Chivalry part 6

The house was full of gossipers of the neighborhood, who had come in armed with infallible remedies which they were anxious to apply to the sufferer. The friends of the jefe politico, gathered together in the dining-room about a bottle of white rum, told discreetly, for the comfort of the official, of similar cases which finally had ended happily.

The arrival of her father and sister called forth a groan from the sick one, who in her role of a first-time mother considered herself as good as dead.

Judging by his costume

“Enter, enter, doctor!” exclaimed the old man, politely addressing the fugitive, whom nobody in the midst of the general confusion had as yet noticed. Judging by his costume, those present took him for one of those country quacks who live on the ignorance and avarice of the country people. Salvador examined the sick woman carefully and was convinced that, although the case was a serious one, it would not be difficult to save her. Wi

Chivalry part 5

Five minutes afterwards the fugitive was sleeping like a log. The night came on without Salvador’s awakening from the deep slumber into which he had fallen, his bones aching and his nerves being unstrung by the fatigue and emotions he had endured.

Pedro had improved the time by bathing the horses in the neighboring river and giving them a good feed of corn. This task ended, he took a nap for a couple of hours, which was sufficient to restore to his muscles the necessary energy; and as it was not two o’clock in the afternoon, he shared the frugal dinner of his host.

Reality of the situation

On hearing the church bells of San Mateo tolling “Las animas” he resolved to awaken Salvador, which was not an easy thing to do. For all that he shook him, it was impossible to overcome the stupor which held him fast. Finally he opened his eyes, looking about in a dazed way without comprehending, until Pedro’s voice insisting on the urgency of taking the r

Chivalry part 4

At three o’clock he passed through Atenas and at six in the morning he and his companion arrived at the gates of San Mateo. But now the horses could endure no more. It was part of the fugitive’s plan to pass the day hidden in a friendly and secure house on the plains#of Surubres, although now this was not possible, on account of the fatigue of the horses and the danger of the young conspirator’s being recognized in passing through the village, in spite of the fact that he was wearing the costume of a countryman. It was necessary then to decide on something.

“Don Salvador,” said the guide, “three hundred yards from here there lives an acquaintance of mine, who is a man you can trust. If you like we can dismount here, so that we shan’t have to pass through San Mateo in the daytime.”

“Very well, let us go there.”

Corpulent countryman

The two men spurred their horses and a few minutes afterwards arrived at a house situated a

Chivalry part 3

Salvador Moreno was a high-strung, refined man to whom the brutality of force was repugnant. At the same time his indomitable and lofty spirit could not bend itself to the political despotism which is killing us like a shameful chronic sore. In the conspiracy he had seen the shaking off of the heavy yoke, the dignity of his country avenged, and the triumph of liberty. To gain all that, the sacrifice of his life had not seemed too much. Now his sorrow was very great, his patriotic illusions had disappeared like the visions of a beautiful dream when one awakens, and his heart was throbbing with wrath against those who through their cowardice had caused the daring attempt to fail. With keen regret he thought of his comrades uselessly sacrificed, of the agony of a brave young fellow whom he had carried out of the Cuartel in his arms, mortally wounded.

Clear and exact the events of the combat went marching through his mind, some of which were atrocious, worthy of savages, othe

Chivalry part 2

The present version, translated by Gray Casement, from the volume, Costa Rican Tales, copyright, 1905, by Burrows Co., Cleveland, is here reprinted by permission of the translator.


One night in the month of July, four horsemen, well mounted, emerged from an hacienda in Uruca and rode hurriedly along the highway to the joining of the road to San Antonio de Beldn, where they stopped.

“Here we must separate,” said one of them. “May you have good luck, Ramon,” he added, searching in the darkness for his friend’s hand.

“Adios, Salvador, adios,” replied the one spoken to, in a voice trembling with emotion. The two men, without letting go of each other’s hands, drew together until their stirrups touched, and embraced warmly.

“Adios, adios”—“Good luck.”

