“I was there,” replied the guide. “Then how is it that you have not given notice of a purse, which you took there, containing fifteen gold crowns, two reals, and some quartos,” asked Monipodio. “Why, sir,” replied the boy, “the fact is, that I have never seen the purse; I have not taken it—worse luck for me—and I cannot imagine who has.”
“No nonsense with me, sir,” said Monipodio; “the purse must and shall be forthcoming; the alguazil is an intimate friend, and has done us great service.” The boy protested, in the strongest terms, that he had no knowledge of it; when Monipodio began to show symptoms of ire. “No one shall dare to play tricks with me,” said he, his eyes sparkling with anger: “produce the purse, or take the consequences.”
The boy again asserted his innocence, which only increased the master`s rage, and excited the feelings of the whole community against the delinquent who had offended against the laws; when Rinconete, finding it would be a serious disturbance, consulted a moment with Cortadillo, who thought with him it would be better to appease the anger of Monipodio: therefore, drawing forth the sacristan`s purse, he said, “Calm yourselves, my worthy masters, for here is the purse which the alguazil requires, and likewise a handkerchief which my companion borrowed from the same worthy gentleman this morning.”
Keep the handkerchief
The countenance of the professor immediately brightened at this confession, and he exclaimed, “Cortadillo the Good, for by such distinction shall you henceforward be known—keep the handkerchief, and content yourself this time with having rendered us a signal service; for the sacristan, whose acquaintance you made this morning, is a relative of the alguazil, who is one of our best friends; therefore, we must comply with the proverb, which says, `To him who gives you a fowl it is not much to send a leg`; and the alguazil winks at more in a single day, than we could compass in a hundred.”
Much approbation was manifested by the company at this generous act; and they fully agreed in the justice of the encomium bestowed on Cortadillo, who remained as proud of his title as other worthy and distinguished men, who have acquired the like honor from their virtues or other qualities.
Before the return of Monipodio, two girls entered the apartment, who from their address and manner, Rinconete easily guessed to belong to the community. They were welcomed very warmly by the two bravos, Chiquiznaque and Maniferro, the latter so called from having lost a hand by the course of law, and its place being supplied by one of iron. “Well, what news, my charmer?” said one. “What do you bring for the good of the club?” “You will see directly,” replied one of the girls, called Gananciosa; “Silvatillo is coming.”
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