Then turning to the company, he said in a sonorous tone, laying a strong emphasis on the last syllable of every word, according to the custom of the gente rufianesca throughout Spain,--
"Cavaliers, and strong men, this cavalier is the friend of a friend of mine. Es mucho hombre. There is none like him in Spain. He speaks the crabbed Gitáno though he is an Inglesito."
"We do not believe it," replied several grave voices. "It is not possible."
"It is not possible, say you? I tell you it is. Come forward, Balseiro, you who have been in prison all your life, and are always boasting that you can speak the crabbed Gitáno, though I say you know nothing of it--come forward and speak to his worship in the crabbed Gitáno."
A low, slight, but active figure stepped forward. He was in his shirt sleeves, and wore a montero cap; his features were handsome, but they were those of a demon.
He spoke a few words in the broken gipsy slang of the prison, inquiring of me whether I had ever been in the condemned cell, and whether I knew what a Gitána* was?
"Vamos Inglesito," shouted Sevilla, in a voice of thunder; "answer the monro in the crabbed Gitáno."
I answered the robber, for such he was, and one, too, whose name will live for many a year in the ruffian histories of Madrid; I answered him in a speech of some length, in the dialect of the Estremenian gipsies.
"I believe it is the crabbed Gitáno," muttered Balseiro. "It is either that or English, for I understand not a word of it."
"Did I not say to you," cried the bull-fighter, "that you knew nothing of the crabbed Gitáno? But this Inglesito does. I understood all he said. Vaya, there is none like him for the crabbed Gitáno. He is a good ginete, too; next to myself, there is none like him, only he rides with stirrup leathers too short. Inglesito, if you have need of money, I will lend you my purse. All I have is at your service, and that is not a little; I have just gained four thousand chulés by the lottery. Courage, Englishmen! Another cup. I will pay all. I, Sevilla!"
And he clapped his hand repeatedly on his breast, reiterating, "I, Sevilla! I-----"
Intrigues at Court--Quesada and Galiano--Dissolution of the Cortes--The Secretary--Aragonese Pertinacity--The Council of Trent--The Austrian --The Three Thieves--Benedict Mol--The Men of Lucerne--The Treasure.
MENDIZABAL had told me to call upon him again at the end of three months, giving me hopes that he would not then oppose himself to the____________________