So great was the desire of Gayferos to escape, that he almost forgot the pain he was enduring, and declaring that he would follow his liberators as quickly as they could go themselves, he begged them to set off at once. "We have some precautions to take first," said Bois-Rose; "rest a few minutes while we break to pieces and commit to the current this raft, which has been so useful to us.
The chief then recounted briefly the captivity of Gayferos, his deliverance by the Canadian, the rejection of his proposals and the vow of vengeance he had made.
Tragaduros had yet to learn that it might have been better for him had Don Estevan lived. We will leave him with the haciendado, and follow Gayferos for perhaps the reader will be glad to hear from him again. The adventurer had saddled his horse, and unseen by anybody had crossed the plain and again taken the road which led to the Presidio of Tubac.
"Well, Pepe, they are but seventeen now!" continued Bois-Rose, in a tone of triumph. "Oh! we may succeed, if they do not get reinforcements." "That is a chance and a terrible one; but our lives are in God's hands," replied Bois-Rose. "Tell me, friend!" said he to Gayferos, "you probably belong to the camp of Don Estevan?" "Do you know him then?" said the wounded man, in a feeble voice.
The Chaplain begged the haciendado to come to him for an instant, upon some business he had to communicate to him. Don Augustin quitted the apartment, saying that he should speedily return. Gayferos and the young girl were now left alone; the former observed her some moments in silence, and with a delight he could scarcely conceal, saw that Rosarita trembled beneath the folds of her silk scarf.
Melisendra was imprisoned in the castle, and the story goes that Don Gayferos, when riding past, in his search, spied her on the balcony. Melisendra, with the help of a rope, lets herself down to her husband, mounts behind him, and the two gallop away from the city. But Melisendra's flight has been noticed, and the city bells ring an alarm.
"Hold there, friend Benito!" cried Baraja, interrupting him, "no more of your horrible stories; I have not forgotten that frightful night by the well of La Poza." "Well," rejoined the herdsman, "unless they are firing at either Cuchillo or Gayferos or perhaps at both I cannot divine the cause of their continued fusillade.
The Moors rush out like angry wasps, start in pursuit, and the capture and death of Don Gayferos and Melisendra seem certain. Don Quixote listened and looked with growing excitement and anger, but when he saw the Moors gallop in pursuit and about to close on Don Gayferos and Melisendra, he could keep quiet no longer.
A pang shot through Dona Rosarita's heart, her bosom heaved, her cheeks were dyed with a deep crimson, then became pale again as the flowers of the datura, but she still remained silent. "I draw towards the close of my recital," continued Gayferos. "After having recovered the brave warrior's son from the Apaches, we journeyed towards the plains of Texas.
Some strips torn from the shirt of Gayferos served to bind around his head a large mass of willow leaves crushed together and steeped in water, and concealed the hideous wound. The blood was then washed from his face. "You see," said Bois-Rose, still clinging to the idea of keeping Fabian near him, "you must learn to know the habits of the desert, and of the Indians.