Wind in the Olive Trees: Spain from the Inside

Wind in the Olive Trees: Spain from the Inside

Wind in the Olive Trees: Spain from the Inside

Wind in the Olive Trees: Spain from the Inside

Excerpt

It was nine forty a.m. by my watch when the Moors, their long, white, royal-blue and red burnooses billowing behind them like medieval banners, the spikes of their turbaned steel helmets and the spears of their lances glinting in the desert-red glare of the midsummer sun, wheeled their galloping mounts onto Madrid's broad, tree-lined Castellana boulevard, and swept into view.

There was a burst of applause. It came, not from the crowds of shabbily dressed spectators all around me, but from beyond the curb, near the main reviewing stand that towered some fifty feet above the street, where a group of excited youngsters, some in their late 'teens, others little more than children, stood at attention. They were dressed in the purple-blue uniforms of the Youth Front and the Juvenile Falanges, the boys in shorts and open-neck shirts, the girls in knee-length skirts and middy blouses.

As their arms shot out smartly in the Falange salute, other arms belonging to men, women and even little children began pushing out hesitantly on all sides of me in salute toward the oncoming Moors. Deep in the horsemen's midst, a large black limousine, shiny as a hearse, could now be seen moving swiftly toward the reviewing stands.

A shout went up from the groups of young Falangists. In high, strained voices they began to chant something that sounded like a ritualistic refrain.

I edged my way closer to the Calle Lista to be nearer the reviewing stands where I might get a better view of the . . .

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