, who, having break- 
fasted upon the tether with which his master had secured 
him to a neighbouring rock, had wandered in to the shelter 
of our cave. The little animal, startled by my shout, 
galloped for a full quarter of a mile before he was caught. 

The noise awakened the entire cave-party, and, seeing the 
light of the new day creeping over the mountain-brow, we 
decided to sleep no more. 

It says much for the magnificence of our outlook that I 
forgot the discomfort of the night in my appreciation of the 
scenery. 

The lovely and gradual coming in of day was a spectacular 
effect of more than usual grandeur. From our lofty and 
isolated position we obtained a superb view over the wild 
and broken chain of the Sierra de Monchique ; gray and cold 
they lay, partly visible through the blue gloom of early 
morning, partly invisible where a sea of mist enveloped 
them in its soft and fleecy embraces. From out this atmo- 
spheric ocean isolated peaks rose like volcanic islands. The 



WE BEGIN OUR CAVE-LIFE 79 

sense of distance, so dear to the artist's eye, was admirably 
preserved in the dehcate gradations of intervening shadow — 
from the black and almost formless masses in the immediate 
foreground, to the faint pearl-grays where the far-off ranges 
melted into the sky. 

It was difficult to believe that this mist-sea was not a 
veritable ocean, so liquid was its appearance, so carefully 
did it follow every trend of the mountainous coast-line, so 
completely did it fill every bay and inlet. Nor was it 
motionless, as might be imagined ; for, like the great ocean 
which it so closely resembled, it was ever on the move, in a 
state of gentle and unwearying agitation. 

A chill air, precursor of the dawn, ' breathed like a long 
sigh' full upon us. As we watched, the light deepened 
gradually ; distant details crept into view ; far-off mountain- 
tops dawned mto prominence, while those already within the 
circle of our vision reared themselves upwards, solemn and 
sharp, into the green and gold of the morning. At length 
a long shaft of sunlight overtopped the eastern hills, and, 
winging its way far overhead, rested on a peak in the yet 
dusky west. It was as if you had splashed it with colour. 
It glowed above the waves of rolling hills — a mark for every 
eye — an earnest of the coming day. One by one the hills 
lit up their beacons, the conflagration spread apace, the 
sunlight swept at a gallop along the mountains, and day 
sprang into sight. 

But it must not be imagined that Hadow wasted his 
precious moments in watching a sunrise. By no means ! 
His thoroughly practical mind was full of other and more 
important considerations. His self-imposed duties were 
numerous. He was never idle for the fraction of a second. 
To see him mustering our tools, making his bed, lighting 
the fire, to the accompaniment of irregular verbs, or to the 
sound of condensed notes on the flora and fauna of Southern 
Portugal, was to blush for your own degenerate habits. 

' Lazy animal !' he would cry, shaking his fist at me ; ' I 
learn more from an inch of the Bufo vvilgaris (common toad) 
than from your entire carcase. What is the good of lying 
on your empty stomach when breakfast has to be got ready ? 
Eh ? Tell me that.' 



8o SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

* Hadow,' I replied humbly, ' you looked so happy I did not 
like to interfere ; but show me what to do, and I will try to be 
as useful and instructive as, not one, but two inches of your 
friend the Bufo.^ 

And truly I owed him a debt of gratitude far deeper than 
I realized during those travelling days. Without his in- 
exhaustible energy and wonderful fund of resource it would 
have gone hard with a dreamer like myself ; for, after all, 
one cannot live by sunrise alone, nor sustain the inner man 
on feasts of mountain scenery. But with the thoughtless- 
ness, and I fear also the selfishness, of youth, I accepted his 
all and gave but little in return, and it is only the lapse of 
years that has brought a ' wiser seeing ' to my eyes, and 
made me conscious of a debt that I can never hope to 
repay. 

To awaken Pedro was a matter of ten minutes' hard labour. 
Never knew I anyone sleep more soundly. If you called 
to him, he paid no heed whatsoever ; if you shook him, he but 
snored the louder ; if you forced him into a sitting posture, 
his backbone collapsed with awful and unexpected sudden- 
ness, and, coiling himself into a human knot, he slept as 
though he would awaken no more. 

At last we discovered an infallible means of awakening 
him ; this was to drag him by the heels to the outer ledge, 
and there to wash his face in cold blood — that is to say, with 
cold water. At the first touch of the desecrating fluid, 
Pedro fairly spluttered with indignation. Cleanliness in 
any form was abhorrent to his Portuguese soul ; it was a 
personal insult to his natural condition that rankled in his 
mind for hours. 

We made our breakfast off black coffee and one of the 
Padre's loaves. Never have I enjoyed a meal more. Hadow 
ladled the coffee out of a saucepan with a tin mug, and 
operated on the loaf with a dissecting-knife. Warden, 
Manuel, Pedro, and I grouped ourselves around him in a 
picturesque circle, and drank and munched and drank 
again with the greatest gusto imaginable. Manuel proved 
himself an excellent trencher man, and was quite the ' lion ' 
of the party, nothing short of the proverbial share of that 
animal contenting his voracious appetite. He was more 



WE BEGIN OUR CAVE-LIFE 8i 

silent than usual ; indeed, since he had returned from the 
pursuit of his donkey something appeared to be weighing 
on his mind. I caught his eyes fixed upon us with dull 
suspicion. At last his thoughts overflowed, for, wiping his 
mouth on the back of his horny hand, he said : 

' Ah, senhores, what is this I hear ? When I go to catch 
my donkey, I talk with one of your men — he is an old 
friend of mine — he tells me that you intend to dig in my 
caves !' 

We glanced furtively in each other's faces, for all the 
world like schoolboys discovered in wrong-doing. 

' We forgot to mention it,' said Warden, with gravity. 

The old man peered into his face. 

' All very well, senhor, but what I now hear may change 
our agreement. To live in my caves is one thing, but to dig 
in them is another. Why do you dig ? What do you 
seek ? Ha ! tell me that.' 

Warden groaned. Was the interminable argument of the 
previous evening to be served up once more ? Was the 
antagonism of the unbelieving priests to be fought again in 
the person of Manuel ? A thousand times no ! And yet, 
what escape was there ? A plain question demands a plain 
answer. 

Diplomacy rose in arms. 

' After all, Manuel,' he said pleasantly, ' what matters it 
to you ?' 

The old man's face assumed an expression of cunning. 
Leaning forward, he laid two fingers of grimy appearance 
on Warden's knee. 

' Wait then — wait then, my senhor. You think I am a 
simple old man. You say, " Manuel does not know much ; 
we can deceive him easily." But, by the holy saints ! you 
are wrong. I know that gold comes out of rocks — yes, and 
silver and copper, too. And let me tell you that what comes 
out of my caves belongs to me — yes, me, Manuel da Silvas, 
very much at your service, senhores !' 

As he said these words, he smote himself on the chest, and, 
drawing himself up to his full height, glared round at the 
assembled company. Warden shrugged his shoulders. 

' My very worthy friend,' he said lightly, * do not deceive 

6 



82 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

yourself ! We seek neither gold nor silver. We are in 
search of nothing that you would care to possess.' 

' Then, tell me what you look for.' 

' It would not interest you, Manuel.' 

' Tell — me — what — you — look — for.' 

Warden glanced at us ; we read desperation in his eye. 

' What shall I do with the beast ?' he muttered in English. 

' You might as well tell him,' advised Hadow. 

Manuel meanwhile was repeating his question with the 
monotonous regularity of a machine. 

' Tell — me — what ' 

' Bones,' interrupted Warden fiercely. 

' What P cried the old man in unaffected astonishment. 

He looked from one to the other, but the solemnity of our 
expression afforded him no clue to the mystery. For long 
he gazed at us in blank amazement, then the humour of the 
situation seemed to strike him, for, throwing back his head, 
he cackled loudly : 

' Ho, ho ! Bones I Holy Mother of God ! can that be 
believed ? Seven men and one boy to look for bones ! 
Bones I It is a great joke ! But tell me, my dear friends, 
why look you for bones ?' 

' I cannot discuss our reasons now, Manuel,' said Warden. 
' I have told you the truth, let that content you. If we 
come across anything more valuable than bones, it will be 
yours. Will that do ?' 

' Y-e-s, I suppose so,' assented Manuel, unsatisfied 
curiosity, however, plainly visible in his eyes. 

' Well, then, that closes the matter once and for all. 
Now we are going for a morning dip ; will you join us ?' 

' Dip ?' 

' Yes — bath, if you prefer it ; there should be a pool to 
be found in the gorge.' 

' Bath ! But why ?' 

' Because we prefer to be clean. Come along, Manuel. 
Come and pretend to be an Englishman.' 

' God forbid !' cried the old man, and he crossed himself 
piously. I could read the word ' madmen ' in every line 
of his outraged expression. 

Bidding him farewell, we turned to descend the mountain ; 



WE BEGIN OUR CAVE-LIFE 83 

but barely had we taken a dozen steps when he re- 
called us. 

' Senhores !' 

' Well, Manuel ?' 

' Have you enough provisions for to-day ?' 

' Yes, they will just last out.' 

' Then, to-morrow I will come with a supply for you ; 
say, is it understood ?' 

' Quite right ; good-bye.' 

We turned away, but we had reckoned without our host ; 
it was none so easy to shake off Manuel. 

' Hold, senhores !' he shouted, ' come back ; I have some- 
thing of importance to say.' 

We retraced our steps. 

* Make haste, Manuel ; what is it you wish to tell us ?' 

' Yes, yes, senhores ; I will make haste, although I, for one, 
see no reason for any such hurry. The good God made 
to-morrow for any little thing that cannot be done to-day. 
It would scarcely be respectful not to take advantage of His 
kindness. Surely He knows best what we should do, and 
what it is convenient for us to leave undone ?' 

' Did you recall us to tell us that ?' 

' No, senhores ; it was not in my head when I called to you. 
It came to me afterwards like — like an inspiration ! It is 
wonderful what thoughts come into my head, quite unex- 
pectedly, you would say. It is like a flea in a blanket — you 
cannot see it, but all at once it bites you.' 

' For Heaven's sake ! what do you want ?' 

' Do not be impatient, senhor. I only wished to ask a 
little question for your good. To me it matters not, but to 
you it is, I am sure, of much importance.' 

' Well ?' 

' You will tell me, will you not, senhor ?' 

' Anything, only be quick !' 

'Then, tell me why — do — you — look — for — bones ?' 



6—2 



CHAPTER XII 

AN UNEXPECTED INTRUSION 

The descent into the gorge was long and tedious, but at 
length it was accomplished, and wandering upstream we 
cast about to discover a suitable pool for our morning bath. 
We were not obliged to go far, for turning a rocky promon- 
tory we came unexpectedly upon an ideal bathing-place. 
The little stream was at this point not more than eight 
yards in width, the rocky banks having contracted and 
forced the waters into a deeper and less broken channel. 
Along the margin on either hand a tiny shore, or bed of 
soil, had collected, and from this precarious resting-place 
there sprang a thicket of reeds intermingled with oleanders, 
the latter already in full bloom. The favourable nature 
of the position, sheltered from every adverse wind, and 
bathed daily in the full flood of perennial sunshine, and 
also the peculiarly rich character of the soil, a description 
of dark peaty loam rendered moist by its proximity to 
the running water, had encouraged the plants to luxurious 
growth — tall and strong, they reared themselves to a height 
of eight to nine feet. The oleanders were particularly 
beautiful. The blossoms of vivid crimson and long pointed 
leaves hung pendulous in the air, or waved gently to and 
fro with a silken and almost inaudible rustle when agitated 
by the passing of a breeze. The pool extended itself to a 
length of some forty yards. At its upper end it was fed 
continually by a waterfall that flung itself from an over- 
hanging ledge and filled the air with hoarse music, while 
lower down it narrowed still further into miniature rapids 
before spreading out once again to its accustomed width.. 

84 



AN UNEXPECTED INTRUSION 85 

Between these two extremes, however, it was no longer 
urged impetuously forward by the declivity of the ground — 
it could do as it pleased, and like a sensible little stream 
it slept the hours away, dallying with the sunlight and 
the oleanders after the manner of a traveller taking his 
ease at an inn before he turns again to the road. 

' I believe it's deep enough for a swim,' cried Warden.. 

' Ach Himmel ! Wie schon P chuckled Hadow, ' it is 
the very place for reptiles.' 

In a few minutes more our clothes knew us no longer. 
Plop ! plop ! plop ! in we splashed like so many frogs — 
naked and unashamed ; the quiet pool was churned into 
foam ; the hills re-echoed with our shouts. The water in 
mid-stream came breast-high, and was deliciously cool — 
not cold, for the daily influence of the sun still lurked in 
its quiet depths, even though it had passed the dark hours 
in the refrigerating chambers of the hills. A more ideal 
swimming-bath it would be hard to imagine. 

To attempt to sit under the waterfall, to be knocked down, 
to be pommelled as with fifty boxing-gloves, and, finally, 
to be swept away like a log over and over in the clear 
brown water, was a breathless and overpow^ering delight. 
To lie in the shallows beneath the shade of the oleanders, 
and to gaze upwards at the intricate network of leafage, 
lighted here and there with the glow of crimson blossoms, 
was to feel that the life of a fish in a Portuguese pool was 
by no means to be disparaged. For some time we swam 
up and down with great enjoyment. Hadow was the first 
to weary of this amusement ; leaving us in the middle of 
a race he started on a reptile hunt. 

A large, a very large portion of Hadow's heart was 
given over entirely to reptiles. I know not why this was 
so, unless, indeed, the old and apparently inexplicable 
fascination which our opposites cast over us was in some 
way answerable for the mystery, for the hot-blooded Hadow 
was as unlike a cold-blooded reptile as it was possible to 
imagine. 

Away he went, crawling round the banks, feeling between 
submerged roots, thrusting his arm into interstices among 
the rocks. 



86 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

The pool appeared to be well stocked, or it may have 
been that Hadow's knowledge of the habits of reptiles 
guided him instinctively to their hiding-places, for in less 
than a minute he had pounced upon a very fine specimen 
of a frog. His cry of success attracted our attention. There 
he stood holding the frog on high by one of its hind legs — 
the picture of joyous enthusiasm. 

' Come quick, dear boys !' he shouted. ' A beauty ! 
Gott sei dank ! Never have I seen one of so much love- 
liness.' 

We waded to the bank to inspect his struggling prey. 

* Rana esciilenta /' exclaimed Hadow. ' See the beautiful 
green colour ! Keep still, my little angel, or you will most 
certainly kick your hind leg off. It is to be found in both 
Spain and Portugal. It loves much the deep and still 
water. I have found him near Villafranca, at Burbia, 
Leon, and many other places. Be quiet, my heart's delight. 
Rana, as you know, is the Spanish for frog, but here in 
Portugal he is called ra or arra. Monlau declares that he 
has often seen this beautiful one in Donnerwetter P 

He gave a gasp, and stared over our heads at the opposite 
bank. The frog, escaping from his hand, dived into the 
water, and instantly disappeared, but no one heeded it. 
Simultaneously Warden and I wheeled to seek the reason 
for this extraordinary behaviour. In a moment we shared 
his consternation : there, on the bank, parting the oleander- 
stems with both hands, and surveying us with mingled 
surprise and amusement, were two young women ! It 
was the story of Susannah and the elders reversed. With- 
out a moment's hesitation we followed the frog, and, sub- 
merged to our necks, faced the situation with comparative 
equanimity. t\ >-- V^, 

' Go away !' shouted Hadow with virtuous indignation. ^^^^'^^^^^^ 

* You have no shame !' cried Warden. (Non tern vergonia,^^ 
I think it is written — a most useful phrase, and one which 
all travellers in Portugal would do well to commit to 
memory). 

But my friends might as well have kept silent for all the 
effect their words produced. The girls did not go away ; 
in fact, they showed not the slightest intention of leaving 



AN UNEXPECTED INTRUSION ^j 

us. Their smiles broadened into a laugh. When I came 
to reconsider the situation calmly at a later period, I did 
justice to the picturesqueness of their appearance. They 
were fine healthy young women, with a great deal of local 
colour concentrated for the most part in their lips, cheeks, 
and the scarlet kerchiefs tied round their heads, and topped 
by the national sombrero. Framed in a setting of glossy 
oleander leaves they made a cheerful and even an attractive 
picture, but at the time we were in no humour for artistic 
appreciation. They appeared to be mistresses of the 
situation, and entirely without the innate modesty which 
one is taught to associate with the habits and customs 
of the gentler sex. In vain Warden abjured them in the 
broadest of patois to leave us to the privacy of our pool. In 
vain Hadow called them by fearsome names, borrowed from 
his great work, 'The Fauna of Southern Portugal.' No, 
they were neither to be flattered nor frightened ; they 
would neither answer nor retire. They were convulsed 
with merriment, and one of them in particular displayed 
as fine a set of teeth as you could wish to see. It was a 
ticklish situation ! I defy a man to realize the ludicrous 
helplessness of our feelings unless he has sat immersed to 
the neck in a pool, the butt of two pairs of laughing black 
eyes. However cool we were externally, I can answer 
for the heat within — we fumed with perplexity. Talk of 
the bold brutality of man ! I doubt if any man — ^with 
the exception of the Biblical elders, who would appear to 
have been badly brought up — would have subjected ladies 
to this treatment had they discovered them in a like delicate 
situation. The transparency of the water added not a 
little to our confusion. We looked at each other, and 
despite our annoyance came near to laughing ; each of 
us confessed, at a later period, that he considered the other 
two the most comical objects he had seen for many 
a day. 

Putting "^our heads together, in the literal sense of the 
term, we held a council of war. 

' What shall we do ? What shall we do ?' growled 
Hadow's head, bobbing up and down like an agitated buoy. 

* A volley of stones ?' suggested Warden. 



88 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

* No, no,' I cried ; ' let us pretend to attack them. I don't 
think they will wait to receive us.' 

' Sehr gut, colossal P assented Hadow. 

' Now,' I continued, ' are you all ready ? We will give 
a shout all together and rush the bank. One, two, three !' 

' Hurrah !' we shouted with one voice, and swept down 
on the opposite shore. The feint was successful. In a flash 
the oleanders rustled together, and our tormentors vanished, 
apparently into thin air. 

But although they were for the time being snatched from 
our sight we still heard the sound of receding laughter, and 
while we were dressing, many minutes later, they reappeared 
far above, two little dots on the precipitous track leading 
to one of the more distant mountain hamlets. 



CHAPTER XIII 

WE EXPLORE THE CAVES 

It was with feelings of intense interest that we explored 
the interior of our subterranean dwelling. Even I — the 
useless and unscientific member of our party — confess to 
a thrill of excitement as I crawled on hands and knees 
through the narrow passage which connected our entrance 
cave with other and more distant caverns. Hadow, who 
led the party, carried a miner's lantern, which cast a dim 
and uncertain light over his surroundings. Warden, simi- 
larly equipped, came second, I ' made a good third,' while 
the rest of the ' field,' tailing off with little Pedro, whose 
curiosity overcame his fear of evil spirits, followed closely 
on my heels. It was by no means pleasant to be obliged 
to crawl thus along a damp passage, inhaling a vast quantity 
of lamp smoke, and hitting one's head occasionally on 
acute angles in the roof. I doubt if any but prehistoric 
reasons could have succeeded in placing me in such an 
uncomfortable situation. 

My imagination fairly ran riot. Inflamed by Hadow's 
enthusiasm, I spurned aside the intervening centuries, 
and peopled the place with phantoms of the past. When 
Hadow was of a mind, he could, as our American cousins 
express it, ' take you right there.' There was a reality 
about his descriptions that would convince the most 
sceptical. He had talked familiarly, and even affectionately, 
of the mammoth — what an excellent creature it was, 
how bluff and hearty its manners, how satisfactory and 
large its bones ! To hear him you would have imagined 
that he had lived on intimate terms with one for years ! 
He had also expressed a hope that our cave would prove 

89 



90 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

to be the private mausoleum of the mammoth family, 
formerly resident in Portugal. 

But I confess that my first cave experience staggered 
my credulity sadly. How could a creature whose size at 
the lowest computation exceeded that of the elephant, 
who was thirteen feet high, fifteen feet in length, with tusks 
eight feet long, squeeze himself through a passage so narrow 
that it necessitated our crawling ' upon all fours ' in order 
to traverse it at all ? He might possibly have lain upon 
his side in the entrance hall, and looked with one eye through 
the corridor to see how his live stock — cave-men, women, 
and children — were fattening within, but the chances of 
his ever having turned that inner apartment into a regular 
dining-room were so remote that I for one refused to credit 
them for a moment. 

After a little time we emerged from the passage and 
were able to stand upright. Our lamps shed but a feeble 
light, and our eyes, as yet unaccustomed to the semi- 
darkness of the inner caves — could with difficulty dis- 
tinguish our surroundings. Soon, however, we made out 
that we were standing in a large hall to which our httle 
dwelhng-cave was but the tiniest of antechambers. The 
vast dome rose above us into impenetrable blackness ; the 
walls in our vicinity were streaming with moisture ; the 
floor was covered with debris of all descriptions ; every 
here and there a stalagmite pillar rose from the ground, 
or a stalactite shaft descended from the roof — in some cases 
already joined into columns, in others approaching each 
other with the slow and monotonous accumulations of 
centuries. 

' Holy Mother of God !' ejaculated Pedro. 

We turned upon him. He was shaking all over, and 
pointed in his terror to an object which had escaped our 
attention. Facing us was the most remarkable stalagmite 
I have ever seen ; it was shaped into the form of a headless 
woman. The outlines may have been blurred, but not 
more so than is to be observed in statuary exposed for long 
to the open air. The upper half of the body was perfectly 
dehneated ; the lower half, however, was but indicated, 
as though some light and clinging drapery had been flung 



WE EXPLORE THE CAVES 91 

over it. The silence and darkness of the subterranean 
home lent her an air of unapproachable mystery. It was 
no marvel that Pedro felt alarm ; I myself gazed at her 
in wonder. The light from our lamps flickered over the 
whiteness of her form, lending it an even more unearthly 
air. And truly there was something uncanny in this 
statuesque figure carved by no human hand — fashioned 
by the mysterious forces of Nature into the likeness of a 
woman. Warden and I conversed about her in whispers, 
as though conscious of our intrusion — we feared to disturb 
the guardian deity of the caves. The workmen crossed 
themselves repeatedly. Hadow alone was unimpressed. 

The air in the buried chamber was chill and damp ; it 
gave me a shuddering sense of aversion, as though I had 
broken unexpectedly upon the silence and darkness of a 
tomb. No sound from the sunlit world came to our ears, 
nothing broke the dread and awful silence save the ' drip, 
drip, drip ' from the invisible roof, marking the moments 
as Time glided into Eternity. Silence is said to send a 
man mad, but to my mind this regular and monotonous 
sound, never waxing, never waning, was much more calcu- 
lated to steal away the senses. It was like tiny hammers 
beating relentlessly upon the very doors of the brain. To 
be imprisoned in such a place ! Terrible ! A man would 

begin to count the ' drip, drip, drip,' and then God help 

him ! 

Numerous passages similar to the one by which we had 
entered branched off from the large central hall, one of them 
being at a height of seven feet from the floor, and having 
the appearance of a chamber in a ruined castle. At a 
later date Hadow explored those inner passages ; they 
led to other caverns, some of considerable size, though 
none so large as the great cave where the excavations 
were in the main conducted. The general plan of these 
subterranean halls and corridors was confusing as that of a 
labyrinth, so often did they cross and recross, returning 
always to the large hall from which they started. Upon 
one occasion Hadow lost his way in this maze of passages. 
He had started with the intention of prospecting one of the 
smaller caves in the interior. His candle was extinguished 



92 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

by a drop of water falling from the roof, and for the better 
part of an hour he groped blindly in the inner darkness 
of the earth, unable to find his way back to the point of 
departure. It was an adventure I had no wish to share, 
though Hadow professed to enjoy the experience. 

Curiosity satisfied, I retraced my steps towards daylight. 
I was glad to turn my back on this abode of night, and 
seek the sunshine and fresh air. The excavators had already 
commenced operations, and the sounds that pursued me 
along the narrow entrance passage were the ringing 
blows of pickaxes and the indignant voices of the echoes 
screaming to each other from their prisons far within. 



CHAPTER XIV 

BARTOLOMEO'S STORY 

A SINGULAR object was in possession of my armchair (my 
armchair was composed of four large stones, and, as a piece 
of cave furniture, would have deUghted the heart of a 
prehistoric Maple). The 'object' was an elderly person 
dressed in a faded green coat ; his sombrero was ragged, as 
were his boots ; his nether-man was clad in goatskin trousers, 
the hair worn outside ; his faded yellow shirt, open at the 
neck, exposed a broad expanse of chest fully as hairy as 
his trousers. Furrowed and baked past all behef, his very 
garments sun-dyed and weather-stained. Nature had moulded 
him into harmonious affinity with the rocks and the grasses, 
and were it not for a^ certain amount of gentle animation 
which at times possessed him he might well have been 
mistaken for some natural feature of the landscape. 

' Bans dias, senhor !' I remarked by way of introduction. 
He looked in my direction with the listening attitude of 
one who hears the cry of some distant animal. 

' You have come far ?' was my next attempt at conversa- 
tion. 

He shrugged his shoulders. 
' Far or near, what matters it ?' 

His voice was drowsy, and accorded well with the warm 
tide of the noonday hour. I seated myself by his side ; his 
presence was soothing ; he radiated peace ; his whole 
personality was saturated with repose. He would stare 
in one direction with steady eyehds for a minute, yet he 
never appeared to be conscious of what he was looking at. 
He had a trick of looking through you that was slightly 

93 



94 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

disconcerting until you came to realize that his deep-set 
eyes were but the tombstones of buried intellect, and that, 
in all probability, he was gazing into the limitless regions 
of Nowhere. 

We were silent for many minutes, yet there was nothing 
awkward or oppressive in our silence ; even so would I have 
sat beside an oak-tree or a moss-covered boulder. 

' What is your name ?' asked I at length. 

He started slightly, and requested me in a gentle voice 
to repeat my question. I did so. 

' My senhor,' he replied, ' I am Bartolomeo.' 

' And what do you on the mountains ?' 

' I am a hunter ; have you not heard of me ?' 

' No, Bartolomeo, I have not.' 

He expressed so much surprise that I made haste to add : 
* I live so far away.' 

' Where did the senhor say ?' 

' In Scotland.' 

* I have heard of it,' he replied, after looking through me 
for some time. ' It rains there without ceasing.' 

I spread out my hands — the gesture was non-committal. 
I was prepared to go to great lengths for my native land. 
Did not the Latin sentence, ' Beautiful and appropriate is 
it that a man should die for his country,' still ring in my 
ears ? But between dying and lying there is a great gulf 
fixed. I changed the subject. 

' Bartolomeo,' I said, ' I see you have a gun.' An old 
and battered specimen of a muzzle-loader lay by his side. 

' It is my friend,' and he laid his hand on the weapon 
with the tenderness of a caress. His eyes wandered to our 
guns arrange dalong the wall of the cave, and a gleam of 
enthusiasm crept into their dull cavities. ' You too are a 
hunter, senhor ?' 

' Y-e-s,' said I doubtfully ; ' oh yes, we shoot — not much 
as yet, but ' — and I lost my way sadly among the tenses — 
* we can shoot, we used to shoot, we might have been 
shooting, we wish or desire to shoot.' 

^-. He listened to this explanation with polite but perplexed 
attention, shook his head sadly, then contemplated the 
distant scenery with unwavering gaze. The minutes passed. 



J J ■> J ' 



1 T 






, .ai.£,-H?5KT 





A SINGULAR OBJECT WAS IN POSSESSION OF MY ARMCHAIR. 



BARTOLOMEO'S STORY 95 

' I would like to hold them in my hands,' he said, gazing 
fixedly at the mountains. I stared at him in surprise, but 
he never noticed it. His next remark enlightened me. 
* I have never touched a real EngHsh gun,' he murmured 
half to himself. 

I hastened to satisfy his curiosity. Together we inspected 
our armament. Warden's pistol was dismissed with scant 
praise ; Hadow's and my double-barrelled breech-loaders 
were approved of, but the superlative expression of his 
admiration was reserved for the express rifle. 

' Que hello ! Ah, Deos I Que hello P he murmured ; 
then, after a lengthy pause : ' It will kill far ?" 

' It will drop a man at many hundred yards,' said I 
lightly, with the tone of one who has ' dropped ' many 
men in his time. He made me repeat it twice — the news 
seemed almost too good to be true. 

' Ee, isto assim possivel ?' {Is it really possible ?) was all 
that he said, but there was no mistaking the note of deep 
admiration in his voice. I longed to make him the present 
of just such another rifle ; he would have been the happiest 
man in all the length and breadth of the Algarve. The 
sight of that rifle kindled a little fire upon the altar of 
friendship. Bartolomeo nodded to me, and, feeling in all 
his pockets one after the other, at length discovered a 
snuff-box. We pledged each other in the nauseous dust. 

' You drink wine, Bartolomeo ?' I inquired, not to be 
outdone in generosity. He drew the back of his hand 
across his mouth, and something akin to a smile crept 
into his eyes. I sought the wine-skin and two of our tin 
cups. The crimson gush of the wine was as music to our 
ears ; the heat was as usual oppressive, and the mere 
thought of drinking made one conscious of the parched 
condition of one's throat. My new friend raised his cup 
with a steady hand. 

' A sua sdude, mev senhor ' (Your health, sir). 

' To you, my Bartolomeo, and to our better acquaintance. 

' Another ?' I suggested, when he had drained the last drop. 

He nodded assent, and, holding out his cup, remarked : 

' It is good wine.' 

We toasted each other with many pohte speeches. After 



96 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

our third or fourth appHcation to the wine-skin a little 
animation was to be observed in his manner ; he visibly 
relaxed, or rather concentrated his attention upon the 
subject in hand ; his eyes occasionally appeared to be 
conscious of my presence. 

' And now tell me, Bartolomeo,' said I, laying one hand 
confidentially on his hairy knee — I felt as though I were 
touching a goat — ' tell me what is to be shot here.' 

He surveyed me with kindly good-humour. 

' Once upon a time,' he began in a thoughtful voice ; 
the words had a familiar sound, they took me back to 
childhood and the atmosphere of fairy tales — ' once upon 
a time,' he continued dreamily, ' there were bears in these 
mountains — hears, senhor !' 

' I know, Bartolomeo,' I cried joyously — ' three bears.' 

' Not so, senhor ; many more than three, I assure you.' 
He paused to let this information reach my brain, then 
continued in the same even and monotonous voice : ' Now, 
there are none to be found — not one ; but we have wolves, 
— yes, they are everywhere. Has the noble senhor ever 
seen a wolf ?' 

' Y-e-s, I think so — once or twice.' 

' Ah ! where was that ?' 

* At the Zoo.' 

Bartolomeo's brow furrowed with thought. 

' I know not where that is,' said he slowly. ' I have not 
travelled far, that is God's truth. But tell me, senhor, 
when you saw this wolf did you shoot him ?' 

' No,' I replied musingly — ' no, I did not shoot him.' 

' Why was that, senhor ?' 

' I — I had forgotten my gun, Bartolomeo.' 

' Ah ! that was a thousand pities ; it is well to kill the 
vermin whenever you see them. Now, senhor, take the 
advice of an old sportsman : never go unarmed, and the 
next time you travel through this country of Zoo, kill all 
you see ; believe me, you will never regret it.' 

' I am none so sure of that,' I said under my breath, 
and I thought of my ignominious expulsion by the keepers 
after a brief battue in Regent's Park. 

Bartolomeo was warming to his subject. 



BARTOLOMEO'S STORY 97 

' Do you see many wolves hereabouts ?' I asked him. 

' Yes ; in the winter-time, driven by hunger, they come 
down into the valleys. They kill many sheep and calves. 
We are obliged to protect the folds with men and great 
wolf-dogs, bred on purpose for this work.' 

' And have you ever killed a wolf, Bartolomeo ?' 

' Many, senhor ; glory be to God V 

' Tell me a wolf story,' I pleaded. 

The request pleased him, for he surveyed me in a com- 
placent and friendly manner. Settling himself more com- 
fortably in my armchair he produced a pipe. He was, by the 
way, one of the few men in the neighbourhood who were 
in the habit of patronizing pipes ; cigarettes were more 
fashionable. Striking a light with flint and steel, and 
filling the grimy bowl with coarse tobacco which he carried 
loose in a corner of his coat-pocket, he soon puffed vigorously. 
The smoke rose in the still air ; the rank and pungent odour 
was far from pleasant. The smell recalled the days of my 
boyhood ; it was a similar brand to that which our old 
gardener was in the habit of using to kill objectionable 
insects in the conservatory. I looked at Bartolomeo, and 
smiled approval. 

' I will tell you of the last one I killed, senhor. It was 
no later ago than January. Much snow was on the moun- 
tains ; the passes were blocked up ; it was a bitter time, 
and many wolves came down from the high hills. At 
night I used to hear them round my cottage ; a wolf howling 
at night is a dismal sound. I had been spending the day 
at Carenta, and was going home in the dusk ; it was not 
dark, for a little starlight was in the sky, and so much 
snow made the valley appear very white. All at once 
something big jumped from behind a rock and ran away. 
I thought, ''Ohel A stray dog !" but then he did not run 
like a dog. As I stood still staring after him the moon 
came up behind the Grey Lady — that is the name of a hill 
near Carenta — and I saw he was a lone wolf. Yes, senhor, 
a lone wolf !' 

' Well ?' I inquired, for Bartolomeo had relapsed into 
dreamland, and was gazing at the distant mountains. 

' Of course, senhor — of course ; it is as I was saying. You 

7 



98 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

know what the light of the full moon looks on snow ? — it 
was clear as day. I determined to stalk him. Carramba ! 
What a night for a stalk ! I looked at his spoor, and close 
beside the marks of his pads were drops of blood, and on 
returning to the rock I found the bones of a young sheep, 
and blood on the trampled snow.' 

' He had killed V I cried, as the old man paused in his 
story. 

' As you say, senhor, he had killed. All night I stalked 
him in the clear moonlight, up and down hill, through 
deep gorges, and once down a rocky spur that I would not go 
down in the daytime — no, not if you paid me for it in yellow 
gold. I was tired, and wet, and hungry, but my blood was 
up, and I vowed two beautiful candles to the Madonna de 
Carenta if she would help me to kill that wolf.' 

Bartolomeo crossed himself, then relit his pipe, which had 
gone out. 

' Please go on,' I entreated. 

' Well, senhor, the night was far spent when I tracked 
him to a cave, far from here, above Salir, a lonely spot. 
I saw to the priming of my gun, and with much care I 
crept to the entrance. It was like this ' — he made a little 
plan with stones on the floor at our feet — ' here was the 
cave, and here was I behind this rock, and here was the top 
of the hill not far away. It was all black within, but, as I 
looked, I saw two eyes like stars in the darkness. Taking 
aim, I fired, but he must have moved as I fired, for I did 
not kill him. In my excitement I had stepped from behind 
my rock, and in a moment he was on me. His spring 
knocked my gun out of my hands ; I could feel his hot 
breath and the hot blood from his wound as we rolled over 
and over in the snow, and then his teeth met in my shoulder 
— I have the marks still ; you can put your fingers into 
them quite easily. It was my left shoulder, or I should 
have been in a worse plight, for my right hand was free, 
and it sought my knife — this one here.' He drew a Spanish 
knife with a long keen blade from his belt, and ran one 
finger gently along its edge. ' I gave him this, not once 
or twice, but four times, senhor, to the hilt. Holy Virgin 1 
he was all soft inside ! It was like carving butter, and at 



BARTOLOMEO'S STORY 99 

the fourth thrust his jaws relaxed, and I flung him from 
me and staggered to my feet. He was dead ! Yes, dead 
as goat's-flesh, and / had killed him ! It was a great 
moment, senhor !' 

' I can well believe it,' I cried with sympathy. 

Bartolomeo told this story and particularly the end of 
it with much dramatic power. I would never have given 
him credit for so hot an enthusiasm. Where were his 
lethargy, his indifference, his day-dreams ? Gone, all gone, 
and in their place were a host of fiery feelings that carried 
you along with them, ' hot foot ' over the snow in the blue 
moonlight, to the last fierce struggle in the cave. It was 
no imaginary wolf that Bartolomeo tracked and slew with 
impassioned gesture, but a real live animal, for by the light 
in his eyes and the convulsive twitching of his hands you 
were made to feel the reality of every word he uttered. 
But, strange to relate, no sooner was the story finished than 
he relapsed once more into dreamland. 

We sat silent for a long time. The flies buzzed in and 
out. The drowsy influence of the hour and of my com- 
panions acted like some ' dull opiate ' on my senses. I, too, 
was content to sit and dream while my eyes strayed over 
the sun-steeped valley to the distant hills. At last Barto- 
lomeo spoke : 

' Senhor, it grows late ; the shadows tell me that I must 
be going. To meet you has been a pleasure, senhor ; once 
more I thank you. Adeos e ohrigado ;^ and with these 
parting words, spoken with stately and old-fashioned 
courtesy, my new friend wandered gently away into the 
sunlight. 



7—2 



CHAPTER XV 

I MEET WITH COLOMBA 

I WAS seated within the low entrance to our cave engaged 
in writing up my diary. A broad stone was my table, and, 
astride on my saddle-bags, I was endeavouring to translate 
the events of our nomadic life into words. It was very 
hot ; our thermometer stood at ninety-five degrees in the 
shade. The sunshine fell like a flame mantle over the 
country-side ; the mountains quivered through a veil of 
heat. Far down in the valley I caught sight of the glitter 
of our brook as it flashed back the sunlight. The sound 
of a dull hammering broke on my ears ; it was faint and 
irregular, coming as it did from a considerable distance. 
It told of 'Hadow, Warden, and Co., Searchers for Old 
Bones, Limited ' (alas ! too limited), toiling deep in the 
bowels of the earth. 

' Thank heaven !' I ejaculated, ' that my connection with 
the Company does not force me to immure myself in inner 
darkness on such a fine morning as this.' In one respect 
my friends had the best of it ; I suffered most from the 
heat. The interior of the cave was a temperate zone 
compared with the tropics of the outer hall. My costume, 
more comfortable than presentable, consisted of a pair of 
gray flannel trousers — they had once been white ! — a dark 
flannel shirt, and a Portuguese sombrero. My jacket was 
donned only on Sundays. Hadow had primitive but deep- 
rooted convictions on the subject of dress ; he scoffed 
my necktie into my saddle-bags, and on one occasion 
when, with youthful love of adornment, I appeared with 
a button-hole, I narrowly escaped being stoned. 

lOO 



I MEET WITH COLOMBA loi 

My diary was a never-failing jest with my companions. 
No circumstance so trivial but they implored me to record 
it in my pages. When Warden's tooth-brush wore out 
he seriously asked me to insert a paragraph to that effect. 
A sentence, he said, was not sufficient to give strangers 
an adequate idea of all that tooth-brush had undergone. 
In that he said truth, for it was a tooth-brush of an obliging 
character, and while it lasted was extremely useful ' about 
the house.' Hadow was full of anatomical fancies, which 
he said the public would be glad to hear. Many of them 
were extremely gruesome, and more suited for the records 
of a dissecting-room than for the pages of an unpretentious 
diary. 

In his more serious moments Hadow frequently remon- 
strated with me, not only upon the flippancy of my manner, 
but also upon the triviality of my matter. With judicial 
gravity he took my diary into his hands upon one occasion, 
and as he turned the pages gave vent to loud and continuous 
snorts of disapproval. 

' What is this ?' he cried. ' Two pages about one sunset ! 
Hein ! many details about that foolish woman you did flirt 
with on the steamer. Faugh ! and, worse than all, silly 
schoolboy jokes about bones. Bah !' 

For a moment he eyed me grimly, then, tossing my long- 
suffering volume contemptuously from him, continued 
sadly : 

' It grieves me to see you in this bad state. What for 
a future are you mapping out for yourself ? Think you 
what you will become ?' 

Such was the solemnity of his voice that I at once became 
uncomfortable — anxiety for my future beset me. Hadow 
swept on in a torrent of prophetic denunciation. 

' You will become a trifler with life ; a mere dilettante ; 
a man of no real knowledge. J a wohl ! and, I fear ' — he 
paused, then continued in a voice of profound commisera- 
tion — ' an object of contempt to all scientific men.' 

I wriggled. 

' Sir, you are a dabbler !' thundered Hadow, pointing at 
me with the stem of his pipe. 

* I can't help it,' I said dejectedly. ' I suppose it is my 



102: : .SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

^ » . ' 

nature. I don't want to be an object of contempt to 
anyone ; it's not a pleasant prospect — but what can I do ?' 

Hadow laid his hand on my shoulder. 

' Dear boy,' said he kindly, ' you are young ; there is 
time to change. Now, you are fond of writing ; why not 
write something that is good and worthy to be written, 
Hein ?' 

' What would you have me write ?' I questioned, in 
extreme doubt as to whether any emanation from my pen 
would ever be classed under the heading of 'good, and 
worthy to be written.' 

' What say you to history ?' suggested Hadow, giving me 
a friendly shake. 

' History !' I ejaculated. 

' J a wohl I Why not ? If you had the taste for it I 
should say study some definite branch of scientific know- 
ledge, such as biology, or geology ; but no, your brain 
would not grasp such work, so, I say, try history.' 

' But that requires a brain too ; there is a science of 
history.' 

' Dock I it is the function of historical science to record 
facts.' 

' And what do you call the sciences you go in for ?' I 
asked. 

Hadow laughed softly. 

' I, dear boy ! I go in for many, as you know, but most 
of all for the material and natural sciences ; all, you may 
say, that rest on outward observation and not on intro- 
spection. Na ! that is perhaps a Cartesian distinction.' 

' What do you mean by Cartesian ?' 

' Gott P flared the Professor, ' you are an ignorant 
animal ! One has to teach you the alphabet ; nicht wahr ?' 

' Be patient ; I am a willing pupil, at all events. Now 
tell me what it means.' 

* It means the philosophy developed by Des Cartes, 
Malebranche, and Spinoza. Hein, are you any the wiser ^' 

' Very little !' 

Hadow snorted. 

' Now,' I continued, ' to show how willing I am I will listen 
to all you were going to say on the subject of history. 



I MEET WITH COLOMBA 103 

You never know your luck. Perhaps some " mute in- 
glorious " Gibbon may be slumbering in my soul. Speak 
on, my candid friend.' 

Hadow seated himself by me, and began to light his pipe. 

' Dear boy,' he said, between immense puffs of smoke, ' I 
advise you to take up a period of your English history — 
say Charles I. and the Parliamentary Wars, with the battles 
of Marston Moor, Newbury, and Naseby. Read everything 
that has been written about that period ; there are many 
histories, and also many memoirs of great interest. It is a 
fine subject. Read very carefully and take many notes, 
then let it soak ; do not forget it, but just let it simmer 
in the back of your brain. In time will come a wish to write. 
Good ! do so ; but, for God's sake, do not publish your 
foolish first thoughts ! Lock them in a drawer for one 
year. One day you will open that drawer, and you will 
say as you read them : " What foolish writing is this ! 
I can do better now," and you will write it all over again, 
and perhaps — see, now, I say only perhaps — you may one 
day write a book that will be worth a little to the world.' 

I gazed at him in consternation. What good advice it 
was ! and yet, alas ! how little could it profit me ! I shook 
my head sadly. 

' It is hardly my line,' I hazarded. 

' Why not ?' demanded Hadow. 

' My dear Professor,' cried I, striking an oratorical atti- 
tude, ' such is your enthusiasm that I must admit that at 
first your words depressed me, but I now see how impossible 
it is that all men can follow in the footsteps of science. 
You ask me why ! Surely you, a student of human nature, 
ought to know ? Why does one man go in for art, another 
for business ? Listen to wisdom falling from the lips of 
folly. Hereditary instinct, temperament, individuality — 
call it what you will — join hands with circumstances to 
carve our destinies for us. History ! No, I would be a most 
unsatisfactory historian. I would dally with the Queens — 
and utterly neglect the Kings. I would laugh and jest with 
the Maids of Honour, and allow the most important political 
events to go unrecorded. For the sake of the nation which 
has adopted you do not elevate me, against my will, to the 



104 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

proud position of historian. It would be a poor return for 
benefits received. And why Charles I. ? Surely that 
unfortunate monarch deserves better from posterity ? 
Why appoint a man who loses his heart to pen the records 
of a King who has already lost his head ?' 

Hadow glanced at me with an expression of comical 
disapproval. 

' You are incorrigible, I fear,' said he. 

' Recognise that, once and for all, and we will be happy,' 
said I cheerfully. 

' But, dear boy ' 

' My dear Professor, " but me no buts " ; accept my useless 
existence as an admirable foil to your own useful career. 
You edify and instruct the audience — I but amuse them. 
You are ungrateful ; I do you an inestimable service, for 
my folly is the effective background against which your 
wisdom shines so brightly — like " a rich jewel in an Ethiop's 
ear," eh ? What ? No, no, once and for all hold out the hand 
of friendship to my limitations ; believe me, it is the only 
way.' 

Hadow fumed and laughed in the same breath. 

' And yet ' he began, tugging at his great moustache, 

as was his wont in moments of perplexity. I interrupted 
him at once. 

' For Heaven's sake. Professor, don't argue ! I don't 
want to get the worst of it. Listen, that is Warden's voice 
calling you to begin work. Go and excavate there as much 
as you like, but, if you are wise, don't dig for buried 
wisdom in my head ; you won't find it !' 

Hadow gazed at me sternly, opened his mouth to speak, 
closed it without a sound, shrugged his shoulders, wheeled 
to the ' right about,' and disappeared into the inner cave. 

But this has led me far from diaries, which was the 
subject I had in mind at the commencement of this chapter. 
It is a digression, but if I am to apologize for every digression 
that occurs in the length and breadth of these pages, then 
my whole attitude and tone will be one of abject apology, 
for, to confess it at once, I intend to digress just so often 
as it takes my fancy. 

Hadow, too, is a strong argument in favour of digression — 



I MEET WITH COLOMBA 105 

he loathed digressions ! To write about him in a series of 
digressions is a temptation that I cannot resist. It is a form 
of humour that is distinctly piquant ; it is nearly on a par 
with my master-stroke of ironical inspiration — viz., the 
idea of kidnapping Hadow, clapping him under hatches, 
and sailing away with him, willy nilly, in a vessel entitled 
' Sunshine and Sentiment.' 

But to return to diaries in general, and my diary in 
particular. Behold me, then, wrestling in the agonies of 
composition ! It was a most serious undertaking. 

When I became involved in the coils of some labyrinthian 
sentence, and knew not how to extricate myself, I invariably 
walked to the mouth of the cave and threw a great stone 
into the valley. The sight of it crashing downwards in 
ever-increasing leaps was wonderfully composing to my 
thoughts, and never failed to bring me safely to the haven 
of a full-stop. During one of these interruptions I heard a 
curious sound which appeared to come from a distance — 
click, click, click, click, and running out into the sunlight 
I caught sight of a girl, mounted on a donkey, riding slowly 
down the track which was our only means of communication 
with the outer world. The noise I had heard was the tapping 
of the donkey's hoofs against the stones with which the 
path was strev/n. On her nearer approach I recognised 
her as the daughter of Manuel da Silvas, whom I had seen 
on the occasion of our visit to his cottage. The sight gave 
me pleasure, and I awaited her coming with impatience. 
To be sure, my costume somewhat disconcerted me ; but I 
reflected that the young lady would not expect an elaborate 
toilet in a cave-dweller, that she was as much primitive 
woman as I was primitive man, and that after all this was 
not Bond Street, but a particularly wild corner of the 
Sierra de Monchique. Sustained by these reflections I 
watched her without further misgivings. She was a 
picturesque figure seated on the little gray donkey. A 
large sun-bonnet shaded her face ; her short blue skirt 
revealed a pleasing sufficiency of ankle ; her feet were 
encased in wooden shoes, with which from time to time she 
gently kicked the donkey's sides to encourage him to 
further exertions. On her arm she carried a wickerwork 



io6 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

basket, and tucked into her waist-band I noticed a bunch 
of scarlet flowers. 

I hastened to assist her to ahght. 

' Senhora,' said I, with a bow, ' consider yourself welcome.' 

There was a Continental smack about the phrase that took 
my fancy. 

' I have come with provisions for you,' she said with a 
smile. The words were simple ; even had I not understood 
them the gestures would have proved amply illustrative 
of her meaning. I bowed again. 

f ' My father, Manuel da Silvas, sent me. He has gone to 
Louie on business.' 

' The sun is hot,' I hazarded, after a pause. 

She assented. 

' The cave is cool.' 

She assented again. We were ' getting on ' famously. 

' Let us go in,' I cried, waving my hand in the direction 
of the entrance. 

' But my donkey ?' 

* I will tie him up,' said I, and laying hold of the reins I 
speedily anchored the little animal to the shadow-side of 
the rocks. We seated ourselves upon the table. 

I looked at my visitor with approval. Her face was by 
no means perfect, yet any slight defect was more than 
counterbalanced by some uncommon charm, so that the 
effect of the whole was delightful. For example, the nose 
was somewhat retrousse, but then the ears were little pink 
shells ; the mouth was perhaps larger than symmetry 
demanded, but then the teeth dazzled you ; the hair was 
less fine than it ought to be, but its colour and abun- 
dance made you forget its slight failing in quality. And 
her eyes ! Had she a dozen defects, each one more 
visible than the other, these eyes would have redeemed 
them all. Dreamy, voluptuous, soft, full of languor 
in repose, full of fire in animation. Ah ! one must fly 
to the South for such eyes as these ; the flame that glowed in 
their dark depths could have been born under no Northern 
sun. 

And her figure ? But there — Messrs. Webster, Nuttall, 
and Co., makers of dictionaries, must invent an entirely 



I MEET WITH COLOMBA 107 

new set of adjectives if I am to describe her figure with 
any chance of success. It was too full of sweet curves 
and seductive undulations to be bound by the fetters of 
description. It required to be seen, perched on my table, 
to be properly appreciated. Masculine eyes, bold enough 
to start on a voyage of discovery, had but to trust 
themselves to the switchback of admiration, and, heigh, 
presto ! off they went, up one hill and down another — 
the inclines were irresistible, ' alluring up and enticing 
down ' — until the bold adventurer not only lost his breath, 
but his heart into the bargain, which, as I can tell him 
from personal experience, was a much more serious matter. 

