Now, under all circumstances, I had not the slightest objection to pass for a Catalan; and I rather rejoiced that these wild people should suppose that I had powerful friends and countrymen in the neighbourhood who were, perhaps, expecting me. I therefore favoured their mistake, and began with a harsh Catalan accent to talk of the fish of Galicia, and the high duties on salt. The eye of my guide was upon me for an instant, with a singular expression, half-serious, half-droll; he, however, said nothing, but slapped his thigh as usual, and with a spring nearly touched the roof of the cabin with his grotesque head. Upon inquiry, I discovered that we were still two long leagues distant from Corcuvion, and that the road lay over moor and hill, and was hard to find. Our host now demanded whether we were hungry, and upon being answered in the affirmative, produced about a dozen eggs and some bacon. Whilst our supper was cooking, a long conversation ensued between my guide and the family, but as it was carried on in Gallegan, I tried in vain to understand it. I believe, however, that it principally related to witches and witchcraft, as the Estadéa was frequently mentioned. After supper I demanded where I could rest: whereupon the host pointed to a trap-door in the roof, saying that above there was a loft where I could sleep by myself, and have clean straw. For curiosity's sake, I asked whether there was such a thing as a bed in the cabin.
"No," replied the man; "nor nearer than Corcuvion. I never entered one in my life, nor any one of my family: we sleep around the hearth, or among the straw with the cattle."
I was too old a traveller to complain, but forthwith ascended by a ladder into a species of loft, tolerably large and nearly empty, where I placed my cloak beneath my head, and lay down on the boards, which I preferred to the straw for more reasons than one. I heard the people below talking in Gallegan for a considerable time, and could see the gleams of the fire through the interstices of the floor. The voices, however, gradually died away, the fire sank low, and could no longer be distinguished. I dozed, started, dozed again, and dropped finally into a profound sleep, from which I was only aroused by the crowing of the second cock.
Autumnal Morning--The World's End--Corcuvion--Duyo--The Cape--A Whale--The Outer Bay--The Arrest--The Fisher-Magistrate--Calros Rey--Hard of Belief--"Where is your Passport ?"--The Beach--A Mighty Liberal--The Handmaid--The Grand Baintham--Eccentric Book --Hospitality.
IT was a beautiful autumnal morning when we left the choza and pursued our way to Corcuvion. I satisfied our host by presenting him with a couple of pesetas, and he requested as a favour, that if on our