During those weeks I was an idle man, wretchedly bored; and I fell into a flirtation with Maude. She began it, Carr, on my solemn word of honour though it's a shame to tell these tales of a woman; and I joined in from sheer weariness, to kill time. But you know how one gets led on in such things or I do, if you, you cautious fellow, don't and we both went in pretty deep." "Elster's folly again!
His days passed monotonously; but he was not bored though he saw no one; he set diligently and attentively to work at farming his estate, rode about the neighbourhood and did some reading. He read little, however; he found it pleasanter to listen to the tales of old Anton. Lavretsky usually sat at the window with a pipe and a cup of cold tea.
It is like the fairy tales my old nurse used to tell me of the king's son who went out to look for a beautiful wife, and who worked as a scullion in the king's palace without anyone suspecting his rank. I think fortune has been very hard upon me, in that I was born five years too soon. Had I been but fourteen instead of nineteen, your Royal Highness might have cast favourable eyes upon me."
But we understood their manœuvres very well, and were quite prepared. We had long ceased to need the Cartref Pellenig entrance, letting everything down by the aperture above, where the rock and brushwood would tell no tales of our footsteps. We had made some more places of observation, and we went to rest that night feeling prepared for everything. It happened as we expected.
And he told Jacqueline what he was going to do when he was a man, and he asked her if she had ever read Cæsar, and she had not, and he told her all about it. And Jacqueline told him fairy tales, but he said they were not true, and that a harp could not sing by itself, nor a hen lay golden eggs, nor a beanstalk grow a mile. He said he did not like lies, which wasn't very polite.
I pleaded with him; I recalled the days when, as a child, I sat upon his knee and listened to the wonderful tales he told; I begged him, by the memory of all the years when he and I were such true friends to be kind to me now, to be merciful even though he thought I had done wrong to be merciful.
With his pockets full of chestnuts he pities Gigi; he kisses him, he takes him up, and bears him in his arms quickly toward home. The happy child closes his weary eyes, and falls asleep on Angelo's shoulder. Pipa, when she sees Angelo return so careful of his little brother praises him, and gives him a new-baked cake. Gigi can tell no tales, and Angelo is silent.
But with every wave of regret there followed the happy thought that he would soon be with his father and his mother again, and the thought always sent a tingle of joy up and down his spine. What a meeting that would be! What a welcome he should receive! What tales he would have to tell! How proud his father would be of him! How his mother would hover over him and love him!
This is markedly the case with Apologues and Facetious Tales, two classes of traditions which do not come within the purview of the present work. But the story has then passed beyond the traditional stage, or else such proof could not be given.
The people were honest peasants and burghers who made their living much in the fashion that we do to-day, and had forgotten all about the idle tales of dragons and of knights that rode armed through the forests. But none the less Don Quixote had so addled his mind with stories of bygone times that he must needs become a knight without any delay.