Whilst I was making these observations I was, in my 
turn, subjected to critical scrutiny, but as I was gazing at 
her, it followed as a matter of course that whenever she 
looked at me our eyes met. This threw her into a pretty 
confusion, and the donkey being the only other living 
object within sight, she transferred her attention to him. 
Now, as is to be supposed, the features of her donkey were 
familiar to her — too familiar to excite interest, so that her 
eyes speedily returned to me. Again we gazed at each other, 
and again her eyes reverted to the donkey ; again she 
stole a glance at me, and again she inspected my rival. 
This occurred many times. Playing hide-and-seek with 
such eyes as belonged to the Senhora da Silvas was a pretty 
enough pastime, yet, truth to tell, I grew weary of it — I 
wanted them all to myself — I envied the little donkey his 
share in the game. When a man, a maid, and a donkey 
meet upon a mountain the donkey must give way ; he 
must be taught his place. This was no ' Midsummer- 
Night's Dream ' ; my little maiden in the sun-bonnet was 
no enchanted queen to fall enamoured of an ass. 

' Senhora,' I said, ' please to look at me only ; I am of 
a very jealous disposition.' 

My visitor smiled. A dimple appeared hard by her 
mouth. I studied it with interest. My attention must 
have disconcerted her, for speedily it vanished, and a 
demure expression crept into its place. Her eyes returned 
to the donkey. 

' Do you see any resemblance ?' I questioned with a smile. 



io8 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

' Not much, senhor.' But although her voice was serious 
there was a tell-tale twinkle in her eyes. 

' What is your name V I inquired with great interest. 

* I am Colomba.' 

* Colomba ! What a pretty name ! And may I call you 
Colomba V 

* Why not ? It is my name ; everyone calls me Colomba .' 
' Oh, indeed ! Who, then, is everyone ?' 

* Father and Carmen — Carmen is my sister — and my 
dear old Padre, and Santos, and cousin Filipe, and Pedro, 
and Carlos Oh, everyone— all my friends.' 

' Then if I call you Colomba I will be a friend too ?' 

' You are full of kindness, senhor.' 

' I have a warm heart, Colomba.' 

She looked at me swiftly ; her eyes convinced me, as 
nothing else could, of the warmth of my heart. The space 
between us on the table grew perceptibly less. 

'And do you really live in this hole ?' she asked, gazing 
wonderingly around her. 

' Temporally,' I assented. 

' And no woman to look after you ?' 

I shook my head. 

' Holy Mary ! I wonder you live at all.' 

' 'Tis but a makeshift for life, Colomba ; yet we have our 
consolations, as, for instance, when we are visited unawares 
by a little angel on a gray donkey.' 

Colomba smiled, then shook her head. 

' No, no,' she remonstrated, ' you say that but to please 
me ; you do not really mean it, I know. Santos told me 
to beware of such fine compliments.' 

' Confound Santos !' I muttered in English. 

' Pardon ?' she inquired. 

' Never mind, Colomba ; it was an expression of pain.' 

She looked at me doubtfully. I made haste to convince 
her. 

*That you should think me capable of insulting you 
with an empty phrase, gives me pain. Am not I to be 
permitted to speak the truth ? The sun shines— and I am 
warmed ; a flower opens— and I am pleased ; Colomba 
comes — and I am happy.' 



I MEET WITH COLOMBA 109 

* Forgive me,' she said simply. 

We shook hands. The space between us on the table 
was by this time invisible to the naked eye. 

* Carmen would like to see this cave,' she remarked. 
' We have often played here when we were children, but to 
think of it as a real house is too droll. Where do you 
sleep ? I see no bed.' 

I pointed to the ledge outside. 

' That is my bed, Colomba ; it is hard, but healthy. The 
air is fresh, and the view is very fine when one wakes in the 
morning.' 

' Where are your friends, the senhores, whom I saw you 
with the other day ?' 

' They are in there.' 

She turned round, and gazed at the dark entrance to the 
inner cave with consternation. 

' What do they in that hole ? There are bats there and — 
and evil spirits !' She spoke in an awestruck voice, as 
though she feared to arouse such unpleasant neighbours. 

* They look for bones,' I whispered. 

* Bones P she cried in horror. 

' Yes, bones,' I said resignedly. 

' Ah, the bones of saints perhaps ?' There was a note 
of hope in her voice ; out of the kindness of her heart she 
was anxious to make the best of any friends of mine. 

' No, I am afraid I cannot truthfully say that.' 

' They must be mad,' she cried in alarm. 

' It looks like it,' I assented. 

She cast a glance at her donkey. I read flight in her 
eye. I laid my hand on hers reassuringly. 

' Do not be frightened ; there is no cause for alarm. 
They suffer, it is true, from palaeontology — sandstone caves 
excite them strangely, but otherwise they are harmless.' 

' But how terrible for you ! Oh, I would not travel with 
two mad men for anything ! No, not even a piece of the 
Blessed Cross could tempt me.' 

I shrugged my shoulders. 

' What will you ? One must live ; we have all our little 
anxieties. But let us talk of something more cheerful. 
Do you know, I am glad you live near us. I shall think 



no SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

of you often — over the brow of the mountain where the 
valley dips. When the sun peeps at me in the morning, I 
will say, "Colomba is getting up" ; and at night when all 
is dark I will think, " Colomba is in bed" ; and the light 
and the darkness will both be dear to me, for Colombo 
will see them too.' 

' You have beautiful thoughts, senhor ; when you speak 
like that I think I am in church. Our Padre, too, has 
beautiful thoughts.' 

I paused. To be compared seriously to the Padre was 
an honour I had not expected. She gazed at me with a 
saintly look in her beautiful eyes. The compliment was 
evidently sincere. 

' You will come to see us often ?' I asked appealingly. 

' Is it quite safe ?' she murmured. 

' You are as safe with me as if you were in — well, in 
church.' 

' But they might get worse. A day may come when 
they find no longer any bones, or perhaps the bones may 
be too old — they may long for fresh ones.' 

She shuddered ; tales of ghouls and vampires were evi- 
dently running riot in her imagination. 

' There is no need for alarm,' I said soothingly. ' Now 
tell me, Colomba, will you come to see me sometimes ?' 

' Sometimes, perhaps, but not often. My father says 
young girls must not go out often.' 

' Your father is a sensible man. If I were he I would 
keep you always at home. These eyes of yours are far too 
beautiful to be shining like twin stars over all the country.' 

' Oh, senhor !' 

' Yes, it is true. They are calculated to do much harm — 
to wound many hearts. Now, look at me ; not down 
there, look straight at me ! You would say, would you not, 
that I appeared to be a cautious, unimpressionable man ?' 

' I — I do not know,' she murmured doubtfully. 

' And yet,' I continued, warming to my subject, ' these 
eyes of yours, these beautiful eyes of yours ' 

The lashes fell, and she half averted her head. 

* I swear, Colomba,' I cried, becoming more and more 
animated, ' that these glorious ' 



I MEET WITH COLOMBA in 

* What ho !' shouted a voice behind us. 

We sprang apart. In the inner entrance two faces were 
to be seen, both indicative of the most exasperating amuse- 
ment. 

' Sorry to interrupt you,' chuckled Warden. 

' Shall we go back again, dear boy ?' asked Hadow 
politely. 

I felt myself flushing. 

' Don't be an ass, Hadow. And, Warden, stop that 
inane giggle ; there is no need for these misplaced jokes. 
The situation explains itself.' 

' It does,' chuckled Warden. 

' This young lady,' continued I, ' has been good enough 
to bring us some provisions from her home. I was just 
thanking her when you arrived.' 

' Do you always give the ladies thanks after such a kind 
manner ?' inquired Hadow with deep interest. 

' Where are the provisions ?' asked Warden, casting his 
eyes round the cave. 

Where were they ? Truth to tell, we had forgotten all 
about them. I looked at Colomba, and she looked at me, 
and we read something near to consternation in each other's 
eyes. 

' Where did you put the basket, senhora ?' I inquired 
politely. 

* I believe it is outside, senhor,' she answered with equal 
decorum. 

I ran into the sunlight, and bringing it into the cave 
placed it upon our table. The interest it excited was of ser- 
vice to us in our present dilemma — the jests at our expense 
died a natural death. We surrounded Hadow, who pro- 
ceeded to open it in silence. The contents were as follows : 

A pigskin of red wine, a paper parcel of olives, seven 
eggs (one broken), a bottle of olive oil, a pot of honey, and 
a basket of pears. 

' No bread ?' questioned I. 

' No meat ?' asked Warden. 

' Epicures ! Sybarites !' grunted Hadow. 

' Does it not please the senhores ?' inquired Colomba 
with a note of anxiety in her voice. 



112 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

' It is delicious ; we are all delighted,' answered Warden ; 
and then he began to talk softly to my new-found friend, 
making use of Portuguese patois, which from the tender 
inflections of his voice seemed to my jealous ears the one 
language in the world suited to the requirements of lovers. 
Colomba was obviously interested ; her black eyes sparkled, 
and she replied with animation. Judge if I was annoyed ! 
There was no doubt that Warden was a good-looking and 
amusing fellow, but was that sufficient reason for such 
treacherous conduct ? Was I to stand meekly aside while 
he flirted, thus disgracefully, with my best — indeed, I may 
say my only girl ? By all the gods of Egypt — no ! He 
had plainly got the better of me with his Portuguese 
patois, but I had the winning card up my sleeve — let him 
laugh who wins ! I stole behind him, and, waiting patiently 
till I caught Colomba's eye, tapped my forehead signi- 
ficantly, and murmured ' Bones !' The effect of that 
cabalistic word was as instantaneous as it was remarkable. 
Colomba turned pale, fear crept into her eyes. 

' I — I must be going home,' she stammered ; ' it is late. 
Good-bye !' 

' Let me assist you,' said Warden genially. 

' Holy Virgin ! no, no !' she cried, recoiling from him in 
horror. ' Please do not give yourself the trouble ; I will go 
alone. Good-bye, good-bye,' and she fairly took to her 
heels. The next moment we heard the sounds of a donkey, 
urged to its topmost speed, galloping ' clatter, clatter, 
clatter ' up the stony track that led to the mountain brow. 

We gazed in blank astonishment at the basket which 
Colomba had forgotten in her precipitate flight, and then 
consulted each other's faces. 

' What an extraordinary girl !' exclaimed Warden. 



CHAPTER XVI 

DAILY LIFE IN OUR CAVE 

SiNXE that first unforgettable night I invariably slept in 
the open air. The ledge made an excellent sleeping-place, 
a row of large stones placed on the extreme outer edge 
preventing the possibility of my rolling into the gorge. I 
was unaccustomed to spending the dark hours in the open 
air, and deeply did I enjoy the experience. The nights were 
fine, and there was a remarkable absence of dew. My 
one blanket proved covering sufficient, so that I cannot 
remember to have suffered from cold. Even during the 
hours that more immediately precede the dawn, when 
Nature appears to shiver in anticipation of the day, I was 
never inconvenienced by these breaths of wandering air 
that disturbed the inanimate world. To me they came 
always as gentle and salutary influences, and, as they fanned 
my cheek and stirred my hair, I welcomed them with thank- 
ful heart. Nor was it to be wondered at that I never felt 
cold. All day long the great chain of the Sierra de 
Monchique steeped itself in sunshine ; it basked and baked 
till the very rocks fevered into a dull glow that made them 
painful to the touch. The hours when the great celestial 
fire withdrew its beams were but few in number, and the 
heat imprisoned in the mountains had not time sufficient 
to escape. 

The hardness of my bed was the one drawback to these 
open-air nights, and even that disadvantage was reduced 
to a minimum by a careful disposition of spare shirts and 
other contributions from my saddle-bags. The mosquitoes 
and other pests ceased to trouble me after the first night ; 

113 ^ 



114 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

strange to narrate, they patronized only the interior of the 
cave, and, having moved my bed into the open air, I rid 
myself of them for good and all. 

There were many pleasures connected with this out-of- 
door life. It was all pure delight to awaken suddenly 
in the night watches, and little by little to become con- 
scious of my situation ; to see the roof of my vast bed- 
chamber blazing with stars ; to realize that no eye but 
mine rested on the misty mountain-tops, and that the 
subdued and starlit beauty of the scene was unrolled, as it 
were, for me alone. 

We were astir betimes. They who sleep afield need have 

no fear of oversleeping themselves. Nature has many little 

voices to remind one that the season of rest has merged into 

the season of toil, and he must indeed be a deep sleeper or a 

man of more than usually slothful habits who can close 

his ears to these voices of the dawn. I cannot mention, 

with any degree of certainty, the precise hour at which 

we were called. It sometimes appeared to me to be within 

a wink of bedtime, for no sooner had I laid my head on 

my saddle-bags than the night vanished in the stir of an 

eyel^-sh, and, behold ! it was already morning. Did I 

disregard the call of the frogs — there were the grasshoppers I 

Did I turn a deaf ear to the grasshoppers — there was Hadow ; 

and, were you acquainted with Hadow, you would not ask 

me how long I successfully affected to be unconscious of 

his presence. I have referred to being awakened by the 

' little voices ' of the dawn, but surely this is a flight of 

fancy, this is comparing greater things to lesser ; in a word, 

this is looking at Hadow's voice through the wrong end of 

the telescope ? 

A clamber down the gorge, followed by a plunge into the 
clear and cool water of our brook, was the first event in our 
daily programme. Not that we neglected our pool of the 
oleanders at other and less matutinal seasons — for indeed 
we bathed frequently — but these morning dips were by far 
the most enjoyable of our experiences. 

With the exception of the embarrassing episode which 
occurred during out first bathe, our early morning swims 
were free from interruption. We had not only the pool. 



DAILY LIFE IN OUR CAVE 115 

but the entire sweep of the surrounding hills to ourselves. 
The valley lay naked in the cold light. Every rock and 
stone stood out with startling distinctness. The folds of the 
hills rose like walls between us and the great world beyond. 
The gorge became a sanctuary — a haven of refuge — and 
the outcast who sought shelter within it was disturbed by 
no ruder voices than the sigh of the breeze and the singing 
of the brook. Indeed, there was something in its solemnity 
at this early hour which made me think of it as a pagan 
temple. The hills, the slopes, the rocks, and, above all, the 
brook, fell naturally into their places, calm and benignant 
servants ministering to the weary souls of wayfarers. 

The cave had by this time assumed a more habitable 
aspect. A flagstaff had been erected at the entrance, from 
which a red handkerchief, belonging to Warden, informed 
the surrounding country that the ' family ' were at home. 
Within our living-room the method and neatness of Hadow 
were observable at every turn. The limited space was 
mapped into microscopic apartments ; it was possible for 
you to lie with your head in the dining-room, your body 
in the hall, and your feet in Hadow's study. N.B. — the 
Professor was much annoyed — as was Romulus on a similar 
occasion — if you jumped over the insignificant walls of his 
study on your way to the kitchen. To leave a gun in the 
library, or a book in the gun-room, was a crime punishable 
by court-martial. The study was our show-room, and the 
pride of Hadow's heart. In it everything bore a ticket — 
the most stupid of men could not possibly make a mistake 

no more than could the students at College when they 

were led through Hadow's museum. 

You observed a repulsive object in a glass bottle, in 
which you at once became interested, for on the label you 
read : ' Salamandra maculosa, found at 3,000 feet elevation ; 
see notebook B. 2, page 415 ' ; or you found yourself face to 
face with the body of some unhappy bird, hanging in 
suicidal attitude from a nail, and, consulting its dying 
confession, discovered that it was ' The desiccated skin of 
Alcedo ispida Martin pescador ; see red pocket-book, No. 2, 
page 15.' 

Warden, unfortunately, was deeply impressed. I say 

8—2 



ii6 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

* unfortunately,' because the feeling awoke the spirit of 
emulation within him. Convinced that he had but to go 
and do likewise in order to become a scientific collector, 
he captured a flea, and, pinning it side by side with other 
specimens in Hadow's study, wrote underneath in large 
characters : ' Cave flea (Germanico Furioso), found on the 
Professor's person, at 5 feet elevation. See Hadow on 
profane language, page 50000.' 

I draw a veil over the storm which followed on the heels 
of this ill-judged humour. 

The day was parcelled out in portions. Hadow composed 
what he termed a Stunden Plan. A copy of this unique 
document was attached to the entrance wall of our cave. 
As far as I can recollect it was couched in the following 
language : 

' 5 a.m. — All shall get up ; no lazy bones shall be seen. 

' 5.10. — Make beds. Blankets not to be shaken in cave, 
as the fleas of Manuel are still with us. 

' 5.15. — Go to bath ; all shall seek frogs. 

'5.45. — Breakfast — coffee and bread. Sardines on 
Sunday ! 

' 6.15. — Smoke, arrange specimens, learn patois, etc. 

' 6.30. — Start workmen. Alfonso is lazy animal. Wake 
him up ; see my notebook S. on Portuguese curses,' etc. 

And so it continued, minuetting up the ladder of the hours 
till, finally : 

' 10.30 p.m. — All to sleep ; no word shall be spoken after 
this late hour.' 

' But, my dear fellow,' cried Warden aghast, ' you surely 
don't expect us to obey this ?' 

' J a wohl, dear boy, why not ? It is for your great 
good.' 

' But we are not schoolboys, or convicts, or — or Germans ! 
This is what comes of being born in Berlin, of having 
what is called a " Paternal Government " ! By heavens, 
what a subject for a speech !' 

'It is a most colossal fine Government,' said Hadow 
warmly. 

' Fine ? Yes, but you can never get far enough away 
to appreciate its fineness ; it keeps you in leading-strings ; 



DAILY LIFE IN OUR CAVE 117 

it is as bad as the orthodox mother-in-law — it will not even 
let you manage your domestic affairs without its assistance.' 

Poor Hadow ! Often have I since thought what a 
difficult task he had set himself ! He likened himself to an 
Irishman driving pigs to market, and truly the simile was 
appropriate. We would not be driven ! In vain he hounded 
us on with gutterals ! In vain he pelted us with adjectives. 
We avoided the beaten track of regularity as we would 
the devil. 

As sleeping partner in the firm I asserted my right imme- 
morial to sleep, not, perhaps, in the literal, but certainly 
in the metaphorical acceptation of the word, which, to my 
mind, meant that I was to be tied down by no rules or 
regulations whatsoever. What ! Was not I the recognised 
recorder of sunshine, the licensed purveyor of sentiment ? 
And was it to be expected that a being dedicated to an 
existence so necessarily transcendental was to be fettered 
by a Stunden Plan ? 

Warden seconded me loyally. It was his holiday, and 
although he threw himself into the occupation of bone- 
hunting with characteristic enthusiasm, yet to have his 
entire day doled out to him in rations was more than he 
bargained for. He addressed the house with fiery eloquence. 
It was no mere after-dinner speech — it was a declaration of 
independence ! 

And yet we owed Hadow many a debt of gratitude, none 
perhaps more deserved than for his willing services as cook. 
Cooks were difficult to obtain in the Sierra de Monchique. 
I am certain that no registry office would have undertaken 
to supply the deficiency. Even had we promised them 
unlimited young men, and not only Sundays, but every day 
— ay, even every night — out, they would not have accepted 
the situation. There was a difficulty — even cooks have 
their limitations. However partial they may be to masculine 
society — and Heaven knows they kindle the fire on the altar 
of love fully as often as in the grate of servitude — yet for one 
woman to be asked to ' keep company ' simultaneously with 
seven men and a boy would have staggered every applicant 
for the post. 

Forced back upon our own resources, Warden and I tried 



ii8 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

our ' prentice hand ' at culinary art, but although more 
than satisfied with our own concoctions, each unhesitatingly 
condemned those of the other as unfit for human food. 
Hadow, philosophically indifferent, ate every noxious mess 
which we placed before him without remark. Our dis- 
cussion amused him ; he aired his opinions thus : 

' What matters it how food is cooked ? You are foolish 
animals ; to cook is easy.' 

' I only wish you would try it,' grumbled Warden. 

' I will, my dear boy. Yes, I am a good cook — you will 
see.' 

' Why didn't you tell us before this that you could cook ?' 

' Mein Goit ! you have never asked me. It is all same 
to me what for food I eat ; but, as you are so particular, I 
will be chef, and if you pampered fellows do not like to eat 
my good things, I will eat them myself.' 

But the office he had undertaken was no sinecure. Part 
of the outer ledge had been chosen as the most fitting spot 
for our kitchen. We never, with the exception of the 
first day, lighted a fire within our cave, and that for two 
reasons — firstly, on account of the smoke, which came near 
to stifling us ; and, secondly, owing to the great heat which, 
increased by the burning logs, rendered our dwelling-room 
a veritable chamber of horrors. The kitchen, then, was 
set up in the open air, and as our cave opened to the south- 
west, and was for that reason exposed to long hours of 
sunshine, the post of cook would have disgusted any but a 
Salamander. 

Think of it and tremble. The thermometer within the 
shadow-margin of our cave registered oftentimes from one 
hundred to one hundred and four degrees, which will give 
some faint notion of what Hadow must have suffered in 
the full glare of the sun, to say nothing of the heat radiated 
by the burning logs ; and to make matters worse, imagine 
his being forced to listen to sounds of revelry proceeding 
from within, where Warden and I made merry over the 
wine-skin in anticipation of the coming meal. 

How well I recall the scene ! The sunshine without, the 
mountains shimmering through a veil of heat, Hadow 
growling but good-natured, the wafted smoke of the fire. 



DAILY LIFE IN OUR CAVE 119 

the oppressive but tempered atmosphere of the cave, and 
Warden and I in shirt-sleeves pledging each other over our 
stone table. 

' Mr. Warden, your health, sir !' 

' Why, certainly, my boy. Wait a minute. I must make 
a speech. Ladies and gentlemen,' etc. (Warden, with his 
usual gallantry, never became accustomed to the un- 
avoidable absence of the fair sex.) Our tin cups met with 
a convivial click. We beamed at each other with true 
brotherly love. I shall never forget the peculiar but not 
unpleasant taste imparted to the wine by its skin receptacle. 
What gay times we had ! How we laughed ! 

' How comes it, dear boy,' said Hadow to me, ' that you 
are so different an animal when you get your skinful of 
wine ?' 

' Wine,' I cried, filling my cup to the brim, ' has the same 

effect on me as your extremely rude health has on you — 

it sends the blood quicker through my veins ; it fills me 

with spirits ; it dresses life in couleur de rose ; it enables 

me to take a philosophic view of evolution ; it all but 

convinces me of the poetry of bones ! Wine, my dear 

Professor, when taken in moderation, is the gift of the 

gods. 

' " I often wonder what the vintners buy 

One half so precious as the goods they sell." 

Hadow, here's to you, and may Heaven grant you a just 
appreciation of the grape.' So saying, I drained my cup 
to its last drop. 

Upon one occasion our supply of wine ran out, and not 
anticipating a further supply before the following day^ we 
were unhappy indeed. Hadow, as usual, scoffed good- 
humouredly at what he termed our depraved appetites. 

' What want you with wine ?' said he, standing in the 
cave entrance and gesticulating with the frying-pan. 

' Drink water, or do not drink at all. Hein ? Look you 
at me : I hke wine, and can drink much wine, as you know ; 
but if there is no wine, I shrug the shoulders. I like best 
beer — much beer ; well, here there is no beer. Do you 
hear me grommeln ? Nein ! To-day wine is out, but water 



120 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

is in. All right, I say; drink water.' And having relieved 
his feelings, he returned to his culinary duties. 

' Drink water !' Objectionable advice ! Could water 
reconcile me to evolution ? Could water steep life in 
couleur de rose ? Certainly not ! Warden agreed with me. 
How was it possible for him, he asked indignantly, to build 
after-dinner speeches upon so unstable a foundation as 
water ? There was no body about water — as well construct 
these air}^ fabrics upon sand ! To turn water into wine 
was a miracle of infinite merit, but that wine should be 
turned into v/ater was a misfortune little short of a calamity. 

Pedro listened to our arguments with profound attention. 
At times there appeared to exist a possibility that he might 
eventually become a man ; on these occasions you would 
swear that you saw the dawn of intellect in his face, but 
the hope was short-lived, for some irredeemably apish trick 
made you again wonder at the absence of a tail. Like Alice 
of Wonderland fame, Pedro loved eating and drinking, and 
any question concerning either of these occupations thrilled 
him to the core. He crept nearer and nearer ; he could 
not, indeed, understand our words, for we spoke in English, 
but the empty wine-skin, backed by our despair, was more 
eloquent than language. 

' What is to be done, Pedro ?' said I, touched by the 
intelligent interest depicted on his face. 

' Wine all finished ?' he asked. 

I nodded. 

' You wish for more ?' 

I nodded again. 

' Wait,' said he, holding up one finger ; and without 
another word he ran out into the sunlight. 

We awaited his reappearance with curiosity. In five 
minutes he was again with us. 

' Come,' said he, fairly shining with heat and satisfaction. 

We followed him on to the ledge. He danced with ex- 
citement. 

' Look !' he cried, pointing at the mountain brow over 
which lay the track leading to Carenta. ' See you that, 
senhores ?' 

Shading our eyes, we gazed in the direction indicated. 



DAILY LIFE IN OUR CAVE 121 

A string of mules descended the steep track. We could 
see the leisurely advance of the animals as they hung on 
every downward step. Two muleteers trudged beside them. 
One of them was singing ; the lusty notes vibrated through 
the air. 

' Well, Pedro ?' 

' Wine, senhores — wine ! Deos ! they bring it from over 
the mountains. See you not that upon every mule is a 
wine-skin ? Ohe ! you are in good fortune ; those men 
will sell you what it pleases you to buy.' 

Barely had he finished speaking before we had run into 
the cave to seek our leathern bottles, and in another minus, 
were racing along the track to intercept the wine-merchants. 

Once within earshot, we shouted aloud, upon which the 
cavalcade came to a halt. It made a picturesque feature 
in the landscape seen thus on the narrow track midway 
down the mountain slope. The mules were adorned with 
the faded relics of what had once been scarlet trappings, 
from whose torn streamers there still hung chains of little 
bells. With every movement of the animals these jangled 
out a merry peal, and the effect of this graduated and 
sonorous music floating to us over the sunlit space was 
infinitely pleasing. 

Across the back of each mule, and secured with ropes, 
was a haraquinha, or large wine-skin, the hair outside. 
Judging by their appearance, you would have taken them 
only for the carcasses of swine had you not observed that 
the extremities of the legs and the neck were secured with 
cords. One of the former is used as the neck of the recep- 
tacle, the cord being unfastened and fastened as occasion 
demands. The smaller variety of wine-skin similar to the 
one which we were accustomed to use is called garaffa de fele, 

' Hola I my friends,' said Warden breathlessly, ' we wish 
to purchase some of your wine.' 

' Willingly, senhores,' replied the foremost muleteer, a 
bronzed and handsome son of the road. They were both 
fine-looking fellows of the brigand type ; in their ears were 
silver rings, and round their waists were broad scarlet 
sashes. 

' Is it good wine ?' we inquired. 



122 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

' By the saints, yes ! No wine is better than ours. You 
shall taste. Shut your eyes, and you may smell the pure 
grape,' and he offered us a brimming cup. 

We sampled its contents, and oracularly nodded our heads. 

' Ha !' cried the muleteer, highly delighted, ' I knew well 
you were cavaliers who could appreciate good wine. These 
were the very words I said to Fernandez when you came 
into sight.' 

' They were your very words, Alfonso,' echoed his com- 
panion. 

No doubt they lied like Orientals, but a pleasant falsehood 
is oftentimes more palatable than an unpleasant truth, and 
truly they uttered this little romance with such an engaging 
air of frankness and naivete that we lent ourselves willingly 
to the deception. 

' Shall I fill your garaffa, senhores ?' said Alfonso, still 
holding the leathern neck of the great skin with his hands. 

' What will be your charge, my friend ?' inquired Warden 
cautiously. 

The muleteer looked at our boots, and, consulting his 
companion's face with one swift glance, named a price 
which would have been extravagant if it had been demanded 
for six times the quantity. 

' Ho, ho !' chuckled Warden, ' you love jests, my good 
friends. But tell me what is it you sell — moulten gold or 
hquid dispensation from sins ? It cannot be wine, it is so 
very dear. I love a jest too ; you are merry fellows, ho ! 

ho!' 

' Look you, senhor,' cried Alfonso, striking his chest, ' I 
am a father !' 

' You are to be envied, Alfonso.' 

' And — and one must live.' 

' As an honest man — yes.' 

' And see, furthermore : you are Englishmen, though 
you speak Portuguese. W^e heard of you at Carenta, and 
your boots are such as we have never seen.' 

' Englishmen, yes, but not fools, as the saying hath it ; 
and, moreover, know you not ' 

And here Warden dashed into the most fluent ver- 
nacular, showing in unmitigated patois such knowledge of 



DAILY LIFE IN OUR CAVE 123 

Portuguese wine-lists, and turning so unsparing a search- 
light on the dark ways of Portuguese wine-merchants, 
that the muleteers gasped for very astonishment. Truly 
this was no man to be deceived. Heaven spare them 
from such another customer ! And yet, through visible con- 
sternation, I perceived a vein of admiration. Alfonso 
whispered to Fernandez, upon which Fernandez nodded 
his head and expectorated his unqualified assent. In another 
minute our garaffa was filled at vineyard prices. 

'You have come far, my friends?' questioned Warden, 
when the money had changed hands. 

' A matter of ten leagues, senhor. We are late, for our 
best mule fell lame, and we were obliged to leave him 
behind and get another at Carenta to take his place. On 
the far side of Carenta the track is Hke a water-course in 
the dry season — a true purgatory for mules. Heu, there ! 
Sacramento P and he cracked his long whip at one of his 
team, who betrayed an inclination to lie down. The report 
of the lash rang out like a pistol-shot, followed by a wild 
clash of bells. 

' A cigarette ?' suggested Warden, offering his case. 

' Obrigado, senhor ; to smoke is to forget the heat.' 

His comrade accepted with equal willingness. When 
they had lit them, Alfonso fastened up his wine-skin, and, 
raising his sombrero, said with native courtesy : 

' Adeos e obrigado, senhor es, vai-se fazendo tarde (it grows 
late). We must be on the road. I am bound to reach the 
next estalagem (inn) by sunset, and see, the shadows are 
already long. I am sorry not to see more of such an English- 
man. Deos, senhor ! What a wine-merchant you would 
make! Ah, well ! Basta! Heu! A-h, c-c-cruz / A-h, 
pur-r-ro ! ' Crack ! crack ! jangle, jangle, and the cavalcade 
moved leisurely forwards. 



CHAPTER XVII 

THE EPISODE OF THE STEPPING-STONES 

Farther down the valley our brook, freed from its fringe of 
oleanders, sped onwards singing to itself among mossy 
boulders and ledges of rock. It was a most companion- 
able little river. It would speak to you by the hour, 
and you would never grow weary of its voice. From our 
side no path lay directly along its banks, but, farther on, a 
little foot-track led up to it, and its clear waters were fretted 
by a dozen stepping-stones. This foot-track conducted the 
wayfarer southwards to Louie and northwards to the valley 
where the cottage of Manuel da Silvas was situated. 

One memorable Sunday afternoon I started on a ramble 
down-stream. Hadow and Warden were deep in caves, 
prospecting the floor for some likely spot on which to start 
work the following day. The heavy rain which had fallen 
during the preceding night had swollen the waters to an almost 
unrecognisable extent, and the current flowed with more 
than its accustomed velocity. It was dark-brown in colour 
— a fine rich hue — and irresistibly made me think of Scot- 
land and a ' spate ' on a Highland burn seen long ago in the 
days of my boyhood. I climbed and sprang from boulder 
to boulder, now lowering myself with my arms, now clinging 
to some ledge along which lay my self-made road, and all 
the while the little river sang beside me in hoarse, full-voiced 
music that drowned all other sounds. The keen mountain 
air, the beautiful scenery, the unwonted exertion, all ex- 
hilarated me beyond words, and sent my blood surging 
through my veins, till I was tempted to shout aloud merely 
to give vent to the glad exuberance of my feelings. The 

124 



THE EPISODE OF THE STEPPING-STONES 125 

sunset hour was not far distant, and the great orb of day- 
sent a fiery glow down into the valley. Here and there, 
where the water of the brook was stayed in its headlong 
career, the deep pools reflected somewhat of its sanguine 
illumination. The rocks, too, were splashed with colour, 
and the whole scene was softened and rendered beautiful by 
the influence of the departing sun. 

Turning a corner abruptly, where the river made a bend, 
I thought I heard the sound of a voice faintly audible above 
the clamour of the water. I was not mistaken. Shading 
my eyes — for the sunlight dazzled me — I saw the figure of a 
woman standing upon one of the stepping-stones. As I 
gazed I recognised her. It was Colomba da Silvas ; but 
not the Colomba of weekdays in the tattered blue dress and 
faded sun-bonnet. No, this was a young lady ! And the 
marvel was, rot that I had failed to recognise her at the first 
glance, but that ever I had come to recognise her at all. I 
shall never forget the pretty picture she made standing thus 
in mid-current, fearful of the brown waters that rushed so 
swiftly by her. Over her head was draped a piece of lace, 
a most pleasing and appropriate setting to the warm richness 
of her complexion. Her dress was red, and seemed to possess 
the gift of attracting the sunbeams, for it glowed like a flame 
against the darker background. She had taken off her 
shoes and stockings — I could see them in her left hand — and 
with her right she held up her skirt out of the way of the 
foam. The stone upon which she had found refuge was the 
only one not entirely submerged, and against its dark surface 
the whiteness of her naked feet was distinctly noticeable. 

The situation flashed across me in an instant. She had 
been spending the day with friends at Louie, hence the un- 
usual grandeur of mantilla and red dress, to say nothing of 
real leather shoes. The water had risen since she crossed it 
in the early morning, and now its depth and turbulency 
frightened her ; so there she stood, not daring to move 
a step, as heartrending an image of a distressed damsel as 
ever appealed to the chivalry of the ' knight of the woeful 
countenance.' 

All this took place in the twinkling of an eye, and yet it 
takes me a considerable number of lines to paint in the scene 



126 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

with words. And now, before I proceed with my adventure, 
I wish to remark that the conversation which fills the latter 
part of this chapter was spoken in many languages. Portu- 
guese was the foundation, but there was also the language 
of gesture, the language of intuition, the language of the eyes, 

the language of palmistry, the language of But no ; I 

will let the story speak for itself. 

When Colomba saw me approaching, she again raised her 
voice in pathetic appeal, stretching out her arms the while 
to make me understand how seriously she was in need of 
assistance. Her words were drowned by the noise of the 
water ; her attitude, however, was more eloquent than any 
spoken language — in fact, it was itself one of the languages 
to which I have already referred, and if anything could have 
inflamed my desire to rescue her, it was the sight of those 
two appealing arms. 

' I come, I come !' I shouted, and, divesting myself of my 
boots and stockings, and rolling my trousers well above the 
knee, I embarked upon the adventure. It was, however, 
more hazardous than I had anticipated. Gaining the first 
stepping-stone, I found that the water came nearly to my 
knees, and such was its strength and velocity that I experi- 
enced considerable difficulty in keeping my feet. It boiled 
around my onward course as though some water-god, jealous 
of so gallant an enterprise, had determined to overthrow 
me on the way. Step by step I approached Colomba. At 
length I reached the stone upon which she was standing. 
There was but little room on it for two people, and in order 
to stand at all we were obliged to support each other. My 
arm encircled her waist, and she clung to me with a tenacity 
which spoke feelingly of the frightened heart fluttering 
beneath the red bodice. The situation was not without its 
charms, and yet I could not but think that the same scene 
enacted on a less precarious stage would please me even 
better. 

' Colomba,' I cried, ' trust to me !' 

' I do, I do !' she sobbed, and clung to me the tighter. 

We swayed dangerously ; the river gave a hoarse shout of 
excitement. 

* Then do not hold me quite so firmly !' I roared. 



THE EPISODE OF THE STEPPING-STONES 127 

' How shall we get across ?' she cried, with a break in her 
voice that went straight to my heart. 

' Do you think you can manage it if I hold your hand V 
' No, no,' she panted ; ' I am frightened. I shall certainly 
fall. Oh, I do not wish to be drowned ! Holy Mary ! what 
a terrible situation !' 

It might be worse, thought I, giving her waist a squeeze. 
She gave vent to a little squeal, but whether from fear of the 
water or on account of the squeeze I am not in a position to 
relate. 

' Colomba, dear Colomba,' I roared once more, ' I see I 
must carry you ; you will be quite safe in my arms.' 
' Blessed Virgin !' ejaculated Colomba. 
* Put your arms round my neck,' I continued ; ' let me 
breathe occasionally, and, whatever happens, do not kick, 
for that wouM be the death of us both.' 

As I gave this piece of necessary advice, I lifted her from 
the stone, and, stepping boldly into the water, set out on the 
return journey. No repentant sinner ever clung to the cross 
with a fraction of the ardour with which Colomba clung to 
me. I gasped a remonstrance, but her arms never relaxed 
so much as a hair's-breadth. If prayer possesses the efficacy 
that is claimed for it, we were as good as saved before half 
the journey was accomplished ; for, with every onward step, 
Colomba invoked at least a dozen of her patron saints. Her 
knowledge of these dignitaries was extraordinarily pro- 
found ; she was never at a loss. Colomba was no light 
weight ; her charms — and, believe me, I speak from no 
superficial knowledge — might be classed under the solid 
order ; there was a fulness and firmness about them you did 
not properly appreciate till you held them in your arms. 
How they spoke to the man in me of the fascination which is 
woman ! My heart beat faster, my arms involuntarily 
clasped her with a more tender pressure ; and I swear that 
had it not been for the coldness of my legs, which were im- 
mersed in the water, my cheeks would have vied in colour 
with the scarlet bodice against which one of them was pressed 
so tightly. Step by step we fared forward. There were but 
a beggarly six or eight of these stones in all — at all events, 
not more than a dozen — yet it is my humour to write of them 



128 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

as though they were countless as the sands of Egypt. My 
legs are warmer now, so perhaps that is the reason I love to 
dally by the way. 

' St. Francis assist us !' panted Colomba ; ' St. Joseph, 
St. Peter, and St. Paul come to our rescue ! St. Ursula and 
^'t. Margaret do not forsake us! Holy Mary! what a 
terrible situation !' 

At last we neared the bank. It had been a great struggle ; 
the water-god shouted his disappointment. With a final 
effort I staggered to shore, and deposited my burden in 
safety. Then, when I had somewhat recovered — for I was 
sadly out of breath — I took her by the hand, and assisted 
her to clamber over the rocks until we came to a hollow at 
some distance from the brook. It was a tiny, open-air 
chamber in which we found ourselves ; three of its walls 
were formed by great moss-covered boulders ; the fourth, 
opening due west, let in the beams of the setting sun. It 
was a little goblet of sunshine, and still retained all the heat 
of the great fire at whose kindly rays it had warmed itself 
all day long. We sat down on a hot slab of rock. And now 
that the enforced intimacy of our adventure was behind us, 
the propriety of our former relationship returned to us in a 
great wave of decorum that tied our tongues and made us 
both painfully conscious of the situation. I knew that, like 
all other waves, it would most probably subside, but for the 
moment it affected me powerfully. I looked at Colomba ; 
she averted her eyes, and I had to tell myself that she had 
lain in my arms to keep up even a semblance of courage. 
Her hand, which, by the way, we had both of us forgotten, 
was nervously withdrawn, and then its original possessor 
made an effort to conceal her bare ankles with the hem of 
her skirt. Silence is said to be golden, but at that moment 
I would gladly have exchanged golden silence for a little 
brazen speech. 

' Colomba,' I said desperately. 

' Senhor ?' she inquired. 

This was terrible ; I had not a notion what to say. 

' Where,' I began, burning my bridges with the torch of 
curiosity — ' where is your donkey ?' 

Colomba laughed. 



THE EPISODE OF THE STEPPING-STONES 129 

* Ah, the poor little fellow !' she said ; ' he fell lame, and 
I was obliged to leave him in Louie. They wished me to 
ride another ; but no, I love the walk. I love the mountains 
— my mountains.' 

' Your heart is apparently full of love ?' 

' Does not St. Jerome tell us to love everything ?' she 
asked in surprise. 

' It is a large order,' I said musingly. 

Colomba looked puzzled, but, possibly imagining my words 
to be some concise form of prayer, she smiled her approba- 
tion. We sat silent for a little time ; I became conscious 
that I was looking fixedly at her ankles. 

' Colomba,' said I, ' they are still wet.' 

' It is nothing,' she answered confusedly ; ' the good sun 
will dry them.' 

' The good sjn,' said I, 'will be out of sight in ten minutes 
— he has other work to do ; so, with your permission, I 
will look after them myself.' 

' No, no ! ' she exclaimed ; ' I cannot allow it for one 
moment ! I can do it alone.' 

' But you have no handkerchief ! ' 

The supposition was purely fanciful, but it hit the mark. 
We searched in her pocket, we looked among the rocks — 
Colomba had some vague idea that handkerchiefs grew in 
stony places — but we were unsuccessful. 

' We must use mine,' I said firmly ; and even as I spoke 
I took possession of one of her little feet. 

' Holy Mother !' ejaculated Colomba, and I felt a tremble 
run through her entire body. Our eyes met, and she 
blushed deeply. My breath came short, and above the 
singing of the brook I could hear the beating of my heart. 

' St. Anthony save us !' murmured Colomba. It was the 
most appropriate prayer she had offered up that afternoon. 

' Have I behaved like a gentleman or only like a fool ?' 
said I to myself, as I sat alone just without our little chamber 
of the rocks. To run away from the devil is meritorious, 
and yet flight, even from His Satanic Majesty, savours of 
cowardice. Were it not better done to fight it out ?' 

And then I took to enumerating all the pleasant things 

9 



130 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

which belonged to the girl I had left behind me. Item : 
two black eyes, two clinging arms, two stockings to be put 

on, two rosy lips that ! But I felt myself unequal to 

continuing the inventory. ' Does she,' I cried aloud — ' does 
she appreciate the delicacy of my conduct in thus leaving her 
to finish her toilet alone in the privacy of her rocks ? ye 
gods ! had I but stayed !' And I cast a despairing glance at 
my damp handkerchief, which had served in lieu of towel 
to dry her beautiful limbs ; its dampness affected my spirits. 
' I swear,' said I, addressing the scenery, ' that she would 
have accepted my further assistance willingly ; did she not 
say that she would rather die than allow me to touch her, 
and what could be more promising than such words from 
a woman ? Colomba ! What a beautiful name ! What 
modesty ! What a sweet disposition ! V/hat saintly elo- 
quence ! What ankles ! What stockings ! O my one par- 
ticular star ! have I behaved like a gentleman or only like a 
fool ? ' 

When I rejoined Colomba she was already dressed. 
There was a certain demureness about her which accorded 
ill with a twinkle in her eyes. Was she laughing at me ? 
Did she think that I was, after all, somewhat of a sluggard 
in affairs of the heart ? Masculine moralit}^ is, I fear, at a 
low ebb, otherwise it goes hard to account for the fact that 
the majority of men would prefer to be taken for Don 
Juan rather than for Joseph. Colomba, however, set my 
fears at rest. Advancing to meet me, she held out her 
hand. 

' Thank you,' she said simply, ' for being so kind to me, 

Senhor — Senhor Is it not strange that I do not even 

know your name ?' 

' Call me Gilbert,' I murmured, taking her hand. 

' Senhor Geelberto,' she mused. ' Yes, it suits you. Yet 
it is droll, very droll !' 

' What is droll, Colomba ?' 

' That I have never heard of a saint of that name.' 

' This afternoon has supplied the long-felt want,' said I 
gravely. ' My behaviour has been saintly to the verge of 
mart3^rdom. I have more than earned my halo. Colomba, 



THE EPISODE OF THE STEPPING-STONES 131 

whenever you are tempted to — well, to obtain masculine 
assistance in the putting on of stockings, just mention my 
name. Saint Geelberto from Scotland ; don't forget.' 

' I won't,' she promised ; and we shook hands on it, as 
people do, to emphasize the solemnity of a compact. 

' A hand,' I remarked, looking alternately from the little 
brown hand which I retained, to the fresh young face — ' a 
hand, Colomba, when it is as pretty as yours, is an excellent 
thing ; but I am told that, as a vehicle of thanks, lips are 
better.' 

Colomba gurgled into a laugh. I looked at the suggested 
vehicle with emotion. Never was newly-made saint so 
precariously placed ; my very pedestal was tottering. I 
felt reckless, and in the frame of mind to barter my saintship 
for a kiss, and count the loss a gain. 

' Now,' I continued, bending over her, ' I have worked 
hard this afternoon ; is not the labourer worthy of his hire ? 
I will take but one, if ' 

' If you can !' interrupted Colomba suddenly ; and with 
one bound she was out of our little open-air room, and, 
leaping from rock to rock, was half-way towards the moun- 
tain-path before I had well recovered from my surprise. I 
did not attempt to follow her, but stood watching her as she 
sped up the hill. Never was chamois more sure-footed, more 
agile, more graceful in its movements. It was more like the 
flight of a bird than that of a girl. Higher and higher she 
flitted, till at last she stood, a dark silhouette, clearly defined 
against the skyline. Then she turned round, saw me where 
I stood watching her, waved her hand, then vanished from 
sight. At that instant the golden rim of the sun sank in 
the west. The light faded from the scene, the short-lived 
twilight bathed everything in obscurity. ' At one stride 
came the dark.' 



CHAPTER XVIII 

REPTILES AND HOSPITALITY 

Sunday in our cave-life was a day of no little importance — 
a day to which we all looked forward with feelings of pleasure. 
We were no strict Sabbatarians in the orthodox sense of the 
word ; no church bells broke upon the calm of our valley ; 
no shuttered shops imparted an air of desolation to the 
scene ; no Sunday garments depressed us with an atmosphere 
of devotional respectability ; and yet Sunday was with us — 
a gentle and benignant influence. 

The mountains, the valley, the brook, all kept the Sabbath 
after their own fashion ; an air, if I may so express it, of 
cheerful piety pervaded the entire face of Nature, and we, 
who by our outdoor life had crept so near to Nature's heart, 
could not but be influenced by her feelings. 

Sunday with us combined the advantages of many nations 
— each was at liberty to spend it as he pleased — and, as we 
were of necessity a cosmopolitan party, it was pleasant for 
each unit to feel a touch of fatherland in the air. Our tastes 
lay naturally in different directions ; thus : 

Peace — with a capital P — descended on Warden. 

Sleep — with a capital S — beset Pedro. 

Reptiles — with a capital R — wooed Hadow. 

As for me, my everyday life was so entirely given over to 
pleasurable duty and dutiful pleasure that it was a matter of 
some difficulty to increase either the one or the other. Still, 
if it were possible, the Sunday steeped me a little more in 
sunshine, and saturated me a little more with sentiment. I 
came to this conclusion aided by Hadow, who was of opinion 
that on the Sunday I became even more insufferable than on 

weekdays. 

132 



REPTILES AND HOSPITALITY 133 

Nor were our workmen forgotten in this scheme of uni- 
versal happiness ; they, too, were at Hberty to do as they 
chose. 

Late on the Saturday night they were paid off for the week, 
and forthwith vanished in the direction of Louie. I saw but 
little of them, immured as they were for the greater part of 
the day deep in the bowels of the earth ; the little I saw, 
however, impressed me favourably. They answered to the 
names of Juan, Alfonso, Rafael, and Miguel. The further 
cave was their bedchamber ; their food they provided for 
themselves ; their spare time was passed in sleep, in eating, 
or in gambling. Washing, or undressing before they lay 
down for the night, were refinements of life that did not occur 
to them ; indeed, I doubt if they took a bath or removed a 
garment from one year's end to another. To converse with, 
in a general \vay, they were sociable fellows, and quite ready 
to impart their views upon any subject of interest that might 
arise. Although familiar, they never presumed ; and as we 
treated them with consideration, they invariably repaid us 
with courtesy. 

Rafael, the foreman, was a swarthy-looking ruffian in 
picturesque tatters, fond of hearing himself talk ; his voice 
rang out above others in any dispute connected with the 
fascinating subject of ' play.' All carried sheaths containing 
long, murderous-looking Spanish knives. A quarrel with 
them was as fierce, though, thank Heaven ! as short-lived, 
as a tropical storm. 

Let me sketch in a few words a gambling scene, which was 
but one of many that attracted my attention. 

They are, let us suppose, seated on the shadow side of 
some rock, smoking cigarettes of the vilest description. 
Cards, greasy and begrimed till all distinguishing marks are 
well-nigh obliterated, circulate from hand to hand. A 
number of copper coins lying on a stone forms the ' pool.' 
Cigarette-smoke reeks into the torpid air. 

' Your turn to play, Alfonso,' remarks Miguel, wiping his 
face. 

' I have played. / make no mistakes. But you should 
have taken the pool last round. Ho, ho !' 

' Why did you not tell me ?' cries Miguel indignantly. 



134 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

' Bah !' retorts Alfonso ; ' near is my coat, but nearer is 
my skin.' 

' By the Blessed Virgin, then, I take this one ! ' and 
Miguel lays his hand upon the money. 

' diabo te leve !' (Leave it alone!), shouts Rafael. 

' It is mine by right,' retorts Miguel angrily. 

' Emhusteiro ! Take your hand away !' 

' Asneirdo, it is mine !' 

' You lie !' 

' You give me the lie ? You ? You ? Ah, Carramha P 

The voices mount in a crescendo, the black eyes flash, the 
white teeth clench, the hands steal to the knife-hilts, and 
then — then someone turns a jest, and the affair shakes itself 
out in laughter. 

Many a time I watched them, as with tense muscles and 
shortened breath they faced each other, prepared for I knew 
not what grim tragedy ; but the climax was always the same 
— some thrust of Rabelaisian humour that woke deep- 
chested laughter, and the knives sank reluctantly into their 
sheaths. 

Our first Sunday was a red-letter day, and as such entitled 
to the consideration of my diary ; for on the preceding 
evening a find of some importance was made — a bone weapon, 
a jawbone of some unknown animal, a number of teeth, and 
several fragments of rude pottery. 

These treasures were found at a depth of many feet, and, 
needless to relate, aroused the enthusiasm of the excavators 
to the highest possible pitch. I doubt if the discovery of a 
complete mammoth could have been hailed with greater 
rejoicings. 

In consequence of this event, the Sunday became an 
example to all other Sundays, for each of its seventh-day 
advantages was intensified, so that, had you taken us by 
surprise, and ' dropped in ' to the Algarve to see how it fared 
with our party, you would have been convinced that the 
reign of universal happiness was at last established. Hadow 
rose at four a.m. instead of five ; Warden and I slept till 
eight a.m. instead of seven ; Pedro slept all day. 

When we awoke on that particularly bhssful morning, 
Hadow was nowhere to be seen. 



REPTILES AND HOSPITALITY 135 

' I wonder where the beggar is,' said Warden, with a 
yawn. 

We peered through the sunhght down into the valley ; the 
air was clear as crystal, and the sight, telescopic in its power 
to distinguish distant objects, laid bare the waste places of 
the hills, but all to no effect. The mountains had caught 
Hadow to themselves ; they had swallowed him whole, and 
seemed no whit the worse ! 

