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A VIDEOCUENTO XXV
DON QUIXOTE OF LA MANCHA
"Master Pedro's Puppet Show"
The man of the lances and halberds tells them that in his town there lives an alderman who had lost his donkey, and that another alder man from the same district had found it in the wood but that it had become so savage that he was unable to catch it. So both the aldermen returned to the wood too look for the donkey, each one going off in a different direction, braying in hopes that the donkey would hear them and reply.
But as the poor animal had perished, he, of course, did not answer.
Unhappily, they returned to their village, whereupon they told everyone what had happened. The story spread fast to other villages and towns, and from then on, as soon as others saw anyone from the aldermen's village, they made fun of them by braying. And this is why our man had purchased the lances and halberds: to give battle against the folk of other towns who were ridiculing them.
Master Pedro, the famous puppeteer, arrives at the inn with a divining monkey
and a small stage upon which he offers shows to the people in the villages.
Don Quixote and Sancho put some questions to the monkey. The animal then hops
up onto his master's shoulder and appears to be whispering something in his
ear. Master Pedro then gives the answers that
the monkey has supposedly given him, surprising one and all present.
The puppeteer sets up his stage in the patio of the inn and begins the show.
He moves the puppets round and the farse deals with how Don Gaiferos frees his
lady-fair from the hands of the Moors. Everyone is
intrigued, especially Don Quixote, who becomes entranced and actually
believes that what he sees on the stage is really taking place. Then, when King Marcilio and his army are chasing the lovers and are about to
capture them, Don Quixote takes out his sword and throws himself upon the puppets, destroying everything, much to the astonishment of one and all, especially Master Pedro.
Finally, realizing what he has done, the righteous Don Quixote makes amends to Master Pedro for all of the damage to his property.
The puppeteer leaves the inn that same night, quite satisfied with the money received from Don Quixote. Actually, Master Pedro is none other than Gines de Pasamonte, the bandit whom Don Quixote had freed from the Holy Brotherhood, who were escorting him to the gallies. Now he is a wandering puppeteer, with a divining monkey, who really divines nothing.
The next day, the guests at the inn all continue their own individual ways. When Don Quixote and Sancho go up a hill, they Come across a group of people from the aldermen's village, Who have gathered and are armed to the teeth with the lances and halberds. Don Quixote and Sancho realize that they are laying in wait for the townspeople of the other village Who have been making fun of them. Our Nobleman then draws near and with much gallantry tries to dissuade them from their bellicose intentions, but just when it looked as though he was going to succeed, Sancho had the unfortunate idea of braying in order to show them that this was no good reason to become so angry. But the already overly-ridiculed villagers, on hearing the bray, took it as an affront and laid into Sancho with all their force and might, as Rocinante, scared out of her wits, broke reins and sped off into the distance with her master astride.