Two Matadors. "Little Lizard" and "Flask."
The torero spread his muleta before the brute, who attacked, but slowly, as if warned by his previous torture, but with the evident intention of crushing and wounding, the suffering having awakened his fierceness. That man was the first who had stood before him since his torment began.
A young man entered, dressed in a light suit with a red cravat, carrying his Cordovan felt hat in a hand covered with large diamond rings. Gallardo recognised him at once with the facility for remembering faces acquired by those who live constantly rubbing shoulders with the crowd. His anger was instantly transformed to a smiling amiability, as if the visit was a pleasant surprise to him.
"Can I breakfast here?"
Then El Nacional would enumerate the sales of the previous day; so many glasses of wine over the counter,[Pg 112] so many bottles of country wine delivered at houses, and the old woman listened with the attention of one used to poverty and who knows the value of money to the very last farthing.
But his master half laughing, half angry, seized him and pushed him back in his seat.
"Now then, pay attention," he said to his servant, "and do your little best."下载
But when he did return, she received him with open arms, clasping him close in her firm white hands, with her eyes wide open and vague, and a strange light in them which seemed to speak of mental derangement.下载
During the twenty years of their life together, he had not given her more troubles than those endured by the other women in the suburb. Of the three pesetas that, one day with another, he earned by his work, he gave one to the Se?ora Angustias for the maintenance of the house and the family, reserving the other two for the up-keep of his own person, and the expenses of the "representacions." He must respond to the civilities of his friends when they invited him to drink a glass, and the wine of Andalusia, although it is the glory of God, costs dear. Besides he must inevitably go to the bull-fights, for a man who neither drinks nor attends corridas ... why is he in the world at all?...下载
El Nacional took refuge in a contemptuous silence. "It was all ignorance and superstition, all from not knowing how to read and write." And strong in his faith, with the obstinacy of a simple man who only possesses two or three ideas and clutches hold of them in the face of the roughest shocks, he would shortly afterwards renew the discussion regardless of the matador's anger.下载
Gallardo signed to a man, who took the reins and walked away with her.下载
"Do not kill him!" some kind soul shouted from the seats, and as though these words reflected the thoughts of the whole audience, an explosion of voices shook the Plaza, and thousands of handkerchiefs waved like white doves. "Do not kill him!" And at that moment the crowd, seized with a vague tenderness, despised their own amusement, abhorred the torero in his showy dress with his useless heroism, and admired the bravery of the brute, to whom they felt themselves inferior; and recognised that among those thousands of reasoning beings, nobility and affection were alone represented by this poor animal.下载
 Brindis, dedication or pledge.下载
He spoke with pride of the serious gravity of this religious association. Everything was well ordered and strictly disciplined as in a regiment. On the night of Holy Thursday, as the clock of San Lorenzo struck the second stroke of two in the morning, the church doors would be suddenly opened, so that the crowd massed on the dark pavement outside could see the interior of the church, resplendent with lights and the brotherhood drawn up in order.
"I did not wish to stop you. You are not one of those rich men. You are a poor man like myself, only you have better luck, more than enough in your profession; if you have made money you have earned it well. I like you because you are a fine matador, and I have a weakness for brave men. The two of us are like comrades; we both live by exposing our lives. For this reason, although you did not know me, I was there, seeing you pass without even asking a cigarette from you, for fear that some rascal should take advantage by going on the highway and saying he was Plumitas; stranger things have happened...."
To the bruises of the treacherous oxen would be added his mother's blows and beatings with a broomstick: but the hero of the slaughter-house endured everything, as long as he could get his poor pittance, "Beat me, but give me something to eat," and with an appetite sharpened by the violent exercise, he would swallow the hard bread, the weevilled beans, the putrefied salt cod, all the damaged goods that the thrifty woman found in the shops, which enabled her to maintain the family on very little money.
Some of the rapiers shook themselves loose, being scarcely fixed in the flesh, others remained stuck in a bone, but the greater part of the length uncovered, bending with the brute's movements. The bull was following the circuit of the barrier bellowing with his head low, as if complaining of this useless torture. The espada followed him, muleta in hand, anxious to finish him, yet dreading to expose himself, and behind him came a whole troup of peons, spreading their capes, as though by this fluttering of stuffs they were trying to persuade the bull to double up his legs and to lie down on the sand. The bull's progress close to the barrier, with his neck bristling with rapiers, provoked storms of sarcasms and insults.