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The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha

Leading by the hand all the way her daughter Sanchica

style="text-align: justify;"> CHAPTER XCV.

_Of the ominous accidents that crossed Don Quixote as he entered his village; with other transactions that illustrate and adorn this memorable history._

When they were entering the village, Don Quixote observed two little boys contesting together in an adjoining field; and one said to the other, "Never fret thy gizzard about it: for thou shalt never see her whilst thou hast breath in thy body." Don Quixote overhearing this, "Sancho," said he, "did you mind the boy's words, Thou shalt never see her while thou hast breath in thy body?" "Well," answered Sancho, "and what is the great business, though the boy did say so?" "How!" replied Don Quixote, "dost thou not perceive that, applying the words to my affairs, they plainly imply that I shall never see my Dulcinea?" Sancho was about to answer again, but was hindered by a full cry of hounds and horsemen pursuing a hare, which was put so hard to her shifts that she came and squatted down for shelter just at Dapple's feet. Immediately Sancho laid hold of her without difficulty, and presented her to Don Quixote; but he, with a dejected look, refusing the present, cried out aloud, "An ill omen--an ill omen; a hare runs away, hounds pursue her, and Dulcinea appears not!" "You are a strange man," quoth Sancho, "to regard such trumperies; nay, I have heard you yourself, my dear master, say that all such Christians as troubled

their heads with these fortune-telling follies were neither better nor worse than downright numskulls; so let us even leave these things as we found them, and get home as fast as we can."

By this time the sportsmen were come up, and demanding their game, Don Quixote delivered them their hare. They passed on, and just at their coming into the town they perceived the curate and the bachelor Carrasco, repeating their breviary in a small field adjoining. The curate and the bachelor, presently knowing their old friends, ran to meet them with open arms; and while Don Quixote alighted and returned their embraces, the boys, who are ever so quick-sighted that nothing can escape their eyes, presently spying the ass, came running and flocking about them: "Oh!" cried they to one another, "look you here, boys; here is Gaffer Sancho Panza's ass as fine as a lady; and Don Quixote's beast leaner than ever!" With that, they ran whooping and hollowing about them through the town; while the two adventurers, attended by the curate and the bachelor, moved towards Don Quixote's house, where they were received at the door by his housekeeper and his niece, who had already got notice of their arrival. The news having also reached Teresa Panza, Sancho's wife, she came running half naked, with her hair about her ears, to see him; leading by the hand all the way her daughter Sanchica, who hardly wanted to be tugged along. But when she found that her husband looked a little short of the state of a governor, "Mercy on me!" quoth she, "what is the meaning of this, husband? You look as though you had come all the way on foot, and tired off your legs too! Why, you come liker a shark than a governor." "Mum, Teresa," quoth Sancho; "it is not all gold that glisters; and every man was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. First let us go home, and then I will tell thee wonders. I have taken care of the main chance. Money I have, and I came honestly by it, without wronging any body." "Hast got money, old boy? Nay, then, it is well enough, no matter which way; let it come by hook or by crook, it is but what your betters have done before you." At the same time Sanchica, hugging her father, asked him what he had brought her home; for she had gaped for him as the flowers do for the dew in May. Thus Sancho, leading Dapple by the halter on one side, his wife taking him by the arm on the other, away they went together to his cottage, leaving Don Quixote at his own house, under the care of his niece and housekeeper, with the curate and bachelor to keep him company.

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