WHAT this street was called, in very old times, Señor, no one knows: because the dreadful thing that gave to it the name of the Street of the Jewel happened a long, long while ago. It was before the Independence. It was while the Viceroys were here who were sent by the King of Spain.
In those days there lived in this fine house at the corner of the Calle de Mesones and what since then has been called the Calle de la Joya--it is at the northwest corner, Señor, and a biscuit-bakery is on the lower floor--a very rich Spanish merchant: who was named Don Alonso Fernández de Bobadilla, and who was a tall and handsome man, and gentle-mannered, and at times given to fits of rage. He was married to a very rich and a very beautiful lady, who was named Doña Ysabel de la Garcide y Tovar; and she was the daughter of the Conde de Torreleal. This lady was of an ardent and a wilful nature, but Don Alonso loved her with a sincerity and humored her in all her whims and wants. When they went abroad together--always in a grand coach, with servants like flies around them--the whole City stood still and stared!
Doña Ysabel was not worthy of her husband's love: and so he was told one day, by whom there was no knowing, in a letter that was thrown from the street into the room where he was sitting, on the ground floor. It was his office of affairs, Señor. It is one of the rooms where the biscuits are baked now. In that letter he was bidden to watch with care his wife's doings with the Licenciado Don José Raul de Lara, the Fiscal of the Inquisition--who was a forlorn little man (hombrecillo) not at all deserving of any lady's love--and Don Alonso did watch, and what came of his watching was a very terrible thing.
He pretended, Señor, that he had an important affair with the Viceroy that would keep him at the Palace until far into the night; and so went his way from his home in the early evening--but went no farther than a dozen paces from his own door. There, in the dark street, huddled close into a doorway, his cloak around him--it was a night in winter--he waited in the creeping cold. After a time along came some one--he did not know who, but it was the Licenciado--and as he drew near to the house Doña Ysabel came out upon her balcony, and between them there passed a sign. Then, in a little while, the door of Don Alonso's house was opened softly and the Licenciado went in; and then, softly, the door was shut again.
Presently, Don Alonso also went in, holding in his hand his dagger. What he found--and it made him so angry that he fell into one of his accustomed fits of rage over it--was the Licenciado putting on the wrist of his wife a rich golden bracelet. When they saw him, Señor, their faces at once went white--and their faces remained white always: because Don Alonso, before the blood could come back again, had killed the two of them with his dagger--and they were white in death! Then Don Alonso did what gave to this street the name of the Street of the Jewel. From Doña Ysabel's wrist he wrenched loose the bracelet, and as he left the house he pinned it fast with his bloody dagger to the door.
In that way things were found the next morning by the watch; and the watch, suspecting that something wrong had happened--because to see a bracelet and a bloody dagger in such a place was unusual--called the Alcalde to come and look into the matter; and the Alcalde, coming, found Doña Ysabel and the Licenciado lying very dead upon the floor. So the street was called the Calle de la Joya, and that is its name.
Don Alonso, Señor, was worried by what he had done, and became a Dieguino--it is the strict order of the Franciscans. They go barefoot--and it was in the convent of the Dieguinos, over there at the western end of the Alameda, that he ended his days.