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your objections. I start tomorrow morning
at three; you at twelve tonight. You will
be fourteen hours going,  I two days; but
never mind

Come what, come may,
Time and the tide wear out the roughest day."

" Delightful plan," said Hodgins, gaining
heart. " Bravo! I admire your pluck; I
have a great mind to go with you. Good bye.
I'll go and order a cold fowl and a melon,
to take with me for the night, for I shan't
sleep a wink. "

Hodgins was a lady's man, and a polite
man, but self-denial was a virtue he had
not learnt. If I had been murdered in
the mountains, he would have said: "Bless
my soul! Poor devil! I thought he was
doing a foolish thing. I am sorry I cannot
stop for his funeral; I must be back, you
know, at Gib; my leave expires!"

My preparations were soon made. I filled
my flask with Amontillado, and ordered some
biscuits. El Moro, the guide, was to knock at
my door at half-past two. Till thenit was
now sixwhat to do? I read Ford and Don
Quixote for half an hour; then got out on
the balcony, and listened to the military
band performing a dirge in the Alameda
for some Don Donothing; watched the
ladies with the fluttering fans, the priests
and soldiers. Then, as it got darker, I sat on
my chair and marked the houses opposite
so open and transparenteach window a
little domestic picture. That shop at the
bottom, with the luminous red curtain before
the door, is the barber's; a little toy brass
basin dangles over the threshold. The
barber is a Madrid man, for I can hear him
lisp his th's as the Northern Spaniards do,
calling it Castilian; much to the contempt
of Andalucians. That sort of stable-door
next to it with an iron grating over the top,
( there being no visible window at all ) is the
entrance to a billiard-room; for, now that the
lamps are lit up and down the street of the
King's Fountain, I can see the luminous
golden green cloth and the ivory balls running
about, knocking their heads together. There
is a great hum of voices in the street; but no
fierce defiant whistling nor rebellious street
cries, impudent and insulting. That place
opposite, with the wide open doorway, is the
diligence office, the boards at the door-posts
are painted with red letters on white ground,
and remind me of the diamonds in a pack of
cards. Those quiet chatty burgesses seated
on chairs at the door, are people waiting to
go by the Madrid diligence at eight o'clock.
Part of them are El Tato's quadrille (gang)
of bull-fighters, going back to Madrid. They
would be pleasant company, and full of stories
of gladiator daring, such as short-sighted
Nero would have rejoiced to see through the
emerald spy-glass we are told he used. I
ring the bell, order up some preserved peaches
in syrup, pour out a deep draught of wine
and water, and amuse myself by listening to
the new sounds, and determine to save
up my system for the next day's fourteen
hours in the saddle, slip under the pink
mosquito curtains and try to sleep; though
the hour is supernaturally early. First
one side then the other; the curtains make
it close and hot, and there is a hum
in the street; but I dare not shut the
glass windows, for there is no chimney in the
room. I determine to sleep. I clench my
eyes, and think fixedly of nothing. I try all
the old tricks, count till I outrival Cocker,
Bidder, Babbage, and De Morgan. I try to
wear myself out with staring at a veil of
darkness. I fancy smoke rising from my
knees in a blue, wavy column. I know that,
when I get my mind to the focus of a single
thought, unbroken and entire, that one thought
will be sleep. But all these mental efforts
rouse me to quite a creative state of wakefulness.
Now, at last, I am getting into a fancy
of sinking on my back through miles of sea, in
search of the flaw in the Atlantic telegraph,
when the door bursts open, and Hodgins

"Farewell, old boy! I admire your pluck.
You'll have a delicious ride. They're putting
the horses to. Good-bye, God bless you; we
shall meet again at Philippi." He was gone.
I heard the old diligence ten minutes after,
roll, toss, and jumble off on its fourteen-hour

I fell asleep, and when a sharp hurrying
knock of El Moro woke me, I did as I have
before told you,

"Full purse and full stomach never tire,"
said El Moro, a dry thin old young man, in a
grey jacket.

"A merry heart goes all the day," said I,
capping him from the divine Williams.

I had taken the greatest possible
precaution the day before, to get the best horse
in the landlord's stable, knowing that a long
and even dangerous ride lay before me. I
had gone into the dark shrine of Jupiter
Ammonia, all but arm in arm with the
negro boots in the yellow jacket before-named,
and had had my pick of the row of
sullen-eyed, lank steeds that pulled at their
chains as I passed behind their rows of heels.
I rejected the special horses pointed me out
by the Boots, and fixed on a good-natured,
robust black cob, sound of wind and limb,
and able, I was sure, from his sinewy flank, to
bear much fatigue. I chose him in a solemn
way; and El Moro, the guide, approved

He quite agreed to it, yet now, when I get
out of the shadow of the houses into the clear
starlight, that seems all in a glow-worm
flutter and twitter, at the first chill of dawn,
will you believe it? I find myself hoaxed,
into a vile, flea-bitten grey, with a hiccupping
stumble, that seizes him at regular
intervals of four minutes.  I am,
however, afraid of disturbing the temper