At this time one of the carriers came out, when seeing the two boys at play, he asked them whether they had any objection to a third, to which they good-naturedly consented. Fortune favored the boys so well that in less than half an hour the carrier lost twelve reals, and twenty- two maravedis, which in paying cost him just as many twinges of regret.
The loser, however, seeing his adversaries were only boys, thought he could take his money from them again with impunity; but the one drew his piece of a sword, and the other handled his knife so formidably, that had not the carrier`s companions come to his succor, it was likely to have gone ill with him.
At this time a troop of people passed on horseback, who, seeing the disturbance between the boys and the carrier, parted them, and told the former they were going to pass the night about a league further, whither, if they pleased, they might accompany them.
“We will go with pleasure, said Rincon, “and anything we can do in return, we shall be most happy”; and, without further invitation, they jumped up on two of the mules and set forward with the party, leaving the carrier in no very enviable state of temper. The landlord could not help laughing at the dexterity of the young rogues; for he confessed he had overheard their conversation, and thus learned that the cards were false.
Endeavored to pacify him
At this discovery, the carrier could hardly contain himself for rage. He swore the most formidable oaths, and declared his intention of following the young sharpers and reclaiming his lost pieces— not that he valued the money, as he said; but from pure shame to think that so great a man as he should be cheated by two such very little rogues. His companion, however, endeavored to pacify him, saying, “It was much better to abide by the loss, than to get laughed at for his simplicity.”
The two companions now congratulated themselves on their good fortune, and made themselves so useful to their fellow-travelers, that they were allowed to mount behind them the best part of the way; and although many opportunities occurred of exercising their professional abilities with advantage, yet they desisted, from the consideration that they might endanger their journey to Seville, whither they were going.
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