I shook my blanket in the sunshine, and then began to put 
on my boots. 

' I shouldn't be surprised,' said I, ' if he is after reptiles ; 
he did say something about it last night. Look ! he has 
taken a collecting-bag with him ; and his gun, too, is 
missing. What a chap he is ! Hullo ! what's this ? ' A 
scrap of paper fastened to an upright stick attracted my 
attention ; opening it, I read : ' " Lazy animals ! I go to 
another gorge where Rafael tells me are many fine frogs. 
Will be back for coffee at nine. Be happy as you cannot be 
virtuous. — H. H. P.S. — Do not touch my bones ; they are 
under the table." 

We looked at each other, and laughed. 

' Characteristic,' I remarked. 

' You can almost hear the German accent,' assented 
Warden. ' But come on ; since coffee is to be at nine, we 
must be quick over our bath.' 

Before we had accomplished three-fourths of the return 
journey, the figure of our learned friend appeared suddenly 
far above us. 

' Hoch ! Hoch ! Eureka !' he shouted ; and then, to our 
astonishment, he began to dance a heavy German fling. 

' Never a-seen him like a-this before,' I panted. 

' Must have — struck — bones,' puffed Warden, upon 
which we strained every muscle to reach the ledge. 

When we joined him, he pointed triumphantly to the table ; 
upon it lay a brace of red-legged partridges, the collecting- 
bag distended to its uttermost, and a silk handkerchief, 
knotted at the four corners, and evidently enclosing some 
large and ponderous object. We congratulated him heartily. 
He waved his arms, then, seating himself, mopped his 
scarlet face and neck with a bath-towel. 



136 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

^ Ach, Herr Gott, was fur eine hitze ! (Oh, what heat!) 
That is good business, Hein ? Not so bad for one morning's 
work. Ho ? Hans Hadow, my dear boy, I am pleased with 
you!' 

' What have you got in your bag ?' I asked. 

' Look ' — and he held it open for my inspection. 

My upper lip curled in disgust. Frog sweltered upon toad, 
toad sprawled over frog, nameless horrors crawled their 
loathsome way over horrors as nameless as themselves — 
cold-blooded, repulsive, nauseating ; a slimy mass of reptile 
life undulating slowly but ceaselessly throughout its entire 
depth. 

' Little pet darlings of heart's children !' cooed Hadow, 
plunging his hand among them with delight. ' But, see 
now ; I have still more beautiful. Ha ! what say you to 
this ? ' and he drew a four-foot snake from out the 
capacious pocket of his Norfolk jacket. 

The reptile twisted and coiled round his arm. Hadow 
held it close to his face. The venomous fiat head, the 
bright and beadlike eyes, the yellow jaws and the forked 
and restless tongue, played hither and thither on his neck, 
cheek, and hair ; and I give you my word of honour, in- 
credible though it may sound, the man liked it ! He sat 
still, with a smile on his face, muttering guttural words 
of endearment below his breath ; he could not have looked 
happier had that loathsome tongue been the lips of a pretty 
woman. I have seen Hindoos work wonders with cobras, 
and Moors perform weird rites with the snakes of Morocco, 
but never before or since have I met a man so absolutely 
in sympathy with the crawling fraternity as Hans Hadow. 
There was an understanding between them that fascinated 
and yet repelled me ; I felt that he loved the reptile, 
and that somewhere in the cold, sluggish reptile-heart 
there existed a germ of feeling that wriggled into sympathy. 
We watched them spellbound — the snake all but caressed 
him. You would swear they were conversing together 
in some unknown tongue, and that the man was receiving 
a lesson in the dark and ancient wisdom of the serpent. 

' How can you do that ?' I gasped ; ' won't he bite ?' 

Hadow laughed softly. 



REPTILES AND HOSPITALITY izj 

' No, no, dear boy ; he is a good snake. See, his head is not 
the head of a poison snake — not the true viper cranium.' 

' What sort is he ?' said Warden, recoiHng as he spoke ; 
for the reptile made a quick feint in his direction. 

' He belongs to the family of Natricidce, as differing from 
the ViperidcB, no poison fangs ; and, you see, the head is 
covered with large plates. He is a gentleman with a fine 
appetite for lizards and mice and birds' eggs, but he loves 
best frogs. He was eating a frog when I saw him. Ho, ho ! 
I let him finish his dinner.' 

' I should shove him into alcohol at once,' said Warden ; 
' supposing you made a mistake, and he were a poison snake, 
and he bit you — what then ?' 

' Gott in Himmel P cried Hadow impatiently, ' no one but 
fools make mistakes ; he will not bite me. Ach, nein ! he 
loves me too much, nicht war, mein Schatz ? ' (don't you, my 
treasure ?). And he made curious reptile noises between 
his teeth, to which the snake responded by a dancing motion 
of its head. 

' But,' continued Hadow, replacing the snake in his pocket, 
' all these are nothings — just nothings at all — compared to 
this ;' and he laid his hand tenderly upon the object 
wrapped within the silk handkerchief. 

' Another horror,' thought I, but I kept my thoughts to 
myself. With infinite gentleness he untied the knots and 
withdrew the covering. We gave a cry of astonishment. 
Squatting within the handkerchief was a toad as large as a 
soup-plate — a monster brute, a giant among toads. There 
it sat — brown, horned, covered with warts, two large excres- 
cences behind its ears oozing with a foetid and milk-like 
fluid — solemn, immovable, no sign of life about its vast, 
bloated body save the tremor of its throat and the bright, 
unwavering fixity of its eyes. 

' This,' said Hadow reverently, ' is one colossal fine speci- 
men of Bufo vulgaris. I believe a subgenus of that family. 
Ach ! it is a great find. I have never seen one so large, so 
fine ; I have christened her — Eliza.' 

' Eliza Hadow sounds well,' said Warden. 

' Is it for better or for worse ?' I inquired. 

' J a wohl, that is so ; we part never any more. And I tell 



iSS SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

you, if you wish for to content me, you will be kind to 
my Eliza ; the others, they die, but, please Gott I Eliza. 
lives.' 

' Where did you find her ?' we asked. 

Hadow built a little stone house in a safe corner of his 
study, lowered Eliza into it, capped it with a weighty roof, 
then set about preparing the breakfast. 

' Achf^ he cried between intervals of blowing the wood 
into brighter flame, ' I met one old reptile of a man, a fine 
fellow ; it was much good luck to see the animal, for he is 
as wise as a snake, and told me many things. He was smoking 
under a tree, and when I spoke to him he turned only his 
head to one side, very slowly — so — just like an old tortoise 
when it sleeps in the sun. I never saw such an odd fellow ; 
his eyes looked right through me, just as though he counted 
the joints in my vertebral column.' 

' Had he goatskin trousers, hair outside ?' I asked. 

' That is so.' 

' And an old muzzle-loader ?' 

' He had.' 

' I knew it ! That was Bartolomeo, my old sportsman.' 

Hadow pulled at his big moustache, then shrugged his 
shoulders. 

' Ach, das kann sein (that may be) ; we talked not of 
names, we had much more interesting conversations — we 
talked of reptiles, a little also of rocks and stones, of patois 
and of shootings ; he showed me where to get these.' He 
pointed to the partridges. ' He took me to the best pool for 
frogs ; he knew Eliza, and took me to her home between 
some great rocks, and he will come one day to show me an 
eagle's nest and where are many tortoises. Ach J a ! he is 
a fine fellow, this Bartolomeo, but, like Eliza, he loves not to 
show excitement. Nun, be pleased to come to table, dear 
boys ; here is coffee, and I am hungry as wolves.' 

After breakfast we each betook ourselves to congenial 
occupation. Warden lay on his blanket, and practised solos 
on his tin-whistle ; Hadow, note-book and pencil in hand, 
consulted the latest authority on reptiles in identification 
of his specimens ; whilst I, climbing still higher to a cleft 
between two rocks shaded from the sun, and commanding 



REPTILES AND HOSPITALITY 139 

an even more extensive view than did our ledge, wrote up 
my diary. 

No sound of church-bells stole upwards from the valley, 
yet Sunday was in the air. It impressed itself upon the 
spirit without audible assistance — you could not doubt its 
presence. The quiet and the calm, the absolute peace, en- 
folded one like an atmosphere ; it sank into the soul, and 
distilled itself through every channel of the mind. The 
beautiful scene before me allured my thoughts from my 
work ; my book lay neglected on my knees, my eyes strayed 
over our sunlit valley, over the ridges and lesser hilltops to 
other and more distant valleys which lay beyond. The 
faintly audible notes of Warden's whistle were wafted to me, 
mingling pleasantly with the near tinkle of running water ; 
for a tiny spring at my side laughed upwards into the sun- 
light and made a little music to itself among the rocks. A 
bird of prey passed overhead, a moving shadow on motion- 
less wings. The strong beating sunshine deluged the scene. 
The heat was intense. The lazy, unrecorded hours crept 
past. 

I must have fallen asleep, for I remember waking to the 
sound of conversation. I listened with drowsy interest. 
Surely I knew that voice ? No two people could possess the 
same droning, querulous falsetto. 

' Yes, yes, it is a long way, but affection led me by the 
hand. Without friends hfe is impossible. I am no flatterer 
— such an one deserves contempt ; you know our saying, 
*' Bocca de Mel, coracdo defel " (Mouth of honey, heart of gall) 
— but I — no, I am honest, I say what I mean. And how 
goes the digging ? Canamha, Senhores / it is a good joke ! 
Bones ! Just fancy ! And — yes, you owe me some little 
money too ; not that I wish to press you. Oh no ! I am a 
gentleman, but money is not to be found on the road — no, 
nor in the hoof of a mule, as the saying goes,' etc. 

Even as this continual stream of small-talk fell on my ears, 
the cave entrance was darkened by two figures, and Manuel 
and Hadow came into sight. 

The old man was the first of a long string of visitors. The 
news of our arrival had got noised abroad, and the peasant- 



140 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

folk from far and near came to gaze at the strangers. I 
doubt if ever before that quiet valley had been taken posses- 
sion of by travellers from a far country. It was an occasion 
not to be thrown away, and right well did the good folk of 
the Algarve profit by it. 

They arrived in little bands of three or four, talking and 
laughing the while. Now a father and mother would climb 
the track, leading the little ones by the hand, the baby of the 
party slung on the back, from which position it eyed us with 
infantile solemnity ; and again a group of gossips advanced 
by stages, shrilling scandal in breathless bursts. At times 
two people only would arrive, as when a he and she, arm 
linked within arm, lovering it by the way, would stroll into 
sight ; or on occasion a single arrival would round the corner, 
some aged man or woman, it might be, supporting tottering 
steps with a stick. 

They came, and still they came, until our cave and ledge 
could hold no more ; the overflow perched upon adjacent 
rocks. I counted eighty-two living souls that afternoon ! 
I had no idea that the valleys of the Sierra de Monchique 
contained so many people. 

What we should have done without Manuel da Silvas I 
know not ; of a truth he saved the situation. He was in 
his element. The steady stream of his conversation never 
ceased — he was both showman and policeman ; that he 
himself was but one of our guests was a fact that never 
entered his brain. As our visitors arrived, he introduced us 
to each newcomer in many inappropriate words. An air of 
proprietorship sat upon him that was distinctly refreshing ; 
to hear him talk you would imagine that he had created us 
out of nothing. 

Many of the women were pretty ; their dark eyes surveyed 
us with lazy wonderment. All wore large sombreros, under- 
neath which were twined gaily-coloured kerchiefs. Volu- 
minous skirts, covering, it would seem, an infinity of petti- 
coats, so bunchy and rotund did their wearers appear, were 
all the fashion ; while check bodices of the chess-board 
type were numerous. The sashes of the men lent a gay 
appearance to the gathering. 

We made great efforts to worthily enact the part of hosts. 



REPTILES AND HOSPITALITY 141 

Warden delivered a speech, and performed with much success 
upon his tin-whistle ; he also chatted with all and sundry, 
and so infectious was his smile, so friendly were his words, 
that our visitors at once felt themselves at home. Hadow 
unveiled Eliza. I exhibited my inkstand — always an object 
of admiration, for could it not fold upon itself, and become 
as unlike an inkstand as it was possible to imagine ? Manuel 
talked. Our efforts were rewarded, for one and all were 
delighted, and our cave party was pronounced an immense 
success — in fact, the event of the season. 

It was late before the last of our guests could make up 
his mind to betake himself homewards. Manuel outstayed 
them all. We came to fear that we would never get rid of 
him. He invited himself to supper, and led the conversation 
throughout the whole of the long, interminable evening in 
his usual indefatigable manner. In vain we resorted to 
stratagem, in vain we yawned, in vain we even proceeded to 
undress for the night — Manuel never ceased to talk. The 
last sound I heard, as stretched on the ledge I drifted into 
sleep, was the old man's voice meandering along the grooves 
of one-sided conversation. 

' Yes, senhores — yes, you see what an important man I 
am ; all the neighbours know me. Last year two of them 
came even to ask my advice on a matter of much importance. 
I gave it to them without any charge ; they did not take it, 
I must admit, but was that my fault ? Ah, you were wise 
not to try and feed these people — it would have been a 
foolish thing ; it is waste of soap to wash the head of an ass. 
Well, I must be going, or you will say I talk too much ; talk 
little and well — that is my motto. Some men talk too much ; 
that old man who was the last to go away — Antonio Lopez — - 
ah, what a talker ! You have heard him — it is terrible ; I 
cannot get in a word when he is present. " Pella bocca 
morre peixe " (Much talking brings much woe) ; that is 
God's truth. Well, well, I am off. You will get these pro- 
visions in the morning. And eggs are scarcer now ; I must 
charge a little more. Fiquem se amhora, senhores, a Deos — 
a Deos ' (Farewell, gentlemen — farewell). 

His voice grew fainter and fainter, till at last it died away, 
and thrice-blessed silence descended upon the scene. 



CHAPTER XIX 

THE SUN-BONNET 

What was more natural than that after my former experi- 
ence I should be haunted by a winsome face and a pair of 
dark eyes framed in a sun-bonnet ? I was young, and does 
not youth scent a romance in the flutter of every petticoat ? 
And surely it is better to smile upon that essentially feminine 
garment like a true believer, as the key to a possible heaven, 
than to frown on it with the eyes of a cynic, as a species of 
charity covering only a multitude of sins. 

And so it came to pass that I took to listening for the beat 
of hoofs on our mountain-path, and to gazing down the valley 
for the sight of a girl perched on a gray donkey ; but day 
followed day, and Colomba came no more to visit us in our 
cave. 

Many reasons for her absence chased each other through 
my mind. She might be ill ? Perchance Manuel objected 
to her absenting herself from home ? Or it might be that 
she had taken offence at my proffered embrace ? I deter- 
mined to find out. 

Taking my lunch with me, off I started into the sunlight. 
It was early morning, and the sun had not yet acquired the 
full force with which he tyrannized it over us during the 
midday hours. The air was still cool with the dews of 
night. The path led downwards for a considerable distance, 
and then, rounding a spur, climbed upwards in steep coils 
to the skyline. After a long and arduous ascent, I reached 
the saddle. On the farther side of the ridge the scenery was 
wild and grand in the extreme. Nothing but mountain 
after mountain, sinking and swelling ; crest and billow 

142 



THE SUN-BONNET 143 

alternating with precipice and valley — a tumultuous sea 
stilled for ever beneath the blue of the sky. Not a living 
creature was to be seen — not a sound reached me ; it was 
lonely, but very beautiful. 

Continuing the descent, I espied the cottage of Colomba, 
its whitewashed walls gleaming out, as the highest light in 
the landscape. It stood, as before mentioned, in the lower 
portion of the valley, surrounded by a tiny tract of cultivated 
land, consisting of a garden and a little orchard. It was 
hard to convince one's self that it was a real house, so toylike 
did it appear dwarfed by the distance. Someone was 
moving in the garden. Was it Colomba ? No, it was a 
man, for the bent figure wore a man's sombrero. It was 
Manuel da Silvas. I continued the descent. Manuel 
sighted me from afar, and, long before I reached him, 
launched himself on the stream of his usual interminable 
conversation. When I had approached sufficiently near 
to distinguish the words, I was greeted with : 

' Ha, Senhor Fatson !' (the nearest approach to my name 
that Manuel could ever attain), ' what brings you out so 
early ? Found any bones, eh ? Ho, ho ! Never have I 
heard such a joke ! What a day ! Much too hot, is it not ? 
If only we could get a little rain ! The onions are thirsty 
plants ; that is a truth. Have you ever worked with a 
broken spade ? It is Uke digging in sand, this — it is so dry. 
You are hot, eh ? I saw you run down the hill. Why was 
that ? Do Englishmen always run down hills ? You are 
out of breath ; come in and have a little wine ; nothing like 
wine to take the dust out of a man's mouth,' etc. 

I followed him indoors and, once seated, looked about me 
with curiosity. My former visit had been so much a visit 
of ceremony, and so much a battleground of argument, that 
I had been unable to observe the details of this humble Por- 
tuguese home. The fireplace was in the middle of the room. 
From the dark and smoke-begrimed beams which supported 
the ceiling there hung a row of hams, strings of onions, and 
sides of bacon. The floor was simply virgin rock, seamed 
with cracks. The few articles of furniture were made of 
dark wood, with rude attempts at ornamentation carved 
upon them. On the walls were cheap prints of saints and 



144 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

other ecclesiastical personages. The apartment was not 
without its refinements, the touch that told of feminine 
influence — a bouquet of wildflowers, books on the table, a 
piece of embroidery upon one of the chairs. The place had 
a clean and comfortable look despite its smoke-begrimed 
ceiling, and I could not but come to the conclusion that 
Manuel was the one incongruous and dirty object in his own 
home. 

A pigskin of wine and two glasses were produced. On the 
latter Manuel breathed for some moments, then polished 
them with a conveniently ragged portion of his coat. I 
cannot say I found this an appetizing prelude to a drink, 
but to have refused the proffered refreshment would have 
given the deepest offence. We pledged each other with 
bows and an infinity of courtesies. The wine was, as usual, 
excellent, and smacked strongly of the grape. Then seated 
opposite him, the table and wine-glasses between us, I 
guided the indefatigable stream of his conversation into 
domestic channels. He prattled on contentedly. One 
subject was as good as another to him ; were they not all 
legitimate food for talk ? 

' Yes, yes,' he said, rubbing a six-days' beard with the 
palm of his hand, ' I am alone. Carmen has gone to see a 
friend ; she lives over there ' — and he jerked his head in the 
direction of Carenta. ' And what do you think they do ? 
Ho, ho ! Such foolishness ! They make a new dress ! 
Think of that — a new dress ! For my part, I cannot see 
why a girl should want a new dress before her old one is 
worn out. Look at my coat — old, you will say, and thread- 
bare, and patched ; it is true, but it will last for long yet. 
No, no ; it is mere foolishness to spend good money on 
clothes.' 

' And Colomba ?' I suggested. 

Manuel shrugged his shoulders. 

' Ah, Colomba — yes, she is just as bad — full of fancies. 
A good girl at heart, but very like Juanita — that was her 
mother. Ah, she was a fine woman, if you like ; she weighed 
thirteen stone, and I buried her two years ago. Ah, Senhor 
Fatson, you will not believe how I miss that woman ; it is 
so lonely without her, especially at night.' 



THE SUN -BONNET 145 

As he said these words, Manuel shook his head mournfully, 
and appeared to be lost in tender reminiscence. We sat 
silent awhile. 

' And Colomba ?' I suggested again. 

Manuel poured himself out another glass of wine, and, 
holding it up, peered into it with unblinking eyes. The 
reflected light lent a rosy hue to his nose. 

' Colomba,' he went on — ' just the same as her mother. 
Yes, she even reads books !' He paused to laugh, then con- 
tinued : ' Books are all very well in their way ; one on the 
table, now, on a fete-day is ornamental. I like the outside 
of a book, and can spell out a title with any man ; but to 
read it ! No, I leave that to the priest ; and talking of 
priests, it is inconceivable to imagine how that girl loves 
priests, and Mass, and saints. There's a fancy for you ! 
Now, I like a woman who can cook — that's her business. 
Good cooking comes straight from the heart, and speaks 
straight to the stomach ; there's poetry for you ! Ho, ho ! 
And what is cooking without garlic ? Do you grow much 
garlic in England, Senhor Fatson ?' 

' Where did you say she had gone ?' I asked. 

' Who ?' he inquired in surprise. 

' Colomba, of course ; we were talking of her.' 

' Were we ? No, no. You mistake ; we talked of garlic. 
But as you wish to know, she has gone out. You would never 
guess where. Ho, ho ! she has gone up there !' 

I followed the direction of his finger ; it pointed to the 
top of a hill of a peculiarly conical formation which appeared 
to bar the lower end of the valley. He seemed pleased at 
my evident astonishment, for he lay back in his chair and 
opened his mouth. 

' Ha !' he cried, ' you do well to wonder ; it is a mad fancy, 
yet she often goes up there. She says she can see farther 
from that hill than from any of the others. What an idea ! 
What does she want to see, eh ?' 

' It is a pleasure to see far,' I answered thoughtfully. 
* Now, I think I too will climb that hill ; shall I take her any 
message from you, should we by any chance happen to meet?' 

He raised his hands and his eyebrows. 

' Holy Mary !' he ejaculated, ' you too have fancies I 

10 



146 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

That is because you are an Englishman — you EngHsh are 
all mad, I am told ; and no wonder, for you live on raw meat 
and are entirely surrounded by salt water. Climb that hill 
in this heat ! Well, well !' 

I left him still talking, and set out briskly towards the hill 
in question. No path led up its precipitous sides, so I 
climbed upwards from point to point, as fancy dictated. In 
about three-quarters of an hour I neared the top, expecting 
momentarily to come upon traces of the missing princess ; 
but the summit appeared to be as lonely as the slopes. The 
sun was by this time high in the heavens, and the force of 
his beams was a thing to be avoided. I stopped frequently 
to pant for breath and to wipe the perspiration from my face. 
Higher and higher I climbed, stumbling over the boulders, 
till at last I reached the topmost point, and gazed around me 
with growing despair. Colomba was not there. I had the 
place all to myself — a solitary and disheartened mortal sur- 
rounded on every side by a chaos of rocks sweltering in the 
heat of the noonday sun. I confess to a rising anger ; 
Manuel had deceived me ; and yet I could have pledged my 
word that he had spoken the truth — he had not sufficient 
imagination to lie. I called aloud, but nothing but my own 
voice returned to me in faint reverberations from cliff and 
rock. Ah, well ! Whosesoever the fault, the fact remained 
that I had come up on a wild-goose chase, and must e'en 
march down again with what heart I could summon to my 
assistance. I was on the point of turning away, when my 
eye caught sight of something that arrested my attention. 
It was but a glint of sunlit colour lying at the foot of one of 
the rocks. I ran to it, and as I stooped to take it up my 
heart beat faster ; it was the sun-bonnet ! I could have sung 
aloud for very joy. I gazed at it tenderly — hope rekindled 
itself within me. The owner of the pink bonnet, I assured 
myself, could not be far distant. I looked around. The 
summit of the hill was at my back — a matter of some fifty 
yards. I was standing on the western slope ; before me the 
ground fell in steep declivities far into the valley, while all 
around was piled a world of boulders, tossed about as by a 
giant at play, and covered for the most part by moss and 
silver-gray lichen. The rock at the foot of which the sun- 



THE SUN-BONNET 147 

bonnet had lain was of immense size ; it formed an upright 
such as one may see in Druidical remains, and as I took a few 
steps forward I saw that with the aid of another upright and 
a slab of stone which had fallen across them, and, so to speak, 
held them in their perpendicular position, it formed a 
natural cave of most inviting aspect. I peeped in, and stood 
spellbound. Colomba ! I had found her at last. The 
abandonment of the sun-bonnet was at once accounted for — 
she was asleep ! 

There she lay, her head pillowed on her arm ; her dark 
hair had shaken itself free, and fell around her shoulders in 
graceful confusion ; one tress had escaped from its com- 
panions, and, straggling off, lay coiled around a stone, for all 
the world like a long black snake. She had discarded her 
wooden shoes, and the little feet encased in coarse brown 
stockings peeped from beneath the hem of blue skirt. Her 
disengaged arm, flung out, lay nearly at right angles to her 
body — a careless gesture, beautifully expressive of the 
abandonment of sleep. In her outstretched hand I caught 
sight of the beads of a rosary, and lying beside her was a 
little volume, which upon examination proved to be ' The 
Lives of the Blessed Saints.' 

So, sleep had stolen upon her in the holy middle of her 
devotions ! What a quaint little hermit she made ! I 
gazed at her with the liveliest interest ; a sigh and a smile 
struggled for precedence. 

I seated myself noiselessly by her side. To disturb her 
would have been a crime equal to altering the composition 
of a beautiful picture. I could mar, but I could not make ; 
and who could tell if the waking attitude would be equally 
expressive of unconscious loveliness ? How like a child she 
looked ! Not that she ever appeared weighed down by 
the weight of years — Heaven forbid ! Still, sleep and 
emancipated hair had taken to themselves more than one of 
her bygone summers, and the rest lay as lightly on her as 
' tir'd eyelids upon tir'd eyes.' A warm flush mantled over 
the sunburnt olive of her cheek, and through her parted lips 
her breath came and went with the utmost gentleness and 
regularity. There were touches about her which bespoke 
her humble condition of life ; the hand that lay outstretched 

10 — 2 



148 SUNSHINE 'AND'SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

showed evident signs of housework, and from her homely 
garments came a faint odour of wood-fires, recalHng to mind 
the cottage far below us in the valley. 

I gazed around. The air was full of languor— a passport 
to dreamland. The view, as seen through our open door, 
was magnificent ; no mere terrestrial mansion could have 
commanded a finer prospect ; we were perched, as it were, 
in an eagle's eyrie, midway between earth and heaven. The 
sun beat upon the world as on an anvil. Within our shadow- 
nook the air, if less charged with celestial fire, was still hot 
as a breath from a furnace. The flies buzzed in and out, 
filling our Httle shelter with the hum of busy wings, and 
twice a tiny green lizard ran in unsuspiciously, and, 
finding the room occupied, vanished again into the 

sunlight. 

My eye came back to Colomba. She still slept peacefully. 
Twice, however, she stirred in the ' light anarchy of dreaming 
sleep,' and once a smile flitted across her face and vanished 
into the little dimple that lay hard by her mouth. The 
thought of our last meeting came to me, and with it the 
memory of the kiss that had never been given. I had 
claimed it as my due for services rendered, and, alas ! 
Colomba had shirked payment. The advantage of the 
present situation dawned upon me ; what a glorious oppor- 
tunity to wipe off the debt ! And then, there was the question 
of interest. The mere thought of interest connected with 
those lips reduced me to the level of a Jew ; Shylock 
himself could not have been swayed by feelings more 
usurious. The scale of interest rose by leaps and bounds ; 
five hundred per cent, was, I felt, the very least I had the 
right to expect. I leant over her. Her breath ebbed and 
flowed ; the warm current touched my cheek ; my blood 
thrilled with sympathy. The world held but us two in all 
its wide circumference. Lower and lower I bent, when, 
instinctively, I drew back. The impulses which prompt 
our actions are oftentimes beyond our ken, and I have but 
a faint inkling of the impulse which rose between Colomba 
and me on this occasion. I think, however, it was the wing 
of her guardian angel. She was so childlike, so like the dawn 
of innocence, so unconscious of my presence. After all, was 



■> > > ■) 



■> > > > , > 







Shk was a.si.i:i:p 



THE SUN-BONNET 149 

it quite fair ? Would it not be taking advantage of her 
helplessness ? I drew a deep breath, and shook my head. 
No, I could not do it. But, oh, the pathos of it ! 

' Is,' cried I mournfully, addressing the rocks — ' is our 
whole intercourse to be a series of plaintive variations on 
" the kiss that never was given " ?' 



CHAPTER XX 

SAINTS AND SUNSETS 

I LAID my hand lightly on Colomba's, and in a moment the 
spell was broken. She stirred in her sleep, moaned, opened 
drowsy eyelids, and gazed at me in wonderment. 

' Senhor Geelberto !' she ejaculated. 

In the strain of surprise there was an unmistakable note 
of welcome that came pleasantly to my ears — it all but 
compensated for the delights of the might-have-been. 

* What brought you here V she asked in astonishment. 

* This,' I replied with a smile, and I caressed the pink 
bonnet which adorned my knee. ' It was on the outlook 
for' "me ; I owe it much gratitude ; it told me you were 
here.' 

Colomba bestowed on it a smile, then, becoming conscious 
for the first time of the disorder of her attire, she blushed 
a bright pink, and proceeded to recall her tresses. 
* ' It is very long and very thick,' I said softly. 

Her expression proved that the life of an ascetic upon 
mountain-tops had not robbed her of a healthy love of 
admiration. She raised her arms, and shook back her hair 
with a graceful movement of the head. I watched her 
fingers plying in and out among the dark masses with 
approval. 

' Who really told you where to find me ?' she asked. 

The unconscious assumption that I had been looking for 
her was delightful. 

' Your father ; his one regret was that you were not 
cooking something seasoned with garlic' 

' Poor father ! ' she murmured. ' He is always kind, but — 

150 



SAINTS AND SUNSETS 151 

is it not sad ? — he cannot understand any of the things T 
love best in the world !' 

' Sunsets !' I suggested. 

' Yes ; and the mountains, and how they change from 
hour to hour.' 

' And saints ?' I added lightly. 

Colomba looked grave. 

' Do not speak so, senhor ; it is very wrong. Oh, you 
do not know how beautiful are their holy lives ! What 
great happiness must it not be to give one's self to God ! 
When I read this book' — here she clasped the volume to 
her breast — ' I, too, feel as if I would love to lay down 
my life for Him — I, even I, a sinful girl !' 

Her voice trembled with emotion, and tears stood within 
her eyes. My heart was touched. 

' Forgive me,' I said in a low voice. ' I may be wicked, 
but, believe me, I am not so wicked as to scoff at feelings 
such as yours.' 

A silence fell. We both gazed far out into the valley. I 
was the first to speak. 

' Religion,' I said thoughtfully, ' is a great force.' 

' It is the one beautiful thing in the world,' she cried 
with enthusiasm. ' I cannot talk about it, as my dear 
Padre can ; I can only feel it !' and she pressed both hands 
to her heart. 

I looked at her wonderingly. She caught the wonder in 
my glance. 

' Ah,' she cried again, ' you do not know what it is to be 
an ignorant girl. My hfe is not like yours, senhor ; it sees 
few changes, it is hemmed in by the mountains. I some- 
times long to get away. But I go to confession, and find 
how wicked it is to wish such things ; for is not the good 
God in the mountains as much as in the great cities ? But — 
but, I know not why I say such things to you.' 

She hesitated. In her eyes I could read the fear that 
she had said too much ; for, after all, we were but on the 
borderland of friendship — she could not tell in what spirit 
I would receive her confidence. I hastened to reassure 
her. 

' Colomba,' I said, touching her hand lightly, ' your words 



152 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

sink into my heart — they open a httle door that I thought 
closed long ago. They do me good. The church under 
whose wings you have lived all your life has been always of 
interest to me. Confession, now : what a wonderful thing ! 
Is it possible that you, for instance, have anything to con- 
fess ?' 

She looked up at me swiftly. A doubt as to my sincerity 
flashed across her, but the hesitation was short ; the un- 
feigned interest in my eyes reassured her. 

' My heart is very wicked,' she said earnestly. ' At 
times I dread confession, for I say to myself : " How can I 
tell even my dear Padre all my bad thoughts ?" But he 
is so good — so good. When I pause I hear his gentle voice 
saying: "What next, my child ?" That helps me. But 
once, when I had done something so wicked that I had not 
the courage to continue, he said : "Go and take a little 
walk, my child, and God will enable you to tell me all "; 
but I cried : " No, no, my father ; if I go away now I may not 
be brave enough to come back " ; and even as I spoke, 
strength was given to me, and I showed him all the blackness 
of my heart.' 

I did not speak. This peep into another world silenced 
me. The consciousness that any remark that I could 
make would jar on the pure spirit that instilled itself into 
Colomba's conversation kept my lips shut. 

The green lizard whisked round the corner and surveyed 
us with astonishment. I put out my hand to intercept his 
flight. 

' Do not hurt him,' pleaded Colomba. 

The lizard vanished like an emerald flame. Colomba 
advanced one stockinged foot and gazed at it thought- 
fully ; then, as if conscious of its bold isolation, withdrew 
it again. 

' How long had you been here before I awoke ?' said she 
at length. 

My frivolous mind rejoiced at this change of subject. 
When a man gets a pretty woman all to himself on a lonely 
hill-top he does not expect to pass the entire time discussing 
questions of theology. 

' Not very long,' I said cheerfully. 



SAINTS AND SUNSETS 153 

' Five minutes ?' 

' Perhaps twenty, but they passed Hke one ; and yet,' I 
continued more seriously, ' I was in a position of great moral 
danger.' 

' Danger !' she cried in surprise. 

' Yes, danger. Do you remember our last parting ? Ah, 
I see you do ! Well, finding you asleep, I was tempted to 
claim the kiss I asked for on that occasion.' 

Colomba gave a little gasp. 

' And — and — did you ?' 

' No, I did not.' 

We looked at each other. A smile stole into her face — 
one of those tantahzing, bewitching, incomprehensibly 
feminine smiles that all my life I have been trying to trans- 
late into words — the sort of affirmative smile that routs ten 
audible negatives. 

' That was nice of you,' she said softly. 

The words were full of approbation. I should have felt 
flattered, but the memory of that smile haunted me like 
a reproach. 

' I don't know about its being nice,'' I remarked with 
severity ; ' it was saintly.'* 

Colomba was silent for a few moments. She was evi- 
dently pondering over the situation. 

' I was fast asleep ?' she said at length, in a meditative 
voice. 

' You were.' 

' It would have been easy to do it ?' 

' The easiest thing in the world.' 

Colomba darted an incomprehensible look at me from 
under long lashes, impressed little white teeth on a rosy 
underlip, smiled, then blushed. Ye gods ! it was a distinct 
invitation ! I stared at her in astonishment. Was this 
Saint Colomba ? 

' Don't you see,' I began ; ' oh, can't you understand ? 
It would have been a mean thing to do. You were asleep — 
at my mercy — it would have been a theft !' 

' To steal is wicked,' she observed solemnly ; but, even 
as she said it, there was a twinkle in her eyes. 

' You would never have spoken to me again.' 



154 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

' No-o-o — at least, not for a long time.' 

I looked her full in the face ; her eyes fell, and she feigned 
to be much interested in her finger-tips. 

' Colomba,' I said desperately, ' would you have for- 
given me ?' 

As I said these words I leant over her. She trembled and 
drew back. 

' I must be going home,' she said nervously. ' What is 
the time, senhor ? It must be very late.' 

' O woman in our hours of ease !' In all the world you 
could not have found a man more perplexed. I surveyed 
her with youthful suspicion — she was far beyond the range 
of my limited experience. Words altogether failed me — I 
watched her in gloomy silence. Apparently unconscious 
of my presence, she donned the little shoes, humming a 
tune the while. To see her ' in maiden meditation, fancy 
free,' you would never have imagined for one fleeting 
moment that she was the same girl who a moment before 
had trembled at the approach of a kiss. Her preparations 
complete, she turned to me. 

' Let us start, senhor.' 

' Why are you going home ?' I asked gravely. 

She hesitated. I could see that she was cudgelling her 
brains for a plausible excuse. 

' I — I am hungry.' 

' Is that all ?' I cried gaily, my ill-humour vanishing like 
mist before the sun. ' I have a cure for that. We will 
lunch here.' 

' Lunch !' she repeated incredulously. 

For answer I plunged into my pockets, and fishing up 
several little parcels, placed them triumphantly before her. 
She stared at them as if she expected them to vanish before 
her eyes, and then, heigh presto ! the Colomba of the 
dignified mien disappeared in the twinkling of an eye, and 
a merry, laughing, thoughtless little maiden stood before 
me. I felt rather dazzled, but I accepted the new transfor- 
mation in a thankful spirit — I was learning a great deal 
that afternoon. She flung herself into the game of lunch 
with all the gaiety of a child. What a merry luncheon 
party that was ! Shall I ever forget it ? 



SAINTS AND SUNSETS i55 

' Eggs, Colomba,' I cried, as I unrolled two hard-boiled 
eggs from out their paper coverings. ' And sardines, and 
bread, and an apple apiece. It is not much, but we will 
flavour it with sunshine and scenery. And, oh, I forgot — 
what say you to this ?'— and I flourished a flask—' red wine 
and of the best !' 

Colomba clapped her hands. 

' It is a dear little lunch,' she cried gaily ; ' and how clever 
of you to think of it ! I have often longed to lunch up here.' 

' With me ?' I asked, pausing in the act of pouring out 

the wine. 

Colomba made an adorable little grimace, upon which we 
both laughed heartily. We were hke a couple of school- 
children set free on Saturday afternoon. 

A flat stone, rolled in from without, made an impromptu 
table, my pocket-knife served us in lieu of a variety of 
useful articles ; a few saints were invoked while we bent 
our heads reverently, and then, seated opposite each other, 
we attacked the meal in earnest. 

I watched Colomba eat with unfeigned interest. She 
had a way of fishing for sardines that was altogether de- 
lightful, and her delicate manipulation of a hard-boiled egg 
was worthy of the highest praise. Now and again she 
caught my eye and repaid me with a smile, but for the most 
part her appetite, sharpened by the keen hill air and the 
long climb, would not allow her to pay attention to side- 
issues. The flies buzzed their satisfaction ; the green 
lizard, grown bolder, surveyed us with a bright and patro- 
nizing eye, as who should say, ' Very unusual this ; but 
yes, it has my approval.' 

The meal over, I stretched myself in front of the wooden 
shoes and lit a cigarette. Colomba's eyes beamed on me 
through rings of smoke. After a few spasmodic efforts 
conversation died away. The drowsy influence of the hour, 
and, to be prosaic, the satisfaction born of an appreciated 
meal, lulled us into silence. It was enough for me to know 
that she was there. I doubt if I were ever happier. Of 
her feelings I do not pretend to be aware ; was she cog- 
nizant of them herself ? Did they strike a just mean between 
saints and sunsets ? Did the advent of my appearance in 



T56 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

that little world of mountains trouble the calm and peaceful 
current of her life, instilling into it the subtle poison of 
alien thoughts, and dreams destined never to be realized ? 
I did not ask — I preferred not to know. But there was an 
invisible and an inaudible means of communication over- 
looked by those who do not believe in any phenomena outside 
the range of their actual experience. There is in every 
heart a delicate intuitive sense which tells the happy pos- 
sessor how much he is loved ; it is rarely mistaken, for it 
bases its assumptions upon the force of the invisible waves 
of magnetic affinity. It is the wing of Cupid, thrust between 
the portals of reticence ; the door cannot altogether close 
while the little feathered barrier of love retains its position, 
and if you are very clever you may peep in and feast your 
eyes on the delights that may one day be yours. I listened 
to the whispers of that sixth sense that afternoon, and it told 
me many little secrets of a highly soothing and satisfactory 
nature. It was but our fourth meeting, and yet we had so 
far advanced towards the Promised Land of intimacy that 
we could be silent together and enjoy the situation. 

The day drooped towards its close ; the shadows were 
lengthening slowly to the far confines of the world, where 
over the purpling rim the clouds had piled their palaces into 
the blue. By faint and imperceptible degrees the light 
grew more tender, the air more caressing. A hush of ex- 
pectancy made itself felt ; it rose from the golden haze 
like an exhalation, it filled the mind with feelings beyond 
the reach of words. We were spectators at a divine tragedy ; 
the miracle play of the departing sun was enacted before us, 
filling with glory unspeakable the stupendous stage, the 
vast amphitheatre of hills. We watched it breathlessly. 
What need of words ? Nature was speaking for us. And 
as the divine sentences emblazoned themselves in crimson 
and gold, in amethyst and azure, upon the manuscript 
of the west, we felt that the love of beauty had forged 
another link in the chain of friendship. If we could not 
share the saints, we could, at all events, appreciate the 
sunsets. 



CHAPTER XXI 

ALMOST A LOVE-LETTER 

I PAUSED by the cottage door. The hum of bees stole on the 
ear, for Manuel da Silvas kept a beehive on the outskirts of 
his garden. Otherwise the silence of the warm afternoon 
hour was ail but oppressive. No sound came from the 
interior of the cottage, but I was in hopes of meeting 
Colomba. I had seen Manuel accompanied by Carmen — 
two tiny figures, one afoot, the other mounted on the gray 
donkey— proceeding along the track in the direction of 
Louie. The occasion appearing propitious, I had at once 
set out with the intention of calling on Colomba. 

I knocked gently, but no answer was returned. I knocked 
again, and was rewarded by the sound of someone stirring 
within the cottage. In another minute the door opened, 
and Colomba stood on the threshold. 

' May I come in ?' I asked. 

' Yes, senhor, by all means.' 

As she said the words she smiled, yet I could not but notice 
that the welcome of her smile by no means accorded with 
the sadness of her voice. 

I followed her into the little living-room of the cottage. 
On the table lay a collection of writing materials — a horn 
inkstand, a quill pen, a bottle of fine sand, and several sheets 
of note-paper, covered with what appeared to be rough 
drafts of correspondence. Myself an obscure scribe, I eyed 
those evidences of a kindred taste with lively interest. 

* Be so good as to sit down, senhor.' 

I complied with her request, whereupon she followed my 
example. The little table was between us ; by resting our 

157 



158 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

elbows upon it and our chins upon our hands, our faces were 
not more than a yard apart. No one spoke. I know not 
whether it was the fault of my youth and my inexperience, or 
whether it was owing to my want of facility in the language, 
but the fact remains that there were times when I felt almost 
tongue-tied in the presence of Colomba. Another reason 
that has just occurred to me, and one that perchance may 
solve the enigma, is that my feelings were oftentimes too 
overpowering to lend themselves to description. 

I studied Colomba with admiring eyes, and all the while 
I was conscious that her surroundings, too, were impressing 
themselves upon me — the homely room, with its stone floor ; 
the scents of the wood-fire, mingling with those of old- 
fashioned garden flowers ; the hams and strings of onions 
dangling from the rafters ; the patch of brightness where the 
sunlight fell upon a corner of the cupboard ; the warm and 
languid air stirred by the wings of flies— all were imprinting 
themselves upon my memory. The visible and tangible 
environment of Colomba, her home— all would return to me 
long afterwards, and whisper to me of the little maiden of the 
Sierra de Monchique. 

She was looking particularly desirable that afternoon ; 
but no credence can be attached to this statement, for every 
time I saw her I was seized by the conviction that that 
individual occasion had been chosen by the fates for Colomba 
to reach the high-water mark of desirabflity. 

Her dark and abundant hair was ruffled, as though her 
hands had been thrust into it in the agony of composition ; 
her fingers were stained with ink ; her face had the flushed 
appearance that we notice on the faces of children when 
roused from midday slumbers. The rounded curves of her 
figure spoke to the eye even through the coarse material of 
her dress ; the bodice, opening low on the neck, revealed a 
tiny silver charm pillowed upon the warm olive of her skin. 

' You have been crying,' said I. 

She averted her eyes. 

' How know you that, senhor ?' 

' Very easily ; your eyes are tell-tale — they keep no emo- 
tion to themselves. And ' — I leant forward and scrutinized 
her face — ' there are traces of tears on both your cheeks.' 



ALMOST A LOVE-LETTER 159 

Colomba rubbed the traitor cheeks with the back of her 
hand. 

We remained silent for a few minutes. All at once she 
spoke. 

* Senhor.' 

' Geelberto,' I corrected. 

Colomba blushed. There never was a maiden born with 
a more bewitching facility for blushing. At a word, at a 
glance, the warm blood sprang to betray the lively emotions 
of her heart. You discovered her thoughts even before she 
became aware of them herself. 

' Senhor Geelberto,' she said sadly, ' I am a most unhappy 
girl.' 

' Confide in me,' I murmured, taking her hand. 

She seemed unconscious of the action ; her fingers lay 
listlessly within mine ; she looked at the ink-bottle, and 
sighed. 

' Confide in me,' I reiterated, giving her hand a gentle 
pressure. ' I might be able to assist you.' 

She murmured inaudibly, but though her words escaped 
me, I judged from her expression that she was favourably 
impressed. Encouraged, I continued : 

' If anyone has caused you one moment's unhappiness, 
Deos ! I'll ' My clenched fist completed the sentence. 

She raised her eyes to mine ; tears were again imminent. 

' No, no, senhor, it is not as you suppose — indeed, every- 
one I know is too kind to me ; even father spoils me. If I 
am sad now, it is all my own fault.' 

' Yes ?' I murmured interrogatively. 

She did not take the hint. Her chin rested in the palm 
of her disengaged hand. Every line of her mobile face spelt 
despondency. 

' If you would only confide in me ?' I again suggested 
softly. 

She shook her head. Then all at once, as if struck by a 
sudden thought, she sat up, clasped her hands, and gazed at 
me with bright and questioning eyes. 

' Can you write ?' she asked eagerly. 

' Can I write !' I ejaculated ; the question made me smile. 

* Ah ! but I mean can you write a letter ?' 



i6o SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

' Of course I can.' 

Colomba eyed me doubtfully. 

' Well ?' I questioned. 

' Senhor Geelberto,' she said gravely, * this is no ordinary 
letter ; this is ' — she leant across the table ; her voice sank 
to an impressive whisper — ' this is — almost a love-letter !' 

' Almost a love-letter !' 

She nodded her head at me ; the importance of the occa- 
sion deprived her of words. 

' Almost a love-letter,' I repeated thoughtfully. ' Yes, I 
think I may say that I have written several letters answering 
to that description.' 

Still Colomba hesitated. 

' Senhor,' she said solemnly, ' have you ever written a 
refusal to an offer of marriage ?' 

' Refusal ! Offer of marriage !' I ejaculated, thoroughly 
taken aback. ' No, Colomba, never.' 

' Then, I fear you cannot help me,' she said dejectedly. 

' But,' I exclaimed eagerly, ' I can easily imagine myself 
refusing an offer of marriage !' 

Hope reappeared in her eyes. 

' Come, now,' I continued cheerfully, ' I've written much 
more difficult letters than that. I'll help you with pleasure ; 
only you must tell me all about it. First of all, who is the 
man ?' 

' It is Santos,' she said brokenly. 

' Ah, the fellow who told you to beware of compliments ?' 

' Y-e-s.' 

' And now I suppose he has written you four pages of 
flattery ?' And I eyed a masculine letter with disapproval. 

' Only three and a half,' murmured Colomba. 

' And what does he say ?' 

' He says such nice things ; he asks me to be his wife, and 
he says that he can't live without me, and that my eyes are 
beautiful, and that he has a good deal of money in the bank, 

and that he has sold two cows Oh, and many more 

things. It is a beautiful letter — my first real love-letter ! But 
I don't want to marry him, and I can't love him like that, and 
I must write and tell him so, and he will be unhappy ; and 
I hate making him unhappy, for he is a dear, kind man, and 



ALMOST A LOVE-LETTER i6i 

I have known him all my life. I thought a love-letter was a 
nice thing, but I find it is a horrid thing, and — and — I am 
the most miserable girl in the world.' 

Her voice wavered and broke ; she winked very fast to 
keep back the rising tears, but they would not be kept back, 
for two of them, escaping from the brimming eyes, trickled 
down her cheeks and fell upon the table. I was sadly at a 
loss to comfort her. My experience failed me altogether. 
The confidences I had invited overpowered me. She cried 
quietly ; only an occasional sob broke the stillness of the 
room. 

' Colomba,' I said softly, ' dear Colomba, don't cry.' 

No answer was returned. 

' Trust to me, Colomba. I confess that I've never written 
a refusal of marriage before, but it ought not to be so diffi- 
cult. We will tell the fellow that you don't want him, and — 
and he'll go away and marry someone else, and we'll — all 
live happily ever after.' 

This airy solution of the difficulty surprised her ; in her 
mind the refusal of an offer of marriage was a much more 
tremendous undertaking. 

' Will you help me to write it, Senhor Geelberto ? I have 
tried many times, and it always comes wrong.' She gazed 
tearfully at her inky fingers. 

' Of course I will ; I'll tell him to go about his business.' 

'Oh no, senhor, that will never do ; you must say how 
proud I am and how sorry.' 

' But are you sorry ?' 

' Yes, very sorry.' 

' Then, why don't you marry him ?' 

' Because I do not love him in that way. Oh, Senhor 
Geelberto, anyone can see that you have never written a 
refusal of marriage before.' 

We eyed each other dejectedly. 

' Colomba,' I said in desperation, ' for the sake of the 
whole calendar of saints, do not let us discuss feelings. 
Here is a clean sheet of note-paper ; come and sit beside me, 
and we will make a start at once.' 

She took her place on the other half of the little wooden 
bench on which I had found a seat. Writing a letter that 

II 



i62 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

was ' almost a love-letter ' presented but little difficulties 
to my hopeful imagination with Colomba seated by my side. 
I dipped the pen in the horn ink-bottle, and wrote the date 
and address in a fine flowing hand. 

' How easily you do that !' she sighed enviously. 

Her head was very close to mine ; I could feel her hair 
brushing the tip of my ear. My desire to annihilate 
Santos became a positive mania. A fresh dip, and away 
flew the pen. 

* Senhor, it is with feelings of annoyance and surprise 
that ' 

' No, no,' interrupted Colomba. I was warming to my 
task, and the little hand laid upon my arm disconcerted me. 
' No, no,' she repeated ; ' that is all wrong.' 

' What is wrong with it ?' 

' It is all wrong. You must begin " My dear Santos," and 
you must speak the truth ; my feelings were not surprised. 
We must be truthful, even to the least word, the Padre says.' 

' What ! not surprised !' 

' N-o-o.' 

' You knew he was in love with you.' 

She smiled through her tears. 

' I begin to be rather sorry for Santos,' said I, laying down 
the pen. 

' It is not my fault, Senhor Geelberto — really, really not. 
I own I liked to talk with him — he was always kind to me — 
but I never guessed how much in earnest he was till one 
evening in the garden he tried to speak to me of marriage. 
I grew frightened and ran into the house, for I did not want 
to marry him at all ; and as I ran, he called after me that he 
would write it instead, and — this is his letter.' 

' But, Colomba ' 

' Yes, senhor ?' 

' How comes it that Santos has not first spoken to your 
father ? Is not that the correct thing to do in Portugal ?' 

' He has spoken, Geelberto.' 

' And your father consents ?' 

' Y-e-s ; he told him to speak to me.' 

' Ah ! I see.' 

I looked at the clumsy writing of Santos, and then raised 



ALMOST A LOVE-LETTER 163 

my eyes to the wistful little face of the girl he fain would call 
his wife. 

' Santos will be unhappy,' I said slowly. 

