At last the massed brightness out in the plain quivered and parted. The pageantry broke, wide curving and returning with some freedom but with order too, into Santa Fe. I saw the Queen and the King with their children, and the Grand Cardinal, and prelates and prelates, and the Marquis of Cadiz, and many a grandee and famous knight. Don Enrique de Cerda and his troop came by.
Diego Lopez and I returned to the town. I saw again the man who would find India by a way unpassed, as far as one knew, since the world began! He was entering a house with a friar beside him. Something came into my mind of the convent of La Rabida.
Some days went by. The King and the Queen with the court and a great train of prelates and grandees and knights rode in state through Granada. Don Enrique, returning, told me of it in his room at night, of the Christian service in the mosque and the throning in the Alhambra.
“Now,” he said, “after great affairs, our affairs! I have had speech with the Marchioness of Moya.”
“That is the Queen’s friend?”
“Yes. Dona Beatrix de Boabdilla. We stood together by a fountain, and when she said, `What can I do for you?’ I answered, `There is something.’ Then while all went in pageantry before us, I told her of the hermitage in the oak wood and of the unhappy small tower, and of you and me and those others, and what was done that day. Don Jayme, I told it like a minstrel who believes what he sings! And then I spoke of to-day. She is no puny soul, nor is she in priest’s grip. She acts from her own vision, not from that of another. The Queen is no weak soul either! She also has vision, but too often she lets the churchmen take her vision from her. But Dona Beatrix is stronger there. Well, she promises help if we can show her how to help.”
I said, “I have been thinking. It seems to me that it was wrong to come here and put my weight upon you.”
“No!” he answered. “Did we not swear then, when we were young men? And we needed no oaths neither. Let such thoughts be.—I am going to the palace to-morrow, and you with me. The King and the Queen ride with a great train into Granada. But Dona Beatrix will excuse herself from going. The palace will be almost empty, and we shall find her in the little gallery above the Queen’s garden.”
The next morning we went there, Don Enrique de Cerda and his squire, Juan Lepe. The palace rose great and goodly enough, with the church at hand. All had been built as by magic, silken pavilions flying away and stout houses settling themselves down. Sunk among the walls had been managed a small garden for the Queen and her ladies. A narrow, latticed and roofed gallery built without the Queen’s rooms looked down upon orange and myrtle trees and a fountain. Here we found the Marchioness de Moya, with her two waiting damsels whom she set by the gallery door. Don Enrique kissed her hand and then motioned to me. Don Jayme de Marchena made his reverence.