She looked at the torero with commiserating eyes, as if she suddenly saw all his defects and roughness.
The second estocade was scarcely more fortunate than the first, as more than half the blade remained uncovered.
Juan Gallardo breakfasted early as was his custom on the days of a bull-fight. A little roast meat was his only dish. Wine he did not touch, and the bottle remained unopened before him. He had to keep himself steady. He drank two cups of strong black coffee and then, lighting an enormous cigar, sat with his elbows resting on the table and his chin on his hands, watching with drowsy eyes the customers who, little by little, began to fill the dining-room.
Then began the real task of the dressing. Holding[Pg 26] them by the upper part, the servant handed him the fighting knee-breeches made of tobacco-coloured silk, with heavy gold embroidery up the seams. Gallardo slipped them on, and the thick cords, ending in gold tassels, which drew in the lower ends, hung down over his feet. These cords which gather the breeches below the knee, constricting the leg to give it artificial strength, are called "los machos."
The breeder, who was constantly galloping alone over[Pg 162] the plains where his bulls grazed, suspected that he had several times come across Plumitas. He was probably one of those poor-looking horsemen whom he met in the solitary plains without so much as a village on the horizon, who would raise his hand to his greasy sombrero, and say with respectful civility:
All the populace roared with delight at the torero's approach.
These unfortunate animals destined for to-morrow's corrida were almost dragged out of the stables to be examined by the picadors.下载
"Can they take the mare round to the stable to rest a little?" enquired the bandit.下载
"Juanillo, kiss your Godfather's hand," and the younger of the two rubbed a red cheek against the torero's hand, a cheek newly polished by his mother in view of this visit.下载
The saddler acknowledged those promises of grandeur with affirmative nods, standing opposite his bewildered wife, who had not yet got over her surprise at this radical change. "Yes, Encarnacion; this youngster can do everything if he takes the trouble ... he was extraordinary! the real Roger de Flor himself!"下载