Her eyes filled again with tears. 

' I fear it,' she said mournfully ; ' but oh, Senhor Geel- 
berto, if only you will help me to write him a nice — a really 
nice — letter, I think it will make it easier for him.' 

' Let us try again,' said L 

That letter took a long time to write. It was necessary 
to temper refusal with kindness — to season modesty with 
affection. Colomba summoned several of the more intimate 
of her saints to bear witness to her sincerity. She likewise 
strongly recommended Santos to the keeping of Saint Ursula 
— an arrangement which we both agreed would go far to 
console him in his hour of need. We congratulated him 
also on the sale of his cows, and in the same sentence testified 
our willingness to pray for his spiritual welfare. Finally, 
we threw ourselves upon his generosity, and assured him 
that we counted upon his lifelong friendship. 

At last the letter was actually finished. We smiled at 
each other, and then at it, with justifiable pride. Consider- 
ing the circumstances, it was an original and extremely 
creditable production. Whether Santos would look upon 
it with as approving an eye was, however, open to doubt. 



II — 2 



CHAPTER XXII 

BARTOLOMEO LEADS THE WAY 

Was someone moving in the valley ? I shaded my eyes 
and looked again. Yes, a solitary figure was approaching — 
a speck of shadow in the glare of the sunlight. I sat on our 
ledge and speculated lazily as to who could be coming to 
visit us at so early an hour, for breakfast was a memory of 
no distant date. It could not be Manuel, for no donkey 
was to be seen, and our landlord never visited us without 
his donkey ; it was not the goatherd, nor was it a muleteer, 
for goats and mules were absent. At last I bethought me 
of Bartolomeo, the hunter of the Sierra de Monchique. The 
slow sedateness of his pace confirmed me in the idea. It 
was Bartolomeo, there was no mistaking him ; unto no one 
else was it given to so nearly resemble a partially-animated 
tree-stump, armed with an antiquated muzzle-loader. 

He approached slowly — he literally crawled up the track 
like an old snake. 

I awaited his coming with pleasure. We had been such 
good comrades on the occasion of his last visit that I looked 
forward to a happy renewal of the friendship. 

When he had come within ear-shot I hailed him with a 
shout. 

' Good-day to you, Bartolomeo,' I cried. 

' Good-day, senhor.' 

' I am glad to see you. I have been expecting you daily. 
But do not let us talk here. Come into the cave, it is cooler 
inside.' 

The old man preceded me into our natural home. I 
noticed that he carried a basket made of woven rushes. 

164 



BARTOLOMEO LEADS THE WAY 165 

* These are pears,' said he, laying the basket on an 
adjacent stone. 

So saying, he seated himself in my armchair. 
' Pears ! It is your lunch, perhaps V 
This suggestion gave him food for thought. 
' No,' he said slowly ; ' no, they are for you.' 
His manner of tendering the gift was almost impersonal -. 
had it not been for his words, I would have imagined him to 
be sacrificing pears to Pan or Diana, or some other equally 
mythological personage. The thought fulness of the act 
touched me — a kind heart beat underneath the tattered 
coat. 

' How good of you, Bartolomeo ! I accept them with 
pleasure.' I turned over the large leaves with which he 
had covered them. ' They look so tempting that I really 
must eat one now. You will join me ? Yes ?' 
We ate in silence. 

' Another, Bartolomeo ? One but whets the appetite.' 
' Where,' asked the old man, dreamily gazing round the 
cave — ' where is the Bichero-mor ? ' 

* Who ?' inquired I, thoroughly puzzled. 

* The Bichero-mor — the great hunter of little reptiles.' 

I laughed, for I took his meaning at last. I recollected 
that the word hicho in Portuguese means anything that 
crawls or creeps — used generally in an objectionable sense ; 
hence hichero is one who collects such creatures, the affix 
mor being a somewhat antiquated adjective signifying 
' great.' I chuckled my approval. Without a doubt 
bichero-mor, or ' great hunter of little reptiles,' was a de- 
lightfully appropriate title for Hadow. 

' Where is the senhor ?' repeated Bartolomeo. 

* He is at work in the inner cave. Listen ! you can hear 
them.' 

The pick — pick — pick of the excavators was distmctly 
audible. To me it had become so accustomed a sound that 
I but rarely noticed it. The old man opened his mouth. 

' What is he doing in there ?' 

' He looks for bones.' 

' Bones ?' he repeated wonderingly. 

' Yes, bones.' 



i66 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

* But— but tell me why ' 



' Not now, Bartolomeo, I interrupted hastily. 

Bones were a sore subject — they literally ached — re- 
collections of the Padre Callada and Manuel rose before 
me. Curiosity concerning bones must be nipped in the bud. 
I was sick unto death of justifying Hadow's eccentricities to 
the Olla Podrida of Portugal. 

' You wish to see my friend ?' I continued. 

Bartolomeo started. He had the air of a man pinned to 
an inconsiderate suggestion. 

' Eh ? I don't know. Well, yes, perhaps ; but do not 
disturb yourself, senhor. I am in no haste. To-morrow, 
or the day after, will suit me quite as well.' 

' Or next week, or next month ?' 

He looked through me with gravity. 

' Yes,' he said slowly, ' quite as well.' 

Did no grain of humour slumber under that battered 
sombrero ? Was he never guilty of scenting a joke ? 

Very slowly he lit his pipe, then, with his eyes fixed on 
the mountains, he retired into dreamland. He resembled 
a young child who cannot be trusted alone — you were 
obliged to lead him by the hand along the pathway of his 
ideas ; if you left him, were it but for a moment, he sat 
down. 

I looked at him ; he had already forgotten me. Unless 
I took the initiative, he would sit there till dinner-time. 

' Bartolomeo,' said I with determination. 

' Senhor !' His voice had a far-off quality. 

' Tell me, what do you want with the Bichero-mor ?' 

He mumbled something about cagados (tortoises) and 
cobras (snakes), something also about an eagle's nest. 

Then I recollected. This was no chance visit. This was 
the fulfilment of a promise ; for had not Bartolomeo 
promised Hadow to assist him in a grand reptile hunt ? 

' Of course I'll fetch him,' I cried ; ' he wants to see you, 
not to-morrow, O Bartolomeo, not the day after, but to-day 
— now, at once ! Do you understand ?' 

The old man oscillated his head gently. The smoke from 
his pipe drifted out into the sunlight. 

Hadow was much excited. 



BARTOLOMEO LEADS THE WAY 167 

' You can spare the time ?' I asked. 

' Dock I not easily ; but to seek reptiles, yes. I will 
show Warden where to dig in my absence. So ! the old 
animal calls me Bichero-mor, does he ? Ha ! I will show 
him what for a hunter I am. It will be fine fun ! Colossal ! 
You will come with us, I hope, Sleeping One ?' 

' Yes.' 

' Good ! then get my bag and collecting tins. We will 
bring back a brace of eagles ; I have a case ready for them 
in my museum. Hoch P 

The sporting party set forth. Bartolomeo strolled in 
front, Hadow and I sauntered behind. I do not think our 
pace exceeded a mile an hour. 

In a short time we quitted the path and attacked unmiti- 
gated mountain. Bartolomeo was not to be turned aside 
by any natural obstacles ; rocks, boulders, etc., he took 
them all in his crawl. We clutched and we climbed, we sUd 
and we leapt, and still the old sombrero bobbed in front- 
still the goat-skin trousers led the way. I came to the con^ 
elusion that somewhat of the spirit of their former owner 
still clung to those goat-skin relics, for surely never did 
trousers conceal more goat-like understandings than did 
those of Bartolomeo. The old man was plainly a satyr.^ 
'Senhores mine!' said he, pausing unexpectedly, 'we 

have arrived.' 

We stood on a broad ledge of rock. Hadow and I panted 
and mopped — mopped and panted. 

' Achr gasped the Professor. ' How say you, my friend, 
is the nest on the cliff below us ?' 

' Yes, senhor, but you cannot see it from here, it is over- 
hung by the face of the rock.' 

' What, then, do you want us to do ?' 

' What I propose is that we should hide in that cleft ; it 
will hold us all. It looks outwards, as you see, and we will 
be able to watch the eagles as they come and go, but, 
thanks to our position, they will not be able to see us until 
they are within range of your beautiful English guns.' 

Hadow uttered gurgles of dehght. 

' Are there eggs in the nest at present ?' I inquired. 

' No, senhor ; they were hatched last week, for I myself 



i68 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

saw the old birds carrying food to the eaglets. The young 
ones must now be eight or nine days old.' 

' Ach Himmel f what ten million pities that w^e have no 
rope ! I would give much for the skeletons of healthy 
young eaglets.' 

' But,' I remonstrated, ' we cannot shoot the parent birds 
now.' 

' Eh ? Why not ?' ejaculated the Professor, thoroughly 
taken aback. 

Bartolomeo stared at me in astonishment. 

' Because, don't you see, the young ones would starve.' 

' Ho ! ho ! ho !' roared Hadow. 

' It is good for such vermin to starve,' remarked Barto- 
lomeo. 

I looked from one to the other. No hope for the eaglets 
was to be read in either of their faces — science and Portu- 
guese sport stamped on humaner feelings. There was 
evidently no ' close season ' in the Sierra de Monchique. 
What was I to do ? I could not let the eaglets starve with- 
out another effort ; but for the time being I shut my mouth. 
I plainly saw that this was no occasion for words. 

We reached the cleft, and found that it held us all with 
comfort. Indeed, it formed a delightful resting-place after 
our exertions, for it lay submerged in shadow — a natural 
channel that focussed every wandering breath of air. We 
sat on the extreme edge of the chff, our feet dangling into 
space, Hadow between Bartolomeo and me, our guns in 
our hands. The Professor had armed himself with his 
rifle ; I carried my double-barrelled gun, while the old 
huntsman caressed his cherished piece of breach-loading 
antiquity. 

' They will be coming soon,' whispered Bartolomeo. 

' I will fire first,' said Hadow in a low voice. ' I have but 
one shot ; then, if I miss, do you and Bartolomeo fire at 
once. Is it understood, Hein ?' 

We assured him that we would follow his instructions. 
Conversation languished. We sat silent in the drowsy 
warmth and watched the sunshine deluging the rocks 
beyond the margin of the shadow. Curiously enough, it 
was Bartolomeo who appeared to be the most excited of 



BARTOLOMEO LEADS THE WAY 169 

the party. The old man was Hke another person. The 
sportsman in him was roused ; his eyes burned with an 
inward fire, and he watched the hne — where chff met sky — 
with the unwavering fixity, something of the hungry rapa- 
city of a lynx. The lust to kill was hot upon him ; he was 
like a wild animal when it first smells blood. 

With Hadow it was different. He was actuated more by 
devotion to science than by love of sport. In imagination 
he already saw those eagles adorning a prominent position 
in his museum. The idea thrilled him ; he fumed with 
excitement. Fragmentary German bubbled from his lips ; 
his impatient fingers itched on the trigger. 

As for me, to a certain extent I shared this excitement — 
the killing of something never appeals in vain to a Briton — 
— but although, under other circumstances I should have 
gloried in shooting an eagle — what a stirring event to record 
in my diary ! — yet on this occasion I dreaded the arrival 
of the parent birds. I could not forget the eaglets. I do 
not pride myself on being a humaner man than either of 
my companions, but simply that I believe I looked facts in 
the face with a saner eye — that is, an eye less blinded by 
the glamour of those powerful deities — Science and Sport. 
No plan of action suggested itself to me — my brain was a 
blank. I sat, and waited, and watched, haunted the while 
by a sense of imminent catastrophe. 

' Is your gun loaded, dear boy ?' whispered Hadow. 

I replied in the affirmative, and we again relapsed into 
silence. How long we sat on that ledge I could not say ; 
it might have been an hour, it might have been ten minutes. 
Be that as it may, I had grown stiff, and was on the point of 
stretching my cramped limbs, when my movements were 
arrested by a gasp from Bartolomeo : 

' S-s-t, senhores !' 

Every nerve tingled into attention. 

Round the distant line of cliffs sailed an eagle — a glorious, 
kingly bird. Unconscious of our presence, it neared us in 
a steady sweep, buoyed upon the sunlit air, spirited on- 
wards upon broad and motionless wings. I have rarely 
beheld a more beautiful sight. In its claws it grasped 
some object, scarcely to be distinguished at so considerable 



170 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

a distance, but which I instinctively surmised to be food for 
its httle ones. I recalled the nest and its tiny occupants — 
pity knocked against my heart. 

Hadow's rifle sought his shoulder. Then, I know not 
how it happened, but at the very moment when he pressed 
the trigger, I accidentally jogged his elbow. The report and 
a German oath rang out simultaneously — the eagle and I 
were equally alarmed. 

' Shoot ! shoot ! Dumhart !' roared Hadow. 

I fired both barrels with the utmost promptitude. Bar- 
tolomeo attempted to follow my example, but Providence 
had bribed the muzzle-loader, for it absolutely refused to 
speak. The eagle wheeled in the still air, and with a hoarse 
scream disappeared behind a wall of rock. Then came the 
day of reckoning ! 

Hadow turned fiercely upon me. But there, my lips 
are closed. There are occasions when, like Bartolomeo's 
gun, I, too, prefer to remain silent. 

Still, I had one consolation — a consolation that even 
Hadow could not take from me — the eaglets had but post- 
poned their dinner-hour ! 



CHAPTER XXIII 

THE GREAT HUNT FOR LITTLE REPTILES 

Peace had been restored ; Bartolomeo again led the way. 
This time ' httle reptiles ' lured us on. After a long and 
arduous descent, we reached the bottom of a gorge between 
whose rocky walls there ran a streamlet. It was our brook 
— the brook endeared to us by many a familiar reminiscence, 
the brook of the oleanders, the brook of the stepping-stones ; 
but, on account of our being so much further up-stream, we 
failed to recognise it until Bartolomeo called our attention 
to its identity. Then we blamed ourselves for our stupidity, 
for its face was as the face of a friend, and its voice sang the 
old familiar tunes. 

Our first desire was to quench our thirst. Stretching our- 
selves on the bank, we drank and drank again. It was an 
exquisite pleasure to allow the current to ripple through our 
fingers — to immerse our arms elbow-deep in the cool bright- 
ness of the running water. The brook greeted us joyously, 
laughing and gurgling at the encounter. One could almost 
imagine that it was alive, and that it was glad to see us. 

The scenery was wild, for although the slopes were clad 
with stiva — a low bush reminding me of gum-cistus — yet 
the rocks rose in places to a great height, in sheer cliff and 
precipice, up which the eyes climbed and climbed, until 
they rested finally on the summer sky. 

' Senhores !' exclaimed Bartolomeo, ' the pool that lies 
at your feet is known to me ! In it you will find tortoises. 
Now, with your permission, I will show you the best way to 
capture them.' 

So saying, he drew his hunting-knife from its sheath. We 

171 



172 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

watched him with interest. Was he going to spear them ? 
Bartolomeo spearing tortoises with a hunting-knife would be 
a novel entertainment ! The old man, however, knew well 
what he was about. Cutting down a large armful of oleander 
reeds from a clump that grew hard by, he set about plaiting 
them into a hurdle. 

' This, senhores,' said he, ' will be of much assistance to 
us. If you ' — nodding to me — ' will take one end of it, I 
will take the other ; we will then drag it across the pool in 
the direction of the Bichero-mor, who will receive the 
tortoises as they arrive.' 

It was a brilliant idea. His instructions were carried out 
to the letter. A tortoise-drive is exciting sport ; the rocks 
rang to Hadow's shouts. Our first venture resulted in a 
' bag ' of seven tortoises, two water-snakes, five frogs, and 
one eel. Bartolomeo was triumphant ; he, too, had vindi- 
cated his claim to the proud title of Bichero-mor. In our 
gratitude, we presented him with the eel, the only one of our 
captives that lent itself to being eaten. 

Among the tortoises was one of singularly beautiful 
marking — a dainty little creature with bright eyes, a 
coquettish tail, and an entire absence of fear. 

' I really must have this tortoise as my share of the spoil,' 
I remarked to Hadow, as the courageous little animal 
clawed its way up my sleeve, never desisting in its efforts 
till it reached my shoulder. 

' But, dear boy, it is the most beautiful !' 

' That is why I ask for it.' 

' It will look so nice in my museum. You would not take 
from it the honour of a glass case, with its fine name written 
below — Clemmys leprosa 5. Sigrig. It would be too cruel 
a disappointment for the animal.' 

' Would you rather give me " EHza " ?' I inquired. 

' Ach nein ! no such foolish jokes ; keep the little animal, 
if you will.' 

I consigned my new property to a safety match-box. It 
made a comfortable travelling home for it, in which it could 
all but turn round. 

* But, Hadow,' I said, ' tell me, why do you call my 
tortoise by such a name ?' 



THE GREAT HUNT FOR LITTLE REPTILES 173 

' Because, ignorant animal, it is its name.' 
' But why leprosa ? It sounds like a disease.' 
' It is a disease. Look at its homy epidermal shield. 
See you these gangrenous patches — the markings that you 
think so beautiful ? They are caused by freshwater algae 
which penetrate between the Malpighian layer and the under- 
lying bone ; they cause this leprous look. J a wohl ! that 
is the reason of the specific name leprosa.' 

* Senhor,' interrupted Bartolomeo, with excitement, 
* cohra ! cobra P (a snake ! a snake !). 

Our eyes followed his outstretched finger to where, 
between two rocks, the head of a large snake could distinctly 
be seen. Hadow dropped a handful of tortoises and darted 
forward, but the snake vanished among the rocks, and he 
came back disappointed. I laughed. 

' You're too slow, Professor ! Try a pinch of salt next 

time !' 

He made a pointed allusion to eagles, so I wisely changed 
the subject. Bartolomeo, however, considered snakes too 
enthralling a topic of conversation to be thus lightly dis- 
missed, so, seating himself on a mossy boulder, with his back 
to a rock, he gave us much curious information respecting 
these reptiles. He proved a mine of quaint folklore. With 
his shaggy breeches, straw sandals, venerable coat, and 
weather-beaten face, dark as rough-hewn mahogany, he 
accorded well with the wild and savage character of the 
landscape. No artist, painting that sunlit gorge, could have 
desired a more appropriate model. 

' Yes, senhores,' said he, gazing drowsily at the water 
with half-closed lids—' yes, snakes are dangerous vermin, 
and to be avoided at all times ' — he expectorated medita- 
tively—' but, to my thinking, the grass or ringed snake is 
the worst.' 

' Ah, for what reason ?' inquired Hadow, immensely 

interested. 

' Because of its fondness for milk.' 

' For milk ?' 

' Yes, meu senhor, for milk. Em conciencia, he verdade. 
(On my conscience, it is true.) The rascal will go anywhere 
for milk. Imagine to yourselves how cunning it is ; it lays its 



174 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

eggs in manure-heaps, so as to be close to the cows, for it 
loves to steal to the animals and suck their udders, and, if 
disturbed, it bites them.' 

' 5o / a curious story ; but ' — and Hadow shook his head 
— ' is it to be believed, Hein ?' 

' Believed !' cried Bartolomeo, in a tone that was all but 
animated. ' Assim Deos me salve ! (As God shall save me !) 
yes. But I have a more wonderful story still, and one that 
I know well is true, for I had it from my father — worthy man, 
God rest his soul ! — and he had it from an uncle on his 
mother's side ; so you see, senhores, it may be accepted as 
gospel.' 

' Undoubtedly, Bartolomeo,' we assented gravely. 

The old man nodded his head in great contentment, and 
continued : 

' It took place on a farm near Salir. There was a grass- 
snake there that loved warm milk, and was in the habit of 
stealing it from the cows ; you know our proverb, " Once a 
thief, always a thief." Now, for some reason the cows went 
dry, and the snake could not get the milk it was accustomed 
to. The farmer's wife — a fine woman — was feeding her 
baby at the breast ; it was night, and she was in bed, when 
she felt something crawl under the bedclothes — something 
cold that, passing over the body, glued itself to her other 
breast.' 

I gave a cry of disgust. 

' Yes,' continued Bartolomeo, ' it was the grass-snake. 
The woman was terrified, as you may suppose, but she knew 
well that if she cried for assistance, she or her baby would 
be bitten ; so she lay still — quite still — and let it drink un- 
disturbed. When it had finished its meal it crawled away 
in the direction of the farmyard.' 

' Did they kill it ?' I asked. 

' Not in the house, senhor — ^no ; everyone in the neigh- 
bourhood said that would bring bad luck to the baby. Even 
the Padre said so — ^he refused to exorcise the reptile on that 
account.' 

' Was it never killed ?' 

' Oh yes ; for, on the advice of a very wise old woman, the 
husband put a saucer of milk on the outer doorstep, and. 



THE GREAT HUNT FOR LITTLE REPTILES 175 

lying in wait, had the good fortune to kill the vermin in the 
act of drinking milk out of the saucer on the following night. 
Yes, it is quite true. And the best of the story is that the 
baby grew into a man, just like the rest of us !' 

We sat silent for some time, Hadow and I dipping our 
naked feet in the water. The old man spoke again. 
' I could tell you stranger things than that, senhores.' 
' Really ?' we murmured incredulously. 
' Yes, I could tell you of the marvellous Huhu bird ; have 
you ever heard of it ?' 
' No, Bartolomeo.' 

' I am not surprised ; few people know of its existence. 
It is only to be found in the North of Portugal, in the Sierra 
Gerez. It is a most singular bird, quite unlike other birds, 
for it objects so much to the sun that it always flies stern 
foremost, using its tail as a fan to keep the light out of its 
eyes.' 

We could not refrain from laughter ; Bartolomeo was 
visibly annoyed. 

' It is quite true ; I have known of it all my life. You do 
not seem to believe it ! Why do you laugh ? You might as 
well deny that, in the Tras os Montes, there are Cobras con 
azas (snakes with wings), or that the female viper swallows 
her young when danger is near !' 
' Yes, Bartolomeo, quite as well.' 

' But I assure you, senhores, that ' 

' Ach Gott r interrupted Hadow. 

Bartolomeo and I jumped in sympathy. With a bound 
the Professor was in mid-stream, making for an object that 
neared him with the downward current. It was a snake. 
The reptile betrayed no symptom of fear. With head erect 
it swam towards him, and when it was come within the 
distance of a few yards it opened its mouth and hissed 
venomously. Watching his opportunity, Hadow made a 
sudden dart forwards and seized it by the neck, immedi- 
ately behind the head. His captive lashed vigorously with 
its tail, but the Professor, holding it on high, gave vent to 
loud shouts of victory. 

' Hoch ! hoch ! dear boy, what fine luck ! A beautiful 
specimen of Tropidonotus natrix ; it is the grass or ringed 



176 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

snake of which Bartolomeo told us. Now, I have this 
beautiful one and the other fine specimen of Coronella 
IcBvis, or smooth snake. Be quiet, my treasure ; I will not 
let you go.' 

' Is it poisonous ?' I asked, as the reptile snapped its jaws. 

' Ach nein ! it is a good snake, and belongs to a respectable 
family — the non-poisonous Colubrine snakes ; see how pretty 
it is. Saw you anything so fine, Hein ?' 

I looked at it with interest ; its colouring was indeed beau- 
tiful — brownish-gray with a green tinge above, and dull 
pale-blue beneath ; there was but a faint indication of a 
white and yellow collar round its neck, while its eyes were 
of a lustrous red hue. 

' I will soon make it to know me,' said Hadow ; ' see, you 
would say we are good friends already.' 

He made a peculiar whistling noise between his teeth ; 
the reptile, its tongue trembling like an aspen-leaf, ceased to 
struggle. Hadow, still continuing the noise, shifted his 
grasp so as to allow the snake greater freedom, upon which 
the reptile made faint passes with its head, responding to 
Hadow's left hand, which moved in rhythmical motions 
just beyond its reach. 

' And foolish people say that snakes are deaf !' said Hadow, 
with infinite scorn. ' But tell me, dear boy, what o'clock it 
is ; we must not forget the caves.' 

' Half-past twelve,' said I, looking at my watch. 

' Gott in Himmel P — springing to his feet. ' We must be 
off. Half-past twelve ! and that poor animal Warden digs 
for me all these many hours ! Take this bag ; I will carry 
the tins. Come quick.' And with a bound he had started 
on the homeward journey. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

CONCERNING A LAMB AND OTHER MATTERS 

* Oh^^ senhor P 

I opened my eyes, and surveyed Manuel drowsily, for he 
had awakened me in the middle of a siesta. I blinked at him 
in silence for a few moments ; he seemed very unreal. 

' What do you want ?' I asked at length. 

' Come out, senhor, and behold what I have brought you.' 

I struggled to the cave-mouth ; in the sunlight Manuel's 
gray donkey, with a large pannier upon its back, stood 
patiently. 

* We don't buy donkeys,' I said testily ; for I was still 
under the depressing influence of interrupted sleep. 

' Ho, senhor !' he chuckled dryly. ' See now, be not so 
impatient. Come nearer. Look into my pannier ; you will 
be surprised.' 

I followed his advice, and beheld a lamb. The little 
creature turned its head to me with a pathetic look in its 
eyes. 

' Why, it's alive, Manuel !' 

' But surely, senhor.' 

' Whatever made you bring us a live lamb ?' As I said 
this, I fondled the little woolly head. 

' It can be killed,' said the old man. 

The lamb licked my hand. 

' Hola ! what have we here ?' shouted a voice behind us, 
and Hadow stumbled out of the inner cave. ' What is this ?' 
he cried, blinking in the strong light. 

' A fine lamb, Senhor Hadoo ; you remember you asked 
me for some fresh meat, and when I could bring it to you.' 

177 12 



178 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

' Very good ; now, how much wish you for this so small 
animal ?' And Hadow felt its ribs in a knowing manner. 

The lamb struggled feebly, for its legs were tied together. 
Manuel named the Portuguese equivalent for 4s. 6d. Hadow 
eventually beat him down to 3s. 3d., at which price the lamb 
changed hands. 

' What are we going to do with it ?' I asked, as we 
watched Manuel riding slowly up the mountain-track. 

' Do with it ? Herr Gott ! what for a question ! Why, 
eat it, of course, foolish one !' 

' But— but it's alive !' 

' That hinders nothing ; we will kill it.' 

The lamb looked at me. I longed to save its life, but 
what was the good ? Once set free amongst this wilderness 
of rocks, what was it to do ? It was clearly no sort of life 
for a lamb. And, moreover — I blush to own it — I was 
hungry ; the carnivorous animal within me craved for flesh. 
The memory of mint sauce, with its more substantial accom- 
paniment, silenced me. I returned its look sadly. 

' Now,' continued Hadow, ' would you like to kill the little 
animal, dear boy ?' 

' No !' I cried. 

' Ach so ! do not look so fierce. I ask you for a treat. I 
will gladly kill it myself. Let me see — to cut his throat is 
me way, and, I am told, better for the meat. My knife is 
good, and with one strong cut — I ' 

But here I left him. 

The expenses incurred during our cave life were far from 
being ruinous. As the reader doubtless remembers, I had 
agreed to pay half of the entire cost of the expedition, and 
I see, from my notes, that my share of living expenses 
during the period passed in the cave averaged two shillings 
a day. 

According to agreement, Manuel continued to call or send 
daily ; his contributions to our table included eggs (at three- 
pence halfpenny per dozen), immense loaves of bread (two- 
pence each), wine (our garaffe contained three quarts, and 
cost us ninepence), besides potatoes, milk, honey, coffee, 
fruit. The latter articles, being considered great delicacies. 



CONCERNING A LAMB^AND OTHER MATTERS 179 

were not eaten at every meal ; milk, honey, and fruit were 
served only on great and solemn occasions. Two shillings 
a day, or one shilling per head — for Pedro ate from the 
crumbs that fell from our table — think of it ! It practically 
annihilated poverty. I often wondered why all the poor 
relations, scattered so plentifully over the surface of the 
globe, did not emigrate to the Sierra de Monchique Moun- 
tains, and purchase health and happiness at the cost price 
of one shilling a day. 

For this insignificant sum a man had a dry roof over his 
head, a cool and airy chamber, a superb view, air filtered 
over mountain ranges, a bathroom fit for an Eastern poten- 
tate, and a sufficiency of wholesome food. No neighbours 
to trouble him, no barking dogs, no taxes, no display of 
riches to make him envious. Only Nature and quiet, sun- 
shine and starlight, health and happiness ; it seemed almost 
too good to be true. This was tasting life in earnest. This 
was the realization of many an old dream, many a boyish 
fancy, and it seemed to me that never before had I crept 
nearer to Nature's heart than I was privileged to do among 
these hills of Portugal. 

' What write you in that book, senhor ?' 

* Many things, Pedro.' 

The small imp upon the rock hugged his knees. 
' Do you speak of me ?' he inquired, after a pause. 

* Sometimes.' 

* And of what I do ?' 
' Y-e-s.' 

' It must be fun to write ; but what do you say I do ?' 
I eyed him thoughtfully. He was a remarkable object, 

with his brown face, his small trousers, and his large hat. 
' I might say that you stole some sardines yesterday, or 

that you threw a rock over the chff which nearly killed 

Senhor Hadow, or that you poured my ink into the pocket 

of ' 

' Do you think I could hit it ?' interrupted Pedro sud- 
denly. 

' Hit what ?' 

' That little stone upon the top of the great one — there !' 

12 — 2 



i8o SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

And he flung a piece of rock at the object of his thoughts. 
' That was very near it, don't you think V 

' I think you had better run away ; I want to write.' 

I wrote for exactly fifteen seconds, when : 

' Could you hit it, senhor ?' 

' What, Pedro ?' I spoke testily, for I had forgotten his 

existence. 

' The Httle stone upon the top of the great one.' 

* Basta ! hasta ! (Enough ! enough !) Pedro.' 

' I don't believe you could,' he muttered, half to himself. 

For some time he hurled about rocks in silence, then : 

' When I am a man I will have a gun like Senhor Hadoo. 
Que Alegria ! (What joy !) Yes ; and I will carry snakes 
in all my pockets. Ah, que gosto P (Ah, what pleasure !) 

I laid down my pen. 

' The chances are, my dear Pedro, that if you continue to 
annoy me, you will not live to be a man.' 

But Pedro only laughed, and flung another stone. 
- ' Ah, que gloria P he shouted, clapping his hands. ' I have 
hit it ! Que gloria I Que gloria P 

'MaroteP (Rascal!) I cried, springing to my feet. 

But before I could reach him he had vanished, apparently 
into space, although the rocks still repeated the cry, ' Ah, 
que gloria ! — que gloria P 

Our mail-bag was made up weekly, and Pedro, laden with 
injunctions and letters, was despatched across the mountains 
to Louie. I was the chief contributor to the foreign mail- 
bag, for Hadow wrote but one letter a week, and Warden 
corresponded with his English friends but twice in the 

year. 

This weekly letter of Hadow's aroused my curiosity. He 
admitted that letter-writing was abhorrent to him, and yet 
he never allowed a week to go by without sending off this one 
letter of numerous pages covered closely with his neat and 
methodical handwriting. Who could be the recipient ? A 
woman ? For surely nothing short of powerful feminine 
attraction could force a man to undertake so arduous and 
uncongenial a task. And yet was such a solution credible ? 
Would it not be foreign to his character ? 



CONCERNING A LAMB AND OTHER MATTERS i8i 

" Lying beside him one day when he was deep in its pages, 
I began lazily to poke fun at him. 
' Give her my love,' I suggested. 

* Ja wohl, dear boy.' And he plied his pen in silence. 
' Could you get me a few shares in her affection ?' 

' All are taken up and paid for in full.' He stroked 
his long moustaches, and gazed at his letter with admira- 
tion. 

' Hadow, tell me, is she pretty ?' 

' She is — b-e-autiful !' he chuckled deep in his throat. 

' You old humbug ! You pretend to be indifferent to 
women, and yet you carry on a weekly flirtation with a 
pretty girl. What do you mean by it ?' 

A twinkle came into his eyes. 

' Ach / what will you ? If you were a philosopher you 
would know right well that there is always one big exception 
to every rule. Well, dear boy, this ' — and he tapped the 
letter before him — ' is my one big exception.' 

' Tell me what she is like,' I persisted. 

' Ah, Mr. Curiosity ! Why should I tell you of my so 
private affairs ?' 

' Oh, well, of course, if you are ashamed ' 

' Ashamed ! No ; very proud. Well, to please you I will 
tell. She has a dear, good face, and her eyes are full of 
truth ; her step is soft and light, like a little lizard's. When 
she speaks, you hear nothing but kindness, and when she 
is near you, you think to yourself, ^' Ach ! what a great 
clumsy animal I am !" ' 

I looked at him in amazement. Could this he Hadow ? 

He nodded his head, and began to light his pipe. 

' Tell me more about her. What colour is her hair ?' I 
asked, after a pause. 

' Her hair ? Ach so ! it is gray.' 

' Gray !' 

' Doch ! I think nearly white.' 

* White ! Why, then, she is quite old !' 
' She will never be old.' i : 

' But if her hair is white !' I~^ *** 

'Ach! that makes no difference; her heart is so very 
young. I tell her so often. " Mutterchen,'" I say ' 



i82 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

* Mother !' I ejaculated. 

' Certainly. I may be allowed to have one mother, I 
suppose ?* 

' Oh, ah ! y-e-s, I suppose so.' 

The idea of Hadow's mother deprived me of breath — 
there was something unnatural in such a relationship. An 
incubator, now, I could have understood. 

' Yes, I tell her so many times,' repeated Hadow, puffing 
at his pipe. ' " Mutterchen,'' I say, " you make me to feel 
shame, you are so young, and I feel old enough to be your 
father ; what for a future is before us ! I grow older every 
day ; before long I will be your grandfather ! It is not right 
of you, little mother ! " Then will she kiss my ugly head 
and say in her kind voice : " Dear boy, you flatter your old 
mother ; but what I wish is for you and me always to be 
the same age, and if God wills it we will grow old together !" 
There, you curious animal !' he concluded gruffly, turning 
on me a broad and non-committal back, ' take your lazy 
carcass out of my light. Go and catch for me a few fine 
frogs to justify your useless existence !' 

' Is it any use digging further ?' said Warden. 

We were seated round the fire, and my friends, with a long 
and arduous day's work behind them, were discussing the 
advantages and disadvantages connected with further ex- 
cavation. The night was dark, for a canopy of thick clouds 
blotted out the stars. The wind moaned uneasily. 

' I tell you they must be there !' cried Hadow, smiting 
the floor with his clenched fist. 

Warden shrugged his shoulders. 

' I would stay if I could, old man, but I can't afford the 
time. You know that my leave is up in a day or two, and 
although the fellows at the mines are awfully decent, yet I 
can't ask them to do my work for me any longer. You see, 
Hadow ' — and he laid his hand persuasively on the Professor's 
knee — ' even after we leave this we have several days 
travelling before us. You remember, we decided to go back 
across the mountains.' 

' They must be there !' repeated Hadow doggedly. 

' Well, it doesn't look like it. We've made hay of the 



CONCERNING A LAMB AND OTHER MATTERS 183 

floor of that inner cave to the depth of goodness knows how 
many feet, not to mention prospecting in the workmen's 
cave, and what have we got ? Only these odds and ends 
you found last week. I am awfully sorry for your dis- 
appointment, old man ; I feel it myself. I'd give anything 
for you to have made a big find ; but we've done our best, 
and — well, it simply can't be helped !' 

Hadow sprang to his feet, and began to stride from one 
end of the cave to the other, utterly regardless of apart- 
ments, looking for all the world like a caged animal. Back 
and forward, back and forward he swept, wheeling out of 
firelight into shadow, and back into firelight again. Sud- 
denly he came to a stop, faced us, smote his right fist into 
his left hand with much heat, and said : 

' They must be there !' 

He said it with the air of a man profoundly convinced 
of the truth of his assertion. We gazed at him sadly. He 
dashed his hat into the study and ran his fingers through his 
thick hair. His distress was great, yet we found no words 
with which to console him. 

' I thank you both for your time and attentions. I see 
well how it looks from your eyes. You think all has been 
done ? Hein ? But so long as they are not found, all 
has not been done ! Now, you may both go away — I 
may not ask you to stay longer— but as for me, I stay 
here.' 

We endeavoured to dissuade him. Warden spoke long 
and persuasively. Hadow resumed his monotonous pacing 
to and fro. 

' Oh, but only to think of it !' he cried, shaking his fist in 
the direction of the black inner cave. ' Ach Gott ! it is too 
much misfortune. How can I go back to England with so 
httle to show ?— I, who talked so big ! I, who had set my 
heart upon so many fine bones ! Dear boys !' and he 
wheeled upon us impetuously, ' have patience ; give me but 
four days more. Yes ?' 

Warden shook his head. 

' But three, then ?' 

* I wish I could, old fellow.' 

' Um Gottes willen ! you are too bad, animal of a Jew ! 



i84 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

Give me but two ! See, now, two little days ; that is all 
I ask ! ' 

Warden was moved. He laid a hand on Hadow's 
shoulder. 

' All right, old man, two be it, beginning to-morrow ; but, 
whatever happens, I have your word that you start with us 
on Saturday morning ?' 

' You have,' said Hadow with solemnity ; and upon this 
understanding we went to bed. 



CHAPTER XXV 
carmen's visit 

Early on the following morning we were awakened by the 
sound of many little bells. They stole into our sleep, and 
tinkled in unison with our dreams ; and then, with musical 
insistence — becoming nearer and louder — they recalled us 
to waking life. The jingle- jangle vibrated through the 
dawn, for the sun had not yet risen, although the growing 
light stood tiptoe on the threshold of the day ; it shook 
itself round us in bursts of merriment, in foreign clamour 
that was pleasing to the ear, bell answering unto bell 
in every ascending and descending note of sonorous 
sound. 

Dehghtful though this may appear to the fully awakened 
senses, yet, visiting us in the gray dawn, it was not so wel- 
comed with universal approval. 

I rubbed my eyes, and, raising myself on my elbow, gazed 
questioningly around. The bell-ringers were the herd of 
Jew-like goats which we had met with on the occasion of our 
first finding of the cave. They peered down at us from 
above, they gazed up at us from below, and they inspected 
us from either end of our ledge. 

' Confound the beasts !' exclaimed Warden. 

' It is good for you to rise early,' commented Hadow, who 
was already up and dressed. ' Ach ! there is the goatherd ! 
Let us have a talk with the animal now that we know a Httle 
of this mountain patois.' 

The man made his appearance unexpectedly, the same 
wild and uncouth object which we had seen before. He 
sprang from rock to rock with the light and sure-footed 

185 



i86 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

certainty of a goat, his sandals of hemp appearing to cling 
to the surface of the boulders with the same tenacity as 
did the tiny hoofs of his herd. He proved more willing to 
converse than on the previous occasion ; our guns — and 
particularly Hadow's rifle — attracted him, and when, in 
answer to his entreaties, we fired at a distant rock, planting 
a bullet well within a given mark, his surprise and admiration 
knew no bounds. 

b In return he displayed his skill with the sling, which 
hie carried in his hand, probably the same description of 
primitive weapon with which David killed Goliath in the 
good days of yore. Singling out a goat which had strayed 
from the herd, he picked up a stone, placed it in the leathern 
holder of the sling, whirled it several times round his head, 
then sent it whizzing on its way with a graceful motion of 
the arm. The stone hit the animal fuU in the ribs with a 
resounding thwack. Never have I seen a goat more pain- 
fully surprised. Turning its patriarchal face in our direc- 
tion, it gave vent to a bleat of reproach. The pathetic 
sound was symbolical of ' wrongs unredressed and insults 
unavenged,' and as I gave ear to it, I seemed to be listening 
to the lamentations of a persecuted race. 

Breakfast that morning was a joyous experience ; the 
goatherd milked several of his charges into our spare dishes, 
and we enjoyed the luxury of unlimited hot milk with our 
coffee. 

I had not seen Colomba for several days. Many times 
had I looked for her — in the morning, when Manuel or his 
substitute might be expected to appear on the track leading 
over the hill ; and in the evening, when, perchance, she 
might be returning from some visit to Louie — but thus far 
my expectations had been disappointed. I had even gone 
the length on one or two occasions of climbing to the saddle, 
from which a bird's-eye view of Manuel's house could be 
obtained ; but the little dwelling had always the same air 
of desertion : not a soul to be seen, save once, when I could 
distinguish Manuel at work, a little patch of moving shadow 
in the sunlight of the garden. ^ 

Colomba's sister Carmen visited us twice, bringing 



CARMEN'S VISIT 187 

with her the basket containing our daily supply of 
provisions. 

There was something singular about Carmen — she was so 
small, so elfin-like. She gave you the impression that she 
was some fairy changeling, for she lived in a world of her 
own, where everything was alive, and would talk by the 
hour to birds and trees and flowers, as if she possessed the 
key to their language, and could enter at will into their 
feelings. Her mind was not accustomed to run in common- 
place grooves, like those of ordinary mortals. She suffered 
from marked eccentricity — let me not call it madness ; the 
term is too harsh, too gross, to be applicable to the delicate 
waywardness of fancy that swayed her thoughts — her mind 
resembled her body, in that it was fairy-like and active. 
Childhood still flung the hem of its mantle over her words, 
and you realized that the advance of years would not rob her 
of the simplicity and naivete of early youth. 

' You are the Senhor Geelberto ?' she had said on the 
occasion of her first visit. I took the basket out of her 
hand as I replied in the affirmative. She nodded her head 
many times. ' Yes, yes, I thought so. I like you. You 
look kind.' 

' I always try my best,' I said with a smile. 

She sprang lightly from the donkey's back and ran into 
the cave. 

' Oh !' she cried, clapping her hands, ' Colomba told 
me, but I had no idea it would look so nice ; it is quite a 
little house ! I would like to live here.' 

The impossibility of acting on this hint kept me silent. 
The little creature flitted hither and thither, touching every- 
thing lightly with the tips of her fingers, as a butterfly might 
do in its wayward and erratic flight. 

' And you,' I asked at length, ' are Carmen ?' 

She danced up to me and laughed in my face 

' Yes, I am Carmen. Do you think it is a pretty name ?' 

' Very ; it reminds me of olive-trees and sunshine.' 

' Does it really ? I am so glad. You say nice things ; 
I like you more and more every minute.' 

My eyes opened to their widest. 

' We are certainly getting on,' I rejoined politely, but she 



i88 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

had flitted off upon another voyage of exploration. As 
she moved she sang a Httle crooning song. I could not 
catch the words ; the air, however, was wild and sad. 

* You are fond of birds, Carmen ?' said I, seeing her 
turning over the pages of a book on natural history belonging 
to Hadow. 

She did not answer, but as the leaves rustled under her 
light fingers, she gave a cry of delight. Looking over her 
shoulder, I saw that she had been attracted by a coloured 
illustration of a kingfisher. 

' Ah, the beautiful creature !' she murmured, laying her 
cheek against the page. ' I love it — I love it !' 

* It is only the picture of a bird,' said I gently, for I felt 
sorry to see her so unlike other girls. 

She shook her head. 

' No, no ; I know better. It is a real bird ; it will come 
to life one day. See how beautiful it is ! What fine colours 
it has !' 

I was about to change the subject, when she gave a cry of 
pain. 

'What is that ?' There was fear as well as anger in her voice. 

I followed her eyes to the wall, against which Hadow 
pinned his specimens. 

'That is a kingfisher, too — the skin of one. But do not 
fear, it cannot hurt you ; it is dead.' 

' Who killed it ?' she gasped. 

Her agitation was grievous to witness. I was taken aback. 

' Oh, I don't know. Well — that is to say, I suppose it 
was shot by one of my friends.' 

She sprang to her feet and faced me. 

' Oh, cruel !' she cried breathlessly. ' Cruel ! cruel !' 

Her eyes blazed with indignation, and all her little figure 
seemed distorted with rage. I gazed at her in conster- 
nation. Then the flood-gates of her speech were opened, 
and she let loose such a torrent of words, speaking so quickly 
and gesticulating with so much passion, that I was unable 
to follow her, and stood dumfounded and wordless, while 
she lashed me with her small but unmerciful tongue. It 
was a humiliating experience. Fortunately, it did not last 
long ; the fiery flow came abruptly to an end, and, without 



: s > ^ 



1 ■) 3 ■» ■> •> J ^ J 




Cakmk.\".s \'isrr 



CARMEN'S VISIT 189 

vouchsafing me so much as a look, she caught up the empty 
basket and disappeared into the sunshine. 

On the occasion of her second visit she had so far forgiven 
me that she stayed awhile to talk, although she would by 
no means consent to enter the cave. Our conversation 
verged on the fantastic. She informed me that she had 
been a flower in a former existence, also a bird, and, on 
one occasion, even a tree. She told me, too, what the rain 
sang when it came dancing down to earth, and the reason 
why the shadows chased the sunshine over the hills, with 
many other pieces of curious and unexpected information. 
She had many little stories connected with material objects, 
which lifted them at once out of the commonplace into the 
atmosphere of fantasy. She was the friend and the con- 
fidante of all Nature. Poor little Carmen ! 

' Where do you learn all these things ?' I asked her. 
For answer she put her finger to her lips, then bent her 
head in a listening attitude. I watched her in silence. 
' Do you hear it ?' she asked in a whisper. 
' Hear what ?' 

' It is calling me now. It cries, " Carmen ! Carmen ! 
come and be one of us ; come, and we will tell you all our 
secrets !" ' 

I questioned her, but she would not tell me more, and 
when I pressed her for information she frowned and gave a 
shrill cry, like that of an angry bird. I guided the con- 
versation to Colomba ; but beyond telling me how good and 
kind Colomba was, she did not follow my lead, preferring to 
wander away into bypaths of her own, which she peopled 
with fancies and made musical with snatches of song. 
When I assisted her to mount her donkey, I said : 
' Good-bye, Carmen ; I have enjoyed your visit. I also 
love your friends, the birds and the sunbeams ; now, will 
you do me a kindness ?' 

She allowed her little brown hand to rest for a moment in 
mine as she replied : 

' I will do what I can for you, Senhor Geelberto.' 
' Well, then, ask Colomba to bring the basket to-morrow 
herself. Tell her that we leave the mountains very soon. 
Good-bye !' 



CHAPTER XXVI 

COLOMBA ONCE MORE 

Seated on the ledge, I strained my eyes in the direction of 
the saddle. The morning was misty ; the clouds hemmed us 
in with a gray mantle, through which even the sunlight was 
powerless to force its way. The view as seen from my aerial 
standpoint was weird in the extreme. The mists assumed 
fantastic forms. At times the gorge below seemed one 
vast caldron, sending its dense fumes upwards into 
the higher levels. The air was cool and damp ; from 
out the unseen spaces came the hoarse murmur of the 
brook. 

My thoughts were full of Colomba. Would she come ? 
Was it wise of me to trust so irresponsible a messenger as 
Carmen ? I could but wait and see. 

The mists parted in the direction of the saddle. A shaft 
of sunlight fell on the track where it topped the mountain 
brow. A moving object attracted my attention I gazed, 
my whole heart in my eyes. Was it ? Yes, it was ! 
I could see the donkey dropping from stone to stone, a little 
figure perched upon his back, and, topping all, the glint of 
a pink bonnet. At that moment a swirl of vapour swept 
between us, snatching mountain, track, and Colomba from 
my sight ; but I had seen enough to set Nature singing in 
my heart, and, without loss of time, I started upwards to 
meet my coming visitor. 

Before long the click, clack of the donkey's hoofs striking 
the stones caught my ear ; then a phantom figure rose out 
of the mist. 

' Colomba !' I called. 

190 



COLOMBA ONCE MORE 191 

' Senhor Geelberto, is it you ?' the fresh young voice rang 
through the still air. 

I felt myself smihng with pleasure. Reaching her side, 
I took her hand in mine, but, for the moment, found no 
words to sa}^ 

' I have brought the basket to-day, as — as you wished 
it,' said she at length. There was a pretty shyness in her 
manner. 

' Let us take it back to the cave,' I rejoined ; and, without 
further conversation, we proceeded downwards side by 

side. 

The little gray donkey was powdered with dew-diamonds 
— they sparkled on his shaggy coat and glittered upon his 
long ears like numbers of misplaced earrings, which he flung 
into the air whenever he shook his head. 

When we reached the cave I offered to assist Colomba to 
dismount, but she would not hear of it. 

' No, no, senhor ! I must not stay.' 

I own to feeling a sense of disappointment. 

' Won't you even get off for a few minutes ? It is drier 
in the cave, and I have much to say to you.' 

' No, no,' she repeated ; ' besides ' — with feminine irrele- 
vance — ' I can talk to you just as well here.' 

I felt piqued. To me it was by no means the same thing. 
A conversation in the mist, standing by the side of a donkey, 
and a conversation seated side by side with Colomba upon 
a small table, were not to be compared for a moment. She 
observed my ill-humour. 

' Senhor Geelberto,' laying a hand timidly on my arm, 
' do not be angry with me ; we have been such good friends. 
I would willingly do all you ask of me, but I promised my 
lather not to stay long here and not to go into the cave. I 
must keep my promise. I, too, am sorry. Oh, please^ 
please, senhor, say you understand.' 

' Yes, I understand. You are quite right — we will talk 
here ;' and I smiled up into her perplexed face. 

Her dark eyes showed an answering gleam, then clouded 
over as she asked : 

'And is it true — Carmen told me — that you leave so 
soon ?' 



192 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

' Yes, it is but too true. To-morrow morning we strike 
northward across the mountains.' 

' Why do you go away ? Are you not happy here ?' 

' Very happy ; but things come to an end, you know. 
Senhor Warden must return to his work at the mines of 
San Domingo. Senhor Hadow and I also must go to our 
homes. This has been a hohday to us — a fete-day, as it 
were — and you know, Colomba, even fete-days, however 
happy they may have been, come at last to an end.' 

She withdrew her hand from my arm and shivered. 

' You are cold. Let me get my overcoat to put round 
you,' I entreated. 

But she would not consent, and denied stoutly that the 
cold had made her shiver. 

' Why have you avoided us lately ?' I asked, after a 
pause. 

She hesitated, and began plucking at the donkey's shaggy 
neck with her fingers. 

' I — I cannot tell. No, I do not mean that ; but there 
have been many reasons. My father wished me to stay 
more at home, and then, too. Carmen was so glad to take 
my place ; she was all curiosity to see the cave and — and 
you.' 

' You told her about me, then ?' 

' Y-e-s, a little.' 

' Now I wonder what you said about me ?' 

A gleam of fun came into her eyes as she replied de- 
murely : gf 

' I told her you were a very bold young man, and that 
she must be careful not to fall asleep.' 

We both laughed. It was wonderful how Colomba's face 
lighted up when she laughed ! 

' You have gained her heart, Senhor Geelberto ; no one 
has talked to her of flowers, and birds, and sunshine as you 
have talked.' 

' I think it is they who have gained her heart, and not I. 
I was much interested in her ; she is a strange little girl.' 

