Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/526

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

The trumpet is at length sounded, and in rushed a large brown bull, snorting and plunging about, mad with pain from the torture he had previously received. In a moment he was assailed by the horsemen, and several sharp encounters occurred. One man particularly more expert than the others, got his pike in the animal's neck, and actually held him off for a moment or two. The crowd cheered loudly, and he seemed in the height of his glory, when, by a sudden movement, the bull threw up the lance, and pitched into his adversary. The horse and rider were tossed into the air, and tumbled in the dust. The poor horse was terribly gored, and the picador or actor under him; and by great exertions the others succeeded in attracting the bull towards them, and the crushed cavalier was borne from the ring. The horse was dragged out by mules dead. Next came the cruel torturing that-seems to so much delight the Spaniard. The picadors, armed with bandorillas, approached him on all sides, waving their scarfs and shouting at him all manner of defiance.

After having sufficiently bewildered the noble animal one of the most expert approached him directly in front, holding in each hand a bandorilla. The bull pawed the earth for a few moments, and then plunged at him with almost inconceivable dexterity. The man turned to one side and plunged both into his neck, and others followed; and in a short time the panting bull was completely decorated with the fancy colored cut paper that is wound around the barb, an instrument of torture; but, still more cruel than this, a sort of rocket, that ignites with the force given in driving it home, was stuck into his neck, and they blazed and scorched him until it ended with an explosion, blackening and lacerating the flesh, while the creature plunged and bellowed fearfully amid the plaudits of the crowd; while he was suffering with pain, and mad as a thousand furies, one of the picadors endeavored to fasten a rosette upon his forehead. The bull rushed forward, and the man slipped. The sagacious animal caught him on one of his horns; and, running straight for the side of