And as if to return the salute, he seized the picador's arm with his horny hand, feeling his biceps with admiration. The two stood looking at each other, till the picador gave a deep laugh.
The gathering was held in the large dining-room of Eritana, a pavilion in the gardens, decorated in extremely bad taste with vulgar imitations of the Moorish splendours of the Alhambra.
Gallardo's friends found the wrecked ambitions of the sword carrier an unfailing source of merriment, but he took no notice of their jokes. Give up bulls? Never!! So that all memory of the past should not be effaced, he combed his coarse hair in curls above his ears, and preserved on his occiput the long, sacred lock, the pig-tail of his younger days, the hall-mark of the profession which distinguished him from other mortals.
The torero spread his muleta before the brute, who attacked, but slowly, as if warned by his previous torture, but with the evident intention of crushing and wounding, the suffering having awakened his fierceness. That man was the first who had stood before him since his torment began.