' Yes ' — and she sighed — ' I wish much that she was a little 
different for her own sake. For my sake I would not have 
her different at all ; to me she is always sweet and kind, 



COLOMBA ONCE MORE 193 

but father does not understand her, and sometimes it is 
terrible — terrible, senhor !' And she shuddered. 

' She can be rather — well, fierce at times.' 

' It is because her heart is so tender, senhor ; it is too 
tender for this world. She cannot bear to see anything 
suffer. Father once killed a little bird she had — he did not 
really mean to do it, I am sure, but he was angry. I thought 
she would kill him, Holy Mary ! She became as one pos- 
sessed. She ran away and wandered among the mountains 
for many days. I looked for her day and night, and so did 
father, for he was sorry that he had killed her little bird. 
But ' — and she waved her hand — ' do not let us talk more 
of such sad things ; there are sad things enough in one's 
very own life, one has no need to seek for them.' 

I looked at her with sympathy ; her eyes were full of 
melancholy. 

' Sadness ought not to have touched such a young life 
as yours, Colomba. Surely it is early morning still with 
you ; the brightness, the freshness, the sunshine of existence, 
are they not all yours ?' 

She shook her head. 

' Come, come,' I continued, ' you ought to be scolded — 
you have no right to be morbid. Consider, for a little 
moment, all the nice things which are yours : health, beauty, 
friends, and even lovers — as I know well.' 

My thoughts reverted to the letter that was ' almost a 
love-letter,' and I smiled. 

She tossed her head petulantly. 

' Lovers indeed ! I do not want them. I hate them all. 
I have never seen anyone I could have loved — that is, since 
— since ' 

' Since when ?' I asked lightly. 

She looked at me swiftly ; her eyes were a wordless re- 
proach ; their expression filled me with sadness. A moment 
we stood thus. I was the first to look away. For a short 
time neither of us spoke. The little gray donkey made an 
effort to reach a tuft of grass. 

' You will like them one day,' said I, breaking silence. 

She started ; her thoughts had strayed far from her lovers. 

' It is but natural,' I continued, patting the donkey's 

13 



194 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

neck ; * flowers expand their petals to the sun, and youth 
opens the doors of its heart to love. It is but natural. 
Oh yes ! you will want them one day.* 

' Why do you talk to me thus ?' She spoke rapidly, almost 
breathlessly. ' You speak of things that I have never 
thought of before. And you make me feel uncomfortable, 
for I am only an ignorant girl, and it seems to me at times 
that — that you are laughing at me.' 

Alas ! was there not a grain of truth in the accusation ? 
As I cast my thoughts back to our former interviews, I 
could not but remember that I had taken Colomba very 
lightly — it had seemed impossible to treat her seriously ; 
but now everything appeared different. She was the same 
winsome and unsophisticated girl, but through the veil of 
words I read traces of deeper meaning, and the feelings I had 
jested with rose and condemned me. She looked at me, and 
I imagined that in her eyes I caught sight of coming tears. 

' God forbid !' I ejaculated, in sudden contrition, laying 
my hand upon her knee. ' Why should you imagine such 
things ? We have jested together, and I have laughed 
many times — not at, but with you ; but when we speak 
seriously of so grave a topic as love, God forbid that I should 
laugh ! Besides, Colomba, do you not think that I am 
capable of serious feeling myself ? I wish I could show 
you my heart at the present moment. Believe me, I feel — 

I feel ' 

She pushed my hand away petulantly. 
' How can I tell you what you feel ?' and her voice and 
gestures reminded me of Carmen — of Carmen, angry and 
indignant at the death of the bird. ' Your words are 
serious and beautiful ; you speak to me as no one has ever 
spoken to me before, and then, as I look in your face, you 
smile ! You are so different from Carlos, and Pedro, and 
all the men I know. I love to hear you speak, but some- 
times I could hate your smile. May all the saints forgive 
me for such wicked words ! Not that it is an ugly smile — 
far from it — but it seems to tell me that you belong to a 
different world, and it appears to say also that you think 
me still a child. I am no child ' — and she drew herself 
up. ' I am eighteen years old — quite a woman !' 



COLOMBA ONCE MORE 195 

I did not speak. 

' Ah, Senhor Geelberto !' and her words swept on, aided 
on their way by quick, impassioned gestures, ' you come 
here into our mountains, unexpectedly like — like these 
mists, and then you go away, perhaps for ever. Ah ! you 
are so different, so different ! How can I tell what you 
feel ? Holy Mother of God ! How can I even tell what I 
feel myself ?' 

She broke off suddenly. I glanced up at her ; there was 
a look of pain in her face, her bosom rose and fell, and her 
eyes gazed out through the mists to where one mountain- 
top showed faintly through the swirl of vapours. We re- 
mained silent for some time ; for my part I racked my brain 
unsuccessfully for something to say. 

' Will you please take the basket ?' she said at length, 
and her voice sounded low and constrained. 

Without i* word I carried it into the cave and emptied 
its contents upon the table. When I rejoined her she 
smiled faintly. 

' Good-bye, senhor.' 
' Not good-bye, Colomba.' 

' Why not ? You leave to-morrow. We will not meet 
again.' 

' Ah ! but I cannot say good-bye like this. No, no ' — as 
she strove to speak — ' hear me ! I must see you again. 
Just once before I go. Ah, Colomba ! little friend ! do 
not say no ! Meet me but once more — to-night, when the 
moon shines ; for see, the mist is breaking fast, the sunshine 
is driving it away.' 

As I spoke I pointed outward. The air was luminous 
with struggling sun and flying vapours ; shreds of cloud 
were being hounded up the valley by a pursuing breeze ; 
the mists smoked off the warm hill-side ; the glorious 
August weather was asserting itself ; it promised to be a 
perfect day. 

Colomba hesitated. 

' You will come ?' I whispered, taking her hand in mine. 

She drew a long breath, and moved uneasily. 

' I — I do not know. Oh, why do you ask me to come ?' 

' Only to say good-bye. I leave to-morrow.' 

13—2 



196 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

A look of pain came into her face. I winced at the sight. 

' Forgive me,' I faltered ; ' I think only of myself. Yes, 
you are right ; we must not meet again. We will say good- 
bye — here — now. Colomba ! dear Colomba !' — I pressed the 
fingers that lay within my own — ' you will be very happy 
one day ; I can see it. You will say to yourself, " I am so 
glad I did not get too fond of that Englishman." ' 

Colomba cried quietly. 

' I would not pain you for worlds,' I continued gently. 
' I wish to be a pleasant memory to you. God knows you 

will be one to me. I but there, I must not talk ; if I 

do, I will be selfish again. Now, little friend, good-bye. 
See, it is going to be a fine day after all. Let me assist you 
with your basket. One must fasten it to the saddle — there, 
that is right. Once more, good-bye.' 

I strove to school my voice to cheerfulness, but it was a 
poor attempt. My heart ached for her. At the thought 
that I was voluntarily saying farewell for ever, a great 
depression seized me. I made way for her on the narrow 
track, but the donkey did not move. Against my will I 
looked at her ; her eyes were fixed on me ; they were full 
of trouble. I took a step forward, checked myself, and 
again drew back. 

' Good-bye,' I said again. 

' Good-bye, senhor, but ' 

' Yes, Colomba ?' 

' It is quite certain that you go to-morrow ?' 

' Quite certain.' 

' Do you start early ?' 

' Yes, at daybreak.' 

She cast a sidelong glance at me, bit the tip of her fore- 
finger, then looked down. 

' Perhaps,' she murmured, then stopped in confusion. 

I gazed at her wonderingly. What was she about to say ? 

' Perhaps,' she continued, examining the handle of the 
basket with minute attention — ' perhaps I have been too — 
too unkind.' 

' No, no !' I cried hastily in self-reproach. ' It has been 
all my fault. You have been sweetness itself — too sweet.' 

' Ah, but that is not what I mean. Senhor ! I mean too 



COLOMBA ONCE MORE 197 

unkind about refusing to see you once more. T, too, thought 
only of myself. How wrong of me ! We should all make 
sacrifices for others ; do not the lives of the blessed saints 
teach us beautiful lessons in self-sacrifice ?' 

I looked at her in astonishment. This little girl was far 
beyond my limited comprehension. Not a trace of a smile 
played over her face — she was in earnest. I was forced to 
take her seriously. But to be assisted by the saints, all but 
deprived me of breath. 

' I — I have heard so,' I said disjointedly. 

' How glad I am that I thought of that, senhor !' Her 
tone and expression voiced contentment. 

' But I cannot allow you to do it,' I expostulated. 

* But I insist,' she cried eagerly. 

We faced each other. 

' Senhor Geelberto,' she said with solemnity, ' tell me 
the truth. Do you wish to see me once more ? Would 
it give you pleasure ?' 

' You know it would, Colomba, but ' 

She held up her hand. 

' Then I will come. Meet me on the mountain, up there, 
at half-past nine.' She pointed to where the track reached 
the sky-line. ' Good-bye !' And without another word she 
rode away. 

I stood gazing after her, my brain in a whirl. Then a 
wave of happiness swept over me. 

' God bless the saints !' I ejaculated. 



CHAPTER XXVII 

THE EVE OF DEPARTURE 

The time was at hand that we should bid farewell to our cave- 
life, and cross the barrier of mountains that lay between us 
and the world beyond. Day after day, to the northward, the 
beckoning hills had spoken to us of home, and yet it was with 
regret that we recorded the march of Time. The period 
passed in our cave-life was of so happy a nature, the days 
glided by one after another with so smooth and joyous a 
step, that we were loth to put them behind us for ever. 
Fain would we have dallied with Time — fain have stayed the 
hands upon the face of the hours ; but it could not be. 

Seated on our ledge, we discussed plans connected with 
our departure on the following day. The house was divided. 
Warden and I were in favour of riding ; Hadow championed 
walking. As usual, a powerful minority gained the day. 
In deference to its wishes, only one animal — a baggage-mule 
— ^was ordered through the agency of Manuel. We were 
forced to listen to a tirade directed against degenerate men 
and incompetent mules, and it would go hard to say which 
class suffered most under the lash of the Professor's con- 
tempt. 

* But you rode a mule from Louie !' I reminded him. 

* Dock ! but never again. I could well have walked twice 
the distance with half of the fatigue. Ach ! when I think 
how I did kick that miserable little animal up those rocks, I 
feel shame !' 

' You should have carried him,' I said reproachfully. 

* Ah, you may laugh if you will,' he rejoined ; ' but I 
speak truth. Yes, we will walk to Salir to-morrow ; it will 

198 



THE EVE OF DEPARTURE 199 

be good for our great laziness.' And he slapped his muscular 
legs with satisfaction. 

But though Warden and I, actuated solely by sympathy 
for his disappointment, refrained from argument, this 
arrangement was by no means to our taste. We did not 
share his contempt for the legs of mules ; and, what is more, 
a walking tour in the fierce heat over the rough mountain- 
tracks was a pleasure we had not anticipated. 

' It will be all right,' said Warden, taking me aside ; 

* just let him imagine he is having his own way now — it's not 
much of a walk to-morrow — and I'll arrange to get mules 
for you and me at Salir.' 

|f; ' I'll do anything to make him happier,' I assented ; 

* even at the expense of my own legs. But why does he 
leave off excavating because you have to go back to San 
Domingo ? You are useful, but not indispensable — as the 
cat remarked to the old maid.' 

Warden looked over his shoulder, then laid a hand upon 
my arm. 

' My dear fellow, there's no use his digging further ; the 
caves are cleaned out, and he knows it.' 

' What ! every one of them ?' 

' No, not every one, of course, but all that promised to 
repay excavation. Poor old Hadow ! how keen he is ! 
Why, that man would go through fire to get what he wanted. 
A disappointment like this would make even me pretty 
savage, and I have only a tenth part of Hadow's enthusiasm. 
By Jove ! I wonder he doesn't brain us all some dark night, 
and take our skeletons back to his museum.' 

' He might pass you off as the remains of the woolly 
rhinoceros,' I said thoughtfully. 

' And you as the missing link,' retorted Warden. 

And we parted with a laugh. 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

A MOONLIGHT MEETING 

Moonlight on the Sierra de Monchique. Peak after peak 
rose pale and mystic from the obscurity of the valleys. 

I sat upon a boulder where the mountain bent its back ; 
its mighty flanks sloped downwards to the dusk of the 
valleys ; to the left it reared its head into the night, silent 
and solemn — a mysterious mass, fronting the stars. 

It was unspeakably grand — indescribably beautiful. A 
few lights twinkled far off, where Carenta clung to its pre- 
carious resting-place. The low hooting of an owl came 
faintly to the ear. The night breeze fluttered, then died 
away, then fluttered again ; it rose and fell fitfully, like a 
sigh ; its breath was infinitely soft and caressing. 

Immersed in thought, I sat with my chin resting upon my 
hand. Many conflicting emotions chased each other through 
my brain. 

I was young — the moon shone bright — I was awaiting a 
woman ; were not these reasons sufficient for my breath to 
come faster, and for my heart to beat with more than its 
usual precipitation ? 

Colomba ! The name stirred my feelings like a sigh. She 
was so young, so pretty, so unprotected ; was it fair to 
trouble the smooth current of her life with attentions which 
I saw well would come to nothing ? To me the episode was 
but a touch of sentiment, of no more lasting effect than the 
sunlight which gilded each of those long summer days with 
the alchemy of its smile. It would be forgotten in the night 
of absence ; and even as each particular wave of sunshine 
dies with every dying hour, so, too, would this little wave of 

200 



A MOONLIGHT MEETING 201 

sentiment subside upon the shores of forgetfulness, chased 
into obhvion, perchance, by other and newer waves following 
relentlessly upon its track. 

I consulted my watch ; by the bright moonlight I could 
easily distinguish the hour — it wanted but five minutes of 
ten. Colomba was late ; I grew impatient. 

Gazing downwards into the valley, I could see one of the 
white walls of Manuel's cottage as it caught the moonbeams 
and focussed them into a point of silvery light. One of the 
windows also looked out upon the night with a red and watch- 
ful eye ; someone was stirring in the little living-room. 
But on the track, as far as could be seen in the moonlight, 
no sign of life was to be observed. The little footpath 
snaked downwards into the valley — now coiling behind some 
great rock, now twisting into silvery light, but all the while 
looking as deserted and forlorn as though it had never been 
pressed and sanctified for ever by the little feet of Colomba. 
I marvelled at its stony insensibility ! 

The minutes passed slowly. Doubts began to beset me. 
Perhaps she was unable to make good her escape ? Perhaps 
Manuel held her in the toils of interminable conversation ? 
Perhaps — and at this contingency a solid gloom fell on my 
soul — ^perhaps she did not intend to come at all ! Inaction 
tortured me ; I sprang to my feet, and faced the mountains 
with determination. My mind was made up ; if she would 
not come to me, I would go to her. The mountains, thinking 
doubtless of Mahomet, nodded their approval ; the moon 
smiled encouragement ; the owl alone uttered a derisive hoot. 

Barely had I taken one downward step before a something 
on the path glued me to the spot ; this something was a tiny, 
upward-moving figure that flitted in and out of the moonlit 
spaces, never pausing, never stopping, coming nearer and 
nearer with every turn of the track. I watched it vanish 
and reappear a dozen times. From an insignificant detail, 
it grew and grew, until — O blessed moment ! — I could dis- 
tinguish by its form that it was a woman. She neared 
me quickly, at a breathless pace that was more than half 
a run. All the beauty of the night centred itself in that 
tripping little figure. 

At the sight my heart beat a quick and lively march, to 



202 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

which every drop of blood in my body danced a mad fan- 
dango. 

youth, youth ! to be so moved by the flutter of an ap- 
proaching petticoat ! to start full-tilt for the gates of Para- 
dise because, forsooth, a little maiden meeteth thee in the 
moonlight ! 

1 wished to welcome her by a friendly shout, but my throat 
was dry and the words would not come. She approached 
me in silence, and held out both hands. I took them in 
mine, and, holding them tightly, devoured her with my eyes. 
How pale she looked in the moonlight ! Her head was un- 
covered ; the night wind played at will with her dark tresses. 
Her eyes shone like stars, and the touch of her little hands 
was warm and clinging. 

Still in silence — for I could not trust myself to speak — I 
led her to a rock, upon which we sat down side by side. 

The sweetness of her personality oppressed me ; it stole 
upon my senses like a subtle and overpowering odour ; it 
crept over me in insidious waves ; it invaded my brain — it 
surged upwards from my heart. The witchery of the moon- 
light but increased the intoxication of the moment ; it 
invested her with a silver radiance ; it surrounded her with 
an atmosphere of romance. The isolation of our trysting- 
place also added its quota to the difficulties that beset me. 
Not another human being within miles — nothing but the 
dim and silent mountains, asleep in the light of the moon, 
and Colomba, seated by my side. All the world receded 
into the background, unreal, unimportant, and in its place 
my little companion filled the vacant spaces with a satisfying 
completeness which defies description. 

I gazed at her. Never before had she appeared so attrac- 
tive. The moonlight sketched in the outlines of her profile 
and rested like a benediction upon her head. The little 
hands, the flower-like face, the dark and errant tresses, the 
girlish figure divined beneath the coarse blue dress, my 
heart ached for them all — my arms yearned to gather them 
within the warm confines of a caress. 

Truly I was in a parlous state ! 

Colomba came to my rescue ; the sound of her voice 
recalled me to myself. 



A MOONLIGHT MEETING 203 

' I hope I have done right to come,' she said nervously, 
withdrawing her hands from mine. 

' It was a kind act,' I said softly. 

' I meant it for one, but in reading the life of St. Mar- 
garet to-night for guidance, I find she recommends young 
girls to be watchful and circumspect. Oh, Senhor Geelberto, 
have I been circumspect ?' 

' I — I think so, Colomba.' 

' I hope I have, but since I saw you this morning, doubts 
have beset me. It is so difficult to do right. This morning 
it seemed a fine thing to please others at the cost of my own 
selfish feelings, but now — I fear I have done wrong.' Her 
head drooped to her breast. 

' No, no!' I cried, pained to witness the intensity of her 
emotions. 

' Yes,' she continued dejectedly, ' it is true. I see it now 
— it is not circumspect ; but I was so full of pride in trying to 
please you that I did not pause to think what St. Margaret 
would think of my conduct.' 

' She would make allowances.' 

' Saints never make allowances ; they are always circum- 
spect. I have done wrong. And now I am unhappy for 
two reasons. Oh, I am the most miserable girl in Portugal !' 

Her voice broke, tears were not far distant. Her thoughts 
ran into another groove. 

' I will have to confess it on Sunday to the Padre. Oh, 
what will he say ? Never before have I told him anything 
so dreadful !' 

She hid her face in her hands ; I made haste to console her. 

' Padre Callada is a kind man — a man of sense ; he has not 
forgotten that he, too, was young once. He is deeply learned, 
and probably understands how difficult it is to be both self- 
sacrificing and circumspect. Oh, please do not grieve, 
Colomba ! It is not so very dreadful to meet me, is it ?' 

She raised her head ; her eyes were suffused with tears. 

' N-0-0, it is not that that is so dreadful ; I — you know I 
really wished to come here. But to do it secretly, and to 
come out at so late an hour into so lonely a place ! Surely 
that is very, very wrong, Senhor Geelberto ?' 

' We could not have seen the mountains so well from any 



204 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

other place ; they are worth the trouble we have taken to 
visit them. Look, Colomba, how beautiful they are !' 

She allowed her eyes to travel over the circle of moonlit 
peaks, then drew a deep breath. 

' The dear, dear hills !' she said softly. 

I bent over her, but she never saw me ; her whole soul was 
lost in admiration. 

* I will always remember this,' I whispered into her ear. 
She turned to me with a start ; unhappiness peeped from 

her eyes ; the peaceful memory of the moonlight and the 
mountains was blotted out of her mind as the sweep of a 
sponge blots figures from off a slate. Her expression was a 
lively index to her feelings. 

' You — you go to-morrow ?' Her voice was low and 
tremulous. 

' Yes.' 

' I may never see you again !' 

' I may come back. I ' 

' No, no ; you say these kind words, but you do not really 
mean them. You know that we will never meet again — 
never ! never ! never !' 

I sought words in vain. 

* Ah, Blessed Virgin !' she cried passionately, raising her 
face into the moonlight. ' Why did you allow me to come 
here ? Each time only makes it worse. I had better have 
stayed away, as I thought of doing, but something stronger 
than me drew me out of doors and led me up the mountain — 
to you !' 

' Colomba !' I cried brokenly ' don't talk like that. It is 
not so bad as you think. We have been happy together — 
very happy — and surely happiness counts for something in 
this life of ours ?' 

She gazed at me in silence ; I continued : 

' Is it not something to have known each other, to have 
met but for a few summer days, to have been drawn together 
by our love for all that is beautiful ?' 

She gave a long sigh ; we sat silent for several minutes. 

' I will never forget you, senhor !' The solemnity of her 
voice awed me. ' I see well what will happen : you go away 
to-morrow and forget ' I raised my hand in denial, but 



A MOONLIGHT MEETING 205 

she silenced me with a gesture. ' Yes, it is true ; you go. away 
and forget — I stay here and remember. I do not blame you — 
it is natural ; but oh !' — and she pressed her hands to her 
heart — ' it pains — it pains !' 

' Colomba !' I exclaimed ; but she interrupted me, and the 
sadness of her voice haunts me even now. 

' Let me say one or two words, and then go quickly away ; 

it is better so. I — I will pray for your happiness ; I ' 

She broke off suddenly. ' Hush !' she whispered. ' Listen !' 

In the silence of the hills a cry arose — a long, wavering cry ; 
it came from the depths of the valley. 

' Col-om-ba ! Col-om-ba !' 

We sprang to our feet, and gazed questioningly into each 
other's eyes. 

The mountains awoke and muttered the name to them- 
selves ; peak after peak repeated it drowsily, then the distant 
hills took it up, and we heard it no more. 

Colomba stood with finger on lip. 

' It is father,' she whispered. ' I must go ; good-bye.' 

' Colomba !' I cried. 

She gazed at me ; her lips moved, but no sound escaped 
them. Then, without a word, she raised her face to mine. 
Breathlessly, I caught her to my arms : our lips met. She 
clung to me passionately with all the strength of her two 
little hands. A moment — a century — then with a sob she 
broke from me, and with a strange tightening of the heart- 
strings I watched her pass rapidly away down the moonlight 
of the track. 



CHAPTER XXIX 

FAREWELL TO THE CAVES 

On the following morning we bade farewell to our cave. 
Five o'clock saw us afoot, watching for the last time the well- 
known peaks flush one after the other under the glance of 
the rising sun. I do not think I ever felt sadder. I assisted 
Hadow in the preparation of breakfast with a dull ache at 
my heart utterly foreign to the making of coffee, and I 
packed my saddle-bags with inward anguish, feeling, as I 
interred one garment after another, as though I were chief 
mourner at the obsequies of some dearly-beloved friend. It 
was infinitely pathetic. 

Many ties bound my affection to the spot which we were 
on the point of leaving for ever. Colomba, the mountains, 
our free and open-air life, the spirit of good-fellowship and 
Bohemianism that radiated from every day of our sojourn — 
all pulled at my heart-strings, and made the occasion one of 
the saddest experiences of my inexperienced life. 

To contemplate the magnifying power of youth fills me 
with amazement. I am quite awestruck now when I recall 
the solid gloom which fell on my soul ; I almost speak about 
it in whispers. If the surplus emotion of youth, over and 
above the high-water mark of necessity, could only be di- 
verted into altruistic channels, what a glorious day for 
philanthropism ! But no ; the fires burn only on the altar 
of egoism, and as the youthful priest piles on the fuel, with 
a fine disregard for economy, what wonder if the entire 
temple is oftentimes ablaze ? Youthful suffering is but an 
undeveloped sense of humour. Things amuse us, but they 
are the trivialities of existence, and have little or nothing 

206 



FAREWELL TO THE CAVES 207 

to do with the plot of comedy which surrounds us. Not 
even an echo from the ' laughter of the gods ' reaches us ; 
we miss the point, and never dream in our ignorance that our 
very lives are but the grim jest of Fate. When I think of 
my mental condition on that doleful i6th of July, I long to 
send a little parcel of grown-up humour backwards down the 
ladder of the years. How it would have gilded the sunlight 
and made the coming day bright with the smiles of hope ! 
It would have taken all the bitterness out of life, and also — 
which was of some importance — out of the coffee ; for I 
sipped it in my despondency feeling that all the sugar of the 
Indies would never sweeten coffee for me again. 

And yet, to be quite truthful, there was a grain of con- 
solation sown in my heart by the thought of the coming 
journey. I was in a curiously complex condition — a con- 
dition which absolutely defies the analytical powers of my 
pen. I have already confessed to the thrill of joyous antici- 
pation which the very thought of a journey brings to me. 
It is an affair of the blood ; I will never grow out of it. And 
imagine how this feeling was intensified by the picturesque- 
ness of the journey upon which we were about to embark. 
Such a journey ! Stripped of time-tables and railway- 
stations ; innocent of chambermaids, and superior to high- 
roads ; for was I not to be conveyed across these delectable 
mountains b}^ no more prosaic means than a Portuguese 
mule, over no more beaten tracks than paths trodden by 
muleteers when they breasted the morning hills or jingle- 
jangled into the gold of the sunset ? 

Under happier circumstances, it was a thought to set me 
singing, and even as it was it proved sufficiently powerful to 
sternly rebuke the suicidal ideas that tormented my brain. 

In spite of the early hour, several of our friends had assem- 
bled to bid us farewell. Bartolomeo was there, his old 
muzzle-loader slung over his arm, his expression as detached 
as ever from the actualities of existence. Manuel, too, 
accompanied by Carmen, had footed it over the hill in the 
dawn, and the sound of his voice rose and fell monotonously. 
He advised me how to pack, condemned our coffee, told 
inappropriate anecdotes connected with his past, lamented 
our departure, criticised our personal appearance, and finally 



2o8 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

begged without ceasing. Oh, how he begged ! Never have 
I seen a human being more gifted by nature with qualities 
which go to make a really great beggar ; coolness, audacity, 
resourcefulness, unblushing impudence — all were his. 

' Ah, senhores ! so you are really going ? Well, Ide com 
Deos ! (God be with you !) It is a pity you have not found 
as many bones as you wish, after all your labour, too ! It is 
like eating a whole ox, and tainting at the tail. Ho, ho ! 
that is a fine cucumber, Senhor Hadoo ; you might as well 
give it to me. If I take it, your luggage will be lightened. 
That is not the way to pack, Senhor Fatson ; put a little 
more into the left side ; make it even ; saddle-bags must 
hang well. See, too, you have forgotten your brown shoes. 
They are rather old ; I believe they would fit me. No ? you 
do not think so ? The black pair, then ? They are still 
older. No ? Ah, well, I will try to make mine last a little 
longer. Stop, stop, Senhor Farden ! That parcel of sugar 
can have no more use for you, and surely you are too great 
a senhor to take away that loaf ? You will get fresh bread at 
Salir. That recalls a story to me you will be glad to hear,' 
etc. 

Our workmen, too, had stayed the night in order to speed 
our departure instead of returning to Louie on the previous 
evening. It was kindly intentioned. We had all been good 
friends, labouring in a common cause, and now that we were 
to part they expressed their good wishes with a warmth 
which took us by surprise. Their words had a genuine ring 
about them which convinced us of their sincerity, and what 
made the occasion even more touching was that Alfonso, 
whom we had often scolded severely — he was of an incurably 
lazy disposition, his one ambition being to pose as my under- 
study — was foremost in many little acts of helpfulness and 
goodwill. 

Carmen fluttered here and there. Although with us, she 
was not of us — no more than if her presence had been the 
airy passage of a butterfly. No one heeded her ; even the 
workmen stood on one side when she signified by an im- 
perious gesture that she wished to pass. I wonder if this 
deference was due to a knowledge of her peculiarities, or was 
merely the outward sign of national courtesy ? In some 



FAREWELL TO THE CAVES 209 

lands a person whose mind is unlike those of others becomes 
the object of an unusually protective tenderness. In her 
bosom she wore a scarlet flower. I touched it lightly as she 
paused for an instant by my side. 

' A flower, Carmen ! That is surely unlike you. See how 
it hangs its head. You have taken it from the dew and the 
sunlight ; in a little while it will die.' 

The words were thoughtlessly spoken. She raised her 
face to mine, and I saw the hot tears start to her eyes. 

' I did not do it. I never kill flowers — never !' She 
stamped her foot. 

' You found it, perhaps ?' 

'No.' 

' Then someone gave it to you ?' 

' No, senhor, not to me ; I would not have taken it. It 
is for you.' 

' For me ?' 

' Yes, Colomba sent it.' 

I held out my hand without a word. Unpinning it from 
her bodice, she gave it to me. I cast a furtive glance at my 
companions, then pressed the scarlet petals to my lips. 
Carmen watched me ; wonder awoke in her eyes. 

' Why do you kiss it, senhor ?' 

' Because it means much to me.' 

' Ah, I know ; it is your kind heart.' 

' Alas ! Yes, Carmen, it is all the fault of my heart.' 

' You are sorry for it ?' 

The question was difficult to answer. She referred to the 
flower ; I, alas ! thought of Colomba. I looked at her ; 
her eyes were full of sympathetic admiration. A feeling of 
shame troubled me — I was sailing under false colours. 

' You are sorry for it ?' she repeated. 

I nodded my head. 

' You love it ?' 

I nodded again, this time without mental reservation. 
Her face lighted with pleasure ; it was as though she had 
discovered that we belonged to the same secret society. She 
held out her hand ; my fingers clasped hers, and never in 
all my life have I taken part in a more solemn and satisfac- 
tory shake. 

14 



210 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

The lading of our baggage-mule interested everyone. Not 
a soul present but ' fancied ' himself as a packer of baggage- 
mules, Carmen alone excepted. Manuel and the mule led 
the van. Their ideas on the subject were original, but were 
diametrically opposed. Manuel was all for burying the little 
animal under every movable object that the cave con- 
tained ; the mule, on the contrary, attempted at intervals 
to empty its panniers into the gorge. The noise was terrific ; 
from Pedro's shrill tenor to the muleteer's blasphemous bass, 
from Manuel's interminable falsetto to the mule's indignant 
squeal — every tone was represented. If we had been lading 
an army of mules, we could not have made more disturbance ; 
the rocks screamed their remonstrance. At last the work 
was done, and the mule, resembling a tortoise — head and 
tail alone visible — stood on the track awaiting the signal of 
departure. 

After a final handshake, we moved away, treading for the 
last time the path we had come to know so well. 

Before the caves were hid from us, I turned to pay them 
the tribute of a final farewell. The rising sun shone on the 
scene with tempered brilliance ; in the depths of the valley 
a veil of mist still lingered ; the brook — our brook, in which 
we had bathed so often — still sang to the oleanders ; the 
b eeze raced out of the distance. It was all just as I had seen 
it often and just as I will ever remember it, yet it was dif- 
ferent ; or, rather, the difference lay not in it, but in me. 
It absorbed the sunshine, but was indifferent to the senti- 
ment, whereas I, alas ! was steeped in sentiment, but felt 
that I had missed the sunshine. 

The party on the ledge was still there. Manuel appeared 
to be addressing them collectively. I could see his arms 
waving in frantic gesticulation. Then a rock intervened, 
and I saw them no more. 

Wending our downward way, we at length reached the 
bottom of the valley. Midway between its shelving side 
the path climbed along a watercourse. It was the bed of a 
mountain torrent ; dried scum clung to the rocks, green ooze 
lay in the hollows, the boulders were rounded by the action 
of water. Summer had sucked up the last trickle of stream, 
and it lay hot and naked in the glare of the sun. It was a 



FAREWELL TO THE CAVES 211 

matter of surprise to me that our muleteer pursued his way 
with so much certainty. A Red Indian would have been 
puzzled to find our path, so often did it play hide-and-seek 
among the boulders. We climbed over stones, we dropped 
down steep descents, we scrambled over precipitous shingle, 
with — for my part — many a yearning backward glance to 
where the impassive mountains set their seal upon the past. 

The mule was manipulated onwards with every semi- 
tone between curses and endearments — between caresses 
and blows. Warden played breathless snatches upon his 
tin-whistle. Hadow swung along with an eye for retiring 
reptiles, while I trudged in their track, my heart in my 
dilapidated shoes, thinking only of the girl I had left 
behind me. 

As we neared Salir, the country began to show signs of 
cultivation ; little fields intersected by artificial water- 
courses came into view ; cork-trees stripped of their bark, 
and clumps of olive-trees, promised shelter from the rays of 
the sun. A couple of donkeys laden with firewood were 
passed — miserable creatures with more than one red sore 
crying aloud for pity. 

At a little farmsteading where we halted for a few minutes 
we discovered the old farmer threshing his corn with the 
assistance of fifty goats. The corn was strewn thickly over 
the floor of a large circular barn ; the farmer, whip in hand, 
stood in the centre ; the goats cantered round and round 
, him. They reminded us of circus-horses. Poor Jew-like 
goats ! — history repeats itself with but little change — how 
they must have cursed this nineteenth-century Pharaoh ! 
This time, however, it was no longer a case of being forced to 
make bricks without straw, but of being obliged to manufac- 
ture straw without bricks, and, as far as we could judge, 
the captives had not benefited by the exchange. Their cries 
rent the air, but the farmer was adamant, and if but one of 
them loitered, the lash spoke out — a most unfavourable 
report — and the melancholy canter was resumed. 

About ten o'clock Salir straggled into sight — i curious 
collection of dwellings huddling under a hill ; and as the heat 
was by this time well-nigh unbearable, we welcomed it with 
feelings of satisfaction. 

14 — 2 



CHAPTER XXX 

SALIR 

Salir won our hearts ; it boasted of no inn. Not even the 
humblest tavern pandered to the requirements of travellers ; 
to visit the place was pure and unadulterated adventure. It 
was an antiquated little town ; so primitive was it, it might 
have been fragments of Noah's ark pitchforked on to the 
knees of the mountain. 

We straggled along the narrow street ; here and there, 
through an open door or from the shadow side of a wall, 
some face would watch us with drowsy curiosity — a listless 
glance that rested on us only so long as we could be seen 
without the fatigue of turning the head. The heat quivered 
along the ground. 

' Let us camp in the shade of this wall,' I suggested, as I 
mopped my streaming face. 

Hadow grunted. 

' Why wish you to camp ? No one is tired.' 

* Come, Professor,' I coaxed, ' be reasonable ; it is long 
after ten o'clock, and nothing has passed our lips except a 
cup of coffee at five, and we've been walking since six. We 
deserve a rest and a meal.' 

Hadow reluctantly gave way, and we cast about for a 
suitable camping-ground. 

We were weighing a shady corner of the cemetery in the 
balance, when a hoarse voice exclaimed : 

' Deos ! He possivel ? It is — it is ; I know it !' 

Looking round, we discovered a head addressing us from 
the top of a wall ; the rest of the body lurked on the further 
side. 

212 



SALIR 213 

' You are the Senhor Hadoo ?' inquired the stranger, 
taking off a battered sombrero ; his eyes surveyed us with 
much goodwill. 

Hadow replied in the affirmative. 

' Ah, que felicidade ! And do you not remember me — 
your affectionate friend Miguel Vegas ?' 

' What !' cried Hadow, ' not Senhor Vegas with whom I 
stayed two years ago ?' 

' The same, the same — not a bit altered !' And the head 
nodded with enthusiasm. ' Ah, senhores ' — addressing us — 
* I knew him at once. He verdade, I said, so great a 
moustache could not grow upon anyone but my good friend 
the Senhor Hadoo. He looks well — stiff as garlic, as we 
say. But tell me, what do you here ?' 

We explained the situation. Miguel Vegas took unaffected 
interest in cur plans. Climbing the wall, he seated himself 
at our side, and plied us with questions ; nothing was too 
personal, nothing too trivial to feed his friendly curiosity. 

' And you would eat here — here P he cried in surprise. 

' The shadow of one wall is as cool as that of another,' 
replied Hadow. 

' It is not that, but to be homeless when I, your friend, 
have a room to place at your disposal, sinto isso na alma 
(that touches my very soul). It is a poor place — a hovel, you 
will say — but it is yours ; it has already ceased to be mine.' 

We thanked him warmly. But although repeatedly re- 
quested to accept him and all his worldly possessions sem 
ceremonia (without ceremony), we knew well the exigencies 
of the case necessitated a world of etiquette. We bowed, and 
he returned our bow with interest. He flowered with com- 
pliments ; we protested with modesty. He debased him- 
self unto the earth ; we exalted him unto the heavens. 
Never was there such a throwing about of phrases ! Never 
did invited guests stand so long upon the order of their 
coming. At last it was all arranged ; we were to accompany 
him to his house, there to rest during the heat of the day. 
Together we quitted the shadow of the wall and moved 
leisurely along the baking street. The air was as the breath 
of a furnace ; the walls appeared to pant in the fierce vertical 
sunlight. 



214 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

Our new friend led the way, and after a minute or two 
paused before a dark entrance. At the far end of this pas- 
sage was a door, so massive, so studded with nails, that it 
would have done justice to a prison. Opening this with a 
large key which he carried on his person, Senhor Vegas 
introduced us to his home. 

' Take care, senhores ; there are four steps. It is dark here, 
for, as you see, there are no windows ; but it is something to 
have a roof over one's head, and it is cool in this heat.' 

When our eyes became accustomed to our dark surround- 
ings, we found that we were in a long, semi-underground 
apartment paved with uneven flagstones. The rough walls 
were festooned with cobwebs ; a large heap of locust-beans 
lay in one corner, but the principal — indeed, I may say the 
only — articles of furniture were a double row, one against 
either wall, of large wine-barrels. The house of Senhor Vegas 
stood confessed — a wine-cellar ! Could Bacchus himself 
have led us to more appropriate quarters ? We gazed at the 
great barrels tenderly. The dust and heat of travel clung 
to our throats, and nothing but the red trickle of their 
contents could satisfy us. For my part, I felt sadly 
Tiaterial. Poetry, Nature, Love — what were they all to me 
at such a moment compared to the crimson promise of 
the wine-barrels ? There they lay, numerous enough to 
conceal the forty thieves, strong enough to lay a regiment of 
dragoons under the mahogany, and yet silent, self-contained, 
and sober, as though their capacious stomachs concealed 
merely water. Poetry ! Why, every one of these barrels 
was a lyric touch that sang straight to my heart ! Sunshine 
had wooed Spring among the vineyards, till she smiled in 
flowers and laughed up at him through nodding leaves ; he 
had kissed her till her blood mounted in hot waves to the 
emerald grapes, filling them with colour and perfume, in- 
toxication and desire. Then by some mysterious but blessed 
process they had passed from rounded fulness to liquid 
delight. Time, the destroyer, was their slave ; powerless to 
harm, he could but mellow and perfect. They had taken 
unto themselves new names ; to the ignorant they were but 
lifeless denizens of a wine-list, posing under such prosaic 
aliases as Burgundy and Claret, but to the initiated they 



SALIR 215 

were the nymphs of Bacchus — Folly and Fun, Gaiety and 
Good-humour, Laughter and Love. 

' Like to a moving vintage down they came, 
And faces all aflame, 
To scare thee. Melancholy/ 

Yes, and to welcome us ! It was almost an inspiration, and 
as it passed through my mind I became conscious of a thirst 
which, as the saying goes, I would not have sold for a fortune. 
Warden knocked on the nearest barrel with the knuckle of 
his forefinger ; the sound was as good as an invitation to 
' Come in.' It was full ! 

' You have here much wine,' remarked Hadow. 

Our host nodded his head. 

' True, true ; last season was a good one. Not that it is 
all from last year. Oh no, some of it is much older ; you 
shall taste.' 

He tapped an old and cobwebbed barrel — the farthest 
from the door — and soon we were pledging each other in the 
generous liquid. The wine was sound, full of body, and 
tasted soft on the palate ; the fatigues of the journey slipped 
from us like a discarded mantle. 

Pedro, who had been sent to purchase provisions, returned 
laden with a loaf, half a dozen eggs, and a couple of cucum- 
bers. Seated on sundry blocks of wood, we made a cheerful 
meal. Senhor Vegas was persuaded to join us. 

He was a singular object — the tatters of a beggar and the 
courtesy of a prince ; truly, that ' Appearances are deceitful ' 
is a proverb that must have been coined originally for Por- 
tugal. Had we encountered him in London, we would for a 
certainty have taken him for one of those gentlemen who 
pass their days in courting sleep and their nights in avoiding 
the police ; but here, in Salir, he was a man of importance 
and our very worthy host. 

The meal over, I listened languidly to a discussion that 
arose between Hadow and Senhor Vegas. The subject has 
escaped me, for, full of the drowsy torpor that follows hard 
upon the heels of a well-earned meal, I was in no mood to 
wrestle with the difficulties of the Portuguese language. I 
wished them elsewhere, and when Senhor Vegas proposed to 



2i6 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

Hadow that they should visit one of his acquaintances, who 
he said would be able to corroborate his assertions, I gave 
a sigh of relief. They left the cellar arm within arm, Hadow 
talking loudly. The sound of his voice receded into the 
distance, then died away. 

Warden and I, supported by wine-barrels, smiled at each 
other with great contentment. 

'[Sleepy place this,' mumbled Warden. 

I yawned assent. 

For some time no one spoke. 

' Hate walking after good lunch,' said I drowsily. 

Warden snored. 

A rat peeped at us from under a wine-barrel ; at the end 
of the passage the street gasped in sunshine ; the air was hot 
and stagnant ; my eyelids closed involuntarily — my head 
drooped to my chest — my surroundings drifted from me — I 
fell asleep. 



CHAPTER XXXI 

THE LITTLE CEMETERY 

I SAW the cemetery of Salir for the first time with something 
akin to a shock, for there are places one finds it difficult to 
associate with the idea of death. Salir was so peaceful 
and secluded, so warm and sunny, that it seemed to me as 
if its inhabitants must of necessity be as eternal as the hills 
which bent above them. But the King of Terrors had set 
the seal of his image and superscription even on little Salir ; 
he had not overlooked it in his triumphal march, and the 
mortality of man was brought home to me by the saddest 
cemetery I have ever seen. 

We entered it by a gap in the wall, for the masonry was 
dislodged and fast crumbling into ruin. Dark cypress-trees 
stood sentinel, rigid and silent, as though their solitary 
vigils had instilled into them the spirit of desolation. Their 
shadows fell athwart the tangled green of flowers and grasses 
with the solidity of a pall. The graves had been neglected. 
They were no longer the token of recollection, but of aban- 
donment. Weeds grew rank and luxuriant among the long 
grasses ; they flaunted their unsightly heads, and lorded it 
over the sickly garden-flowers. Mildew and moss laid their 
finger on the tomb-stones, erasing the very names of those 
whose resting-places had been forgotten. But the saddest 
sight of all was a great heap of bones which, to a height of 
four feet, lay piled one upon the other in a remote comer of 
the cemetery. There was nothing nauseating in the spec- 
tacle, for the kindly sun had bleached them to a dazzling 
whiteness, pure as polished ivory ; yet to see skulls that had 
aforetime belonged to kindly men and women lusting in the 

217 



2i8 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

joy of life, even as we then were, tossed up to rot filled me 
with melancholy. 

The heat rose in hot breaths from the sun-steeped soil ; it 
quivered along the ground in transparent waves ; it touched 
wall and tombs, weeds and bones, until they appeared to 
tremble into animation. Innumerable flies buzzed to and 
fro, returning always to the vicinity of the bones. A lizard 
peeped from beneath a skull, and surveyed us with bright, 
unwinking eyes. The sunshine but intensified the sadness. 
I know not whether others are affected by the sensations 
which sway my feelings — we are all so differently constituted 
— but to me death in lands deluged with perennial sunshine 
is infinitely more pathetic than death contemplated in the 
gray environment of our Northern homes. In many tropical 
countries have I seen death ; in one and all have I prayed 
that I might be spared to meet him eventually under other 
and more appropriate skies. These were my feelings in the 
cemetery of Salir. The village was a goblet of sunshine, a 
fragment of the tropics ; it radiated life and warmth ; it 
had no right to be an ally of the great enemy, a storehouse 
erected for the grim accumulation of bones. 

Seen through the veil of noonday heat, the whole place 
had an air of unreality about it ; it wavered into dreamland, 
it all but slipped back into the regions of fancy. Yet it was 
real, for, a,s I gazed, the flies still made a stir in the quiet sun- 
shine — the lizard still watched us from beneath the skull. 

The sound of wood being sawn drew us towards the chapel 
that abutted on the graveyard. It was a primitive building. 
Within it we discovered the Padre busily occupied with 
amateur carpentry. I say ' amateur,' but it is more prob- 
able that he ' contrived a double debt to pay,' and that 
carpentry in his eyes ranked as a professional occupation, 
secondary only to religion. 

The good man was in a state of great heat, and had dis- 
carded his upper garment. In him we recognised an ac- 
quaintance — one of the priests, in fact, whom we had met 
at the house of Padre Callada upon the occasion of our first 
visit to Carenta. He expressed delight at our appearance. 
Being in his own village, and, so to speak, our host, warmed 
his heart towards us ; and although we were accustomed to 



THE LITTLE CEMETERY 219 

anticipate welcome, yet the geniality of his greeting took 
us by surprise. His saw was at once laid aside, and, donning 
his sombre robe, he took pleasure in showing us the chapel. 
His manner was full of old-fashioned courtesy. 

The interior of the little building was of so simple a con- 
struction that we imagined that it must be the work of the 
Padre's own hands. Upon our taxing him with it, he 
beamed his pride, and confessed that he had laboured with 
the workmen, and that the design that they had followed 
had emanated from him alone. The pulpit was an event 
upon which he expected congratulations, and my request for 
permission to sketch it went straight to his heart. 

We strolled into the cemetery. His eye rested upon the 
neglected graves with no shadow of remorse ; even the 
accumulation of bones left him unaffected. 

' Yes, my sons,' said he, taking a pinch of snuff. ' We 
must all come to this — dust unto dust. In the midst of life 
we are in death.' 

' But, my father, why are they thus exposed to view ?' 
inquired Warden. 

The Padre shrugged his shoulders. 

' It is a question of space — a case of necessity. As you see, 
our cemetery is small ; it cannot hold everyone, and for the 
present it is difficult to obtain additional ground that could 
be consecrated for the purpose. So should we discover 
the remains of one body when we are about to inter another, 
we are forced to dispose of the bones ; that is the reason you 
see them laid out in this manner.' 

When he made this remark we were standing within a few 
feet of the melancholy spectacle. Hadow took a stride 
forward and picked up a skull. Enthusiasm beamed from 
his eyes ; he handled it with the deft skill, the understanding 
touch, of the expert. 

' See, dear boys !' he cried, obviously forgetful of the 
Padre — ' see what a beauty ! He caught my eye among all 
these other fine skulls. He is a perfect specimen of the 
cranium of an idiot.' 

' How can you tell ?' asked Warden. ' One skull looks 
exactly like another to me.' 

^ Ach ! I saw him at once. Look you, he has no frontal 



220 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

development, and see, too, his peculiar animal look ; the 
occipital lobes are wanting, the temporal lobes are deep, the 
opening of the ear is placed abnormally low, the crown is 
narrow. You would say he has no retentive powers — intelli- 
gence undeveloped. Himmel 1 what a find ! I might have 
dug up every grave in Salir and not come across so beautiful, 
so splendid a specimen. Hans Hadow, my boy, you are in 
luck !' 

The Padre gazed at him in amazement, and I fancied that 
I could detect in his expression the shadow of displeasure. 
Unconscious of the sensations he was exciting, Hadow con- 
tinued to handle the skull with delighted enthusiasm. 

' It will be a beautiful object for my museum,' he mur- 
mured, half to himself. 

' My son,' remarked the Padre. 

Hadow started. 

' I know not what you have been saying, but I pray you 
not to disturb these remains ; they are sacred, and in my 
charge. I am answerable for their safety.' 

Hadow, the skull of the idiot under one arm, stared at him 
in open-mouthed surprise. 

' Donnerwetter P he ejaculated. 

' You will be doing me a favour, senhor, if you leave them 
alone ; have the goodness to return that skull to where you 
found it.' 

Poor Hadow ! his disappointment was great. The un- 
reasonableness of the request staggered him. The skull was 
obviously of no use to anyone — its former owner had been 
forgotten in the march of Time, his grave desecrated, his 
bones cast up to bleach in rain and sunshine ; and yet this 
ignorant and prejudiced priest stopped him with mere senti- 
ment and, what was even worse, he felt himself powerless 
to brush it aside. It was the unconscious irony of Fate — 
to find such a skull, and to lose it in such a manner ! What 
wonder that, as we left the cemetery, he tugged at his great 
moustaches with ferocity ? What wonder that the air grew 
sultry with German oaths ? 



CHAPTER XXXII 

THE OPEN ROAD 

We left Salir when the shadows were lengthening along its 
dusty street. Warden had been as good as his word. 
After much bargaining, he had engaged the services of 
two muletecT-s and three mules, so that he and I were once 
more transformed into light cavalry — a transformation 
which, for my part, I hailed with thankfulness. 

It was a satisfaction to be ' mounted,' to feel that you 
commanded four legs instead of two, to be conscious of the 
living continuation of your seated self bearing you onwards 
in mid-air with the ease, if not the velocity, of a genii. It 
was but a mule I bestrode, but what of that ? A mule is 
very like a horse ; with the exercise of a little imagination 
you can transform him, if you will, into Alexander's Buce- 
phalus, or the Cid's Babieca, endowing him with as many 
fanciful qualities as Don Quixote bestowed upon his Roci- 
nante. But such was not my humour. Mule he was, and, 
for me, mule he should remain. Nothing but a mule would 
have contented me. Let Rajahs boast of their elephants, 
or Arabs of their steeds, but for pure unadulterated pleasure, 
instinct with the spirit of adventure, let me get astride a 
mule, with liberty to wander at will among the mountains 
of Portugal. 

The Padre and Senhor Vegas walked with us a little way, 
and parted from us with expressions of the liveliest regret. 

All honour to the Portuguese ! All honour to their 
generous hearts ! I met with more unaffected kindness, 
more genuine hospitality from these Portuguese peasants 
than from more cultured classes in other lands who make 

221 



222 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

a boast of their consideration for strangers. What mattered 
it that their clothes were ragged, their homes but hovels, 
their persons unacquainted with soap and water ? Did 
not courtesy radiate from their manners, and kindliness 
shine from their eyes. Time and again they placed their 
little all at our disposal with such true breeding that we 
felt almost as though we were conferring instead of receiving 
a benefit ; and surely that is the high-water mark of that 
elastic term — ' a gentleman.' 

Our little cavalcade clattered along the stony track, the 
hoofs of our mules forming a castanet accompaniment to 
the jingle of bells. 

