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Don Quixote XVII. Moors battle with Christians


After the frightful battle which Don Quixote fought and won in the Cave of Montesinos against the most powerful Spanish knights of the last century, the knight errant named the most renowned noble families of Spanish history to his squire, claiming to have encountered their most famous heroes during the struggle. "But your worship - you were fighting a swarm of bats and hawks!" - "Hold your tongue, Sancho! Have I not told you before that an infernal spirit has cast a spell on these heroes, transforming them into flying monsters!" Don Quixote admonished his squire roundly. After this short dispute, knight and squire trotted without speaking alongside each other. Picture 101. The Fight with the BatsWhen evening fell, the two made their way for the night to an inn in which a puppet show was to be put on. The director of the theatre offered Don Quixote and his companion seats, received the money for them and had the curtain hauled up. Don Quixote stared in amazement at the puppets, which - controlled by invisible wires - moved most naturally. The plot consisted mainly of a battle of Christians against Moors, which was of the greatest interest to him. The Christians were defeated and the Moors pursued them right back to the towers of their city. When Don Quixote saw that the pagans were again attacking the Christians, his blood began to boil and he considered it only right and proper to offer assistance to those in such distress. "Stop!" he cried suddenly, making angrily for the puppets. "You will no longer persecute my fellow Christians or you must do battle with me!" He hastily drew his sword, leapt up on the stage and in great fury began to rain blows on the puppets. He knocked some down, beheaded others, smashed the rest to pieces and would have committed a terrible massacre had the puppets been of flesh and blood instead of leather and tow. - Picture 102. The Battle with the Puppets When the director of the theatre had got his breath back, he threw himself at the feet of the enraged knight and begged him, his eyes streaming with tears, to spare his poor lifeless creatures. But Don Quixote did not listen to the man's laments and would have cut off his head had he not quickly made off. In less than ten minutes the entire theatre had been completely destroyxed; the assembled audience had dashed in panic from the building and Sancho Panza was heard to say that he had never seen his master in such a rage and so beside himself. Not until the annihilation of the puppets was complete did Don Quixote become somewhat calmer; he leaned out of breath on his sword and said: "I would now like to see those insolent people who claim that knights errant are useless people!" -

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