"I believe, Se?o Juan, that we have come into the world too late. What things men of valour and enterprise, like ourselves, might have done in former days! You would not have been killing bulls, neither should I be wandering over the country hunted like a wild beast.[Pg 212] We might have been viceroys, archipampanos, or something great across the seas. Have you never heard of Pizarro, Se?o Juan?"
"I respect you, Se?o Juan," he added. "Ever since I saw you fight for the first time, I said to myself: 'That is a brave fellow.' There are many aficionados who love you, but not as I do!... Just imagine, that to see you I have often disguised myself, and have gone into the towns, exposing myself to the risk of anyone laying hands on me. Isn't that love of sport?"
But Gallardo picked himself up from among the medley of cloaks and men which rushed to his rescue. With a smile he passed his hands over his body, and then shrugged his shoulders to show he was not hurt. Nothing but the force of the blow and a sash in rags. The horn had only torn the strong silk belt.
Do?a Sol passed slowly from these lively measures to something slow and more solemn, which Gallardo with his philharmonic learning recognised as "Church music."
"You are finer than the real Roger de Flor himself!" said he gaily. "Jump into the coach, and I will take you to the Plaza."
As soon as the way was clear the carriage resumed its former speed, travelling as fast as the mules could trot and passing all the other vehicles which were converging on the Plaza. On arriving there it turned to the left, making for the door, named "de Caballerizas," which led to the yards and stables, but compelled to pass slowly through the compact crowd.
There were no exclamations now. He felt himself overcome by a delicious sleepiness; his eyes were closing, and he felt certain that if this concert went on much longer he should be fast asleep.