"I shall be quite alone.... Not another word, I command it; you must do penance with me."
This wandering existence made them exercise the [Pg 72]cunning of primitive man to satisfy their wants. In the neighbourhood of country houses, they would crawl on their stomachs to steal the vegetables without being seen. They would watch whole hours for a solitary hen to come near them, and having wrung her neck would proceed on their tramp, to light a fire of dry wood in the middle of the day, and swallow the poor bird scorched and half raw with the voracity of little savages. The field mastiffs they feared more than bulls; these watchdogs were difficult brutes to fight, when they rushed upon the boys showing their fangs, as if the strange aspect of the latter infuriated them and they scented enemies to personal property.
When he spoke with the Marquis de Moraima he regarded him with an almost filial affection. That gentleman, dressed as a countryman, a rough centaur with "Zajones" and a strong garrocha, was an illustrious personage, who could cover his breast with ribbons and crosses, and in the king's palace wore an embroidered coat, with a gold key sewn on to one flap. His remote ancestors had come to Seville with that monarch who had expelled the Moors, and had received as reward for their great exploits, immense territories wrested from the enemy, the remains of which were those vast plains on which the Marquis now reared his cattle. And this great nobleman, frank and generous, who preserved, notwithstanding the simplicity of his country life, the distinction of his illustrious ancestry, was looked upon by Gallardo as in some sort a near relation.
His companion in wretchedness was Chiripa, a lad of the same age, small of body and malicious of eye. He had neither father nor mother, and had wandered about Seville ever since he could remember anything. He exercised over Juanillo all the influence of greater experience. He had one cheek scarred by a bull's horn, and this visible wound the Zapaterin considered greatly superior to his invisible one.
As he noticed the only woman in the patio and recognized her, he showed no sort of surprise.
 Trastos de Matar.
"That 'cogida' was not really much?"
He would enter the tavern wrapping himself in his rich and glittering cape, to hide the rags of shirt protruding through rents in his breeches, all his bones aching with tosses the young bulls had given him. His mother, a rough, coarse-faced woman, upset by her afternoon's anxious wait, would run to meet him open armed.
"They are turning us out, Encarnacion. That girl with her face like the 'Virgin of Hope,' will be mistress of everything, and there will not even be that for us! You will see the house full of children!..."