The church itself we found very clean, and of an interest quite beyond the promise of the rather bare outside. A painted window above the door cast a glare of fresh red and blue over the interior, and over the comfortably matted floor; and there was a quite freshly carved and gilded chapel which the pleasant youth supplementing our policeman for the time said was done by artists still living in Tarifa. The edifice was of a very flamboyant Gothic, with clusters of slender columns and a vault brilliantly swirled over with decorations of the effect of peacock feathers. But above all there was on a small side altar a figure of the Child Jesus dressed in the corduroy suit and felt hat of a Spanish shepherd, with a silver crook in one hand and leading a toy lamb by a string in the other. Our young guide took the image down for us to look at, and showed its shepherd's dress with peculiar satisfaction; and then he left it on the ground while he went to show us something else. When we came back we found two small boys playing with the Child, putting its hat off and on, and feeling of its clothes. Our guide took it from them, not unkindly, and put it back on the altar; and whether the reader will agree with me or not, I must own that I did not find the incident irreverent or without a certain touchingness, as if those children and He were all of one family and they were at home with Him there.

Rather suddenly, after we left the church, by way of one of those unexpectedly expanding lanes, we found ourselves on the shore of the purple sea where the Moors first triumphed over the Goths twelve hundred years before, and five centuries later the Spaniards heat them back from their attempt to reconquer the city. There were barracks, empty of the Spanish soldiers gone to fight the same old battle of the Moors on their own ground in Africa, and there was the castle which Alfonso Perez de Guzman held against them in 1292, and made the scene of one of those acts of self-devotion which the heart of this time has scarcely strength for. The Moors when they had vainly summoned him to yield brought out his son whom they held captive, and threatened to kill him. Guzman drew his knife and flung it down to them, and they slew the boy, but Tarif a was saved. His king decreed that thereafter the father should be known as Guzman the Good, and the fact has gone into a ballad, but the name somehow does not seem quite to fit, and one wishes that the father had not won it that way.

We were glad to go away from the dreadful place, though Tangier was so plain across the strait, and we were almost in Africa there, and hard by, in the waters tossing free, the great battle of Trafalgar was fought. From the fountains of my far youth, when I first heard of Guzman's dreadful heroism, I endeavored to pump up an adequate emotion; I succeeded somewhat better with Nelson and his pathetic prayer of "Kiss me, Hardy," as he lay dying on his bloody deck; but I did not much triumph with either, and I was grateful when our good little policeman comfortably questioned the deed of Guzman which he said some doubted, though he took us to the very spot where the Moors had parleyed with Guzman, and showed us the tablet over the castle gate affirming the fact.

We liked far better the pretty Alameda rising in terraces from it with beds of flowers beside the promenade, and boys playing up and down, and old men sitting in the sun, and trying to ignore the wind that blew over them too freshly for us. Our policeman confessed that there was nothing more worth seeing in Tarifa, and we entreated of him the favor of showing us a shop where we could buy a Cordovese hat; a hat which we had seen nourishing on the heads of all men in Cordova and Seville and Granada and Ronda, and had always forborne to buy because we could get it anywhere; and now we were almost leaving Spain without it. We wanted one brown in color, as well as stiff and flat of brim, and slightly conical in form; and our policeman promptly imagined it, and took us to a shop abounding solely in hats, and especially in Cordoveses. The proprietor came out wiping his mouth from an inner room, where he had left his family visibly at their almuerzo; and then we were desolated together that he should only have Cordoveses that were black. But passing a patio where there was a poinsettia in brilliant bloom against the wall, we found ourselves in a variety store where there were Cordoveses of all colors; and we chose one of the right brown, with the picture of a beautiful Spanish girl, wearing a pink shawl, inside the crown which was fluted round in green and red ribbon. Seven pesetas was the monstrous asking price, but we beat it down to five and a half, and then came a trying moment: we could not carry a Cordovese in tissue-paper through the streets of Tarifa, but could we ask our guide, who was also our armed escort, to carry it? He simplified the situation by taking it himself and bearing it back to the fonda as proudly as if he had not also worn a sword at his side; and we parted there in a kindness which I should like to think he shared equally with us.

He was practically the last of those Spaniards who were always winning my heart (save in the bank at Valladolid where they must have misunderstood me), and whom I remember with tenderness for their courtesy and amiability. In little things and large, I found the Spaniards everywhere what I heard a Piedmontese commercial traveler say of them in Venice fifty years ago: "They are the honestest people in Europe." In Italy I never began to see the cruelty to animals which English tourists report, and in Spain I saw none at all. If the reader asks how with this gentleness, this civility and integrity, the Spaniards have contrived to build up their repute for cruelty, treachery, mendacity, and every atrocity; how with their love of bull-feasts and the suffering to man and brute which these involve, they should yet seem so kind to both, I answer frankly, I do not know. I do not know how the Americans are reputed good and just and law-abiding, although they often shoot one another, and upon mere suspicion rather often burn negroes alive.