Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/528

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"Papa is well nigh killed, and I fear you may meet with the same fate." "Guadaloupa," said the young picador, "I am not so clumsy as to lose my feet, like papa. You know I was never touched yet, and there will be such merry sports with a wild black bull we have here, as I would not miss for my commission;" and he curled his silken moustache with a confidence that drew a smile of womanly pride from the dama (lady); albeit there was a fearful doubt betrayed in her moist eyes. "Never fear for me; you shall see what pranks I shall play with toro negro, black bull. Why, I have wagered a dozen of burgales," (which means an ancient coin of gold,) "with Don Pedro de Avilla that I will leap upon his toros back;" and away he went laughing.

"Dios mio" (mine God), exclaimed the trembling lady, as she saw the fierce wild bull run into the ring. "I wish I had not come to the Plaza de Toros. "Why so?" asked I. "Lorenzo is famed for his dexterity; and now that he has the assurance of winning his wager, and the encouragement of your bright black eyes and prayers, he cannot fail to win." "Oh, there is no such picador in all Mexico as he (Lorenzo) is. But I feel something here (putting her hand upon her heart) heavy and distrustful—something I never felt before; a great fear seems to have caught my heart with fingers of iron, and it is full of sad foreboding. That bull is as fierce as a demonio (demon), and, see, his horns are as sharp as the point of a lance," and so they were. In these days of degeneracy in the bull ring, the horns of the toro (bull) are generally sawed off at the point, so as to make them less dangerous in case of accident. But the bull Lorenzo was to encounter had not been so used. It was said by a Mexican seated close by us that it was because he could not be caught. At this the trumpet sounded, and the encounter commenced. The horsemen fought shy at first, and dared not come up to the scratch, dealing the bull side favors, but not daring to confront him. In a few seconds, however, he had tumbled one into the dust, and a fine horse was taken out of the ring dragging his entrails