I turn to my left and pass through the gate of the Bloody Tower. It's this tower that confined the countless many during the War of the Roses. It's this tower that mowed men down like grass, crushed men like game fowl, and piled corpses like stacks of dried salmon. The name Bloody Tower is duly earned. Below the arch is a structure like a police box, and beside it stands a soldier with helmet-shaped hat and rifle at the ready. His expression is all business, but his physiognomy suggests that he can't wait to finish his duty, tip one back at the pub, and banter merrily with some certain someone. The tower walls are a thick construction of irregular stones, and their surface is anything but smooth. They're covered in places with ivy. High up are windows. Perhaps because of the size of the building, from down below here they're terribly small. They look to be covered with iron bars. The sentry stands like a stone statue, while in his mind he romps with his lady. I tarry by his side and gaze up at the high windows, shading my eyes with my hand. Faint sunlight shines through the bars and reflects back off the ancient stained glass. Finally, like smoke rising, the curtain lifts and the stage of the fanciful sweeps into view.
A thick bunting hangs in the window, and even at midday the room is dim. The wall opposite the window is unplastered, bare stone, built to stand till the end of days, isolating this one room from the next. Set in its midst is a single faded tapestry of twelve square yards. The fabric is grayish-blue, and the image of a nude goddess, in weave of light yellow, adorns it. The field surrounding the goddess is dyed in an arabesque pattern. Set against the stone wall is a large bed. Its thick oak is engraved deeply, clear to its core, with grapes and grape vines and grape leaves. Light reflects at the joints, but the carving is otherwise dark. Two children appear on the edge of the bed. One is thirteen or fourteen, the other about ten. The younger one is seated on the bed, leaning slightly against its post, with legs dangling listlessly. His right elbow and inclined head are set against the elder one's shoulder. The elder one has opened a large gilded book over the younger one's lap and his right hand rests on the open page. His hand is fair, like ivory rubbed to a soft finish. Both wear black tunics dark as crows' feathers, highlighting all the more the extreme whiteness of their skin. The color of their hair, the color of their eyes, the shapes of their brows and the builds of their noses, everything in the details of their dress, are nearly identical. No doubt because they are brothers.