The Mangy Parrot: The Life and Times of Periquillo Sarniento, Written by Himself for His Children

By José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi; David Frye | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 50
IN WHICH PERIQUILLO TELLS OF HIS SECOND MARRIAGE, AND OTHER THINGS
OF INTEREST FOR THE FULL UNDERSTANDING OF THIS TRUE HISTORY

I was not very contented after Don Tadeo left; I missed him more each day, because it wasn’t easy for me to find a good employee for a long time. I had several, but I had problems with each one of them, for if he wasn’t a drunk, he was a gambler; if he wasn’t a gambler, he courted the ladies; if he didn’t court the ladies, he was lazy; if he didn’t have that defect, he was inept; and if he had some skill, he tended to be too casual with the money-box.

It was then that I realized how difficult it is to find entirely good employees, and how much they should be appreciated when they are found.

Despite my loneliness, I didn’t stop going to Mexico frequently on my business. I visited my master, who showed me more signs of trust and friendship every day; and I didn’t stop seeing Pelayo, sometimes in the church and sometimes in his house, and I always found him to be a true father and friend.

One day I happened to run into the chaplain of my master the Chinese in my friend Pelayo’s room. This chaplain had a very retentive mind—that is, he conserved the ideas he had learned very vividly; and since he enjoyed his job on account of me, while he had been the cause of my leaving his patron’s house, he retained my features very well in his imagination, so the second he saw me, he recognized me; seeing that Father Pelayo held me in high regard, he spoke to me with the same; and, convinced by his questions, by my sensible conversation, and by Pelayo’s report that I had transformed my habits, he revealed himself to me, praised my reform, endeavored to strengthen it with his good advice, thanked me for my influence in obtaining his position, assured me of his friendship, and brought me to the Asian’s house in spite of my resistance, because I felt very ashamed.

When we entered, the chaplain said to him, “Here you see your old friend and employee Don Pedro Sarmiento, whom we have recalled so often. He is worthy now of your friendship, because he is not a depraved or reckless youth, but a man of sound judgment who conducts himself according to the laws of honor and religion.”

Then my master rose from his armchair, hugged me tightly, and said, “I am very pleased to see you again and to know that you have mended your ways at last, and have learned to make use of the mind that Heaven gave you. Sit down; today you’ll eat with me, and you can believe that I will serve you in every way I can so long as you’re an upright man, because I loved you since I first met you, and by the same token I missed you, wanted to see you, and today that I have done so, I am very pleased and contented.”

I gave him a thousand thanks for his favor. We ate, I informed him of my situation and where I was living, I offered him my meager belongings, I begged him to honor my house with his presence from time to time; and, after I had received his most tender demonstrations of affection, I left for my San Agustín de las Cuevas; yet the reciprocal friendship among the Asian, the chaplain, and me did not dissolve, because I visited them in Mexico, I lavished attention on them in my house when

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