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Don Quixote VII. Emperor Alifanforon's Battle


Faint and dispirited, all limbs aching and covered in bruises, Don Quixote continued on his way with his squire, having left the inn without paying their bill. - "My good Sancho Panza, now you will perhaps believe me that it was phantoms and spirits from the other world who ill-treated us so terribly in the enchanted castle." Sancho's only reply was a heart-rending groan. As they rode slowly on, the knight noticed a great thick cloud of dust approaching them. He stared at it with flashing eyes and then turned to Sancho. - "Listen to me, Sancho, today is the day on which the good fortune that fate has ordained for me shall be seen. The valour of my arm shall be displayed and I shall perform deeds which will bring me admiration for centuries to come. Do you see that dust-cloud over there? The Two Clouds of DustIt is being churned up by a prodigious army of various and innumerable nations!" - "There must be two armies so", said Sancho, looking out over the plain. "There! Another dust-cloud is rising on the other side." Don Quixote was now quite certain that a great battle was being fought on the plain. - "We must go to the aid of the weak and those in distress. Let me tell you, Sancho, that one of these armies is commanded by the famous emperor Alifanforon, lord of the island of Taprobana; the other is led by Pentapolin, King of the Garamantas." - "Noble Sir, I now clearly see two large flocks of sheep!" - "Aha! Look closely, Sancho Panza, "they are fighting because Emperor Alifanforon is a pagan and wants to have King Pentapolin's Christian daughter as his wife." - "Indeed," murmured Sancho Panza, "my noble master is speaking of his books of chivalry, and what an enviable memory he has!" Don Quixote rode with majestic bearing to the top of a hill and in a resounding voice greeted a few dozen famous heroes. His extraordinary imagination led him to believe he saw them there before him, and he called out their extravagant names. Sancho burst out: "I see nothing but sheep, sheep, sheep!" - " How can you talk such nonsense?" replied Don Quixote. "Do you not hear the whinnying of the horses, the pealing of the trumpets and the dull roll of the military percussion?" - "I hear nothing but a great bleating of sheep, Sir!" - "You dog! You are blinded by your cowardice!" With that the noble knight of La Mancha put his lance in its rest, spurred Rocinante and charged down the slope like a thunderbolt right into the middle of the sheep. Picture 88. The Battle with the Sheep Sancho Panza cried out after him: "Turn back! Turn back, Sir! I swear to God they are only sheep!" But his master did not hear him. In the heat of battle and with fierce battle cries he lashed out and speared the poor frightened creatures. The shepherds and herdsmen had seen this nonsensical performance; they took up their slings and bombarded the madman with stones the size of their fists. Don Quixote collapsed under the hail of stones. The knight's hand was paralysed; four of his teeth had been knocked out; his face pitifully bruised. Sancho Panza tore his hair and beard in despair at master's antics. - "Sancho, you are an ass!", Don Quixote hissed between the gaps in his teeth. "Don't you realise that a wretched sorcerer has turned the knights into sheep?" - "Ah nonsense", Sancho replied insolently. "Spare me your knights, sorcerers and sheep! My saddlebag is missing together with all the food. I have a terrible feeling that the innkeeper in that cursed castle secretly removed it in lieu of payment of our bill. In addition to all your carry-on, I shall have to go hungry."

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