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- Journeys Through Bookland - 5/71 -


the castle. Every day their host increased, for their people were many in number, and their watchmen kept watch day and night; and my Cid had no succour to look for except the mercy of God, in which he put his trust. And the Moors beset them so close that they cut off their water, and albeit the Castillians would have sallied against them, my Cid forbade this. In this guise were my Cid and his people besieged for three weeks, and when the fourth week began, he called for Alvar Faņez, and for his company, and said unto them, "Ye see that the Moors have cut off our water, and we have but little bread; they gather numbers day by day, and we become weak, and they are in their own country. If we would depart they would not let us, and we cannot go out by night because they have beset us round about on all sides, and we cannot pass on high through the air, neither through the earth which is underneath. Now then, if it please you, let us go out and fight with them, though they are many in number, and either defeat them or die an honourable death."

Then Minaya answered and said, "We have left the gentle land of Castille, and are come hither as banished men, and if we do not beat the Moors they will not give us food*. Now though we are but few, yet are we of a good stock, and of one heart and one will; by God's help let us go out and smite them to-morrow, early in the morning, and you who are not in a state of penitence go and shrieve yourselves and repent ye of your sins." And they all held that what Alvar Faņez had said was good. And my Cid answered, "Minaya, you have spoken as you should do." Then ordered he all the Moors, both men and women, to be thrust out of the town, that it might not be known what they were preparing to do; and the rest of that day and the night also they passed in making ready for the battle. And on the morrow at sunrise the Cid gave his banner to Pero Bermudez, and bade him bear it boldly like a good man as he was, but he charged him not to thrust forward with it without his bidding. And Pero Bermudez kissed his hand, being well pleased. Then leaving only two foot soldiers to keep the gates, they issued out; and the Moorish scouts saw them and hastened to the camp. Then was there such a noise of tambours as if the earth would have been broken, and the Moors armed themselves in great haste. Two royal banners were there, and five city ones, and they drew up their men in two great bodies, and moved on, thinking to take my Cid and all his company alive; and my Cid bade his men remain still and not move till he should bid them.

Pero Bermudez could not bear this, but holding the banner in his hand, he cried, "God help you, Cid Campeador; I shall put your banner in the middle of that main body; and you who are bound to stand by it--I shall see how you will succour it." And he began to prick forward. And the Campeador called unto him to stop as he loved him, but Pero Bermudez replied he would stop for nothing, and away he spurred and carried his banner into the middle of the great body of the Moors. And the Moors fell upon him, that they might win the banner, and beset him on all sides, giving him many great blows to beat him down; nevertheless his arms were proof, and they could not pierce them, neither could they beat him down, nor force the banner from him, for he was a right brave man, and a strong, and a good horseman, and of great heart. And when the Cid saw him thus beset he called to his people to move on and help him. Then placed they their shields before their hearts, and lowered their lances with the streamers thereon, and bending forward, rode on. Three hundred lances were they, each with its pendant, and every man at the first charge slew his Moor. "Smite them, knights, for the love of charity," cried the Campeador. "I am Ruydiez, the Cid of Bivar!"

Many a shield was pierced that day, and many a false corselet was broken, and many a white streamer dyed with blood, and many a horse left without a rider. The Misbelievers called on Mahomet, and the Christians on Santiago, and the noise of the tambours and of the trumpets was so great that none could hear his neighbour. And my Cid and his company succoured Pero Bermudez, and they rode through the host of the Moors, slaying as they went, and they rode back again in like manner; thirteen hundred did they kill in this guise. Wherever my Cid went, the Moors made a path before him, for he smote them down without mercy. And while the battle still continued, the Moors killed the horse of Alvar Faņez, and his lance was broken, and he fought bravely with his sword afoot. And my Cid, seeing him, came up to an Alguazil who rode upon a good horse, and smote him with his sword under the right arm, so that he cut him through and through, and he gave the horse to Alvar Faņez saying, "Mount, Minaya, for you are my right hand."

When Alvar Faņez was thus remounted, they fell upon the Moors again, and by this time the Moors were greatly disheartened, having suffered so great loss, and they began to give way. And my Cid, seeing King Fariz, made towards him, smiting down all who were in his way; and he came up to him, and made three blows at him; two of them failed, but the third was a good one, and went through his cuirass, so that the blood ran down his legs. And with that blow was the army of the Moors vanquished, for King Fariz, feeling himself so sorely wounded, turned his reins and fled out of the field, even to Teruel. And Martin Antolinez, the good Burgalese, came up to King Galve, and gave him a stroke on the head, which scattered all the carbuncles out of his helmet, and cut through it even to the skin; and the king did not wait for another such, and he fled also. A good day was that for Christendom, for the Moors fled on all sides. King Fariz got into Teruel, and King Galve fled after him, but they would not receive him within the gates, and he went on to Calatayud. And the Christians pursued them even to Calatayud. And Alvar Faņez had a good horse; four and thirty did he slay in that pursuit with the edge of his keen sword, and his arm was all red, and the blood dropt from his elbow. And as he was returning from the spoil he said, "Now am I well pleased, for good tidings will go to Castille, how my Cid has won a battle in the field." My Cid also turned back; his coif was wrinkled, and you might see his full beard; the hood of his mail hung down upon his shoulders, and the sword was still in his hand. He saw his people returning from the pursuit, and that of all his company fifteen only of the lower sort were slain, and he gave thanks to God for this victory. Then they fell to the spoil, and they found arms in abundance, and great store of wealth; and five hundred and ten horses. And he divided the spoil, giving to each man his fair portion, and the Moors whom they had put out of Alcocer before the battle, they now received again into the castle, and gave to them also a part of the booty, so that all were well content. And my Cid had great joy with his vassals.

