The Bible in Spain, Or, the Journeys, Adventures, and Imprisonments of An Englishman: In An Attempt to Circulate the Scriptures in the Peninsula

By George Borrow | Go to book overview
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After remaining several days more at Cordova, I determined to proceed on my journey to Madrid, though the roads were still said to be highly insecure. I, however, saw but little utility in tarrying and awaiting a more tranquil state of affairs, which might never arrive. I therefore consulted with the landlord respecting the best means of making the journey. "Don Jorgito," he replied, "I think I can tell you. You say you anxious to depart, and I never wish to keep guests in my house longer than is agreeable to them; to do so, would not become a Christian innkeeper: I leave such conduct to Moors, Christinos, and Negros. I will further you on your journey, Don Jorge: I have a plan in my head, which I had resolved to propose to you before you questioned me. There is my wife's brother, who has two horses which he occasionally lets out for hire; you shall hire them, Don Jorge, and he himself shall attend you to take care of you, and to comfort you, and to talk to you, and you shall pay him forty dollars for the journey. Moreover, as there are thieves upon the route, and malos sujetos, such as Palillos and his family, you shall make an engagement and a covenant, Don Jorge, that provided you are robbed and stripped on the route, and the horses of my wife's brother are taken from him by the thieves, you shall, on arriving at Madrid, make good any losses to which my wife's brother may be subject in following you. This is my plan, Don Jorge, which no doubt will meet with your worship's approbation, as it is devised solely for your benefit, and not with any view of lucre or interest either to me or mine. You will find my wife's brother pleasant company on the route: he is a very respectable man, and one of the right opinion, and has likewise travelled much; for between ourselves, Don Jorge, he is something of a Contrabandista, and frequently smuggles diamonds and precious stones from Portugal, which he disposes of sometimes in Cordova and sometimes at Madrid. He is acquainted with all the short cuts, all the atajos, Don Jorge, and is much respected in all the ventas and posadas on the way; so now give me your hand upon the bargain, and I will forthwith repair to my wife's brother to tell him to get ready to set out with your worship the day after to-morrow."


CHAPTER XVIII.

Departure from Cordova--The Contrabandista--Jewish Cunning-- Arrival at Madrid.

ONE fine morning, I departed from Cordova, in company with the Contrabandista; the latter was mounted on a handsome animal, something between a horse and a pony, which he called a jaca, of that breed for which Cordova is celebrated. It was of a bright bay colour, with a star in its forehead, with strong but elegant limbs, and a long black tail, which swept the ground. The other animal, which was destined

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