The muleteers trudged in the rear, chatting and laughing 
together, with every now and then an oath, an endearment, 
or a blow bestowed with the unmost partiality upon one 
of their charges. Before them trotted the baggage-mule, 
upon the top of whose mountainous pack Pedro's small 
person rode triumphant. Then came the light brigade, 
composed of Warden and me astride of our saddle-bags. 
Foremost of all strode Hadow. 

The Professor had clung to his decision to have done with 
mules. No man had to a greater extent the courage of his 
opinions ; you felt that he would kill you for the least of 
them. 

I watched him with interest. Forward he swung un- 
tiring, devouring the miles one after the other ' with steady 
driving strokes from the loins,' his broad shadow shouldering 
far before him in the dust of the track. He was a store- 
house of energy, a fund of vitality, that felt impelled to 
blow off its superfluous strength in occasional shouts. At 
times he would dart hot-foot on the trail of some reptile, 
or, had we to ford a brook, he would fling himself on the 
bank, and, lying face downwards, would grope with both 
hands for the frogs and tortoises that made their homes 
among the rocks. 

The air, pleasantly cool, fanned us after the heat of the 
day. 

It is marvellous with what rapidity the mind of the 
traveller responds to the least perceptible of atmospheric 
changes. And more especially is this the case when the 



THE OPEN ROAD 223 

conditions of life are such as to permit of the entire day being 
passed in the open air. 

We fully experienced these smiles and frowns of the 
goddess. In the early hours, when the earth was cool and 
the wind still tasted of the dawn, life appeared a glorious 
promise, full of anticipated pleasure, too delightful to be 
true. We felt as though we could never grow weary ; our 
imaginations raced ahead and climbed every mountain 
peak without so much as a laboured breath. It was a 
glorious sensation ! 

Then the day's march began, and the sun rose higher and 
higher. At first his beams were more than welcome ; we 
rejoiced in his return as in that of an intimate friend, and 
our shadows nodding westward were an earnest of the 
bright comradeship that was to be with us all day long. 

But little by little his power increased ; from a friend 
he became a foe. He pursued us along shadowless tracks ; 
he struck at us in hot and pitiless anger. We avoided his 
gaze. Hour by hour we rode onwards, longing for but a 
single cloud to protect us from his wrath. But the dome 
overhead held no promise of a cloud ; its infinity was bright 
and blue as burnished steel — a thing to dazzle and repel. 

On and ever on, lashed upwards across the shimmering 
hills, hounded downwards into the coil of the valleys. 

Then came the noonday halt. With what feelings of 
delight we welcomed it ! To stretch our cramped limbs in 
the friendly shade, to gaze outwards at the sun-soaked 
street, to tilt the wine-skin and feel the crimson runlets 
trickling down our throats, and to close our eyes in the 
noonday siesta while the lazy unrecorded hours drifted 
past, was a chain of experiences that I shall never forget. 

Last of all, our evening march began. With the excep- 
tion of early morning, those twilight hours were the most 
enjoyable of the twenty-four, for when the lengthening 
shadows pointed eastwards, happiness returned to us in a 
wave whose volume had but increased by being temporally 
withheld. 

The sun, shorn of his strength, wheeled to meet the 
horizon. Again he had become our friend, and smiled 
at us with a bright and kindly eye. We forgave him all 



224 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

the discomfort he had caused us ; we even regretted his 
departure. 

The fever and heat of the day were forgotten. Each in 
his own way revealed a spirit of thanksgiving. The mule- 
teers burst into song ; the mules tossed their heads and sent 
the message of their bells floating over the hillsides ; Warden 
wooed Old-World melodies on his whistle ; Hadow, with head 
erect, swung forward indefatigably ; whilst I, perched on 
my swaying seat, drank deep of the joy of travel — the 
delight of wandering midst unfamiliar scenes, lured onward 
by the beckoning track into the glories of the sunset. 



CHAPTER XXXIII 

A SURLY WELCOME 

Bemafim was enshrouded in twilight. It was another 
mountain-hamlet straggling along a foetid lane, full of the 
dirt and squalor of Portuguese village life. 

In the dusk of the evening it was impossible to judge of 
its size. It seemed, however, to extend for a considerable 
distance, the houses in many cases being isolated from 
their neighbours by pools of evil odour and heaps of manure. 
The lane was paved with cobble-stones, but full of holes, a 
source of danger to benighted travellers. Our mules felt 
their onward way, pausing at every step. 

' Halt !' cried Hadow. 

The cavalcade came to a standstill. The muleteers 
hastened forward to listen to our conversation. 

' Dear boys, shall we sleep further on, on the dry hill- 
side, or shall we try to find someone to house us for the 
night ? Say it only quickly.' 

' Is there no inn ?' suggested Warden. 

Hadow questioned the muleteers. 

' Yes, yes, senhor !' answered one of them ; ' there is an 
estalagem but a little way from here. It belongs to one 
Senhor Alvarez, a man, I must admit, with an ill name. 
Still, it is a shelter. We have stayed there several times, 
and will stable our mules there to-night.' 

' Let us go to the inn,' I suggested. ' They will, at all 
events, give us something to eat.' 

' Vamos P cried Hadow, and the cavalcade clattered on 
in the darkness. 

' When I was here before I wished for to find an inn.' 

225 15 



226 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

observed Hadow, ' but for my sins I met with one — 
Senhor Vieyra, I think was his name — who made me 
sleep in his ever-to-be-cursed house ! Gott ! the old animal 
was a menagerie. I pray that we do not meet him this 
time. Donnerwetter ! I nearly fell that time !' 

' Why need we go ?' I asked him, as he steadied himself 
on the neck of my mule. ' Surely one has the right to 
refuse ?' 

' Ach nein ! So is it not done in Portugal, dear boy. 
But I am too much abusive, perhaps, for the reptile had 
good meanings. He introduced me to much fine aristocracy. 
He was the chief Baron of Bemafim. Ho, ho ! It is a 
curious race — proud as Lucifer. They sit with their heads 
in the stars and their tails in the pigsties.' 

We halted before a long low building. By the light of 
the stars, which by this time had begun to twinkle in the 
sky, I could see that it was divided into two equal parts by 
a large courtyard. A central arch led into open country 
behind. 

Wheeling through the gateway, the pillars of which had 
once boasted of a gate, for the hinges still showed against 
a background of mossy stone, we roused the echoes with 
our shouts. On the right, an open door showed us the 
fitful glimmer of a wood fire. Two or three dark forms 
were lying beside the embers. Disturbed by our cries, 
they came out to meet us. One of them lit a torch, and 
holding it above his head sent its lurid light over the scene. 
The red glow splashed on courtyard and buildings, on mules 
and muleteers, on Hadow and Warden, and on the wild and 
uncouth figures that gazed at us in silence from the door- 
way. The effect was singularly picturesque. 

' Which of you is the host of this inn ?' questioned 
Warden. 

' I am,' answered the fellow who bore the torch. 

' Well, my friend, we wish to spend the night here. Can 
you give us beds, supper, and accommodation for our mules ?* 

The man eyed us for some time without speaking, and 
then, turning to one of his companions, held a whispered 
conversation, of which we were evidently the subject. He 
appeared to be urging some course of action which did not 



A SURLY WELCOME 227 

meet with approval, for their gesticulations were fierce, and 
their words, although indistinguishable, sounded ominous 
as the prelude to a quarrel. At length they appeared to 
arrive at a better understanding, for the torch-bearer said 
aloud, ' Sera melhor que ' (It will be better so), and the other, 
shrugging his shoulders, turned away with a yawn. The 
night wind wandered in at the gateway, the stars glittered 
overhead, the mules stamped on the stones with an occa- 
sional jingle of bells. 

' Well, my friend ?' prompted Warden at last. 

' I cannot do what you ask.' 

' What ! we cannot stay here for the night ?' 

'No.' 

' You cannot even give us supper ?' 

' No.' ^ 

' Deos ! this is pleasant ! Come, now, you are a good 
fellow, I am sure. You have not the heart to turn us out 
into the night at this hour.' 

' Eu assim quero !' (I will have it so) returned the fellow 
curtly. 

' Ohe I Senhor Alvarez !' expostulated one of our mule- 
teers. ' This is no way to treat noble senhores whom we 
bring to your inn. And what about the little mules, our 
children ? Are there no empty stalls in the stable ? You 
know us well ; we have been often here before.' 

The man eyed them with awakening favour. 

' Carramha ! It is Anselmo and Isodoro from Salir ! I 
did not recognise you. Well, you can put up your mules. 
The stable is nearly empty, and we will give you and the 
boy a corner of the fire ; but as for beds and supper for 
your senhores, we cannot do it. Let them seek elsewhere. 
That is my last word.' 

So saying, he joined his companions, who had already 
resumed their recumbent attitudes around the fire. 

Warden and I dismounted ; the muleteers led the animals 
in the direction of the stable. The clatter of hoofs sounded 
fainter and fainter ; we three outcasts were left stranded 
in the dark courtyard. 

It was a novel, I may say a unique, experience. But a 
short time ago I sang the praises of hospitable Portugal, and 

15—2 



228 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

here, in the very next chapter, I am forced to eat my words, 
and to confess that there existed a Portuguese innkeeper 
who would have none of us. It is humihating. But I do 
not retract one note from my praise. We looked upon this 
rebuff as the exception that proves the rule. The kindness 
of others but shone the brighter by comparison. 

* It is a case of the hillside,' said I with an attempt at 
cheerfulness. 

' Suppers don't grow on hillsides,' sighed Warden. 

This depressing fact saddened us. We thought over the 
situation in silence. 

' I have it !' I cried. 

' Ah ?' they questioned with one voice. 

' Yes, let us call on your friend the " Baron," Hadow.' 

Hadow grunted. 

' Don't you think it's a good idea ?' 

' H-m-m ! Was that your fine thought ?' 

' He'll feed us, at all events.' 

' Dock ! he'll feed us and we'll feed his menagerie. It is 
what you call " tit for tat," Hein ? ' 

Warden reflected for a moment, then said : 

' I'll tell you what we'll do : let us call on Senhor Vieyra, 
and induce him to give us supper. Leave it to me to get 
us out of all other difficulties. What do you say to that ?' 

' Colossal r approved Hadow. 

And thus it was arranged. 

A boy was roused from a dark corner and persuaded, by 
the magic touch of a piece of silver, to act as our guide. 

Our muleteers were as sorry to part from us as we from 
them. They were fine fellows, and had already endeared 
themselves to us by their courtesy and good-humour. 
Isodoro took me aside. 

' Senhor, I am deeply grieved. It is an insult. To turn 
you away like this into the night — like — like dogs ! Car- 
ramha ! esta animal ! (he is a brute). I have a good mind 
to give him a taste of this ;' and his fingers played with 
his knife-hilt. 

' It does not matter, Isodoro. We will find sleeping- 
quarters elsewhere.' 



A SURLY WELCOME 229 

' Ah, but it is a personal matter with us. Anselmo and 
I are muleteers ; you are our friends. We introduce you 
to this — this maroto (rascal) of an innkeeper, and he insults. 
Deos ! it is not to be borne !' 

He smote himself on the chest, and the whites of his eyes 
gleamed in the starlight. 

I soothed the honest fellow with difficulty. He was in 
deadly earnest, and would, I believe, have been as good, or 
rather as bloodthirsty, as his word. 

Leaving instructions that they should call for us, ready 
for the road, on the following morning, we bade them good- 
night, and, preceded by our little guide, set out in search 
of supper. 



CHAPTER XXXIV 

BARON BEMAFIM 

It was but fifty paces to the house of Senhor Vieyra. 
Having pointed out the dwehing, the boy snatched at the 
coin, and forthwith vanished into the darkness. The door 
was ajar ; a dim hght struggled outwards and fell athwart 
the dusky street. The sound of voices raised in apparent 
altercation floated out to us, as we paused irresolute on the 
threshold — a woman's voice, young and fresh, and that of 
a man, deep but muffled as though its owner suffered from 
a cold in his head. The woman was scolding vehemently, 
for we distinctly heard the man make occasional ineffectual 
efforts to stem the current of her anger. We had stumbled 
upon that most awkward of episodes — a family quarrel. 

' You did not speak of a woman !' whispered Warden to 
Hadow in tones of reproach. 

* Did I not ? Herr Gott ! only Hsten to her. She can 
speak for herself. The old menagerie has, I now remember, 
two women : a wife in bed always — and a very good place 
for a wife, too !' he chuckled softly — ' and a daughter. This 
must be the daughter ! Nice thing to own a daughter, 
Hein ?' 

' Let us knock,' said I wearily. ' They will perhaps leave 
off quarrelling if they know we're here.' 

Hadow knocked, but the noise still continued. 

' Knock louder,' suggested Warden. 

Tap, tap, tap ! Tap, tap, tap ! 

The door opened, and a girl peered at us. 

' What do you want ?' she said curtly. 

Her voice betrayed marked hostihty ; possibly, however, 

230 



BARON BEMAFIM 231 

it was but the track of the storm — the back-wash of the 
quarrel. Warden took off his hat ; his manner was courtly. 
We both followed his example ; the air was a-flutter with 
obsequious sombreros. 

' Senhora,' said he, ' you behold three benighted travellers 
flinging themselves at your hospitable feet.' 

As he uttered this remarkable statement, he made as 
though he would indeed fling himself at the extremities in 
question. 

The girl was alarmed. She retreated further within the 
entrance. 

' This,' continued Warden, pointing to the Professor, ' is 
the celebrated Senhor Hadow, a learned Englishman.' 
(' German, you animal !' remonstrated Hadow.) ' He had 
the happiness to see you once, when he spent a night in your 
father's house ; he has not forgotten it ; he has travelled 
from England in the hope of seeing you again. Oh senhora !' 
— Warden's voice dropped the rhetorical tone so dear to his 
soul, and trembled with unaffected emotion — ' Oh senhora ! 
don't go away ; don't shut the door ; be kind to us ; we are 
very tired, and very, very hungry.' 

The girl softened visibly. Turning round, she spoke 
to someone within the dwelling. An old man made his 
appearance. Was this Hadow's nobleman of many aliases — 
Senhor Fernando Vieyra, Baron Bemafim, the Old Menagerie, 
etc. ? By the light of the lamp which he held in his hand, 
he appeared to be in the sear and yellow leaf ; his features 
were fine ; his nose, especially, was aristocratic ; his eyes 
were black ; his hair iron-gray ; but the garments which 
hung from his drooping shoulders were stained and tattered 
beyond behef. On his chin a gray stubble bristled pug- 
naciously, and the hand with which he supported himself on 
the door-post bespoke a lifelong abstinence from soap and 
water. Poverty and pride sat upon him as on a throne. 
The girl was a fine, upstanding wench, with full bosom and 
statuesque figure. Her hair, black as night, grew low upon 
her forehead ; her eyebrows met in a level line over her 
eyes ; while two deeply-indented wrinkles above the nose, 
combined with the defiant set of her chin, told a tale of strong 
will, and perhaps also of temper uncontrolled. 



232 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

H^dow took a step forwards. 

' Ah, Senhor Vieyra, you remember me and the fine frogs 
we did catch many years ago ?' 

' Frogs ?' repeated the Baron wonderingly. 

' Yes, frogs,' chimed in the girl. ' I remember you quite 
well now : you are the Englishman who gave me a piece of 
silver for catching tortoises. You also caught snakes. You 
must remember, father !' She shook him by the shoulder. 

' Yes, yes,' said the old man nervously. ' Of course, 
frogs and snakes — they are not to be forgotten. Yes, 
senhor — senhor ?' 

' Hadow,' suggested that individual. 

' Ah, Hadoo ! Of course, your moustache is familiar to 
me. I recall you perfectly. But come in, senhores ; do 
not stand outside. My house is at your disposal ; all that 
I have is yours.' 

He waved his disengaged hand. His manner was princely. 
He had the air of one who presents some magnificent gift. 
The French had intuition when they coined the dreamland 
phrase ' Chateaux en Espagne ' ; the people of the Peninsula 
may hve in hovels, but they dream of castles. 

We followed him into the cottage. The living-room — for 
it had but one — presented a cheerless and untidy aspect. 
The embers of a dead fire lay on the hearth. Once upon a 
time the walls had boasted of whitewash, but that was long 
ago, for they were dirty as only years of neglect could account 
for. Overhead the ceihng was composed of bamboo rods 
laid side by side — not so close but that the upward smoke 
from the fire could filter itself between them. The mud 
floor was littered with a variety of miscellaneous articles — 
brooms, pails, an axe, a heap of firewood, etc. The oil-lamp 
shed its feeble light over this comfortless interior, enticing 
some objects into partial relief, plunging others into shadow, 
making a mock of us with distorted reflections cast upon the 
opposite wall. 

Warden and I seated ourselves upon the bench ; the Baron 
took his place between us, an arm twined round either of 
our shoulders. The attitude was affecting, but neither of us 
were pleasantly affected. To tell the truth, he was by no 
means a pleasant companion at close quarters. He was, 



BARON BEMAFIM 233 

however, so unconscious of anything distasteful to us in the 
situation — so full of kindness, condescension, and hospi- 
tality — that we could not find it in our hearts to undeceive 
him. His daughter had disappeared. 

* And so you like Portugal, dear senhor ?' breathed the 
Baron into my ear. 

As he spoke, he patted my shoulder as one would that of 
a friendly dog. I murmured my admiration. Warden in 
his turn was patted and questioned. 

' That is right, that is right,' continued our host, nodding 
his head, and patting both our shoulders simultaneously. 
' You have a proper appreciation of Portugal ; it must be 
very superior to England, so many Englishmen come to see 
it.' Then he added in a wave of irrepressible hospitality : 
' Dear senhores, consider me and mine as but existing to do 
you a service.' 

We made the reply demanded by etiquette, neither accept- 
ing nor declining the responsibility of his possessions, after 
which a silence fell which no one seemed desirous of breaking. 

A craving for food beset me — the sinking sensation that 
follows on the footsteps of hungry hours. I felt I could 
have relished the ' husks' of the prodigal son. 

' Can't you suggest supper ?' I murmured in English. 

' No,' returned Warden in the same language, ' certainly 
not ; you must wait till he suggests it himself.' 

Silence settled on us again. All at once Hadow's voice, 
coming unexpectedly from his dark comer, made us start. 

' And how is the Senhora Vieyra, your honoured wife ? 
I hope she is well.' 

The Baron gave a violent start ; he was dozing on our 
shoulders. 

' Eh ? How ? My wife ! Oh yes, did you not hear ? 
She is dead.' 

' Oh, really !' ejaculated Hadow, quite taken aback. 

' Yes, yes,' continued the Baron, warming to his subject. 
' She is quite dead this time ; she died ten months ago. She 
had been in bed for seven years, a poor useless creature ; it 
was a happy release. We have given her room to the sow.' 

' To the sow r We could scarce believe our ears. 

' Yes, senhores ; our sow^ littered a fortnight ago — ten 



234 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

little brown pigs, as lively a brood as you could wish to see. 
We have no pig-sty — we used it for firewood years ago — and 
we could not well allow the poor animal to litter in the street. 
So my wife's death was after all a blessing in disguise. God 
be praised ! He knows what is best for us.' 

This philosophical reasoning staggered us. We looked at 
him with suspicion ; was he jesting ? But no, his face ex- 
pressed cheerful resignation ; his words were simple and 
earnest, his tone full of natural piety ; we were forced to 
take him seriously. 

At that moment the girl re-entered the room. 

' What ! are you still here ?' she cried, addressing her 
father in tones of annoyance. 

' Where should I be, Camilla ?' rephed the old man 
placidly. 

' But at supper, of course ; it grows late. Will you not 
take the senhores to supper ? You cannot stay here talking 
all the night.' 

The Baron rose up slowly. He plainly feared his daughter. 

' True, true, Camilla ; words cannot fill the belly.' 

' Father grows 9ld,' continued the girl, turning to us ; 
' he forgets things sadly. Why, it was only yesterday that 
he paid a sum of money to a man from Alte, and we owed 
him nothing ! The debt had been paid two months ago. 
Think of it, senhores : we might have lost all that money 
had I not overheard their talk ! It makes me wild, and he 
doesn't care at all ;' and she frowned at her offending parent. 

' Where do we sup ?' questioned Warden. 

' At Senhor Sarto's,' replied Camilla. ' He is the tailor. 
Many senhores take their meals there ; few of our neighbours 
cook in their own houses. Come, father, make haste, and 
do not be too late, for I will sit up till you return. Adeos, 
senhores, and good appetites.' 

She bustled us out of doors. The last glimpse we had of 
her was as she stood on the doorsteps, the lamp raised above 
her head to light our first steps down the darkened street. 



CHAPTER XXXV 

A SUPPER PARTY 

The Baron still retained his hold of our arms. We were 
the most 'personally-conducted party' it is possible to 
imagine. The night wind was cool, but the smell of manure 
and other garbage was overpoweringly unpleasant. We 
stumbled forwards. 

' Trust to me, dear senhores,' murmured our guide in 
tones of gentle encouragement. ' I know every stone in the 
village, and could find my way to Senhor Sarto's blindfold.' 

We were glad to hear it, for what with the darkness and 
the gaps in the badly-paved streets and the manure-heaps — 
arranged, apparently, with a view to constructing an 
obstacle race for benighted travellers — it would have gone 
hard with us to have found our way alone. 

Hadow, unsupported by the baronial arm, stumbled 
after us, punctuating his adventures with curses. The lane 
along which we were led was barely of sufficient width to 
permit of three people walking abreast ; to include a fourth 
in the first line of advance was out of the question. The 
houses lay in impenetrable shadow. The outlines of the 
roofs and chimneys stood out, black as carven ebony, 
against the starlit beauty of the sky. 

' Here we are, senhores !' exclaimed the Baron, wheeling 
us unexpectedly into a dark entrance. 

All very well ! but where were we ? The gloom of our 
surroundings imparted a sinister sensation to the ' night 
within a night ' in which we found ourselves. Had we 
not had imphcit confidence in the trustworthiness of our 
guide we would have felt anxiety. Dropping our arms, 

235 



236 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

he knocked at some invisible door. A hoarse voice within 
bade him enter. The door opened, a rush of hght streamed 
out to welcome us, and we followed him into the dwelling 
of Senhor Sarto. 

The interior of the tailor's shop looked inviting after the 
loneliness and darkness of the outer world. A large lamp 
of Moorish design swung from a rafter overhead ; imme- 
diately below it was a circular deal table, around which a 
number of men were seated. Evidences of the tailor's 
art in the shape of garments in all stages of construction 
were to be observed littered about the room. The atmo- 
sphere was appalling. Half a dozen ill-trimmed wicks 
reeked into the air, tobacco-smoke floated from as many 
mouths ; from an inner door came the fumes of a charcoal- 
stove, mingling with the pungent odours of Portuguese 
cookery. Our eyes smarted, and it was with difficulty that 
we drew breath. 

The Tailor came forward to welcome us. He was a 
wizened man with a most melancholy cast of countenance. 
He shook hands with us as though he were lamenting the 
decease of a friend. 

The ceremony of our introduction to the other members 
of the coterie proceeded. The Baron conducted it with 
his usual courtly grace. We made the acquaintance of 
the Padre, of several farmers, of a horse dealer, and of 
an individual who, it appeared, combined in his one person 
the various duties of carrier, baker, grave-digger, etc. ; in 
fact, everything useful that did not come under the imme- 
diate supervision of his friend the Tailor. Never before had 
we found ourselves in the company of such a thoroughly 
representative body of men. Nine gentlemen were present, 
and including our contingent, thirteen. Fatal number for 
a supper party, but fortunately, save myself, no one 
noticed it. 

The Padre questioned us courteously. Where did we 
come from ? where did we go to ? what object had we in 
visiting Portugal ? and what impressions did we carry home 
as the result of our trip ? His curiosity had so much 
kindliness and personal interest mingled with it that we 
answered his questions gladly, and such was the good feeling 



A SUPPER PARTY 237 

engendered thereby that all the room applauded our re- 
plies. It was in the midst of the like friendly intercourse 
that the doleful voice of the Tailor made itself heard. 

' Senhores,' said he, ' supper is now ready ; shall I serve it ?' 

' But certainly, Senhor Sarto,' responded the Padre in a 
magnificent bass voice. ' We are quite ready for it. Are 
we not, my friends ?' 

' Yes, yes,' assented a chorus of voices. The entire 
company seated themselves round the deal table. In front 
of each person was a plate, a hunch of black bread, and a 
pewter fork with two prongs. Bottles of wine and dishes 
of olives ornamented the table at regular intervals. 

In less than a minute the Tailor, who had run into the 
inner room, reappeared, carrying in both hands a large and 
deep tureen, from which ascended a dense steam of appetiz- 
ing odour. He placed the dish in the middle of the table, 
and forthwith took his place amongst us. 

' What have we here, Senhor Sarto ?' questioned the 

Padre. 

' Goat's flesh, an it please your reverence.' 

' A dish fit for a king,' cried Warden gaily. 

' Hoch I hoch r applauded Hadow. 

The Padre rose to his feet and intoned a simple grace. I 
sniffed the steam and blessed the creator of goats. The 
goat would have felt flattered could he have heard the deep- 
mouthed ceremony of his introduction. A moment of polite 
hesitation, then every fork attacked the contents of the 
tureen. Pieces of meat bobbed up and down in the soup- 
like gravy ; to harpoon them was a matter requiring no 
little skill. The eye selected the morsel ; the hand directed 
the downward thrust ; the twin prongs, if successful, bore 
off the capture in triumph, and landed it, all dripping, on 
the plate. There were many misadventures. Thirteen 
forks hovering like so many vultures over the body of one 
fragmentary goat was an awe-inspiring spectacle ; it re- 
quired courage and hunger to enter the melee, for the contest 
had its dangerous as well as its humorous side. The steam 
rising from the dish added not a little to the excitement of 
the sport ; it imparted to it an element of chance that almost 
raised it to the dignity of a game. 



238 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

Occasionally two forks would swoop simultaneously upon 
the same piece of goat, and, discovering their rivalry, 
would soar upwards with cries of mutual apology. The 
excitement culminated in an episode that verged on the 
tragic. Hadow, throwing himself into the sport with 
characteristic enthusiasm, flourished his fork with much 
success. He even went the length of jeering good-naturedly 
at me when I failed to secure my prey. Pride goeth before 
a fall. Diving into the stream in pusuit of some coveted 
morsel, he harpooned the hand of the Tailor. A shrill and 
indignant cry made him aware of his mistake. His apologies 
were profuse ; but he only made matters worse by saying 
that he had naturally mistaken the Tailor for a morsel of 
goat. The depression on the Tailor's face became almost 
painful to witness. 

My neighbour on the right was a burly red-faced farmer 
of the most genial and good-humoured disposition. He was 
full of unexpected courtesies, such, for example, as spear- 
ing some choice morsel of goat and passing it to me on his 
own fork with assurances of undying affection. I returned 
the compliment. We swore eternal friendship. 

It must not be inferred that the wine was content to 
repose idly while the goat monopolized attention. By no 
means. It circulated freely. It wooed the silent into 
speech, and encouraged the talkative to still greater exer- 
tions ; it made eyes sparkle and cheeks glow ; it fanned the 
fires of friendship in every heart. It was good wine, the 
excellent and pure juice of the grape that we had come to 
know so well during the days passed in our cave-life. It 
could not be called light, being of the character of burgundy, 
and it was apt to take its revenge upon the inexperienced 
drinker who treated it like the vin ordinaire of other nations. 
The pig-skin receptacle in which it had been confined had 
imparted to it a peculiar but not unpleasant flavour, an 
aroma which I have never tasted elsewhere, and which 
I am convinced I have but to taste again to be carried 
back bodily to the Sierra de Monchique Mountains and 
the sunny travel-memories which they will ever contain 

for me. 

The England of yesterday is the Portugal of to-day. 



A SUPPER PARTY 239 

Many Old-World customs which found a home among our 
ancestors, but which have passed away with knee-breeches 
and silk stockings, are to be encountered still among the 
Portuguese. They cling to the race as plants to con- 
genial soil — and long may they do so in a land where hos- 
pitality is more than a name, and where gentlemen are not 
ashamed to address each other in phrases of old-fashioned 
courtesy. 

There was, however, one relic of a by-gone custom that 
caused me considerable inconvenience that evening. I 
refer to the habit of health-drinking. The Portuguese are 
inveterate health-drinkers. In theory it is a graceful 
ceremony, and springs, I doubt not, from a sincere solici- 
tude for your well-being, but in practice it is the very devil ! 
Their efforts are all but certain to overthrow their desires : 
they are much more likely to drink you into an ill than a 
good health by pledging you in repeated bumpers, to 
which, of necessity, you are forced to respond. 

My burly right-hand neighbour was the first to toast me. 

' A sua saiide, meu senhor P cried he, filling our glasses to 
the brim. 

I made the customary acknowledgment. Our glasses 
clicked in time-honoured fashion, and the wine trickled to 
its long home. 

My left-hand neighbour was no whit behindhand in the 
matter of drinking. He was the grave-digger — to give him 
but one of his rightful titles — but such a grave-digger ! 
so plump and jovial, so full of life, with an eye so rollicking 
and merry that you would swear that grave-digging was 
the j oiliest occupation in the world. Time and again he 
cracked a jest that ' set the table on a roar,' and though the 
point at times escaped me, owing to my imperfect knowledge 
of the language, yet the mere sight of his whimsical face 
forced me to join heartily in the laughter. 

' To you, senhor,' he cried, holding high his glass. 
' Portugal greets England ; may health and happiness be 
yours !' 

Together we drained the flowing bowl. The Baron, 
seated opposite, caught my eye. He leant forward. 

' Senhor,' he shouted, ' permit me to have the honour of 



240 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

drinking a glass of wine with you. I am overjoyed to see 
you here. It is a pleasure we all appreciate. Senhor, 
your very good health !' 

The Baron uttered the above speech in his most grandilo- 
quent manner — he looked every inch a baron. There was 
a confidence, an assurance, in his tone that took me alto- 
gether by surprise, until I reflected that Baron Bemafim 
under the shadow of a domestic petticoat was one man, and 
Baron Bemafim fortified by good wine and seated in the 
midst of congenial masculine society was another ! In 
vulgar phrase, the Baron was ' coming out strong.' We 
bowed to each other over the bones of the goat, and drained 
the toast to the last drop. Last drop ? Ay, there you 
have my difficulty in a nutshell. The wine was beginning 
to affect me. Was it necessary that I should drain the 
last drop ? Would not a gentlemanly sip meet the re- 
quirements of the case ? I determined to make the attempt. 
The Tailor was the next to address me. The prongs of 
Hadow's fork still rankled in his soul, for nothing could 
exceed the intense melancholy with which the little man 
requested the honour, etc. He evidently regarded my 
health as the saddest phenomenon to be observed in a 
peculiarly miserable world. He drained his glass sadly and 
set it down with a sigh. I sipped mine cheerfully and set 
it down with a smile. But the smile faded when I caught 
sight of the Tailor's face. It expressed horror and indig- 
nation. 

' You do not drink, senhor ? ' he questioned in a tragic 
voice, fixing glassy eyes upon my half-emptied wineglass. 

' I am drunk — I mean I have drunk,' I said cheerfully. 

The Tailor's hands rose in remonstrance. 

' But that is not the way gentlemen drink a health in 
Portugal !' He grew more and more excited. ' No, in- 
deed ! What fine manners ! (Que hella cortesia I) Never have 
I seen such a thing ! Never ! What have I done ? (Que 
tenhofeito?) To affront me thus !' (Affrontar-me deste sorte !) 

His voice rose to a scream. Portuguese ejaculations 
struck my astonished ears like stones from a sling. The 
attention of the entire table was aroused ; every voice 
was hushed ; every eye gazed in my direction. I was 



A SUPPER PARTY 241 

covered with confusion. Better an ocean of ' last drops ' 
than to be chief actor in such a ' scene.' 

' I — I didn't know. I really didn't mean ' I began in 

a low voice. But I got no further. My knowledge of 
Portuguese excuses deserted me in distinct ratio as the need 
for them increased. The Baron — all blessings rest on his 
tactful heart — came at once to my rescue. 

' Basta 1 hasta ! Senhor Sarto ' — and he raised a dirty but 
eloquent hand. ' You go too far. Please to remember 
that the senhor is my guest. He is a distinguished English 

traveller devoted to repti Ahem ! scientific pursuits. 

It is impossible that he should wish to insult anyone, 
more especially a gentleman of sentiment and honourable 
emotions like yourself.' 

The Baron bowed. The Tailor, visibly soothed, returned 
his bow. I — painfully desirous of conforming to any 
national custom, however beyond my comprehension — 
bowed likewise. 

' And what,' continued the Baron, ' was the cause of this 
little disagreement, senhores ?' 

' It was a mistake,' said the Tailor generously. ' I am 
sure the noble English senhor did not intend to slight me.' 

' Never !' I exclaimed. 

' That is well,' continued my late adversary. ' " So 
many countries, so many customs," as our proverb hath it. 
The senhor did not know that to drink a health politely 
one must drain the glass.' 

' Who doubts it ?' (Quern duvida disso ?) assented the 
Baron. ' Now, my friends, drink again, and may all differ- 
ences be drowned in a bumper !' 

The Tailor and I pledged each other to the last drop. 

The central dish having been by this time removed, the 
company assumed attitudes of greater freedom. Chairs 
were pushed back, and cigarettes sent their smoke circling 
into the air. The roar of many-voiced conversation filled 
the room. Wine circulated continuously. The cry, ' A glass 
of wine with you, senhor,' caught the ear at frequent in- 
tervals. The Horse-dealer drank to Hadow ; the Tailor 
pledged Warden ; the Gravedigger again toasted me. 
Never in the memory of man have our good healths been so 

16 



242 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

joyously and satisfactorily provided for. If but one frac- 
tion of their good wishes come true the vineyards of Portu- 
gal rear themselves like a rampart between us and all ills 
our flesh is heir to. My friends, warned by my slip, drank 
in the manner approved by Portuguese etiquette. Needless 
to mention, I followed their example. 

It was a scene to live long in the memory. The Moorish 
lamp looked down on the circle of festive faces ; it was 
without doubt a Mohammedan, and by principle an enemy 
to wine drinking, but it smiled upon the dissipation with a 
broad-minded tolerance that would have set an example to 
many a Christian. It even shared in our festivities, for it 
drank its oil and smoked its six wicks with the best of us. 

Everyone did his best to swell the volume of sound. 
Even the Tailor talked persistently, for holding Warden 
captive by the lapel of his coat he related to him a long and 
melancholy history of some grievance connected with the 
remote past, the recitation of which so moved the little 
man that he was forced to seek relief in tears. Two farmers 
embarked upon a long bucolic discussion ; their voices were 
loud, their clenched fists smote the table. My immediate 
neighbours also were talkative fellows. The wine had 
brought out a sentimental vein in the burly Farmer, for he 
confided to me the history of his bygone lady-loves, to 
which I must have proved an indifferent listener, for my 
other ear was receiving at the same time a series of humorous 
episodes taken from the autobiography of the gravedigger. 
The effect would have proved sufficiently confusing had I 
been sober, but suffering as I undoubtedly was from a con- 
spiracy of ' last drops ' it was simply kaleidoscopic ! I 
tried to revolve the matter in my brain, but as everything 
else within that heated chamber was revolving at the 
same time and precisely at the same rate, I gave it up as 
a bad job. 

I think it was at this point in the night's festivities that 
Warden's whistle was descried protruding from one of its 
owner's pockets. The entire company clamoured for music. 
Warden good-naturedly allowed himself to be persuaded, 
and, after a prelude or two, treated us to ' Home, sweet 
Home.' He put an immense amount of feeling into the 



A SUPPER PARTY 243 

familiar melody. The very whistle appeared to mourn its 
wandering fate. 

* That is a sad tune ; it renders me melancholy,' sighed 
the Baron, when the last wail had died away. ' What may 
be its doleful name ? Is it a dirge ?' 

Warden endeavoured to translate, but his translation of 
the untranslatable met with but scant approval, ' Home, 
sweet Home ' in Portuguese resolving itself into something 
akin to Chez soi, douce chez soi ! 

' A singular title,' murmured the Baron ; ' no wonder the 
tune is so sad. But, my friend, why sweet ? Surely that 
is not appropriate to the house in which one sleeps ? If it 
were the house in which one eats, now, I could understand 
it!' 

His eyes rested benignly on the circle of friendly faces, 
then clouded over, for his thoughts had wandered to the 
gloom of his dwelling, endeared to him by none of the tender 
ties we are accustomed to associate with the word ' home.' 
He sighed deeply, and drained Warden's glass in a fit of 
melancholy abstraction. 

Other items in the programme quickly followed. The 
Gravedigger sang a song. It was about a beautiful girl 
whom he had loved, lost, and buried in the days of his youth. 
I was much affected, and to cover my emotion joined lustily 
in the chorus. Hadow interrupted me rudely. I demanded 
an explanation ; he said there was no chorus. I found 
to my astonishment that I had been singing a solo. 
I apologized ; the Gravedigger forgave me ; we em- 
braced. 

The Baron made a long speech ; it sounded incoherent, 
but, as it was beautiful and baronial, we applauded heartily ; 
the very glasses jumped for joy. 

Through the smoke I caught a glimpse of the Tailor's face 
gazing at Warden with such an expression of grief that I 
gave a shout of laughter. My neighbours, who had resumed 
their confidences, were differently affected. The Farmer 
resented my merriment : he was in the middle of relating a 
sad but tender adventure connected with a widow ; from 
his point of view my laughter was little short of an insult. 
The Gravedigger, on the contrary, accepted my mirth as a 

16 — 2 



244 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

compliment to a comical story he had just finished, and over 
which he himself was laughing heartily. It is impossible to 
please everyone. 

Ah, well ! even supper-parties come to an end. Hadow 
was the first to make a move. The Professor carried his 
liquor well. His Heidelberg training — at which University 
he had, I understand, taken the degree of ' The Beer King ' 
— stood him in good stead. t^l] 

' Come, dear boys !' he cried, consulting his old silver 
watch, ' it must be late. Herr Gott ! it is midnight, and we 
start at the crowing of the cocks. Warden, you animal, 
get up ; Watson, you reptile, come on.' 

A chorus of disapproval arose. The Tailor clung to 
Warden's coat. The Gravedigger enfolded me in his arms. 

' It is not possible that you leave us already !' shouted the 
Horse-dealer, voicing the general regret. 

But Hadow was firm, and even the Baron, who, more 
than anyone present, objected to the breaking up of so 
joyous a party, was obliged to bow to his decision. We 
left the Tailor's shop, speeded on our homeward way by 
loud shouts of farewell, and, looking back ere we turned the 
corner, I saw a crowd of figures dark against the light waving 
to us from the doorway. 

Then began our midnight march. The order for the 
homeward cruise was similar to the arrangements made for 
the outward voyage. The Baron played the part of tug, 
Warden and I were merchantmen, laden — ay, to the very 
scuppers — with the crimson produce of Portugal. The 
machinery of the tug was slightly disabled ; circles and 
acute angles it understood, but straight lines were far 
beyond its comprehension — the convoy tacked and tacked 
again. 

Dear old Baron ! he was the life and soul of the party. 
He had discarded much of his dignity, and for the nonce was 
all joviality and high spirits. The Portuguese rendering of 
' We won't go home till morning ' awoke the echoes. Never, 
I feel convinced, has Bemafim seen its one nobleman so 
metamorphosed as on that joyous occasion. To listen to 
him, you would have sworn he was a dashing young blade 
seeing life in the dawn of his twenties. 



A SUPPER PARTY 245 

Hadow, alternatively swearing and laughing, brought up 
the rear. A dog barked at us from out the darkness. The 
Baron proposed a dog-hunt. Englishmen, he said, squeezing 
us affectionately with both arms, were mighty hunters. 
This dog he knew well ; it would afford us capital sport, 
especially in the darkness, where it would puzzle even 
Englishmen to find him. There was also a cat : it was 
probably asleep ; we would wake it up and hunt it too. 
Hurrah !' 

We reached the cottage and the second verse of a drinking- 
song at one and the same time ; the Baron showed no desire 
to stop at either. The door, however, opening suddenly 
and Camilla pouncing upon him, he was hustled into his 
home in a manner sadly derogatory to his dignity. Even 
under these trying circumstances, he was by no means the 
oppressed individual he had appeared at an earlier part of 
the evening. The effects of the supper-party were still hot 
upon him ; he was full of Dutch courage, or shall we say 
Portuguese pluck ? He defied Camilla in snatches of un- 
premeditated song ; he welcomed us to his hovel, as though 
it were indeed a palace ; and, last stage of all, he attempted 
to show us the steps of a country dance, in the midst of which 
performance he missed his footing and fell into one of the 
beds that his daughter had prepared upon the floor. He 
lay laughing for a minute, then we heard an unmistakable 
snore, and behold ! the Baron was asleep. 

I occupied a rug laid beside the fireplace in the middle of 
the floor ; Warden laid himself down upon the threshold, 
the step of which made a convenient pillow ; Hadow, rolling 
his blanket around him, stretched himself in the street under- 
neath the broad eaves of the dwelling ; Camilla took posses- 
sion of the bed. 

That young lady was not burdened by an exaggerated 
sense of modesty. She undressed as calmly and composedly 
as though she were the sole occupant of a virginal chamber 
situated far from the eye of man. It is true, however, that 
when decency rose in arms she extinguished the lamp, thus 
finishing her toilet in semi-darkness. 

I watched her drowsily. She already seemed to be one of 
the shadowy vanguard of dreams — unreal, evanescent, a 



246 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

presence betrayed only by the starlight and the rustle of 
falling garments. 

Silence descended. The stars twinkled through the door- 
way ; the night breeze wandered in, and, taking my senses 
prisoner, bore me on its wings outwards, upwards, into the 
land of sleep. 



CHAPTER XXXVI 

' DIVERS DISCOURSES NOT VULGAR ' 

Sleep was impossible after 4.30 a.m. The little brown 
pigs, who, along with their mother, occupied the inner room, 
were astir even before this matutinal hour. Curiosity to see 
the strangers appeared to possess their juvenile minds, and 
the first thing of which I was conscious was the warm breath 
proceeding from their snouts as I lay wrapped in my rug upon 
the floor. They regarded me as a species of truffle, and 
made energetic attempts to dig me out of my covering. 
Did I, in drowsy protest, shake a fist in their direction, a 
chorus of squeals and a scamper of hoofs told me that they 
were conveying the news to their mother. A cock and his 
harem also paid us a visit. Chanticleer led the way, fol- 
lowed at a discreet interval by the ladies of his household. 
With many a cluck they explored the floor in search of 
possible crumbs. One of the hens chaperoned a brood of 
chickens— the ' peep, peep, peep ' of the tiny intruders 
sounded now near, now far. One of them climbed to my 
shoulder ; he seemed mightily proud of his achievement. I 
watched him out of the tail of my eye, not daring to move 
lest he should take fright. The anxious mother warned him 
of his danger, but, in no way alarmed, he paused to scratch 
his head before he began the descent— a performance that 
I cannot but think was a sheer piece of bravado. 

Camilla and the Baron were the first to leave their beds ; 
Hadow, Warden and I were not long in following their 
example. Our morning ablutions were performed in a pail 
lent us by the Baron. We washed in the street. To judge by 
the interest it created, such an event had never before taken 

247 



248 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

place in Bemafim. A crowd of semi-naked and appallingly 
dirty children watched our movements with awestruck ex- 
citement. When Hadow, disappearing head foremost into 
the pail, emerged with red and dripping countenance, their 
delight knew no bounds ; shouts of ' Que maravilha P 
' He possivel ?' rent the air. Nor were the grown-up com- 
munity far behind the youngsters in their appreciation 
of our performance. Two peasants herding swine left the 
animals to take care of themselves, while they stared 
open-mouthed at our eccentricities. Loafers, too, strolled 
on to the scene. A washing tour through Southern Portugal 
could, without doubt, be made to pay its expenses. It 
was barely five o'clock when Pedro put in an appearance. 
His face was long, and betokened anxiety. 

' Que he isto, Pedro ?' we inquired. 

'Ah, senhoresf Mdo, mdo I (Bad, bad!) In an evil 
hour a stallion belonging to that emhusteiro (cheat) of an inn- 
keeper broke loose, and kicked one of the mules, the gray one, 
so as to lame him seriously. Isodoro sent me to tell you 
that we cannot start before nine o'clock. He has gone to 
seek another mule from a cousin who lives at a considerable 
distance.' 

This was a disappointment ; however, we were more vexed 
on account of the poor animal than for ourselves, as we were 
by no means averse to spending an extra hour or so at Bema- 
fim. Warden, Hadow, and Pedro, guided by a score of 
urchins, started for a neighbouring glen, where Hadow had 
captured a number of reptiles upon his previous visit. The 
Baron, excusing himself to me in his usual princely manner 
— nothing, he said, of less importance than the sale of a pig 
to a neighbour could drag him from the pleasure of my 
society — wandered away up the narrow street. Camilla 
and I were left alone. 

The crude light of the morning had not enhanced her 
attractions. Her complexion was sallow, her hair untidy, 
the discontented and almost sullen character of her face was 
pitiful to see. There was no denying, however, that she 
possessed a fine figure — a figure that gave you the impression 
of symmetry, of grace, of strength ; a figure the beauty of 
whose outlines even ill-fitting garments were powerless to 



' DIVERS DISCOURSES NOT VULGAR ' 249 

conceal. She moved to and fro with Uthe and ghding steps. 
I watched her for some time in silence. She was intent upon 
household duties — coaxing a fire to bum in the open fire- 
place, making the bed, scouring a pan, and sweeping the 
floor. The latter occupation afforded me much amusement. 
Her broom carried all before it — not only dust and dirt, of 
which there was no lack, but such miscellaneous objects as 
pigs and hens. It was an endless labour, worthy of a second 
Sisyphus. No sooner had she succeeded in banishing them 
with a vigorous sweep than in they came again, more 
numerous than ever. 

' This,' said I to myself, ' is an excellent opportunity to 
write up my diary.' 

Seating myself upon a stone under the broad eaves, I was 
soon in the agonies of retrospection. Odours from manure- 
heaps filled the air ; the climate of Bemafim might be salu- 
brious, but it was certainly not agreeable. I wrote for two 
minutes. 

' Do you like bacon and eggs ?' questioned a voice. 

I looked up with a start. Camilla's head appeared at a 
little window. 

' Do I like bacon and eggs !' I a.nswered with enthusiasm ; 
* why, I love them !' 

Camilla's head disappeared. I wrote for two minutes 
more, when a succession of squeals recalled me again to 
Bemafim, and, looking up, I was in time to see five little 
pigs swept violently into the street. Camilla's face, wear- 
ing an expression of sombre satisfaction, appeared in the 
doorway. 

' The brutes !' she said, shaking the broom at them, ' they 
worry my life out ; I wish they were dead.' 

' And surrounded by poached eggs,' I added cheerfully. 

She did not take my meaning, but after eyeing me for 
some time asked : 

' What are you doing, senhor ?' 

' I am writing a diary.' 

* A diary ! What is a diary ?' 

' Oh, well, it's — it's a sort of attempt to remember what 
you've forgotten.' 

' Oh !' She relapsed into silence. After a minute, appar- 



250 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

ently passed in deep thought, she spoke again : ' You must 
be clever, senhor !' 

I shrugged m}^ shoulders in protest. 

* Yes, indeed,' she continued, ' very clever !' 
' No, no, Camilla.' 

' But I am sure of it,' she insisted ; ' to write at all is 
clever, but to write what you've forgotten is wonderful !' 

I looked up at her hastily. Was she guilty of humour ? 
No, her expression was stern and sad ; leaning on her broom- 
handle, she gazed at me with the utmost gravity. 

' You have written a great deal, senhor,' she continued — 
' all these many pages, and such small writing ; when I 
write a letter I write much larger than that.' 

' Ah, you write letters sometimes ?' 

' Once or twice,' she replied shortly. 

' Now, I wonder which of the young men is fortunate 
enough to get a letter from the Senhora Camilla ?' 

Her face clouded over, she bit her lip, and, without a word, 
re-entered the dwelling. I gazed after her with astonish- 
ment ; letters were evidently a forbidden subject — or was it 
young men ? I resumed my writing, but before I had written 
many words I became conscious of being again watched 
from the doorway. This unaffected and, I may say, quite 
unusual interest in my diary touched my heart. 

' Tell me what you are writing now, senhor ?' She resumed 
the conversation as though no interruption had taken place. 

' I am writing about Bemafim.' 

* About Bemafim !' 

Her eyes strayed from the manure-heaps to the pigs, and 
from the pigs back once more to the manure-heaps. What 
thoughts could even an Englishman extract from these 
objects worthy of being recorded in a diary ? 

' About Bemafim !' she repeated in tones of wonder. 

* I am saying how kind I have found all my new friends ; 
how beautiful I think your mountains ; how I like your 
village ; and, lastly, how much I am interested in a young 
lady called Camilla, who has done her best to make us feel 
at home.' 

' You have put all that in there ! Oh, senhor !' 

* Every word of it,' I said solemnly. 



CMI/BEBT 'T/WrKS' 




Hkr broom carried all before ri', 



' DIVERS DISCOURSES NOT VULGAR ' 251 

Camilla, much impressed, came nearer to me, and after 
a moment of hesitation sat down on a stone by my side. I 
sharpened a pencil, and for a moment or two no one spoke. 
^ ' It is evident,' said I to myself, ' that Camilla is 
" hipped "; she takes a painfully jaundiced view of life, 
which, after all, is hardly a matter for surprise, seeing that 
she is forced to be the companion of pigs, and that her horizon 
is bounded by manure-heaps. Let me see if I cannot cheer 

her up.' 

So thinking, I began to talk about myself ; it was a con- 
genial subject, and I waxed eloquent, sharing my remarks 
between my diary, Camilla, and the pigs with the utmost 
impartiality. I refrained from looking at the lady, but I 
could feel that she was listening, though with what degree 
of interest I was unable to tell. I alluded to several episodes 
in my past life which I thought might combine amusement 
with instruction — of loneliness illuminated by the' consola- 
tions of hope ; of clouds, dark in appearance, but which 
upon a closer examination I had discovered to be lined 
throughout with silver. A Solomon come to judgment ! 
Philosophy falling from the lips of Inexperience ! The very 
pigs were edified ! 

Fortunately for me, Camilla was herself young, dogmatic, 
and not overcritical. She listened with attention. At 
times she uttered an ejaculation, such as ' Sinto isso V (I am 
sorry for it !), or ' Que contentamento he men P {How pleased 
I am !), or, feeling that the recital called for even stronger 
expressions, she murmured, ' Jesus Christo ! Esperito 
Santo P 

' And so, Camilla '—it was thus I finished my speech— 
* you see, we have all our troubles ; some have them in 
England, and some in Portugal, but I think if we t ^ to 
make the best of things our troubles almost disappear. 

