most affected; for, they say, he was mightily in love with her; and, since she went away, he has never been seen in our town, and we all think he followed to steal her away; but hitherto nothing further is known.'
'I ever had a jealousy,' quoth Ricote, 'that this gentleman was smitten with my daughter; but, trusting to the virtue of my Ricota, it gave me no trouble to find he was in love with her; for you must have heard, Sancho, that the Moorish women seldom or never mingle in love with Old Christians; and my daughter, who, as I believe, minded religion more than love, little regarded this rich heir's courtship.'
'God grant it,' replied Sancho; 'for it would be very ill for them both: and let me be gone, friend Ricote; for I intend to be to-night with my master Don Quixote.'
'God be with you, brother Sancho,' said Ricote; 'for my comrades are stirring, and it is time for us also to be on our way.'
And then they embraced each other: Sancho mounted his Dapple, and Ricote leaned on his pilgrim's staff, and so they parted.
Of what befell Sancho in the way, and other matters, which you have only to see.
SANCHO stayed so long with Ricote that he had not time to reach the duke's castle that day; though he was arrived within half a league of it, when the night, somewhat dark and close, overtook him: but, it being summer time, it gave him no great concern; and so he struck out of the road, purposing to wait for the morning. But his ill luck would have it, that, in seeking a place where he might best accommodate himself, he and Dapple fell together into a deep and very dark pit, among some ruins of old buildings; and, as he was falling, he recommended himself to God with his whole heart, not expecting to stop till he came to the depth of the abyss. But it fell out otherwise; for a little beyond three fathom, Dapple felt ground, and Sancho found himself on his back, without having received any damage or hurt at all.
He fell to feeling his body all over, and held his breath, to see if he was sound, or bored through in any part: and finding himself well,