*Illescas, Hist. Pontif., lib. 6, c. 20, \0xA4 1.
Several of the captives were brave cavaliers who had been wounded and made prisoners in the defeat of the count de Cabra by El Zagal in the preceding year. There were also found other melancholy traces of that disastrous affair. On visiting the narrow pass where the defeat had taken place, the remains of several Christian warriors were found in thickets or hidden behind rocks or in the clefts of the mountains. These were some who had been struck from their horses and wounded too severely to fly. They had crawled away from the scene of action, and concealed themselves to avoid falling into the hands of the enemy, and had thus perished miserably and alone. The remains of those of note were known by their armor and devices, and were mourned over by their companions who had shared the disaster of that day.
The queen had these remains piously collected as the relics of so many martyrs who had fallen in the cause of the faith. They were interred with great solemnity in the mosques of Moclin, which had been purified and consecrated to Christian worship. "There," says Antonio Agapida, "rest the bones of those truly Catholic knights, in the holy ground which in a manner had been sanctified by their blood; and all pilgrims passing through those mountains offer up prayers and masses for the repose of their souls."
The queen remained for some time at Moclin, administering comfort to the wounded and the prisoners, bringing the newly-acquired territory into order, and founding churches and monasteries and other pious institutions. "While the king marched in front, laying waste the land of the Philistines," says the figurative Antonio Agapida, "Queen Isabella followed his traces as the binder follows the reaper, gathering and garnering the rich harvest that has fallen beneath his sickle. In this she was greatly assisted by the counsels of that cloud of bishops, friars, and other saintly men which continually surrounded her, garnering the first fruits of this infidel land into the granaries of the Church." Leaving her thus piously employed, the king pursued his career of conquest, determined to lay waste the Vega and carry fire and sword to the very gates of Granada.
HOW KING FERDINAND FORAGED THE VEGA; AND OF THE BATTLE OF THE BRIDGE OF PINOS, AND THE FATE OF THE TWO MOORISH BROTHERS.
Muley Abdallah el Zagal had been under a spell of ill-fortune ever since the suspicious death of the old king his brother. Success had deserted his standard, and with his fickle subjects want of success was one of the greatest crimes in a sovereign. He found his popularity declining, and he lost all confidence in his people. The Christian army marched in open defiance through his territories, and sat down deliberately before his fortresses; yet he dared not lead forth his legions to oppose them, lest the inhabitants of the Albaycin, ever ripe for a revolt, should rise and shut the gates of Granada against his return.
Every few days some melancholy train entered the metropolis, the inhabitants of some captured town bearing the few effects spared them, and weeping and bewailing the desolation of their homes. When the tidings arrived that Illora and Moclin had fallen, the people were seized with consternation. "The right eye of Granada is extinguished," exclaimed they; "the shield of Granada is broken: what shall protect us from the inroad of the foe?" When the survivors of the garrisons of those towns arrived, with downcast looks, bearing the marks of battle and destitute of arms and standards, the populace reviled them in their wrath, but they answered, "We fought as long as we had force to fight or walls to shelter us; but the Christians laid our town and battlements in ruins, and we looked in vain for aid from Granada."
The alcaydes of Illora and Moclin were brothers; they were alike in prowess and the bravest among the Moorish cavaliers. They had been the most distinguished in those tilts and tourneys which graced the happier days of Granada, and had distinguished themselves in the sterner conflicts of the field. Acclamation had always followed their banners, and they had long been the delight of the people. Yet now, when they returned after the capture of their fortresses, they were followed by the unsteady populace with execrations. The hearts of the alcaydes swelled with indignation; they found the ingratitude of their countrymen still more intolerable than the hostility of the Christians.