That day was black and horrible. Abul, the Arab King of Toledo, the unfortunate son of Almamún, who saw the spirit of the curse clinging to his kingdom, had thrown in the Zoco the fateful words before his humble subjects who listened to him in horror.
Treason! Treason! It was the word that ran from mouth to mouth, filling the town with terror. Behind the walled enclosure that enclosed the beloved city, was sheltered an evil one who betrayed his Homeland; moreover, that evil one could not be less than a notable of the Court who lived next to the King. There, beside the throne, where everything was magnanimous and noble hearts; there where the designs of the fatherland and the King’s unbreakable secrets were deciphered, a traitor was sheltered. And that traitor witnessed the battle plans, listened to the defence orders and as an invisible spirit flew to the enemy field to communicate it to the Christian King, to the tenacious Alfonso VI, who followed the city’s siege yearning for a triumph for its history, one more diamond for its crown and a new temple of his venerated faith.
And so when the night closed, the King sat in a large and luxurious chamber of the Alcazar, and surrounded by his Court that terrified listened to his words:
The traitor exists! -exclaimed the King. Three days ago the Christian surprised us. As soon as the Sun moves, the Christians arrive at the foot of the walls, and always precisely where hours before I ordered the weakest vigilance. They imprison our spies and more than once they have discovered the secret entrances of the walls. That traitor lives next to me.
Perhaps now he is listening to me and perhaps before he has advised me the perdition of my kingdom. Son of evil, come out of your secret, for God and my righteousness commands you!
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And saying this, he lifted up his corvus alfanje into the air, while his body turned and his eyes sparkled with rage.
Azrael, the gentle slave of the sultan, the one with the gentle waist like the palm tree of the oasis, the one with the ardent gaze like the sands of the desert, wept in silence, and that action, daughter of her innocence, led her to the entire perdition.
Yhagur, the King’s confidant, smiled mockingly, lifted his eyes to heaven, and reaching out his powerful arm to Abul’s servant exclaimed: Lord, God’s justice has enlightened me! Behold the guilty one!
A roar of terror echoed through the room. Azrael, by order of the King, was dragged out of the chamber by the other slaves, meaningless, with all the expression of her innocence reflected in her beautiful Moorish face. She was taken to a dungeon of the fortress and there her cruel executioners left her lying waiting for the dawn to be slaughtered before the people to make a mockery of the evil sons of their homeland.
Tomorrow the justice of my hand will shine, said the King, and to his words, which echoed like thunder in the wide vault, followed a sepulchral silence. Abul noticed that his confidant had disappeared from his side, but seized with his grief, nothing thought. The night breezes and the murmurs of the Tagus penetrated through the half-open viewpoints. There, in the distance, standing out over the black tints of the twilight of the starry night, an immense reddish stain spread. It was the fertile plain burned by the Christian army. And in the meantime, Yhagur, the Arab giant, confidant of the King, climbed the walls and threw into the field a piece of parchment that was picked up by a Christian soldier who spent the night awaiting the missive of the traitor.
It was a happy day for Toledo. The news that the supposed traitor, incarnated in the servant of the King, was going to be executed, spread through the city very quickly.
People gathered at Zoco Dover, next to a board covered with cloths, where a pole was raised.
When the animation was bigger, a cart appeared on the Cuesta del Alcázar that could barely make its way through the wave of white bathrobes and black capuces. In it, her weak flesh and innocent hands were tightly bound, and Azrael, the beautiful slave of Abul, was on her way to the scaffold. The procession arrived at the foot of the stage, the executioner made the innocent rise, and when the shouting of the wild wave was more deafening, the head of the servant rolled over the stage, staining the ground with her carmine blood and tearing out a roar of terror from the confidant of the King who saw the picture from the towers of the Alcazar.
And that same night, when the wind roaring a melody of death and the rain hissing kissed the city, the executioners hung on the battlements of the Alcazar the head of that slave of the King, of the beautiful Azrael, the one with a gentle waist like the palm tree of the oasis, the one with a glowing gaze like the sands of the desert.
And while a man, from the top of the rocks, boasted to the Tagus, who received his body with a dull rumor to sink him forever in his greenish bosom.
Many years have passed since this event, even more so the legend tells us that there is no night that is not perceived in the Tagus a shadow that, shouting traitor!, is thrown into space to sink into the dark current of the river, that roaring with pride, licks the foundations of the city of the Arabs.
LEOPOLDO AGUILAR DE MERA.
Published in the Weekly Magazine of Art “Toledo”, year I. December 12, 1915. No. 20