• 토토사이트 —wheat, beans and corn. Part of it is now given over to the new sugar beet industry; the beets grown here are enormous. The soil is light and clean; you will not find a stone in a whole field. The regulation of the complicated system of irrigation, the life blood of Granada, is in the hands of Encarnacion and Maria. To live in a tower, of all others in a tower of the Alhambra, and spend your life helping to make Granada green and beautiful, seems a pleasant existence, even if it be a lonely one. To wake when others sleep, and sleep when all the world’s awake, always seems a hard fate.

“Your birds must be a great company to you,” I said to Maria.

“Claro. We raise them ourselves. Would you like to see the little ones? We keep them in our bedroom where it is warmer.”

“Do me the favor,” Encarnacion relighted the lamp, and showed the way up the heavy stone stairway.

The neat upper room where the sisters slept had three beds. In spite of the thick whitewash on the walls, we could still make out the graceful lines of the old Moorish arches and windows. A palm{200} branch, a crucifix, and a chromo of the Madonna of Lourdes appearing to Bernadette, hung between the beds. At one end of the room was a long table with the breeding cages of the canaries, whose loves and nurseries the sisters of the tower guard so tenderly.

“See this little one;” Maria put her face close to the cage and made a little singing sound. “He’s getting strong now; he was weakly at first, and I thought we should lose him. It would be a pity; his father is our best singer.” The canaries, all in a flutter at being waked up, chattered and scolded at her.

“Maria will take them up to see the view,” said Encarnacion; “if they will excuse me, I will go down in case some one else should call.” I am afraid Encarnacion knew we liked Maria best.

Down in the town of Granada the bells were ringing like mad, the nightingales were singing in the Duke of Wellington’s elms, that shade the long, steep road leading from the town to the red city of the Alhambra, perched high above it. At the foot of the tower was a carpet of wild flowers, anemones, wild callas, and many other blossoms I did not know.

“Is the snow always there?” J. asked, pointing to the Sierra Nevada.

“I was born in the tower,” said Maria;{201} “I have lived here all my life, and I have never seen those mountains without snow. That is the campana de la Vela,” she pointed to a huge bronze bell hanging in the turret. “You should see the tower on the day after New Year. How many girls come up to see the view that day! They believe, foolish ones, that she who rings the bell on the second of January will get a husband before the year is over.” Maria smiled, with grim close-shut lips. Had she ever been weak enough to try the charm? For Encarnacion it was unthinkable.