Historical Tales, Vol. 7
THE ENCHANTED PALACE.
Near the city of Toledo, the capital of Spain when that country was a kingdom of the Goths, was a great palace of the olden time, or, as some say, a vast cave, which had been deepened and widened and made into many rooms. Still others say that it was a mighty tower, built by Hercules. Whatever it was,--palace, tower, or cavern,--a spell lay upon it from far past days, which none had dared to break. There was an ancient prophecy that Spain would in time be invaded by barbarians from Africa, and to prevent this a wise king, who knew the arts of magic, had placed a secret talisman in one of the rooms. While this remained undisturbed the country was safe from invasion. If once the secret of the talisman should be divulged, swift ruin would descend upon the kingdom of the Goths. It must be guarded strongly and well, for in it lay the destinies of Spain.
A huge iron gate closed the entrance to the enchanted palace, and upon th