' I don't agree with you,' she muttered half resentfully ; 
her mind had returned to the morbid and self-centred circle 
it was accustomed to tread. 

' Why not, Camilla ?' 

She moved uneasily, and drew a deep breath. 

' I— I don't know ; what I say is true. It's no use trying 
— that's all I know.' 



252 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

' But if it makes things easier it must be of use ?' 

She shook her head. 

' They never get any easier, senhor ; they get worse.' 

* Come, now,' I remonstrated, ' not worse P 

* Yes, they do ; the longer I Hve here the worse they get. 
At Mertola, where I Hved for ten years, it was different. I 
had friends ; but here — here P She gave a mirthless laugh. 
' Deos ! there is not a soul who cares for me. I wish I were 
dead.' 

' Your father ' I began, but she stopped me with a 

gesture. 

' My father would not miss me ; we quarrel often. He 
did not even miss mother when she died, and God knows 
she was a good wife to him !' 

' Is not the Padre a friend to you ?' 

' He is a good man,' she said slowly. ' Yes, he is good ; 
but he is not a friend. How can I tell you what I mean ? I 
am not my best self with him ; do you understand ?' 

' Yes, I understand ; it is want of sympathy, I suppose.' 

' Yes, yes, that is the word, senhor ; how well you express 
my meaning ! Sympathy — it is everything in life ; when 
we look for it it is not there, and when we don't look for it 
it comes, quite unexpectedly sometimes. How strange 
that is !' 

We sat silent awhile. A woman came to the door of a 
neighbouring cottage, and eyed us curiously ; the hen and 
chickens pecked the ground at our feet ; the sunshine, 
gaining in intensity, flooded the street. 

' Mertola is a fine place ; you would meet many people 
there,' I said at length. 

' Oh yes, senhor ! I lived with my uncle ; he was rich, 
and had many friends. I had a fine time, especially the last 
year, when I was not obliged to go to school. Yes, it was 
gay in Mertola. Many gentlemen came to see us ; some of 
them were very nice.' 

' Ah, and was there not one who was — well, nicer than 
all the others ?' 

' Yes,' she said softly, tracing patterns in the dust with 
the points of her naked toes — ' yes, much nicer.' 

' Ah !' I ejaculated, nodding my head. 



' DIVERS DISCOURSES NOT VULGAR ' 253 

She raised her eyes to mine with a questioning look. 

' It is but what I expected, Camilla,' I continued, with 
the air of one profoundly versed in all matters of the heart ; 
' but you must not lose courage — all will be well one day. 
I speak from experience : I have felt the same thing myself 
many times.' 

' Many times, senhor ?' 

' On different occasions, I mean.' 

' And they all came right in the end ?' 

' Every one of them.' 

Camilla gasped. 

' You — you married them all P 

' God forbid ! You mistake my meaning, Camilla. I 
only wished to prove to you that one must never lose hope. 
But do not let us talk further of my affairs ; yours will, I 
am positive, end happily.' 

' I wish I could think so, senhor.' 

'You must think so. Have courage. The gentleman 
who is so much nicer than all the other gentlemen will come 
back, and there will be a wedding in Bemafim. I only 
wish I could be here to dance at it. But you must not forget 
me on that occasion.' 

' No, indeed, senhor,' and for the first time her eyes met 
mine with happiness shining within them. 

' And now for the bacon and eggs,' I cried. ' You have 
no idea how hungry I am.' 

With a sound that might almost be mistaken for a laugh 
Camilla disappeared into the cottage. 

I turned again to my diary in the hope that I might be 
permitted to finish one page before breakfast, but I was 
doomed to be again interrupted. 

A httle man strode singing down the street ; his voice was 
gay and bright as the morning sunshine, which by this time 
had joined me beneath the eaves. He was a remarkable 
little man, and my eyes rested upon him with interest. 
His sombrero, a rehc of bygone respectability, was cocked 
jauntily over his left ear ; his attire was ragged and of pecu- 
liar mouldiness ; a green coat, out at elbow, the colour 
of mildew ; knee breeches and stockings, much frayed, 
of an earthy brown ; canvas shoes with soles of plaited 



254 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

hemp — such was the costume of the musical intruder. 
Over his right shoulder he carried a spade — grim badge of 
office. I knew him at once — ^he was the gravedigger I 
The recognition was mutual. I rose to greet him. 

' Carramha P he cried. ' Que gosto ! (What pleasure !) it 
is my English friend !' 

Dropping his spade, he darted towards me, and, enfolding 
me in his arms, embraced me on both cheeks. Together 
we sat down on the stone. 

' Que felicidade P (What happiness!) he reiterated, jump- 
ing up repeatedly to shake me by the hand. ' This is a joy 
I did not expect. I thought you would already be far on 
the road. Another handshake, my dear friend.' 

I explained the cause of our delay. I also related the 
surly reception we had met with at the hands of the inn- 
keeper on the preceding evening. 

' Que animal P he ejaculated with indignation. ' Such 
brutes are a slander to the nation. Deos ! he does not 
deserve a grave. To turn you out at so late an hour ! 
Que diaho ! See how angry I am !' He twisted his face 
into the most horrible scowl. ' But, meu amigo, had it not 
been for the brute I would not have seen you at all. I will 
forgive him, eh ? He has unintentionally done me a 
service.' 

He elevated one eyebrow and depressed the other, making 
at the same time a pun upon inn-keepers that escaped me 
altogether. 

He chattered gaily. His vivacity and high spirits kept me 
in a state of constant laughter. Not that I understood his 
jests, for he delighted in the turns and twists of verbal 
quibbles, and his skipping wit lent itself but rarely to trans- 
lation. It was his manner of relating anecdotes, his in- 
imitable drollness, and the grotesque play of facial expression 
with which he accompanied his whimsical sentences that 
drew merriment in their train, as inevitably as the music 
of the pied piper drew after it the children of Hamlin. 

' But I am perhaps keeping you from your work V said 
I, indicating by a gesture his spade that lay in the sunshine. 

' By no means, senhor ; I can do it in half an hour. It 
is only a very little grave, not longer than your arm. I am 



' DIVERS DISCOURSES NOT VULGAR 255 

the finest house builder in the world ; my dwellings last to 
all eternity !' He paused, and his face twisted itself into 
a humorous melancholy. ' Deos, senhor ! I have need of 
jests to drown my tears. I would bury myself else with my 
own spade. Look you, I loved this httle one. I carried 
her on my shoulder only last week. Carramba ! I pray 
you let us talk of something else.' 

' We had a very pleasant evening last night,' said I, 
endeavouring to give a more lively turn to the conversation. 

My companion made a pretence of drinking wine. 

' Ho, ho !' laughed he, holding an imaginary glass upside 
down. ' You will not forget this, I take my word. But 
Senhor Sarto is too comical with his melancholy air ; he 
should have been the gravedigger and I the tailor. Would 
you beheve it, I once ordered a pair of trousers from him, and 
because he took offence at some joke of mine, he kept me 
waiting a year ; and the worst of it was that when I did 
get them they were so stained that I hardly knew them ! He 
had dried his tears so often on my trousers that I swear to you, 
senhor, they were the saddest-looking breeches in Bemafim.' 

' To return to the habit of health-drinking,' said I. ' It 
is a foolish custom ; it can be overdone. I assure you my 
head aches from the instruction I was obliged to go through 
last night.' 

' Is that the case, senhor ?' Sinto isso (I regret it), but I 

suppose Englishmen You are an Englishman, are you 

not ?' 

' I am a Scotchman.' 

' No, no, senhor !' raising his hand in humorous protest. 
' That I cannot believe for one moment.' 

' No ! Why not ?' 

' Because I know better. I have seen a Scotchman — a 
real Scotchman — in a coloured picture in Faro. You are 
not in the least hke him. He had red hair, and moreover 
he was dressed in a saya (little petticoat). Now, if you are 
indeed a Scotchman, where is your petticoat ? Ha !' 

' I leave it at home when I travel in foreign lands,' I 
answered gravely. 

He darted a suspicious look at me, but I managed to keep 
my countenance. 



256 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

' A Scotchman is a sort of Englishman ?' was his next 
remark. 

' Well — yes, a superior sort.' 

' Really, senhor !' 

He gazed at me with respect. I drew myself up. 

' But you were going to say something about English- 
men ?' I questioned. 

' To be sure. I was going to say that for Engli — Scotch- 
men, I mean, our Portuguese wine is too strong.' 

I smiled. 

' Oh no ; not at all. We are accustomed to much 
stronger wine than that.' 

' Deos, senhor ! What is that you say ? The wine of 
your country is stronger than ours ?' 

I laid my hand impressively on his arm. 

' Meu amigo, your wine is coloured water compared to 
ours. If you drank but one bottle of our Scottish wine it 
would — it would make your hair curl.' 

A peculiar smile stole into his face. He removed his 
sombrero. Then the humour of my simile flashed across 
me — the Gravedigger was bald ! Together we laughed and 
laughed again. The pigs and hens stared at us in surprise, 
and in the doorways I caught sight of several heads whom 
the noise of our merriment had summoned into the sunshine. 

' I would much like to taste this wonderful wine,' said the 
Gravedigger at last, wiping his eyes with the back of his 
hand. His tone, though slightly incredulous, was full of 
longing. 

' And so you shall !' cried I, springing to my feet. ' Wait 
for me here ; I'll be back in a moment.' 

Within the dwelling Camilla was bending over a pan, 
from which there proceeded a delightful and appetizing 
odour ; an equally delightful noise of frizzling filled the air. 

' Breakfast will be ready in five minutes, senhor,' she 
called out. 

' And I am more than ready for it now,' I returned. 

Searching in a little parcel of personal belongings that I 
had brought with me from the inn, I found a flask. Pre- 
vious to our departure from England I had filled it with 
whisky against an emergency — the emergency had arrived. 



' DIVERS DISCOURSES NOT VULGAR ' 257 

The Gravedigger was carolling lustily when I rejoined him — 
some song in praise of good wine, for the words vinho 
(wine) and horn (good) were repeated in a rollicking refrain. 
He eyed my flask with comical disapproval. 

' Is it a sample of this precious liquid ?' asked he in banter- 
ing tones. ' It will suffice, I trust, to wet our tongues, but 
we must taste it quickly before the wind dries them again. 
Deos, senhor ! What a mighty wine-skin you carry with 
you ! We must not drown ourselves ! Ho, ho !' 

He accompanied this speech with so many gestures and 
grimaces that it was with difficulty that I could keep from 
laughter. The flask had a silver cup ; I filled it to the brim. 

' Scotland must be a rich country to afford each of her 
sons so large a wine-cellar !' continued my companion, 
cutting a caper on the sunlit road. 

' The Scotch are poor,' said I gravely, pausing in the act 
of pouring out the whisky — ' poor, hut proud.'' 

His mirth sobered on the instant. Laying his hand upon 
his heart he bowed low. 

' These are quahties I have learned to respect, senhor.' 

Not even the Baron could have turned the compliment 
with a better grace. 

' Drink, then, to our friendship,' said I, offering him the 
cup. 

He raised it with a steady hand, and, murmuring my 
name, tossed the entire contents down his throat. The 
effect was instantaneous. Clapping his hand to his mouth, 
he stared at me with eyes that started from their sockets. 
Poor little Gravedigger ! My heart reproached me. How 
he gasped ! how he choked ! how I pounded him on his 
mildewed back until he was constrained to cry for mercy ! 
One of his sentences alone remains in my memory — the 
outcome of his introduction to our national beverage. 

Turning to me as soon as he found breath to speak — the 
tears still streaming from his eyes — he exclaimed in tones of 
awestruck admiration : 

' Ah, senhor ! The Scotch are a hardy race ! Carramha !" 



17 



CHAPTER XXXVII 

A PLEASANT RECEPTION 

The sun was high in the heavens by the time we again took 
to the road. Our new mule was but a poor substitute for the 
animal we had been forced to leave behind us, for it kicked 
and bit so persistently that our muleteers were obliged to 
keep up a continual bastinado upon its mouse-coloured and 
wedge-like rump. The other mules were the objects of its 
hatred equally with the human portion of our party, and 
great was the indignation of my steed when it felt the 
teeth of the stranger vindictively embedded in its tail. 

' The Baron gave me this,' remarked Warden, as we 
jogged forward side by side. He produced a card from his 
pocket. ' It is an introduction to a nephew of his who lives 
at Alte. It's really quite a curiosity,' he continued with a 
chuckle. ' Listen to this : 

' " Beloved Nephew, 

' " At last I find myself able to do you a service. I 
introduce to you three Englishmen from Scotland. You 
will hasten to place yourself and all your belongings at 
their disposal. They have condescended to accept my 
hospitality. If you can obtain for them a number of small 
frogs do so ; they are also not too proud to accept snakes. 
Hoping this finds you in good health, 

' " Your affectionate Uncle, 

' " Fernando Vieyra." ' 

At that moment the baggage-mule made a rush, and, 
colliding with the animal that Warden bestrode, came near 
to overturning man and steed into the ditch. 

258 



A PLEASANT RECEPTION 259 

* Confound it !' roared Warden. ' Hi, Isodoro ! for 
Heaven's sake, keep that brute in order.' 

' It is possessed of the devil, senhor,' muttered the mule- 
teer, crossing himself. ' Saw you ever an animal so full of 
wickedness ?' 

' He speaks the truth,' acquiesced Anselmo. ' I have 
heard of a mule so full of devils that it would do no work. 
It was spoken of everywhere for its obstinacy. They beat 
it for weeks and weeks ; they even starved it without any 
good result. At last one day the Padre showed it a small 
piece of the true cross. And what do you think happened, 
senhores ? Out of sheer obstinacy the cursed animal fell 
down dead upon the spot, and the devils, everyone of them, 
escaped through its mouth in flames of red fire.' 

As though moved by the recital of this terrible tale, the 
baggage-mule lifted up its head and sent its discordant 
voice braying over the hill-sides. 

' Holy Mother of God !' ejaculated Isodoro. ' I believe 
it understands you, Anselmo !' 

' I am convinced of it,' answered Anselmo in awestruck 

tones. 

' How far is it to Alte ?' I inquired of Isodoro, as the 
cavalcade fell once more into line. 

' A matter of three hours, senhor ; but to-day we may be 
even longer upon the road.' 

Our track lay along a narrow defile, or pass, hedged by 
precipitous hills. At times a grove of eucalyptus or an 
isolated cork-tree reheved the nakedness of the land ; but 
for the most part the scenery was wild and lonely in the 
extreme. An uncouth figure herding swine and a couple of 
carriers with their mules were the only people passed upon 
our march. 

We had not proceeded far before a bank of clouds that 
had for some time darkened the west advanced rapidly to 
meet us ; in less than half an hour it had covered the entire 
face of the sky. The air was hot and oppressively sultry, 
a breathless silence prevailed, even the chatter of the grass- 
hoppers died away. A wind arose and moaned among the 
hills. Gazing over my shoulder into the quarter of the 
storm, I saw a vulture poised in mid-air, its broad wings 

17 — 2 



2 



6o SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 



outstretched, sailing down the stream of the wind ; it 
neared us, passed overhead, and vanished in the indistin- 
guishable blackness of the heavens. Darker and ever 
darker grew the air, the hills loomed — a frowning rampart — 
against the obscurity of the west ; and all the while the 
hush of solemn expectancy appeared to increase, till, to 
my ears, the clatter of the many feet made an insufferable 
noise, strangely at variance with the spirit of the scene. 

' We're in for it now,' said Warden in a low voice. 

The words had barely passed his lips when a flash of the 
most terrible brightness leapt upon us ; it literally fell 
within a dozen yards of Hadow, for it struck a cork-tree 
that stood at some little distance from our track. A roar, 
resembling the discharge of heavy artillery, immediately 
followed, and in the blackness that intervened the air was 
full of sulphuric fumes. 

' Holy Mother of God !' ejaculated Isodoro. 

* It is all the fault of this cursed mule,' cried Anselmo. 

The mountains caught at the tumult ; ' from peak to 
peak leapt the live thunder,' while ever and anon, lit by 
the blue flashes, the entire chain of the Sierra de Monchique 
shone white against the face of the storm. 

Terrified by the first awful flash, our mules, trembling 
in every limb, refused to proceed. I think they were for 
the moment blinded by the lightning ; and, indeed, I 
sympathized with them, for my own eyes ached for long 
afterwards. It was with the utmost difficulty that we at 
length induced them to continue the march. 

Down came the rain — a tropical deluge, continuous, 
vertical — blotting out the landscape with a screen of falling 
drops. Its noise was as the sound of many waters, a steady 
roar that drowned all rival voices. Again the lightning 
flashed, again the thunder roared, and still the rain de- 
scended as though the heavens had opened and the reser- 
voirs of the sky had broken loose. 

In a short space of time we were drenched to the skin. 
Hadow, striding ahead, as was his custom, presented a 
comical appearance : the water poured from all parts of 
his person ; his elbows were converted into spouts, the 
broad and upturned brim of his sombrero was transformed 



A PLEASANT RECEPTION 261 

into a lake ; but to the Professor these discomforts were 
as the salt of life. He rejoiced in the warring of the ele- 
ments ; he loved to pit his strength against the storm. 

All awash in the rain, the track speedily became a danger 
to the mules. The poor animals sUpped and slipped again, 
and it was only by dint of sheer force that I was enabled to 
keep my mount upon his incompetent legs. Innumerable 
rivulets sprang into being ; they babbled merrily beside 
us ; they joined hands and sang together ; they raced 
along channels which but an hour before had been parched 
as the thirsty ravines of a desert. Every hollow in the 
hills discoursed music — the murmur of their voices filled 
the air. Then suddenly, as if by magic, the rain ceased, 
and the sun shining from behind the fringes of the last 
cloud deluged the scene with glory. 

Alte came into sight at noonday, a rude village very 
similar to Bemafim or Sahr. Without difficulty we found 
the nephew of the Baron, a stout man with a black beard. 
Warden presented our ' letter of introduction.' As he read 
it, an expression of surprise came into his face, and I saw 
him eyeing us with evident consternation. 

' This is an honour, senhores,' he began, playing the while 
in a nervous manner with the Baron's card. ' I am over- 
powered, delighted ; you will consider all I have as yours. 
You will perhaps condescend to break your fast at my house, 
but— but ' 

' We consider ourselves honoured,' said Warden, as our 
new friend hesitated long over the words. 

' But we have no small frogs in the house. I am deeply 
grieved ; had I only known of your coming !' He waved 
his arms. 

' We do not eat frogs,' said Warden with gravity. j 

' Nor snakes,' added I. 

' But, senhores, my uncle says on this card that you ' 

' The Senhor Vieyra means only that we are interested 
in such animals. We collect them for scientific purposes. 
But regarding the matter of food, our tastes He, I assure 
you, in quite another direction. Deos ! senhor, we are no 
eaters of reptiles !' 

* I rejoice to hear it !' exclaimed the Baron's nephew, 



2^2 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

much relieved. ' I confess it gave me a shock, for although 
I have heard of people who eat frogs, still, to eat snakes is, 
to my mind, an unnatural and horrible proceeding. But, 
senhores, forgive me. I did not see before how wet you 
were ! Come in, come in ; you must take off these dripping 
garments at once. Dorothea ! Dorothea !' he called aloud. 
A pretty servant-maid answered the summons. ' You 
must light a great fire in the kitchen, Dorothea, and dry 
the clothes of the senhores. Bring also some of my gar- 
ments from the oak chest — my green coat and my velveteen 

jerkin, and my two pairs of cloth pantaloons, and Hola^ 

Dorothea ! don't go away while I am speaking. We will 
take chocolate and sweet cakes in the veranda in half an 
hour.' 

As he spoke our host ushered us into his house. It was 
a comfortable and commodious dwelling, in every way 
superior to that of his uncle the Baron. It resembled an 
English farmhouse, with low ceilings and homely furniture ; 
it boasted also of a number of farm buildings, red-tiled and 
in good repair, that clustered around the main structure. 
Above this collection of outhouses a date-palm drooped its 
feathery fronds — a tropical touch that, to my mind, added 
not a little to the foreign charm of the scene. 

Having changed into dry garments, we were entertained 
in the veranda with chocolate and cakes, fruit and wine. 

That afternoon remains in my memory — a delightful ex- 
perience. Acting on the advice of his uncle, our host 
organized a reptile hunt, in which Hadow and Warden took 
part. I rem.ained behind. 

The contrast between the eventful days in the immediate 
past and the absolute quiet of the hours spent in that vine- 
roofed veranda was very pleasant. At times our host, 
solicitous for my welfare, peeped at me from the darkened 
interior, but on finding me occupied with reading or writing, 
he invariably withdrew and left me to myself. 

The sunlight shifted from pillar to pillar ; the air was 
warm and murmurous with the hum of bees ; the sense of 
peace was deep, universal. Checkered light and shade 
flung a tremulous patchwork across the table and flickered 
over the stone floor. Overhead, bunches of grapes ripened 



A PLEASANT RECEPTION 263 

in the genial wannth, while from the canopy of leaves came 
the subdued twitter of birds. Outwards, upwards, I could 
see the fronds of the palm motionless against the intense 
blue of the sky. 

No sound came from the village. In distant cities life 
might pant and strain, but here, in little Alte, it dozed the 
hours away, as oblivious to the march of time as the very 
dogs that slept in the deserted streets. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII 

WANDERINGS IN THE NIGHT 

Night had fallen by the time we reached Bartolomea. Our 
first care was to find the gentleman to whom our friend at 
Alte had given us an introduction. Anselmo volunteered 
to be our guide, and led us, after a long ramble, to a 
passage terminating in a blank wall. We came to an 
unexpected halt. Several suspicious-looking characters 
lurked in the vicinity ; the light from Isodoro's lantern fell 
on a dark cavity bordering the road from which came the 
sound of rushing water, and, what with the darkness and 
the sinister surroundings, I could not but think that no 
fitter spot for a murder existed in all Portugal. 

' It cannot be here, Anselmo,' remonstrated Warden ; ' you 
must have taken a wrong turning.' 

' Carramha ! It would appear so, senhor ; it is so dark, 
and it all looks so different to when I was here before.' 

Attracted by the unusual appearance we presented, a 
number of onlookers had gathered around us. One of 
them volunteering to be our guide, we set off once more 
upon our adventures. 

Occasionally out of the surrounding gloom a light fell 
on us from some open doorway, but for the most part the 
narrow streets were plunged in profound obscurity. We 
stumbled forward, following each other closely for fear of 
being lost in the maze of invisible turnings, avoiding the 
loose stones and deep holes more by good fortune than 
skilful guidance. Overhead a narrow slit between over- 
hanging gables showed us a streak of starlit sky. Two cats 
quarrelling on an adjacent roof, a dog barking at us from 

264 



WANDERINGS IN THE NIGHT 265 

out the darkness, and once the tinkle of a guitar accompany- 
ing a chorus of hoarse voices, were the only sounds that 
reached us. The clatter of our mules woke the echoes of 
the benighted town. 

'This is the house, senhores,' said our guide, stopping 
suddenly in front of a dark entrance. 

Anselmo strode forward, and out of the gloom we heard 
him knocking loudly. A deep silence ensued. Anselmo 
knocked again, louder than before, a persistent hammering 
that broke upon the stillness of the night. The creak of 
ill-fitting woodwork grated upon our ears, a window opened 

overhead. 

' Who are you, and what do you mean by disturbing 
honest folk in their beds at this hour ?' demanded a queru- 
lous voice. 

' We are travellers, and bring an introduction to Senhor 
Lopez,' answered Warden courteously. 

' And could you not have waited till morning ?' con- 
tinued the voice, still more querulously. 'This is no 
hour to knock thus loudly at closed doors. The Senhor 
Lopez sleeps from home to-night. He returns to-morrow. 
If you call back then you may possibly find him.' 

The window creaked anew as the owner of the voice shut 
it in our faces. 

' All this trouble for nothings,' growled Hadow. 

' We must find an inn,' said Warden. ' Hi, Anselmo ! is 
there a good estalagem in the town ?' 

' Yes, senhor ; I have put up at it many times, but may 
the good saints confound me if I can find my way there 
from this place in the dark. Let us again obtain the assist- 
ance of this gentleman, who is, I take it, a resident of Barto- 
lomea.' 

The individual referred to again consented to be our guide. 
Again we started, and again, after a series of ramblings 
along divers and dirty lanes, stopped before a house which 
we were informed was a celebrated and palatial inn. In 
answer to our repeated shouts an old man, carrying a horn- 
lantern in one hand and a long staff in the other, made his 
appearance. His hair was long and white ; his eyes squinted 
most villainously. His beard was tangled, and descended 



266 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

nearly to his waist, being of a yellowish-gray colour. His 
dress consisted of but one garment tied with a rope round 
his loins. This apparition blinked at us for a full minute 
in silence, yawning from time to time in the most audible 
manner. 

' Can you give us beds for the night, also stabling for our 
mules ?' demanded Warden. 

The man shrugged his shoulders. 

' For your mules — yes ; but beds ! No. I am sorry, 
senhores, for I see you are gentlemen of high degree, but 
the thing is impossible. To-night my house is quite full. 
There arrived before dusk ten carriers and six merchants, 
so that not only is every bed occupied, but every floor as 
well, for they sleep side by side like sardines.' 

' We will sleep very nice in some comfortable street,' said 
Hadow. ' I cannot think, dear boys, why you must always 
have beds. So foolish ! The night is fine ; it is a positive 
luxury to sleep in such air ;' and he sniffed the questionable 
odours that roamed the streets of Bartolomea. 

' Stay one moment, senhores,' entreated the old man ; 
* an idea occurs to me. There will still be two stalls empty 
in our large stable after your mules are accommodated. 
They make but one at present, for the partition between 
them was kicked down by a black fiend of a stallion belong- 
ing to a Spaniard last year — may the devil take both the 
horse and his master ! With plenty of clean straw this 
will make a fine bedroom for all your party. What think 
you of the plan ?' 

' Excellent !' we cried, and, encouraged by our approval, 
he led the way to the stable. 

It was a long and low building in bad repair, for looking 
upwards I caught sight of the stars, and through many a 
gap in the walls the air wandered in and out. By the light 
of the lantern which the old man still carried, fifteen or 
sixteen animals — horses, mules, and donkeys — were to be 
seen in the dilapidated stalls. The air was rank with the 
stench from accumulated filth, for the place, despite its 
many occupants, gave us the impression of not having 
been cleaned for months. 

' Here is the stall,' cried the old man, but hardly had 



WANDERINGS IN THE NIGHT 267 

he put foot within it than a savage growl made him spring 
hastily back. 

' Holy Mother of God !' he ejaculated. ' What have we 
here ?' 

He raised his lantern, and we all peered into the interior. 
A great dog, of the species known as wolf-hound, crouched 
in one corner ; his eyes gleamed ominously, his fangs were 
bared, the hair upon his neck and shoulders bristled with 
fury, and even as we watched him a long hoarse snarl told 
us to beware. 

' I cannot think how he came here,' said the old man in a 
lone of annoyance. ' Wait but one moment and I will 
ask. Ola ! Juan ! Juan ! lazy beast, where are you ?' 

' Here, master,' grumbled a sleepy voice from a neigh- 
bouring stall. 

* What is this brute doing in my stable ?' asked his 
master. 

' Deos r answered Juan ; ' it belongs to a carrier who 
has gone to visit a friend for the night. Before he left he 
put the beast in charge of some of his belongings. It is 
my opinion that he will tear anyone to pieces who enters 
that stall. He is a devil for ferocity Que animal I only 
listen to him !' 

The old man shrugged his shoulders. 

' I own, senhores, I do not hke to interfere with him, 
but ' — turning to his servant — ' you, Juan, are young and 
strong ; take my staff and turn him out.' 

Juan drew back. 

' Not for a golden moidore would I do such a thing,' he 
answered with an oath. 

' Will the senhores permit me to make the attempt ?' 
murmured a voice at our elbows. 

We turned in our surprise to behold Isodoro. 

' But he may kill you !' we expostulated 

' I do not think so, senhores. I have had much experi- 
ence with animals, and once for two months I assisted my 
brother-in-law, who owns a small travelling menagerie. I 
learned many tricks there, one of which I propose to show 
you now.' 

Saying this he divested himself of his coat and hat, and, 



268 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

collecting an armful of straw, proceeded to bind it into the 
form of a large torch with the aid of sundry pieces of string. 

* Stand on one side, senhores, so as to allow the brute 
room to escape.' 

The hint was scarcely necessary, our one idea being to 
avoid so dangerous an animal. 

' Guardai vos (Have a care), Isodoro !' cried Juan, in great 
excitement. 

Lighting the torch at the lantern, Isodoro again 
addressed us. 

' When the brute comes out, senhores, do you all cry 
aloud, as if you saw the devil himself, for nothing alarms 
such savage animals as the sound of many human voices 
all crying loudly and at the same time.' 

Uttering a particularly inhuman shriek, Isodoro sprung 
with one bound into the stall and dashed the hghted end 
of his torch full in the face of the dog. The animal gave 
vent to a loud yell of mingled alarm and pain. A small 
heap of straw on which he was lying caught fire, and the 
poor brute, surrounded on all sides by flames, and stunned 
by the ferocity of Isodoro's shrieks, which never for one 
moment abated, sprang for the opening that led into the 
stable. Here he was met by such a chorus of yells — 
German, Portuguese, and English — as would have terrified 
the soul of the bravest dog that ever drew breath. Uttering 
responsive cries he fled for the open air. Isodoro appeared, 
smoke-begrimed, but radiant. The fire was stamped out, 
fresh straw was littered over the floor, and at length we 
were at liberty to go to bed. 



CHAPTER XXXIX 

THE FIGHT 

All night long the horses and mules kept up a perpetual 
kicking and stamping, which effectually banished sleep of a 
satisfactory nature from my eyelids. It is true that I dozed 
at intervals, but being awakened several times by rats 
running over my body, and having a horror of these rodents, 
I lay awake in order, if possible, to keep them from touching 
my face. 

Neither the muleteers nor my friends were disturbed by 
our objectionable visitors, for they all snored loudly. In 
the middle of the night, however, the entire party was 
awakened by the curses of Anselmo. It came out that he 
had captured a rat in the act of biting his neck. In his 
indignation he threw the animal with all his force into the 
adjoining stall. We heard it squeal as it struck the wood- 
work, an alarming sound in the darkness that set the 
startled occupant of the stall kicking violently. 

The cocks in the neighbourhood heralded in the gray 
promise of the dawn. Cats, dogs, and pigs wandered 
in and out. The latter were numerous and of enormous 
size. Two of them found their way to the door of our 
impromptu bed-chamber. There they stood, grunting at 
us, their small pink eyes filled with no recognisable emotion 
— too stupid even to feel surprise. It was not until someone 
had thrown half a brick at them that they vanished with 
squeals of indignation. 

The last contingent of muleteers was leaving the inn 
courtyard as we issued from the stable. It wanted yet an 
hour to sunrise ; the air was chill, and the light wan and 

269 



270 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

gray. The long train of mules, each laden with merchandise, 
over which an oil-skin covering had been strapped, stood 
ready to take the road. Their bells — musical when distance 
lent them sweetness — sounded at so close a proximity dis- 
sonant and monotonous. The muleteers were picturesque 
fellows. Their faces, tanned by long exposure to sun and 
rain, were swarthy as those of Arabs ; and, indeed, in their 
nomadic habits and restless open-air life they bore a strong 
resemblance to those children of the desert. Their heads 
were covered with broad slouched hats ; capes, originally 
brown in colour, but so ingrained with the dust and travel- 
stains of years that the brown had merged into a bleached 
and nondescript gray, hung from their shoulders. Their 
feet were encased in shoes of hemp. Kings of the road, 
they feared no one, and were accustomed to boast and 
swagger in the inn courtyards, to bully and to browbeat, as 
though the inn were their property and the innkeeper 
their slave. And so to a certain extent he was, for he 
knew well that much — nay, all — of his custom would melt 
away were he to lose the haughty patronage of the mule- 
teer fraternity. He treated them therefore with respect, 
and when they condescended to unbend in his presence, he 
laughed at their jests and drank to them with the greatest 
alacrity and good-humour. 

Anselmo and Isodoro were hail-fellow-well-met with all 
and sundr}^ It was ' Hola ! Isodoro ; adeos, ate ver-nos.^ 
' Hola ! Anselmo ; boa fortuna, meu amigo P with many other 
expressions of greeting and farewell. 

Then with a cracking of whips and hoarse shouts of 
encouragement to the mules, the cavalcade jangled off into 
the sunless streets. 

* And now for breakfast,' cried Warden. 

' Hi I mein herr f shouted Hadow, ' what have you for 
breakfast ?' 

The innkeeper fixed one of his green eyes on Hadow and 
the other on me. His smile was insinuating. 

* The noble senhores would perhaps like eggs, with a slice 
or two of bacon, and coffee of the best, and a loaf of maize 
bread ? It is not much, but ' 

' Splendid, recht schon ! Go and prepare it at once.' 



THE FIGHT 271 

Thus encouraged, the old fellow hobbled off, and we heard 
him shouting to his minions to bestir themselves over the 
preparations for our repast. 

Our muleteers were requested to join us at breakfast — a 
request with which they very readily complied. There was 
no formality or stiffness in our relations towards each other ; 
none of the wall of etiquette which custom rears between 
master and man in other parts of the world, and which is so 
deadly an enemy to intimacy and affection. They looked 
upon us as their friends, and treated us throughout the 
long march with unwavering geniality and good-humour. 
And we were pleased to be so treated. What though we paid 
them a little of our ' filthy lucre,' did they not repay us a 
thousand times with song and jest, lightening the long road 
with merry companionship, and showing us somewhat of 
the inner life of Portuguese muleteers ? Yes ; to my mind 
we remained their debtors to the end. Other travellers 
have fallen in with unsatisfactory guides, whose one aim 
has been to cheat and to deceive, so we may consider our- 
selves doubly fortunate in having nothing but good to 
relate of our friends Isodoro and Anselmo. May the sun 
of Portugal shine on them to a ripe old age, and may the 
good wishes of the English travellers bring them the good 
luck they so well deserve ! 

We did ample justice to the breakfast that was laid before 
us. Bacon and eggs, coffee and bread vanished as if by 
magic. 

Anselmo, slashing at the great loaf with his knife, caused 
us amusement. 

' A very deadly-looking weapon,' said I, taking it out of 
his hand. 

The long pointed blade opened out of a black horn handle ; 
a powerful catch prevented it closing unawares. I ran my 
finger along the edge — it was keen as a razor. 

' It is a good knife,' said Anselmo simply. 

' Carramha ! Yes,' joined in Isodoro, ' it has done its 
work ; it has tasted blood — eh, Anselmo ?' and he nudged 
his comrade with a chuckle. 

Anselmo shrugged his shoulders. 

' Blood !' we repeated. ' What sort of blood ?' 



272 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

' Deos ! the blood of a man, of course. Anselmo, tell the 
senhores of your fight with Black Antonio.' 

' No, no ; it would not interest them,' returned the other. 

' Not interest them ! By the saints ! it was a rare fight. 
It would interest a corpse. Ask him, senhores !' 

' Come, tell us of it, Anselmo,' we entreated. 

The Muleteer drained his cup of coffee, wiped his mouth 
on the back of his hand, and, after a httle hesitation, began 
the following story : 

' The affair, senhores, is truly not worth repeating, but 
as you desire it, I will tell it in as few words as possible. I 
am no talker, as you may have perceived, and a man 
must not set up for a baker if his head is made of butter. 
It happened here, senhores, at this inn, many months 
ago. Isodoro and I were travelling the road with mer- 
chandise and many mules, and we put up here for the night. 
We were a large gathering, for many gentlemen of our ac- 
quaintance had arrived also. At supper much wine and 
aqua vitce were drunk, and, I give you my word, we were all 
very jovial.' 

' Em conciencia ! Yes, it was a great occasion,' corrobor- 
ated Isodoro, puffing out a tobacco cloud with a sigh of 
regret. 

' Among the gentlemen,' continued Anselmo, * was one 
called Black Antonio ; his father is a shoemaker at Espirito 
Santo, a dark and sulky devil of a man. No one likes him ; 
he is always quarrelling, his hand is never off his knife. 
Strong as a bull, I have seen him bend a bar of iron with his 
two hands, and often, when angry, he will bite a piece 
out of a wineglass and chew it till his mouth is full of 
blood.' 

' A pleasant sort of man to meet !' said Warden, taking 
the pipe out of his mouth. 

' Senhores,' continued Anselmo, leaning towards us and 
striking the table with his fist, ' that man hated me ; and 
why ? Because, forsooth, Maria came to me and refused 
to go back to him. She never loved him ; I swear it ! She 
was always afraid of him. And what wonder ? She told 
me that once he put both his great powerful hands 



THE FIGHT 273 

round her throat — Maria has a beautiful neck, as slender 
as a queen's — and said to her with a terrible smile : 
" Maria, my girl, if you ever love anyone but me, I will 
wring this pretty neck of yours as joyfully as I'd wring 
a chicken's." Christo ! senhores, that is not the sort of 
man to make a woman love him ! Maria never forgets 
that smile and the touch of those fingers — she dreams of 
them at times, and starts up in the black night and 
screams aloud.' 

Anselmo gazed out at the door ; a melancholy expression 
came into his dark eyes. 

' Continue, my brother,' prompted Isodoro. 

' Yes, yes. All this happened, senhores, after Antonio 
murdered his wife.' 

' Murdered his wife !' we ejaculated. 

' It is as I say : he stabbed her to the heart. She may 
have given him cause — I do not deny it — but he gave her 

no time for excuses. It was ' And Anselmo lunged 

forward as one who strikes a deadly blow. 

' Did they not bring him to justice for the crime ?' we 
asked. 

He shrugged his shoulders and snapped his fingers in the 
air. 

' Bah ! they do not garrotte a man for a little family affair 
like that. They did, indeed, try him for the murder, but 
the jury acquitted him to a man, and he was at once re- 
leased. But to my story. Supper was no sooner over than 
Antonio, who had drunk much wine, began to say insulting 
things about me — not to my face, but to the others, you 
understand. I stood this ill-mannered talk for some time, 
but as he did not stop I began to lose my temper. Deos ! 
senhores, I do not pretend to be a saint, and when I am 
angry I see blood as soon as any man. Yes, it is true ; I 
got savage as a goaded bull, and when at last he saw fit to 
sneer at the virtue of Maria, I could stand it no longer, and 
shouting, " Maldito sejas tu I " (A curse on thee !), flung my 
tumbler of wine straight in his face.' 

' Carramha ! ' cried Isodoro, rubbing his hands ; ' that was 
a sight I shall never forget. How I laughed ! To see the wine 
trickling down his face and pouring from his beard was as 

18 



274 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

good as a play. But go on, Anselmo ; you tell it welL 
Does he not, senhores ?' 

Anselmo shrugged his shoulders, and continued : 

' As soon as he could see — for his eyes were full of wine — 
he sprang at me, but my friends held him back. 

' " A ring ! a ring !" they shouted, andevery one jump- 
ing up, the table was pushed to one side, and Antonio and I 
found ourselves in the middle of a circle. 

' I took off my jerkin and felt the edge of my knife. 
Antonio followed my example. Then, naked to the waist, 
we faced each other without a word. You could have heard 
a pin drop. Our right hands were clenched on our knife- 
handles, while round our left hands we had wound our sashes. 
You doubtless know the way, senhores. I looked at him, 
as I had not seen him naked before, and, Deos ! he was a 
man ! I have never seen a finer figure — no, nor more mag- 
nificent muscles. His teeth were clenched, and all the devils 
of hell glared out of his eyes ; but I did not pay much atten- 
tion to that — I was wondering where to strike him. Warily 
we circled round each other, and I was on the point of 
making a feint to draw him within my reach, when a cry 
startled me. I turned round : it was the innkeeper. May 
God confound him ! for, as I turned, that black devil took 
me unawares and pinned me with his knife. Luckily for 
me, it struck a rib and glanced along my side, otherwise I 
had been a dead man.' 

' Why did the innkeeper interrupt you ?' asked Warden. 

' The son of a dog !' growled Anselmo, ' he thought only 
of his own worthless hide. " For God's sake, gentlemen," 
he shouted, "no bloodshed, I pray you ; it will give my inn 
a bad name!" I was bleeding like a pig, and more savage 
than many bulls, but my friends decided that the inn- 
keeper had a right to guard the good name of his miserable 
inn.' 

' You fought no more, then ?' asked Hadow. 

' Did we not ? By all the saints, yes. We fought it out 
in that courtyard ' — and he pointed through the open door — 
' by the light of two torches. My knife drew blood twice — 
once on the shoulder and once in the chest, a beautiful hit ; 
it laid Antoni'o by the heels for three weeks.' 



THE FIGHT 275 

* He says truth,' observed Isodoro ; * never have I 
enjoyed a fight more. But, senhores, it grows late ; we 
had better pay this old rascal of an innkeeper and be on 
the road. Vamos ! the sun shines, and the little mules 
ring their bells. Of a surety there is no life hke that of a 
muleteer !' 



l8~2 



CHAPTER XL 

WE LOSE OUR WAY 

Towards afternoon we penetrated deeply between the 
mountain-spurs. Rain fell heavily, and a blustering wind 
swept the passes. Masses of rock frowned down upon us ; 
for the most part they took the form of serrated ridges, with 
here and there some bold peak standing alone against the 
gray of the sky. Descending a natural staircase, where the 
track literally dropped into a ravine, we came suddenly upon 
a party of muleteers who had taken refuge on the lee side of 
an overhanging rock. There were perhaps a dozen in all ; 
the mules stood patiently without, while their masters 
made merry within. The shelter was so effectually roofed 
over that it formed an admirable shield against the inclemen- 
cies of the weather. 

' Let us join these gentlemen,' suggested Isodoro. ' I 
know them well, and I would willingly ask some questions 
concerning our road, for, of a truth, I am none so sure 
of it.' ! fc^; * 

The strangers invited us to join their party. We accepted 
without hesitation. They were discussing a large bottle 
of aqua vitcB, drinking ' not wisely, but too well,' for it was 
evident that more than one of their number were intoxi- 
cated. We were each presented with a glass of the fiery 
liquor, and found it warm and comforting on so raw 
a day. Isodoro failed to obtain the necessary informa- 
tion, for none of his acquaintances would pay heed to 
him. They shouted and sang, laughed and quarrelled, 
and it was plain that they were in no humour for serious 
talk. 

276 



WE LOSE OUR WAY 277 

Bidding them farewell, we took once more to the road. 
As we proceeded, the exacting nature of the path necessi- 
tated my entire attention. 

It is easy to write lightly upon the subject sitting in my 
armchair, surrounded by nothing more terrifying than a 
square of horizontal carpet, but I assure you that clinging 
to my slippery saddle with a cliff on one side and a precipice 
upon the other was a very different affair. To look immedi- 
ately over my left knee, perpendicularly downwards, to 
where, several hundred feet below, the rocks invited disaster, 
was a sensation too exciting to be pleasant. My knowledge 
of mules was destined to be considerably augmented during 
the course of that afternoon, and, alas ! my pride was to 
have a fall. Warden had warned me of what was likely to 
occur. 

' Should the path overhang a precipice,' said he, * you 
will find that your mule will balance herself on the extreme 
outer edge ; so look out.' 

' Nonsense !' I ejaculated. ' Do you mean to tell me that 
Saccharin ' (I had christened my mule Saccharin on account 
of her concentrated sourness of disposition) * will endanger 
our valuable lives in so foolish a manner ! As if I didn't 
know her character better than you ! Why, man, she's the 
most cautious mule in Portugal !' 

Severely was my incredulity punished. Not only did 
Saccharin fail in caution, she even went the length of pre- 
meditated suicide long drawn-out — that is to say, she risked 
our necks on every possible opportunity ; she courted anni- 
hilation, like one who is weary of life ; she poised herself 
on the fine edge of each abyss, as though, by profession, a 
rope-dancer. Even her drenched door-mat of a body was 
canted over the ravines, as though — in Anselmo's words — 
she was calculating the distance of our probable fall. I 
clenched my teeth, and, leaning violently towards safety, 
wished myself well out of the adventure. 

At times we passed a solitary wayfarer. Isodoro in- 
variably questioned him as to our road, but the replies he 
received were contradictory : one would say that the 
nearest village was not far distant, while another would be 
of opinion that to reach shelter before nightfall was im- 



278 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

possible. To my great relief our path debouched on to 
more open ground. 

Darkness surprised us, still wandering among the moun- 
tains. For long we stumbled onwards, feeling our way, as 
it were, among boulders that appeared, more than ever 
before, to strew the track. 

' Halt !' shouted Hadow. ' Dear boys,' came his voice 
out of the gloom ahead, ' I see no path. We must have 
lost it.' 

' Let Isodoro go ahead,' I suggested. ' You have your 
lantern, Isodoro ?' 

' Yes, senhor, if I can only manage to light it in this 
accursed rain.' 

The feeble glow soon revealed Isodoro's swarthy face 
bending over it ; then it swayed forward, casting dancing 
gleams on the wet hillside. The point of light but made 
the surrounding blackness more opaque. 

' There is no sign of this miserable path, senhores,' he 
called at length, ' but we cannot be far from it. It is 
my opinion that if we climb higher we are certain to 
find it.' 

We followed his advice. The darkness, the wild and 
desolate mountains, the falling rain, the chaos of boulders 
that lay above, below, and around us, all combined 
to make the scene one of extreme and melancholy 
loneliness. 

Warden and I dismounted and led our mules. Higher 
and ever higher we climbed, stumbling and slipping in- 
cessantly. My one fear was lest, in the black night, I 
should get separated from my companions. To obviate 
this danger we had recourse to frequent halts to collect 
stragglers. Once my mule fell, and dragging me with 
her in her fall, we rolled for some distance down the 
hillside. 

At length the top of the spur or saddle, I know not which, 
was reached, and we halted awhile to consider the situation. 
' There is no sign of a path,' growled Hadow. ' What for 
a guide are you, Isodoro ?' 

' Deos I senhor, I am not to blame,' expostulated the 
muleteer. 



WE LOSE OUR WAY 279 

' Donnerwetter ! Have done with this Wind leading the 
bhnd. Let us camp here.' 

' By Jove, no !' I remonstrated. ' The rocks are dripping 
wet, and we are all starving.' 

' Bah ! animal ! You think only of your pampered 

stomach.' 

' We'd better go on,' said Warden ; ' only, for goodness' 
sake, let's keep together ; it's beastly dark. Are you there, 

Pedro ?' 

No one answered. The wind moaned over the hill-top, 
the rain fell on us from out the darkness. 

' He was here a minute ago,' said Warden. ' I gave him 
a helping-hand up a boulder.' 

' Pe-dro !' shouted Anselmo, with the full strength of 

his lungs. 

' Ho-la P came back Pedro's shrill falsetto. In another 

moment he had joined us. 

' I have found it, senhores, que gloria ! que gloria !' and 
we heard the small imp dancing in the darkness. 

' Found what, Pedro ?' 

' The path, and a village, too, for I see lights over the 
next hill as plainly as possible.' 

The little urchin led us down a short but steep incline to a 
level piece of ground, from which a narrow path conducted 
the wayfarer in the direction of a village. 

' However did you find it, Pedro ?' asked Warden. 

' It was my hat,' answered Pedro simply. ' It fell off, 
and I followed it as well as I could in this darkness, and 
when I picked it up, behold ! it lay on a path.' 

In less than half an hour we had reached the village. 
Through the murky night we could just distinguish a few 
hovels huddling under the blackness of a hill. Lights 
twinkled from half a dozen windows. Towards one of these 
we directed our steps. At the sound of our approach 
several people came to the door : an elderly man, a 
middle-aged woman, and two little girls. Never before 
or since have I seen people with a more poverty-stricken 

air. 

The cottage interior was dimly lighted by a wick floating 
in a saucer of oil. By its unsatisfactory aid I could see the 



28o SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

tattered garments, the pinched and woe-begone appearance 
of the occupants. 

A number of people had collected. They formed a crowd 
that stared at us in silence. 

' Good-evening, senhora,' said Warden, addressing him- 
self to the woman. 

She muttered unintelligibly by way of answer. 

' Can you give us something to eat ?' continued Warden. 

' No,' replied the man curtly. 

' Bread, meat, or eggs ? Anything you have. We will 
gladly pay you a good price for it.' 

' We can give you nothing. We have not bread sufficient 
to feed our own children. We have no eggs ; and as for 
meat, we never see it from one year's end to another.' 

' Then perhaps you can give us shelter for the night ?' 

'No.' 

' A barn, an outhouse — anything.' 

' We have none.' 

The replies were sullen, dejected ; they held no hope of 
warming into friendliness. Hadow smothered a curse. The 
wind rising into a gust lashed us with fine rain. The in- 
habitants of the inhospitable hamlet continued to stare at 
us in silence. 

' Listen, my friends,' said Warden desperately. ' We 
are wet through. We have come far and are tired ; it is 
dark, we can go no further. You would not drive a dog 
from your doors on such a night as this ! For the love of 
God, give us a dry corner in which we can sleep till morning.' 

' It is no use asking, senhor ; I cannot do it. We have no 
outhouses, we have no food to spare. Perhaps some of the 
neighbours will accommodate you. Ola! Carrasco ! are you 
there ? Can you take in the senhores ?' 

' Not I,' responded a gruff voice from the crowd. 

' Well, then, will any of you do it ?' 

No one answered. 

' You see, senhores,' continued the man, turning to 
us — ' you see how it is : we are unused to strangers ; 
in fact, we do not want them. Take my advice and 
go away.' 

We faced each other in the darkness. The man and 



WE LOSE OUR WAY 281 

woman barred the doorway. The little crowd of villagers 
watched us with silent hostility, or, to be more exact, with 
utter indifference. We might die from exposure on the hill- 
sides for aught they cared. One by one they grew weary of 
watching us, and returned to their homes. We heard the 
doors bang, and the bolts shoot in the darkness. Even the 
man and women retired — only the little girls remained 
constant. 

' We must try diplomacy,' whispered Warden, producing 
his tin-whistle. The curiosity of the children was at once 
aroused. What was the strange man going to do ? He sat 
down on the door-step ; they retreated precipitately into the 
interior. He played a little prelude — they peeped at him 
from round a corner. He filled the air with merry notes ; 
they tiptoed forward with finger on lips. He took one on 
each knee ; they drank in Scotch reels with faces of awful 
solemnity. The neighbours might spurn us from their 
doors, their parents might turn a deaf ear to our entreaties, 
but from that moment we had two firm aUies. Warden's 
diplomacy was successful — the conquest of the little girls 
was complete ! 

The mother was dragged by the skirt and made to listen 
to the music ; the man even reappeared in the background, 
and until the close of the concert the entire family stood 
spellbound, listening with rapt and even awe-struck attention. 

