Don Quixote - Part II (Chapter IV, page 1 of 4)


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IN WHICH SANCHO PANZA GIVES A SATISFACTORY REPLY TO THE DOUBTS AND
QUESTIONS OF THE BACHELOR SAMSON CARRASCO, TOGETHER WITH OTHER MATTERS
WORTH KNOWING AND TELLING


Sancho came back to Don Quixote's house, and returning to the late
subject of conversation, he said, "As to what Senor Samson said, that he
would like to know by whom, or how, or when my ass was stolen, I say in
reply that the same night we went into the Sierra Morena, flying from the
Holy Brotherhood after that unlucky adventure of the galley slaves, and
the other of the corpse that was going to Segovia, my master and I
ensconced ourselves in a thicket, and there, my master leaning on his
lance, and I seated on my Dapple, battered and weary with the late frays
we fell asleep as if it had been on four feather mattresses; and I in
particular slept so sound, that, whoever he was, he was able to come and
prop me up on four stakes, which he put under the four corners of the
pack-saddle in such a way that he left me mounted on it, and took away
Dapple from under me without my feeling it."

"That is an easy matter," said Don Quixote, "and it is no new occurrence,
for the same thing happened to Sacripante at the siege of Albracca; the
famous thief, Brunello, by the same contrivance, took his horse from
between his legs."

"Day came," continued Sancho, "and the moment I stirred the stakes gave
way and I fell to the ground with a mighty come down; I looked about for
the ass, but could not see him; the tears rushed to my eyes and I raised
such a lamentation that, if the author of our history has not put it in,
he may depend upon it he has left out a good thing. Some days after, I
know not how many, travelling with her ladyship the Princess Micomicona,
I saw my ass, and mounted upon him, in the dress of a gipsy, was that
Gines de Pasamonte, the great rogue and rascal that my master and I freed
from the chain."

"That is not where the mistake is," replied Samson; "it is, that before
the ass has turned up, the author speaks of Sancho as being mounted on
it."

"I don't know what to say to that," said Sancho, "unless that the
historian made a mistake, or perhaps it might be a blunder of the
printer's."

"No doubt that's it," said Samson; "but what became of the hundred
crowns? Did they vanish?"

To which Sancho answered, "I spent them for my own good, and my wife's,
and my children's, and it is they that have made my wife bear so
patiently all my wanderings on highways and byways, in the service of my
master, Don Quixote; for if after all this time I had come back to the
house without a rap and without the ass, it would have been a poor
look-out for me; and if anyone wants to know anything more about me, here
I am, ready to answer the king himself in person; and it is no affair of
anyone's whether I took or did not take, whether I spent or did not
spend; for the whacks that were given me in these journeys were to be
paid for in money, even if they were valued at no more than four
maravedis apiece, another hundred crowns would not pay me for half of
them. Let each look to himself and not try to make out white black, and
black white; for each of us is as God made him, aye, and often worse."

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