The brute, being alone for a moment on that side of the Plaza, attacked the dead body of a horse. It buried its horns in the open belly, lifting on its horns like a[Pg 232] limp rag the miserable carcass which spread its entrails all round. The body fell to the ground almost doubled up, while the bull moved off undecidedly; but it soon turned again to sniff it, snorting and burying its horns in the cavity of the stomach, while the populace laughed at this stupid obstinacy, seeking for life in an inanimate body.
Who has more c ... c ... courage than God," and being unable to improvise more in his own honour, he repeated the same words again and again in a hoarse and monotonous voice, which disturbed the silence, and made an invisible dog at the end of the street bark.
An exclamation of horror shook the whole Plaza; a spasm which made all rise to their feet, their eyes starting, whilst the women hid their faces, or convulsively clutched at the arm nearest them.
So another year passed, and still the hopes of the couple were not realized. Se?ora Angustias became sad as she spoke of their disappointment. She certainly had other grandchildren, the children of Encarnacion, whom the saddler was careful should spend most of their time in their grandmother's house, doing their best to please their Se?or tio. But she, who wished to compensate for her former unkindness by the warm affection she now showed Juan, wished to have a son of his to bring up in her own way, giving it all the love she had been unable to give its father during his miserable childhood.
"Two!" sang out from the gods in derision.
There was a long silence. The lady looked at the bandit's coarse strong hands, with their broken nails. But Plumitas took no notice of her, all his attention was fixed on the espada, wishing to show his gratitude for having been received at his table, and anxious to dispel the impression that his words seemed to have caused.
Carmen received El Nacional in the matador's study. They would be alone there, and there would be no fear of Se?ora Angustias coming in with her vehemence. Gallardo was at the club in the Calle de las Sierpes. He was away from the house most days to avoid meeting his wife; he even had his meals out, going with some friends to the inn at Eritana.