' Deos ! how cold and hungry I am !' exclaimed Warden, 
laying down his whistle, his teeth chattering audibly. 

' Mother, mother !' cried the elder girl in great excitement, 
' did you hear that ? The nice man says he is very cold and 
very hungry !' 

' Indeed I did, minha alma ; it is a shame !' and she con- 
versed in an undertone with the man. 

The fellow scratched his head ; but she continued to talk 
with many gesticulations. At last he shrugged his 
shoulders. 

' You may come in, senhores,' he said at length, speaking 
in a more genial voice. ' My wife says she will light a fire 
by which you may dry your clothes ; she will also boil you 

some potatoes. It is all we can offer you ; and — and ' 

he shuffled from one leg to the other — ' there is a Httle 



282 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

loft above this room, where, if you can put up with bare 
boards, you may sleep for the night.' 

Upon receipt of this news the little girls at once seized 
Warden by the hand and dragged him into the cottage. 
We followed with thankful hearts, and turned our backs 
for the night upon the hills, and the darkness, and the 
rain. 



CHAPTER XLI 

ON THE ROAD TO SAN PEDRO 

Our condition after a night passed in the loft would require 
to be seen to be credited. We resembled a gathering of 
chimney-sweeps. And what wonder ? The loft was a 
chimney ! The smoke from the cottage fire filtered itself 
through the rafters that composed the floor of our bed- 
chamber, filled the tiny space to suffocation, then wandered 
into the outer world through a hole in the roof. Every- 
thing was an inch deep in grime ; the very spiders had long 
since been fumigated to a better land. Now, as we had 
taken possession of the loft in the darkness — with not even 
a candle to light us to bed — it was not until dawn that we 
became aware of our condition. Our faces, hands, and 
clothing were black as soot could make them ! 

We enjoyed the luxury of a bath — in a brook that babbled 
liard by the hamlet — as perhaps we never before had done 
to quite the same extent. It all but compensated for the 
absence of breakfast. Yes, it is a sad truth, no breakfast 
was forthcoming ! The cottagers were too poor. We could 
not in conscience rob them of another meal ; we could not 
take the last potato out of the mouths of the friendly little 
girls. And it is strange, but true, that money possessed 
apparently no value in their eyes. They lived too retired 
from the busy world that buys and sells to attach much 
importance to the handful of coins we left behind us. The 
children, attracted by their brightness, played with them 
nnreproved. 

Our mules had passed the night under the broad eaves of 
the cottage — a cold and comfortless stable they must have 

283 



284 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

found it ; but, hardy little animals ! they appeared no whit 
the worse for the experience. We found them awaiting us 
in attitudes of inimitable patience. 

The morning dawned with every promise of a fine day. 
Rocks and scanty herbage glittered with moisture. Away 
to the east the sunrise flamed over dark hills. Seen by the 
light of day, the hamlet appeared even more poverty- 
stricken than we had imagined. Many of the hovels were 
falling into ruin ; some were already abandoned. Great 
stones had been laid upon the roofs to better enable the 
little dwellings to withstand the gales of winter. Gray and 
weatherworn, they partook of the character of the hills, and 
at a little distance were hardly to be distinguished from the 
boulder-strewn mountain-side against which they were built. 

The sun being well above the horizon, we took to the road 
with light hearts, and, alas ! equally light stomachs. 

At noon we halted before a cottage surrounded by a 
square of farmyard. An old man surveyed us grimly from 
the open door. To him we appealed, but his replies to our 
entreaties for food were curt and uncivil. Poverty had 
drained him of the last drop of hospitality, for he bade us 
begone ; he had no food, he said, to waste upon strangers. 
With despair in our hearts we were about to turn away, 
when a boy who had been listening intently to our conversa- 
tion suggested that there might be eggs. A search of ten 
minutes was rewarded by six eggs. We devoured them raw, 
standing in the little farmyard, and then, our hunger stayed 
to the extent of a solitary egg apiece, we again rode away 
into the sweltering sunlight. 

It was nine o'clock, and twilight had already fallen before 
San Pedro came into sight. Our first care was to find some 
hospitable soul willing to house us for the night. Fortu- 
nately we experienced no difficulty — a cousin of Isodoro's 
invited us to his house. It was a comfortable dwelling, 
and boasted of two rooms. No door separated them, so 
that there was an entire absence of privacy, the occupants 
of one room being not only able to hear, but also to see 
everything that took place in the other. 

The family among whom we found ourselves consisted 



ON THE ROAD TO SAN PEDRO 285 

of our host and his pretty wife, three children, and a female 
servant. 

Cooking is always a laborious process in the house of a 
Portuguese peasant, and this occasion was no exception to 
the rule. A fire had to be lighted, eggs had to be searched 
for, a pan had to be borrowed from a neighbour, and it was 
eleven o'clock before we eventually sat down to supper. 
The entire family collected to watch us eat, and our deeds of 
gastronomic valour elicited frequent expressions of astonish- 
ment. 

At length even our abnormal appetites were satisfied, and, 
leaning back in our chairs, we beamed upon our audience 
through clouds of tobacco-smoke. 

Our host, it appeared, was the barber of San Pedro, and 
in his professional capacity eyed our untrimmed hair and 
ragged beards with disapproval. 

' Senhores,' said he at length, ' it goes to my heart to 
see your uncared-for appearance. You are too rich in the 
matter of hair ! Will you do me the honour of placing 
yourselves under my razor ?' 

We were in that blissful condition that any request, not 
entirely unreasonable, would have met with our consent, 
and as the worthy fellow was longing to lay hands on us, we 
told him that he could set about the business as soon as he 
pleased. To see him skipping from one room to another, 
collecting soap, razors, scissors, and all the paraphernalia 
of his profession, you would have imagined that hair- 
cutting was the one serious passion of his life, as indeed it 
was. A bit of a wag in his way, he amused us with a con- 
tinual stream of small-talk ; the gossip of the neighbourhood 
was related with many quaint additions that emanated, I 
am certain, from his imagination. 

' You seem fond of your profession,' said Warden. 

' Senhor,' cried the barber, pausing in the act of sharpen- 
ing his razor, ' I love it. It is the occupation of an artist ; 
in what other will you find the same nicety and discretion, 
the same necessity for skill and judgment ? A moment's 
hesitation, a shake of the hand, and an enraged customer 
is the result. Senhor, do not be anxious ; I can circum- 
navigate a pimple with the most artful touches. Deos ! 



286 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

it is a profession for a gentleman. What variety there is 
in it ! ' 

' One beard is much hke another,' argued Warden. 

' Do not beheve it,' said the barber with great earnest- 
ness. ' There are as many sorts of beards as of customers ! 
The rough, the smooth, the silky, the bristly ; the beard 
quiescent, and the beard pugnacious. Everyone of them 
requires different treatment ; it is the study of a lifetime. 
Now, if the senhor will kindly be seated, I will at once 
begin.' 

' I'll warrant this is the first time you have shaved an 
Englishman,' said Warden, as the barber paused in his 
task. 

' Indeed, no, senhor ; I once had the honour of shaving 
one of your compatriots at Mertola.' 

' What took you there ?' 

' It was before I became a regular barber. I used to clip 
mules. I did it so dextrously that all who saw my work 
were filled with delight. They said, " What wasted talent !" 
So I forsook mules for men, and by my father's beard ! I 
have profited but little by the exchange. A man, after all, 
is only an inferior sort of mule, for hair grows only upon a 
small portion of his body. Deos ! a chin ! What is it ? 
Two sweeps of such a razor as mine, and it is as bare as a 
hand. But the body of a mule ! Ah, senhor, that occupies 
a man for an afternoon !' 

' Do you get many customers here ?' inquired Warden. 

The barber shrugged his shoulders, and his voice assumed 
a melancholy tone. 

' Few, senhor, few\ That is my one sorrow, for, as you 
see, I am a man of an energetic disposition ; I am never so 
happy as when I am at work. I love hair. Theresa will tell 
you that.' 

' Indeed he does, senhores,' said his wife, who, seated in 
a low chair, was engaged in feeding her baby. ' He married 
me because my hair was very long and thick, and at times I 
fear he will cut it off just to keep himself in practice.' 

' Nonsense, wife, nonsense !' said the barber, laughing. 

It was after midnight before we retired to rest. The 
barber and his wife and baby slept in the inner room ; 



ON THE ROAD TO SAN PEDRO 287 

Hadow, Warden, and I occupied the outer apartment ; the 
servant and three elder children made their beds in the 
street. The latter part of this arrangement was by no 
means to our taste. 

' We cannot think of depriving them of this room,' said 
we. 

' Senhores, I pray you, do not trouble yourselves ; my 
children are accustomed to sleep out of doors. And, more- 
over, the night is warm ; they will come to no harm.' 

He added many other arguments in favour of his plan, 
and appeared so hurt at our suggesting to relinquish the 
apartment that we judged it wiser to abide by his decision. 
The undressing was very public ; the laws that govern 
Portuguese hospitality appear to admit the privileged 
stranger into the most intimate scenes of domestic life. Our 
tongues are tied, but Modesty still turns her back on 
Memory with a blush. 



CHAPTER XLII 

FAREWELL 

* Senhores ! senhores !' The voice of the barber disturbed 
the dream that monopohzed my slumbering senses. ' Sen- 
hores ! senhores ! wake up !* 

' Go away,' grumbled Warden from beneath his blanket. 

' But you must get up,' persisted the voice. 

* Donnerwetter ! What mean you by disturbing us at 
this hour of the night ? Animal !' 

' It is half-past three, and I ' 

' Half-past three !' shouted Hadow. ' What for a God- 
forsaken hour is that to awake us ? Know you not that we 
went to bed at half-past twelve ?' 

I sat up and rubbed my eyes. There stood the barber 
already dressed, a candle in his hand, the very image of 
perplexity. Through the open door the village lay en- 
shrouded in darkness — stars sparkled in the sky ; the breeze 
had a chill breath, the presage of the dawn. 

' I cannot help it, senhores. I forgot to tell you last night 
that I take my wife and children to Almodovar. As you 
doubtless know, the annual fair begins to-day. We have 
far to go, and I wish to arrive early to secure customers.' 

' Well, for God's sake go ; only leave us in peace .' 

' How can I go and leave you here ? ' cried the barber 
in despair. ' I must lock up my house. I always lock up 
my house when we go from home. Oh, senhores ! forgive 
me for disturbing you. I would not willingly turn you out 
of doors, I swear it ; but on a great occasion like this you 
can surely understand.' rj' 

There was no help for it. ' The man had, after all, a right 

288 



FAREWELL 289 

to lock up his house at any hour of the twenty-four that 
took his fancy ; but in our sleep-bemuddled brains the 
action awoke only black and ungrateful thoughts. We 
dressed silently, punctuating our packing with yawns. No 
one offered us breakfast ; the barber and his family looked 
upon the meal as an unnecessary luxury, and through the 
open doorway we could see them already on their mules, 
only awaiting our departure to be off to Almodovar and the 
village fair. 

A faint haze of light streaked the eastern horizon, but in 
the village night lay encamped in full force. The hoofs of 
our mules resounded along the silent street. All was 
wrapped in gloom and loneliness. We were the only souls 
awake. We bade farewell to the barber and his family at a 
turning of the road, and then pursued our way along a 
dusky valley. 

The sunrise was beautiful, but we were in no humour to 
appreciate sunrises. To make matters worse, the day proved 
to be one of the hottest we had experienced, and when, 
after a few hours' ride, the inhabitants of Quintan — a small 
and objectionable village — refused to supply us with food, 
we were the most dejected party it is possible to conceive. 
We broke our fast upon a stale cucumber found by chance 
in Warden's saddle-bags. Think of it, O ye who sit down 
daily to a comfortable breakfast ! One stale cucumber 
divided into six microscopic portions and washed down 
with neat whisky ! It was a repulsive meal, and has 
effectively damned cucumbers for me to all eternity. I 
never see one now but that scene rises to my mind — Hr.dow 
carving the sodden vegetable, the circle of dejected faces, the 
fierce sunlight, the weary and despondent attitudes of the 
mules ! 

Forward we marched. The mules drooped their long ears ; 
the very tin-whistle was silent, its owner justly remarking 
that he could not be expected to provide music sustained by 
no more substantial refreshment than the sixth part of a 
cucumber. 

Warden informed us that Esperito Santo was the name 
of the next village marked upon our line of route ; but 
although unwilling to disbelieve in the existence of the 

^9 



290 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

' Holy Spirit,' our souls longed for proofs of his assertion. 
Like Christian and Faithful, we questioned every wayfarer 
we encountered. The answers we received were invariably 
the same : ' Una legua, senhores.' Still we advanced, and 
still the Holy Spirit remained at the same fixed distance — a 
more elastic league or a more disembodied Spirit it would be 
hard to imagine. 

I could with difficulty keep my eyes from closing ; time 
and again I was on the point of falling asleep, when a jerk 
from Saccharin recalled me to the world of reality. Warden 
shared my sensations. Pedro slept profoundly upon the 
top of the baggage-mule. Hadow alone appeared to be 
wide awake. 

At last Esperito Santo straggled into sight, a mere huddle 
of houses, heralded by shouts from our men. We wel- 
comed its appearance with thankful feelings, for we were 
both exhausted and famishing. There was a humble 
cstalagem at which we baited the mules. A meal was 
served to us in a veranda. We did full justice to it, and 
when every crumb had disappeared, settled ourselves for a 
smoke ; but no sooner had Warden lighted his pipe than 
he fell fast asleep — his briar rolled unheeded to the floor. 
I remember laughing at the incident, but even as I laughed 
my eyes closed, and the next thing of which I was conscious 
was Hadow shaking me by the arm. 

' Wake up, dear boy ; come with me, and we shall see if 
the mules are ready to start.' 

I yawned loudly. 

' Why did you wake me up ?' I grumbled. ' You might 
have let me sleep for ten minutes.' 

' You have been snoring like a pig for forty minutes, 
lazy animal ! Come, I say !' and he dragged me forcibly 
into the sunlight. 

The mules were standing where we had left them, but no 
muleteers were to be seen. 

' Isodoro ! Anselmo ! where are you ?' bellowed Hadow. 

No answer was returned. Again he called, and again he 
waited in vain for a reply. At the sound of his voice a 
crowd collected. They appeared to take the greatest 
interest in our affairs. 



> } 

■> 1 



' , ' . ' » ' * » , ' , 'j > ' » 1 ' 1 




A HUMBLE /SSr.-lL.lCi/i.^r. 



FAREWELL 291 

' If you seek your muleteers, senhor,' said an old 
man, ' you will find them asleep in that shed ' — and he 
pointed in the direction of an outhouse that adjoined 

the inn. 

' Donnerwetfer I Lazy good-for-nothings !' ejaculated 
Hadow, and away he sped in high indignation. 

I sat down in the street, and, leaning my back against a 
cottage wall, gave myself up to thought. The crowd dis- 
persed. Everything appeared to be soaked in unreality. 
The muleteers, Warden, even Hadow, drifted away into the 
land of phantoms— Hadow, I remember, occurring to me 
as an especially unpleasant phantom, and one to be avoided 
at all costs. I had come to this conclusion, and I may have 
possibly closed my eyes for one minute, but no more, when 
a weighty object fell on my shoulder. Before I could 
summon my scattered senses I was shaken with the force 
of an earthquake. 

' Herr Gott ! you are again asleep, animal !' 

I sat up and gazed around. The muleteers were adjusting 
the harness in sleepy silence. Warden was to be seen 
yawning in the doorway. I had friends in adversity. The 
thought consoled me, and, picking myself up, I took 
my place in the cavalcade with all cheerfulness at my 
command. 

Refreshed by a meal and snatches of sleep, I was in the 
humour to appreciate our last ride. The thought that it 
was our ' last ride ' saddened me, and lent a melancholy 
charm to every incident of the afternoon. An unaccus- 
tomed tenderness took possession of me ; a wave of affection 
that even went the length of embracing the eccentricities 
of Hadow and Saccharin. The Professor had regained his 
good-humour — no very difficult task, I take pleasure in 
recording — and joined from time to time in the conversation. 
His manner was unusually hearty ; his successful campaign 
against sloth warmed his inner man into a glow that was all 
but friendly. 

' Hadow,' said I, lured into confidence by the geniality 
of his behaviour, ' this is our last ride.' 
' J a wohl, dear boy.' 

' Our last one, Hadow. In spite of cucumbers and 

19 — 2 



292 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

evolution, I will look back upon this trip with feelings 
of regret.' 

' What ! are you sad that you have come, Hein ?' 

' No, no, Professor ; you mistake me. My regret is that 
it is over.' 

' Ach so ! but that is foolish.' 

I eyed him in perplexity. 

' Can you not understand regretting that a happy period 
of your life is done with for ever ? Do you never feel affec- 
tion for som.e place, let us say, where you have thoroughly 
enjoyed yourself ?' 

Hadow roared with laughter. 

' Never have I heard such foohshness, dear boy ; to be 
affectionate over a place ! Herr Gott I It is as bad as to 
be in love with a woman ! No, I never regret anything — 
life is too short.' 

' Not even mammoths ?' I said thoughtlessly. 

Hadow became serious at once. He laid his hand 
upon the neck of Saccharin — we were walking side by 
side. 

' Do not make jokes upon such a subject, dear boy. To 
me it is my life. I would give ten years to have been success- 
ful in these caves ; but, donnerwetter ! I am not beaten — 
do not think it for a moment. Oh no ! When Hans 
Hadow makes up his mind, no need of words, I assure 
you.' 

The afternoon sun was by this time low on the horizon ; 
day was dying in a blaze of splendour. 

' We ought to see the Guadiana soon,' said Anselmo. 

' Yes,' assented Warden ; ' I know this part of the country 
well. That is the village of Mosquito over there to the left. 
In my opinion we should take this path to the right. I am 
almost certain it comes out opposite Pomarao.' 

His advice was taken, and for some time we followed a 
track that climbed a steep hill in long serpentine coils. 
' How will we cross the river ?' I inquired. 
' There is a ferry-boat,' replied Warden. ' If the man is 
there we can easily signal to him to come to our assistance.' 

We wended our way upwards. Higher and higher we 
climbed, without being rewarded by the sight of which we 



FAREWELL 293 

were in search. Nothing was to be seen save roUing hills, 
sinking and swelling on every side. At last as we neared 
a summit that promised to overlook its neighbours, Pedro, 
who had run ahead, gave a shrill cry and flung his hat into 
the air. 

' The Guadiana, senhores ! the Guadiana !' 
In another minute we stood beside him. It was a noble 
prospect. Far beneath us the Guadiana rolled her waters 
along — a dark and stately stream, flowing majestically 
between wild and precipitous hills. Directly below us on 
a stretch of level ground, close to where a little waterfall 
gleamed in the sunlight, was a mill, and from our lofty posi- 
tion we could see the miller and his men enjoying their 
evening meal in the open air. On the further bank of the 
river lay Pomarao, its roofs aglow in the evening light. It 
was a beautiful but, to my mind, a melancholy scene. The 
gradual and solemn retirement of day accorded well with 
the feelings that dominated my thoughts. The waning 
light symbolized our wanderings — now so nearly over — the 
mustering shadows stood for the coming years that 
would pass the finger of oblivion over all but recollection. 
Following a downward path, we soon reached the water's 
edge. 

Our parting from the muleteers was affecting. That they 
should show unfeigned sorrow at our departure did not 
come to us entirely in the light of a surprise. I have already 
dwelt upon their character. I knew them to be independent 
and proud, courteous and considerate ; I suspected also 
that they were capable of attaching themselves to their 
employers. The chain that binds servants to masters is 
in other lands forged from baser metal, but little of the gold 
of friendship refines the mercenary character of its compo- 
sition. But in this case it was otherwise. Anselmo and 
Isodoro were our friends ; we had shared the pleasures 
as well as the vicissitudes of travel ; they had smoked our 
cigarettes, we had accepted their snuff ; side by side we 
had sat at the same table and lain on the same apology for 
a bed ; confidences had passed between us : Isodoro had 
related to me much of his private affairs — of his pretty wife 
in Salir, and of his one child, a little girl, who was so ill that 



294 SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN PORTUGAL 

he feared she would never recover. What marvel, then, 
that when the time arrived for us to part we were loth to 
bid them farewell ; what marvel that they revealed a warmth 
of affection that did honour to their hearts ? They em- 
braced us repeatedly ; Isodoro especially was deeply moved. 
Again and again he returned to clasp me in his arms. With 
vehement gestures he pressed me to accept a bowl hollowed 
out of a single piece of cork which I had admired, and 
which was used indiscriminately by master and by mules. 
He had fashioned it himself with infinite labour ; it was the 
most interesting of his belongings, and I could see that it 
possessed great value in his eyes. 

' Take it, senhor,' said he, the tears rolling down his 
cheeks ; ' it will recall me to your mind. When far away 
you will look at it and say : " Deos ! I got that from my friend 
Isodoro the muleteer." ' 

Despite my lessons in Portuguese etiquette, I accepted 
the gift at once. I wrung his hand silently ; he dashed a 
tear from his eyes, and thus we parted. 

We embarked — the oars dipped simultaneously — we shot 
into midstream. The dying sunlight sparkled upon the 
waters of the Guadiana with the same brightness with which 
it had smiled upon our wandering days, yet — it was different ; 
and again, as on the occasion of my parting with Colomba, I 
realized that the difference lay in me. The hills, the track, 
the cavalcade of mules and muleteers had not changed, yet 
they were no longer our hills, our track, our cavalcade ; 
they had already receded into the past ; they — like the caves 
and Colomba — had already become but a part of bygone 
experience, to be revisited only through the medium of 
recollection. 

And so it was really all over ! I drew a deep sigh, and, 
turning towards the little party we were rapidly leaving 
behind us, paid them the tribute of a last farewell. The 
muleteers still waved to us, and once, twice, and again 
Saccharin raised her voice in — what it pleased me to imagine 
was — a friendly and final valediction. 

As I watched, and as the distance that separated us 
momentarily increased, Isodoro and Anselmo turned to 
other occupations — they appeared to be readjusting the 



FAREWELL 295 

harness of the mules ; and as I continued to watch the 
lashes of their whips spoke out, the cavalcade started into 
motion, the bells jangled faintly, the dust rose in a golden 
cloud, and the little company wended its way into the hollows 
of the hills. Once again we saw it reappear — a tiny band 
dwarfed into miniature — and then again the hills took it to 
themselves, and we saw it no more. 



THE END. 



BILLING AND SONS, LTD., PRINTERS, GUILDFORD 



Telegrams : 41 and 43 Maddox Street, 

' Scholarly, London.' Bond Street, London, W. 

October^ 1904. 



Mr. Edward Arnold's 

List of New Books 



THE REMINISCENCES OF SIR 
HENRY HAWKINS 

CWow XotS aScampton). 
Arranged by RICHARD HARRIS, K.C., 

Author of 'Illustrations of Advocacy,' ' Auld Acquaintanxe,' etc. 

Two Volumes. Demy Svo. With Portraits. 30s. net. 

' Hawkins ' — to use the more familiar name of the best known'and 
perhaps most popular English judge of the nineteenth century — was 
called to the Bar at the Middle Temple in May, 1843, and after 
* sixty years' hard labour ' in the practice and administration of the 
Law has been prevailed upon to give the world the benefit of his 
exceptional experience of Hfe in all its phases. These two volumes 
of reminiscences are packed with good stories — legal, racing and 
miscellaneous— for Sir Henry was as keen a sportsman as an 
advocate — and he has come in contact in his time with every grade 
of society and occupation. He enables the reader to form an idea of 
what a ' big practice ' means, of the destructive effects of his own 
cross-examination, of the eccentricities of a British jury ; and his 
tales of Tattersall's, Crockford's, the Ring, theatricals at Knebworth, 
the Barnstaple election, and last, but not least, of his beloved four- 
footed 'Marshal,' Jack, make a most interesting and attractive book. 



LONDON: EDWARD ARNOLD, 41 and 43 MADDOX STREET, W. 



2 Mr, Edward Arnold's List of New Books 

JERUSALEM UNDER THE HIGH 

PRIESTS. 

five Xectures on tbe {period between IRebemiab anD tbe IFlew 

Testament. 

By EDWYN BEVAN, 

Author of ' The House of Seleucus.' 

Demy Svo. js. 6d. 

Readers of Mr. Bevan's brilliant work on the Seleucid dynasty 
will welcome this new and, in its way, not less important volume of 
history from his pen. Originally written in the form of lectures for 
popular audiences, the book aims rather at giving a clear and con- 
nected sketch of what is certainly known about a crucial period in 
the history of our religion — a period of which it must be confessed 
most people are extremely ignorant — than at investigating the 
obscure problems which beset the specialist. The subjects of the 
lectures are: (i) The End of the Persian Period and the Mace- 
donian Conquest ; (2) Hellenism and Hebrew Wisdom ; (3) Judas 
Maccabeus and his Brethren ; (4) The Hasmonsean Ascendancy ; 
and (5) The Fall of the Hasmonaeans and the Days of Herod— a list 
of subjects sufficient to show the value of the book to everyone who 
finds any interest in the Bible. 

FINAL RECOLLECTIONS OF A 
DIPLOMATIST 

By the RIGHT HON. SIR HORACE RUMBOLD, Bart., 

G.C.B.. G.C.M.G., 
Demy Svo. 15s. net. 

Sir Horace Rumbold begins the third and concluding series of his 
* Recollections' in the year 1885 at the point to which he brought his 
readers in the volumes already published. He describes his life as 
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Greece from 
1885-1888, and to the Netherlands from 1888-1896. In the latter 
year he was appointed Ambassador to the Emperor of Austria — an 
exalted position which he retained until his retirement from the 
Diplomatic Service in igoo. 

The conclusion of these ' Recollections ' presents a set of Diplo- 
matic memoirs as comprehensive as they are interesting. Sir 
Horace Rumbold has known nearly all the famous personages of 
his time, and the personal touches and pleasant anecdotes with which 
he illuminates their characters render the volumes excellent reading. 



,-J 



Mr. Edward Arnold's List of New Books 3 

THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 

By T. COWEN, 

Late Special Correspondent of the 'Daily Chronicle.' 

Demy Svo. With Ilhistvations fvom Photographs. 

This book will probably be the first instalment of the great mass 
of Hterature which may presently be expected from the seat of war. 
After tracing the course of events leading inevitably to the outbreak 
of hostilities, Mr. Cowen describes with great completeness the 
nature of the country, both in Korea and Manchuria, over which the 
struggle has been waged, and then devotes himself to a brilliant and 
graphic account of the actual conflict both by land and sea. 

[In pyepavation. 



EDWARD AND PAMELA FITZ- 
GERALD. 

JBelng 6ome account ot tbeir %vocs> 
ComplleD trom tbe Xctters ot Zhosc >x)ho Iknew ^bem 

By GERALD CAMPBELL. 
Demy 8w. With numerous Portraits. 12s. 6d. net. 

Since Thomas Moore's ' Life of Lord Edward FitzGerald ' was 
published in 1831, one or two further memoirs have appeared, mainly 
founded upon that work. ' Edward and Pamela FitzGerald ' differs 
from these in several particulars. Its author, one of the rebel leader's 
great-grandchildren, who has had access to a number of family 
letters and papers, has endeavoured, after giving a picture of the 
home-life of the FitzGerald family, to concentrate his attention on 
those years during which Lord Edward was gradually becoming 
entangled in the coils of the Irish Rebellion. After dealing with the 
reasons which led him to adopt the cause of the revolutionary party, 
and the circumstances of his arrest and death, the book proceeds to 
consider more particularly than has yet been done the history of 
Lord Edward's wife, Pamela, the reputed daughter of the Due 
d'Orleans and Madame de Genlis. 



4 Mr. Edward Arnold's List of New Books 

ALESSANDRO SCARLATTI : HIS LIFE 

AND WORKS. 

By EDWARD J. DENT, 

Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. 

Svo. With Portrait. 

To most musical people Alessandro Scarlatti is little more than a 
name, and even musical historians have been singularly cautious in 
their references to him. He is, however, a very important figure in 
the history of music, on account of his influence on the formation of 
the classical style — i.e., the style of Handel, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, 
and Beethoven. His numerous works have almost all remained in 
manuscript, although he was quite the most celebrated composer of 
his time (1659- 1725), and the difficulty of obtaining access to them 
has no doubt prevented musicians from studying him in detail. For 
this biography special researches have been made in the principal 
libraries of Europe, and much new material has come to light. 
Besides the story of Scarlatti's life, derived in great part from hitherto 
unpublished diaries and letters, a careful analysis is given of his 
most important compositions, considered specially in their relation to 
the history of modern tonality and form. The book is copiously 
illustrated with musical examples, and includes a complete catalogue 
of Scarlatti's extant works, with the libraries where the manuscripts 
are to be found. 



STUDIES IN VIRGIL. 

By TERROT REAVELEY GLOVER, 

Fellow and Classical Lecturer of St. John's College, Cambridge, 
Author of 'Life and Letters in the Fourth Century.' 

Demy Svo. los. 6d. net. 

This book does not deal with questions proper to an edition of, or a 
commentary on, Virgil. As little space as possible is given to matters 
of pure scholarship, philology, or archaeology, but an attempt is 
made to realize as clearly as may be the literary and poetic value of 
Virgil's work by showing the poet's relations with his age and 
environment, his conceptions of the questions peculiar to his time and 
country, and of those common to all times and countries, and his own 
peculiar sense of the direction in which the answers of these questions 
are to be sought. 



My, Edward Arnold's List of New Books 5 

ON THE ROAD TO LHASA. 

By EDMUND CANDLER, 

Special Correspondent of the 'Daily Mail' with the Tibet Mission. 

Demy Svo. With Illustrations from Photographs. 

A special interest attaches to this account of the Tibet Mission, the 
progress of which has been watched with such intense anxiety by the 
British pubHc. Mr. Candler was the first Englishman to be wounded 
in the sudden attack made on the Mission at Guru in the early days 
of the expedition, but was fortunately able to resume his work in a 
remarkably short time, and to be present at the entry into Lhasa. 



FLOOD, FELL, AND FOREST. 

By SIR HENRY POTTINGER, Bart. 

Two volumes. Demy Svo. With Illustrations. 25s. net. 

Few men probably know their Norway better than Sir Henry 
Pottinger, and fewer still have described it, from the point of view 
of sport, better than he has done in this book, in which the expe- 
rience of a life-long sportsman and the graceful literary touch of a 
skilled writer are combined with the happiest effect. Whether the 
subject be elk-shooting, salmon-fishing, or camping, Sir Henry 
abounds in interesting anecdotes and valuable information, and his 
book cannot fail to give pleasure to all lovers of the rod and gun. 



PAGES FROM A COUNTRY DIARY. 

By PERCIVAL SOMERS. 

Large Crown Svo. With Photogravure Illustrations, js. 6d. 

These extracts from the diary of a country gentleman form a 
delightful record of the various occupations and amusements which 
fill the time of the good old-fashioned type of Englishman who is 
content to find his work and his pleasures within easy reach of home. 
The author is a true sportsman, as well as a man of enlightened 
views, and his graphic and humorous descriptions, adorned with 
many anecdotes, of his occupations indoors and out of doors 
throughout the year, will appeal to all who are fond of nature and 
the tranquil charms of country life. 



6 Mr. Edward Arnold's List of New Books 

ECONOMIC METHOD AND 
ECONOMIC FALLACIES. 

By WILLIAM WARRAND CARLILE, M.A., 

Author of ' The Evolution of Modern Money,' etc. 

Demy Svo. Clothj los. 6d. net. 

In this work the keynote of the first two parts is the stress laid on 
the essential character of the distinction which exists between the 
methods of investigation that are appropriate in physics and those 
that are applicable in sciences, such as economics, which belong, 
in truth, to the mental sphere. It is, in the author's view, to the 
ignoring of this distinction that the present dominance, in the Uni- 
versities, of the mathematical economics is due. Another outcome 
of the same erroneous line of thought is, he contends, the current 
view as to the insignificance of money in economics. In the third 
part the author brings his general line of reasoning to bear on the 
Fiscal Problem. While he is an uncompromising Free Trader he 
would throw overboard those Free Trade arguments that ignore the 
national point of view in favour of the cosmopolitan. 



POLITICAL CARICATURES, 1904. 

By F. CARRUTHERS GOULD. 

Siiper royal ^to. 6s. net. 

Also an Edition de Luxe of loo large-paper copies, numbered and signed y 

£2 2s. net. 

The cordial welcome with which the volume of cartoons for 1903 
was received by the public will, it is believed, be repeated in the case 
of this further selection of 100 pictures, which is uniform with the 
last. The principal topic handled by the eminent caricaturist of the 
Westminster Gazette during 1904 is, of course, the Fiscal Question, 
but nearly every other subject of pubhc interest is treated by him in 
his inimitable manner. 



Mr. Edward Arnold's List of New Books 7 

THE WHITE MAN IN NIGERIA. 

By GEORGE DOUGLAS HAZZLEDINE. 

Demy Svo. With numerous Illustrations and a Map. los. 6d. net. 

The author of this graphic account of Ufe in Northern Nigeria was 
for some time Private Secretary to Sir Frederick Lugard, the High 
Commissioner, and was thus in a position to learn the truth about 
many important controversial questions. He has endeavoured, how- 
ever, in these pages to avoid controversies and to confine himself to 
representing the country, the people, and the administration as they 
appeared to him when he was still fresh to them. The result is a 
brightly-written book which will not only be useful to those who 
contemplate following in the author's footsteps, but will convince, 
it is believed, all who take an interest in such things that the control 
of the country is Vv^ell worth retaining, even at an apparent financial 
loss for a few years. 

SUNSHINE AND SENTIMENT IN 

PORTUGAL. 

By GILBERT WATSON, 

Author of 'Three Rolling Stones in Japan.' 

Demy Svo. With numerous Illustrations. 12s. 6d. net. 

This book might almost have been entitled ' Three Rolling Stones 
in Portugal,' for, as in the author's previous story, there are three 
principal heroes, who travel through the country (as soon as their 
original enterprise of digging for the bones of mammoths in caves 
attracts them no longer), and a most fascinating heroine. The book 
is full of vivid and humorous descriptions of the party's open-air life 
in Portugal, and the reader will envy Mr. Watson's good fortune in 
meeting, wherever he goes, such charming creatures as Columba. 



COMMONSENSE COOKERY. 

JBaseD on /iftoDern j£ngli6b an& Continental iprinclples worfteD out 

in 2)etaiL 

By COLONEL KENNEY-HERBERT. 

Large Crown Svo. New and Revised Edition, 7s. 6d. 



8 Mr. Edward Arnold's List of New Books 

OUTLINES OF THE SYNOPTIC 

RECORD. 

By the Rev. BERNARD HUGH BOSANQUET, 

Vicar of Thames Ditton ; 

And R. A. WENHAM. 

Crown 8vo. 6s, 

The authors have aimed at producing a concise historical commen- 
tary on the Synoptic Gospels, based on the ascertained results of 
modern criticism. An introductory chapter deals with the Synoptic 
Problem, and on the facts set forth therein are based the plan and 
arrangement of the book. The narrative follows mainly the Gospel 
of St. Mark, and the substance of the teaching of Jesus is introduced 
at suitable points. To attain conciseness, the discussion of doctrinal 
and Christological questions has been avoided, and the narrative of 
the fourth Gospel has been introduced only so far as is necessary in 
order to elucidate or supplement the Synoptic outline. 



ENGLISH ESTATE FORESTRY. 

By A. C. FORBES. 

Demy 8vo. With Illustrations. Probable price, 12s. 6d. net. 

Forestry is a subject the importance of which is by no means 
adequately recognised in this country. It is, indeed, seldom that 
one finds an owner of woodlands who has a competent knowledge of 
the scientific theory and practical possibilities of timber-planting. 
Mr. Forbes's book will be found a most valuable corrective of the 
prevailing happy-go-lucky methods. Dealing first with the rise of 
economic forestry in England, he traces the evolution of the modern 
plantation, and considers the present condition and possible develop- 
ments of estate sylviculture. Then, after discussing the various 
kinds of trees and how to grow them, he devotes a number of most 
interesting chapters to the principles of forestry and the details of 
woodland work. 



POULTRY-KEEPING 

AS AN INDUSTRY FOR FARMERS AND COTTAGERS. 
By EDWARD BROWN, F.L.S., 

Secretary of the National Poultry Organization Society. 

Crown ^to. With copious Illustrations. New Edition. Revised 
throughout and much enlarged. 6s, net. 



Mr, Edward Arnold's List of New Books g 

THE WALLET SERIES OF HANDBOOKS. 

Mr. Edward Arnold has pleasure in announcing the pubUcation 
of a series of handbooks, ranging over a wide field, which are 
intended to be practical guides to beginners in the subjects with 
which they deal. The first five volumes, of which descriptions are 
given below, may be regarded as typical of the scope and treatment of 
the whole series, which is published at is. net per volume, paper, 
and 2s. net cloth. 

ON COLLECTING ENGRAVINGS, POTTERY, 
PORCELAIN, GLASS, AND SILVER. 

By ROBERT ELWARD. 

Each subject is first treated historically, and then many valuable hints are 
given with the object of putting the collector on his guard against forgeries and 
worthless specimens generally. 

DRESS OUTFITS FOR ABROAD. 

By ARDERN HOLT, 

Author of 'Fancy Dresses Described,' 'Gentlemen's Fancy Dress and How ro 

Choose It,' etc. 

After preliminary general advice on the outfits required by ladies and gentle- 
men for prolonged tours and voyages, the author, who is a well-known writer on 
this important subject, describes the actual dress requirements of both sexes at a 
very large number of places in all parts of the world, having regard to the 
climatic and social conditions prevailing at each. 

ELECTRIC LIGHTING FOR THE 
INEXPERIENCED. 

By HUBERT WALTER. 

In this volume the art of lighting a house of moderate size with electricity is 
discussed for the benefit of the person who is anxious to do the thing well and 
cheaply, but who has no practical knowledge of the many little details which 
have to be considered in order to get a good result. All technical matters are 
explained in the simplest possible manner. 

HOCKEY AS A GAME FOR WOMEN. 

By EDITH THOMPSON. 

The ever-increasing popularity of Hockey among the fair sex renders necessary 
an authoritative treatise on the game from the feminine point of view. The 
author is an acknowledged mistress of her subject, and deals exhaustively with 
the whole theory and practice of the game. 

V^ATER-COLOUR PAINTING. 

By MARY L. BREAKELL ('Penumbra'), 

An enormous amount of experienced advice on the practice of a most fascinating 
art is compressed into this small volume, which will be found invaluable, not 
only by beginners, but also by more advanced students. 



10 



Mr. Edward Arnold's List of New Books 



MY SPORTING HOLIDAYS. 

By Sir HENRY SETON-KARR, C.M.G., M.P. 

Demy Svo. With mimeroiis Ilkistrations. 12s. 6d. net. 

Sir Henry Seton-Karr has all his life been accustomed to devote 
his spare time to sport in all its forms, and, fortunately for those 
who love to read a well-told fishing or shooting story, has kept a 
record of many of his most interesting adventures in Norway, Scot- 
land, and the Far West. He differs from many sporting writers in 
mentioning the * misses ' with no less frankness than the ' hits,' and 
his bright and amusing pages give a vivid picture of the vicissitudes 
of the sportsman's ' luck.' There is a valuable chapter on sporting 
rifles and their use. 

GHOST STORIES OF AN ANTIQUARY. 

By MONTAGUE RHODES JAMES, Litt.D., 

Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum ; Fellow and Late Tutor of King's College, 

Cambridge. 

Cvozvn %vo. With Illustrations. 6s. 

Those who know the extensive and miscellaneous character of 
Dr. James's researches in various fields of learning will not be sur- 
prised to find him appearing as the author of a volume of ' Ghost 
Stories.' Originally written for domestic entertainment only, they 
certainly succeed in producing that dreadful feeling of growing 
horror which belongs to the best kind of ghost stories, told in the 
right way. 

ENGLAND IN EGYPT. 

By VISCOUNT MILNER, 

High Commissioner for South Africa. 

Eleventh Edition. With additions summarizing the course of events to the 

year 1904. Croizm Svo. 6s. 

The great and far-reaching change in England's position in Egypt 
effected by the signature of the Anglo-French agreement has rendered 
necessary a further addition to Lord Milner's work, tracing the 
course of events from 1898, when the book was brought up to date 
by a chapter by Sir Clinton Dawkins, to the present time. This 
important task has been carried out by Sir Eldon Gorst, K.C.B., late 
Financial Adviser to the Egyptian Government, who describes in a 
masterly chapter the recent results of British rule in Egypt and the 
Soudan, and the hopeful possibilities of the future. 



Mr. Edward Arnold's List of New Books ll 

NEW FICTION. 

Crown Svo. 6s. each. 



THE CELESTIAL SURGEON. 

By F. F. MONTRESOR, 

Author of ' Wokth While,' etc. 

PETER'S PEDIGREE. 

By DOROTHEA CONYERS, 

Author of * The Boy, Some Horses, and a Girl.' 

With Ilhtstvations by Nova K. Shelley. 

THE SHADOW ON THE WALL. 

By MARY E. COLERIDGE, 

Author of 'The King with Two Faces,' 'The Fiery Dawn,' etc. 

SCENES OF JEWISH LIFE. 

By Mrs. ALFRED SIDGWICK, 

Author of 'Cynthia's Way,' 'The Thousand Eugenias, and other Stories,' 'The 

Beryl Stones," etc. 

THE RAMBLING RECTOR. 

By ELEANOR ALEXANDER, 

Author of ' Lady Anne's Walk.' 

THE REAPER. 

By EDITH RICKERT. 

CHECKMATE. 

By ETTA COURTNEY. 



12 My. Edward Arnold's List of New Books 

THE EVOLUTION THEORY. 

By AUGUST WEISMANN, 

Professor of Zoology ix the Uxiversity of Freiburg. 

Translated by J. ARTHUR THOMSON, 

Professor of Natural History in the Uniyersity of Aberdeen. 

Two volumes, Royal Svo. With many Illustrations. 32s. net. 

The importance of this work is twofold. In the first place, it 
sums up the teaching of one of Darwin's greatest successors, who has 
been for many years a leader in biological progress. As Professor 
Weismann has from time to time during the last quarter of a century 
frankly altered some of his positions, this deliberate summing up of 
his mature conclusions is very valuable. In the second place, as 
the volumes discuss all the chief problems of organic evolution, they 
form a trustworthy guide to the whole subject, and may be regarded 
as furnishing — what is much needed — a Text-book of Evolution 
Theory. The book takes the form of lectures, which are so 
graduated that no one who follows their course can fail to under- 
stand the most abstruse chapters. The translation has been revised 
by the author. 

HOUSE, GARDEN, AND FIELD. 

B Collection ot Sbort IRature StuMes. 
By L. C. MIALL, F.R.S., 

Professor of Biology in the University of Leeds, and Fullerian Professor of 

Physiology in the Royal Institution. 

Crown 8w. With numerous Illustrations. 6s. 

This book is intended as a guide to the observation of live plants 
and animals, and deals with the structure and habits of a number of 
the commonest forms of life. The book is illustrated by many 
figures, drawn by Mr. A. R. Hammond, in most cases direct from 
nature. 

LECTURES ON DISEASES OF 

CHILDREN. 

By ROBERT HUTCHISON, M.D. Edin., F.R.C.P., 

Assistant Physician to the London Hospital and to the Hospital for Sick Children, 

Great Ormond Street ; 
Author of ' Food and the Principles of Dietetics.' 

Crown Svo. 8s. 6d. net. 



Mr. Edward Arnold's List of New Books 13 

THE BECQUEREL RAYS AND THE 
PROPERTIES OF RADIO-ACTIVE 

SUBSTANCES. 

By the HON. R. J. STRUTT, 

Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, 

Demy Svo. With Diagrams. 8s. 6d. net. 

The extraordinary properties of radium have excited so much 
interest, not only in the scientific world, but also among the public 
at large, that a clear and accurate account of radio-activity will, it is 
believed, be generally welcomed. The amount of elementary 
scientific knowledge assumed to be possessed by the reader has been 
confined to the smallest limits, and in the case of those parts of the 
subject which cannot be satisfactorily treated without the use of 
mathematical symbols the premises and results of the calculations 
are given verbally in the text and the calculation itself in an 
Appendix. 



ASTRONOMICAL DISCOVERY. 

By HERBERT HALL TURNER, D.Sc, F.R.S., 

Savilian Professor of Astronomy in the University of Oxford. 

Demy Svo. With Diagrams, los. 6d. net. 

In these lectures, written for delivery before the University of 
Chicago, Professor Turner traces the history of modern Astro- 
nomical Discovery, first showing by what an immense amount of 
labour and patience most discoveries have been made, and then 
describing in detail many of the more important ones. Among his 
topics are Uranus, Eros, and Neptune, Bradley's discoveries of the 
aberration of light and the nutation of the earth's axis, the photo- 
graphic measurement of the heavens, Schwabe's work on the sun- 
spot period, and Mr. Chandler's discoveries in connection with the 
Variation of Latitude. In spite of the technical nature of the 
subject, Professor Turner writes with so much clearness that the 
general reader will find the book no less interesting than will the 
astronomer. 



14 Mr. Edward Arnold's List of New Books 

AN INTRODUCTION TO 

THE THEORY OF OPTICS. 

By ARTHUR SCHUSTER, Ph.D., Sc.D., F.R.S., 

Professor of Physics at the University of Manchester. 

Demy Svo. With numerous Diagravis. 15s. net. 

This volume is intended to serve as an introduction to the study 
of the higher branches of the Theory of Light. In the first part of 
the book those portions of the subject are treated which are inde- 
pendent of any particular form of the undulatory theory. The author 
has endeavoured, by means of elementary mathematical reasoning, 
to give an accurate account of the study of vibrations, and has laid 
special stress on the theory of optical instruments. In the second 
part mathematical analysis is more freely used. The study of 
luminous vibrations is introduced through the treatment of waves 
propagated in elastic media, and only after the student has become 
familiar with the older forms of the elastic solid theory are the 
equations of the electro-magnetic theory adopted. The advantage 
of these equations, more especially in the treatment of double 
refraction, is explained, and the theory of ionic charges is adopted in 
the discussion of dispersion and metallic reflexion. 



THE ELECTRIC FURNACE. 

By HENRI MOISSAN, 

Professor of Chemistry at the Sorbonxe ; Membre de l'Institut. 

Authorized English Edition. 
Translated by A. T. de Mouilpied, M.Sc, Ph.D., 

Assistant Lecturer in the Liverpool University. 

Demy ^vo. With itumerous Ilhistrations. los. 6d. net. 

This work embodies the original French Edition, together with 
the new matter incorporated in the German Edition. Moreover, 
Professor Moissan has written, specially for this edition, a chapter 
dealing with the most recent work. The book, while dealing largely 
with Professor Moissan's own researches, gives a general survey of 
the experimental work accomplished by means of the electric furnace 
up to the present time. The bearings of this work on technical pro- 
cesses are frequently discussed. 



My, Edward Arnold's List of New Books 15 

THE CHEMICAL SYNTHESIS OF 
VITAL PRODUCTS 

AND THE INTER-RELATIONS BETWEEN ORGANIC 

COMPOUNDS. 

By PROFESSOR RAPHAEL MELDOLA, F.R.S., 

OF THE City and Guilds of London Technical College, Finsbury. 

Super Royal Svo. 21s. net. 

The great achievements of modern Organic Chemistry in the 
domain of the synthesis or artificial production of compounds which 
are known to be formed as the result of the vital activities of plants 
and animals have not of late years been systematically recorded. 

The object of the present book, upon which the author has been 
engaged for some years, is to set forth a statement as complete as 
possible of the present state of knowledge in this most interesting 
and important branch of science. The book will consist of two 
volumes, of which the first will be ready very shortly. The treat- 
ment is calculated to make the volume a work of reference which 
will be found indispensable for teachers, students, and investigators, 
whether in the fields of pure Chemistry, of Chemical Physiology, or 
of Chemical Technology. 



HUMAN EMBRYOLOGY AND 
MORPHOLOGY. 

By ARTHUR KEITH, M.D. Aberd., F.R.C.S. Eng., 

Lecturer on Anatomy, London Hospital Medical College. 

A New Edition. Greatly enlarged. Demy Svo. 

[In Preparation. 

The greater part of the work has been rewritten, many of the old 
illustrations have been replaced, and a large number of new figures 
introduced. The alterations have been rendered necessary owing to 
the advances which have been made in our knowledge of the early 
phases of development of the human embryo, of the implantation 
of the ovum and formation of the placenta, and of the development 
of the heart, lungs and nervous system. 



i6 Mr. Edward Arnold's List of New Books 

RECENTLY PUBLISHED. 

THE ANTIPODEANS. By Mayne Lindsay. Crown 

8vo., 6s. 
LOVE'S PROXY. By Richard Bagot. Crown 8vo., 6s. 

THE VULGAR TRUTH. By L. Lockhart Lang. 

Crown 8vo., 6s. 

MISS CAROLINE. By Theo Douglas. Crown 8vo., 6s. 
MAUREEN. By Edward McNulty. Crown 8vo., 6s. 

AULD ACQUAINTANCE. By Richard Harris, 

K.C. Crown 8vo., 6s. 

THE BINDING OF THE NILE AND THE NEW 

SOUDAN. By the Hon. Sidney Peel, Demy Svo., 12s. 6d. net. 

THREE YEARS IN THE KLONDIKE. By Jere- 

MIAH Lynch. Demy 8vo., 12s. 6d. net. 

THROUGH THE LANDS OF THE SERB. By 

Mary E. Durham. Demy 8vo., 14s. net. 

THE BACK BLOCKS OF CHINA. By R. Logan 

Jack, LL.D., F.G.S. Demy 8vo., los. 6d. net. 

SPORT AND TRAVEL IN THE NORTHLAND 

OF CANADA. By David T. Hanbury. Demy Svo., i6s. net. 

SIAM IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. By 

J. G. D. Campbell. Second Impression. Demy Svo., i6s. 

THE STOCK EXCHANGE. By Godefroi D. Ingall 

and George Withers. Crown Svo., 5s. net. 

BRITISH RAILWAYS: THEIR ORGANIZATION 

AND MANAGEMENT. By Hugh Munro Ross. Crown Svo., 
5s. net. 

A JUNIOR HISTORY OF ENGLAND. From the 

Earliest Times to the Death of Queen Victoria. By Charles Oman 
and Mary Oman. Crown 8vo., 2s. 



LONDON : EDWARD ARNOLD, 41 and 43 MADDOX STREET, W. 



THIS BOOK IS DUE ON THE LAST DATE 
STAMPED BELOW 

AN INITIAL FINe'op 25 CENTS 

WILL BE ASSESSED FOR FAILURE To o^ 
TH.S BOOK ON THE DATE DUE THE PE^AL^ 



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