Don Quixote - Part I (Chapter IV, page 2 of 8)


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Seeing what was going on, Don Quixote said in an angry voice,
"Discourteous knight, it ill becomes you to assail one who cannot defend
himself; mount your steed and take your lance" (for there was a lance
leaning against the oak to which the mare was tied), "and I will make you
know that you are behaving as a coward." The farmer, seeing before him
this figure in full armour brandishing a lance over his head, gave
himself up for dead, and made answer meekly, "Sir Knight, this youth that
I am chastising is my servant, employed by me to watch a flock of sheep
that I have hard by, and he is so careless that I lose one every day, and
when I punish him for his carelessness and knavery he says I do it out of
niggardliness, to escape paying him the wages I owe him, and before God,
and on my soul, he lies."

"Lies before me, base clown!" said Don Quixote. "By the sun that shines
on us I have a mind to run you through with this lance. Pay him at once
without another word; if not, by the God that rules us I will make an end
of you, and annihilate you on the spot; release him instantly."


The farmer hung his head, and without a word untied his servant, of whom
Don Quixote asked how much his master owed him.

He replied, nine months at seven reals a month. Don Quixote added it up,
found that it came to sixty-three reals, and told the farmer to pay it
down immediately, if he did not want to die for it.

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