After a last embrace, long and affectionate, both started off in different directions, each escorted by one of the two horsemen who had just wit

Chivalry part 1

South America


From the very earliest years following the conquest of Spanish America in the Sixteenth Century there have been Spanish- American writers, and though some of the most famous of them, like Alarcon and Garcilaso de la Vega, belong rather to Spanish literature proper, there remains a sufficiently large body of writings to warrant the use of the term Spanish-American literature. Yet before the Nineteenth Century, the situation was not very different from that in North America, where writers produced a body of literature more or less directly related to that of the mother country.

But for the purposes of this collection, the early Colonial period, indeed the entire period up to the beginning of the last century, may be disregarded so far as the short story is concerned. To trace the history of fiction in Spanish America, it would be necessary to treat practically every country from Mexico to Argentina and Chile. All the Spanish

Falcon part 6

He lay thus, while the herald read aloud the law, “twelve sols in silver—six ounces of flesh from near the heart—thus Sir Enguerrand protects the pleasures of the nobles.” He did not look up, when his skin was cut open, so that the smell of blood should attract the falcon, and when it plunged its beak in his breast, he did not utter a cry, merely quivered, so that the bird’s eyes flashed angrily, and it stretched out its wings as if about to flap them.

The seneschal’s daughters leaned their heads forward with a gleam of interest in their strangely dreamy eyes, but they did not raise their hands from their laps, and their robes lay as before in unruffled folds. The horses snorted at the smell of blood and stamped on the frosty ground, so that the red cloths fluttered in the blue pallor of the morning air; but Renaud lay silent, and the huntsmen stood in vain with distended cheeks and their horns at their lips, ready to drown his cry of pain.

Renaud dr

Falcon part 5

They formed a semi-circle, plume by plume, shoulder by shoulder, round a bush where the prisoner was tied. As the horse-cloths fluttered in the wind, red penetrated deep into the shadow, gloomy like hopeless longing, and red burned in the sunshine, light as victorious jubilation. The noble ladies’ supple necks leaned forward out of the carriage, and their conical hoods formed one line with the sloping contours of their shoulders.

They were like herons, Renaud thought, and he almost expected them to utter shrill cries when the notes of the horns fell far away like projected stones, and all grew silent. But when he saw them more clearly, with their thin, straight lips and strangely dreamy eyes, which were always directed in cold ecstasy toward something infinitely distant, and the indolent white hands in their laps and the long folds of their robes, then they seemed to him wondrously beautiful like the richest images of saints with dimly burning candle flames at their fee

Falcon part 4

Wandering boys soon caught sight of Sir Enguerrand’s bird in Rengud’s hand; the knight’s menials seized him and led him to the castle, and he shivered when the falcon was taken from him, motionless and proud as always, without turning his bent neck, without a glance from his cold, calm eyes. The bird was taken to his master, but he had not even a caress for the favorite he had missed, for he had allowed himself to be touched by ignoble hands. Sir Enguerrand gazed down in silence at Renaud, and in his mind there settled more and more distinctly the memory of an old game-law of the days when the noble’s foot lay steel-shod on the neck of the people, and pleasures fluttered inviolable about his shoulders—and his eyebrows closed about the certainty that the old law had never been repealed. The law provided that he who stole a falcon with the mark of a knight on its foot should pay twelve sols of silver or six ounces of flesh from his ribs under the beak of a famished bird of p

Falcon part 3

Afterwards he did not fly again that day; when Renaud threw him aloft and ran with an enticing call, he beat his wings a few times and settled on his shoulder again in proud coldness against the laughing face of the boy. He seemed to despise all trifling, and Renaud soon ceased, while his look acquired the far-gazing seriousness of the falcon’s. He became more devoted to him than to anything he had possessed. It seemed to him that the falcon was his own soul, his longing with broad wings and victorious glance.

But there was pain in his love, gloomy foreboding of misfortune, and at times he feared lest the bird should fly from him in indifference, disappear with a mocking sound of bells, and it would be like death, so void. Or it seemed to him that the falcon was honor, resplendent with sunshine in the azure air, which now rested on his shoulder for fresh journeys. In the midst of his joy he was oppressed by his insignificance; he scarcely dared to look at the bird, and