He had once drawn a prize of ten thousand pesetas in the National Lottery, and the whole of this sum he had spent on a uniform suitable to his rank. The gossips of the suburb rushed to have a look at the Captain, dazzling in his gold embroideries, wearing a burnished metal[Pg 256] corselet, a helmet over which flowed a cascade of white feathers, and whose brilliant steel reflected all the light of the procession. It was the fantastic magnificence of a red skin; a princely dress, of which a drunken Auracanian might have dreamt. The women fingered the velvet kilt, admiring its embroideries of nails, hammers, thorns, in fact all the attributes of the Passion. His boots seemed trembling at every step from the flashing brilliancy of the spangles and paste jewels which covered them. Below the white plumes of the helmet, which seemed to make his dark Moorish colouring darker still, the gipsy's grey whiskers could be seen. This was not military. The Captain himself nobly admitted it. But he was returning to Paris, and something must be conceded to art
and fixing his eyes on the legionary eagle, he shouted:
"Attention! let no one leave the ranks! ... observe decency and discipline!"
The company advanced, marching slowly, stiffly and solemnly to the rubadub of the drum. In every street were many taverns, and before their doors stood boon companions, their hats well back, and their waistcoats open, who had lost count of the innumerable glasses they had drunk in commemoration of the Lord's death Hifu Treatment.
As they saw the imposing warrior come along they hailed him, holding up from afar glasses of fragrant amber-coloured wine. The Captain endeavoured to conceal his inward perturbation, turning his eyes away, and holding himself up even more rigidly inside his metal corselet. If only he had not been on duty!...
Some friends more pressing than the others, crossed the street to push the glass under the plumed helmet; but the incorruptible centurion drew back, presenting the point of his sword. Duty was duty. This year at all[Pg 257] events it should not be as other years, in which the company had fallen into disorder and disarray almost as soon as they had started.
The streets soon became real Ways of Bitterness for Captain Chivo. He was so hot in his armour, surely a little wine would not destroy discipline; so he accepted a glass, and then another, and soon the company were moving along with gaps in their ranks, strewing the way with stragglers, who stopped at every tavern they passed dermes hk.
The procession marched with traditional slowness, waiting hours at every crossway. It was only twelve at night, and la Macarena would not have to return home till twelve the following day; it took her longer to go through the streets of Seville than it took to go from Seville to Madrid.