Gallardo, with the good nature of a successful man, had endeavoured to give his brother-in-law some compensation, entrusting him with the supervision of the house he was building. He gave him carte-blanche for all expenses, for the espada, bewildered with the ease with which money was pouring into his hands, was not sorry his brother-in-law should make a profit, and he was pleased to make it up to him in this way for not having retained him as agent.
He dragged along the cross, perspiring and gasping, shifting the place of the heavy weight when his shoulders became bruised by the sorrowful burden. His comrades pitied him, and offered him glasses of wine, not by way of mockery of his penance, but from sheer compassion. He was fainting from fatigue, he ought to refresh himself.
Again he threw himself on the bull to kill, but very few could see what was happening, for the spread capes fluttering incessantly round him concealed everything....[Pg 331] At last the bull fell, a stream of blood rushing from its mouth.
Gallardo came quickly out of his room, having only drawn his trousers and jacket over his night clothes. He ran on before the banderillero, with the blind impulsiveness of his character, throwing himself in hot haste down the stairs followed by El Nacional.
"Give me 'La Montera.'"
"What rubbish! Just like a woman! If they get a thing into their heads it must be so. Do you think there are no authorities, or laws, or rules in a Plaza? that it is enough for a woman to be frightened and want to run and kiss her husband for the corrida to be stopped and the public disappointed? You may say whatever you like to Juan afterwards, but by now he will be at the corrida. There is no trifling with the authorities; we should all be sent to jail."
Gallardo crimsoned with anger. This to him! And in the Plaza of Seville! He felt the proud heart-throb of his early days, a mad desire to fall wildly on the bull, and let what God would happen. But his limbs refused to obey. His arms seemed to think, his legs to see the danger.