Then the Cid called unto Alvar Faņez and said, "Cousin, you are my right hand, and I hold it good that you should take of my fifth as much as you will, for all would be well bestowed upon you;" but Minaya thanked him, and said, that he would take nothing more than his share. And the Cid said unto him, "I will send King Don Alfonso a present from my part of the spoils. You shall go into Castille, and take with you thirty horses, the best which were taken from the Moors, all bridled and saddled, and each having a sword hanging from the saddle-bow; and you shall give them to the King, and kiss his hand for me, and tell him that we know how to make our way among the Moors. And you shall take also this bag of gold and silver, and purchase for me a thousand masses in Saint Mary's at Burgos, and hang up there these banners of the Moorish kings whom we hare overcome. Go then to Saint Pedro's at Cardena, and salute my wife Doņa Ximena, and my daughters, and tell them how well I go on, and that if I live I will make them rich women. And salute for me the Abbot Don Sebuto, and give him fifty marks of silver; and the rest of the money, whatever shall be left, give to my wife, and bid them all pray for me." Moreover the Cid said unto him, "This country is all spoiled, and we have to help ourselves with sword and spear. You are going to gentle Castille; if when you return you should not find us here, you will hear where we are."

[Illustration: ALVAR FAŅEZ WENT HIS WAY TO CASTILLE]

Alvar Faņez went his way to Castille, and he found the king in Valladolid, and he presented to him the thirty horses, with all their trappings, and swords mounted with silver hanging from the saddle-bows. And when the king saw them, before Alvar Faņez could deliver his bidding, he said unto him, "Minaya, who sends me this goodly present?" And Minaya answered, "My Cid Ruydiez, the Campeador, sends it, and kisses by me your hands. For since you were wroth against him, and banished him from the land, he being a man disherited, hath helped himself with his own hands, and hath won from the Moors the Castle of Alcocer. And the king of Valencia sent two kings to besiege him there, with all his power, and they begirt him round about, and cut off the water and bread from us so that we could not subsist. And then holding it better to die like good men in the field, than shut up like bad ones, we went out against them, and fought with them in the open field, and smote them and put them to flight; and both the Moorish kings were sorely wounded, and many of the Moors were slain, and many were taken prisoners, and great was the spoil which we won in the field, both of captives and of horses and arms, gold and silver and pearls, so that all who are with him are rich men. And of his fifth of the horses which were taken that day, my Cid hath sent you these, as to his natural lord, whose favour he desireth. I beseech you, as God shall help you, show favour unto him."

Then King Don Alfonso answered, "This is betimes in the morning for a banished man to ask favour of his lord; nor is it befitting a king, for no lord ought to be wroth for so short a time. Nevertheless, because the horses were won from the Moors, I will take them, and rejoice that my Cid hath sped so well. And I pardon you, Minaya, and give again unto you all the lands which you have ever held of me, and you have my favour to go when you will, and come when you will. Of the Cid Campeador, I shall say nothing now, save only that all who chuse to follow him may freely go, and their bodies and goods and heritages are safe." And Minaya said, "God grant you many and happy years for his service. Now I beseech you, this which you have done for me, do also to all those who are in my Cid's company, and show favour unto them." And the king gave order that it should be so. Then Minaya kissed the king's hand and said, "Sir, you have done this now, and you will do the rest hereafter."

In three weeks time after this came Alvar Faņez from Castille. Two hundred men of lineage came with him, every one of whom wore sword girt to his side, and the foot soldiers in their company were out of number. When my Cid saw Minaya he rode up to him, and embraced him without speaking, and kissed his mouth and the eyes in his head. And Minaya told him all that he had done. And the face of the Campeador brightened, and he gave thanks to God, and said, "It will go well with me, Minaya, as long as you, live!" God, how joyful was that whole host because Alvar Faņez was returned! for he brought them greetings from their kinswomen and their brethren, and the fair comrades whom they had left behind. God, how joyful was my Cid with the fleecy beard, that Minaya had purchased the thousand masses, and had brought him the biddings of his wife and daughters! God, what a joyful man was he!

THE CID DOES BATTLE WITH DON RAMON BERENGUER

When Don Ramon Berenguer the Count of Barcelona heard how my Cid was overrunning the country, it troubled him to the heart, and he held it for a great dishonour, because that part of the land of the Moors was in his keeping. And he spake boastfully, saying, "Great wrong doth that Cid of Bivar offer unto me; he smote my nephew in my own court and never would make amends for it, and now he ravages the lands which are in my keeping, and I have never defied him for this nor renounced his friendship; but since he goes on in this way I must take vengeance." So he and King Abenalfange gathered together a great power both of Moors and Christians, and went in pursuit of the Cid, and after three days and two nights they came up with him in the pine-forest of Tebar, and


Journeys Through Bookland - 5/71

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