The vehemence with which he spoke of his gratitude did not move Do?a Sol. And so that was the famous Plumitas!... A poor sort of man, a good country rabbit whom every one looked on as a wolf, deceived by his fame.
Gallardo no longer received any letters from Seville. Do?a Sol was abroad. He saw her once when he was fighting in San Sebastian. The beautiful woman was staying in Biarritz and she came over with some French ladies who wished to know the torero. After that he heard very little of her; only from the few letters he got, and from the news his manager collected from the Marquis de Moraima.
"What's the matter with the horse?" he asked quietly. "Look him over well, old grumbler. He is far better than those that have glanders, or staggers, who have before now pitched you over their heads and planted you up to your ears in the sand, before you could face the bull. He is as sound as an apple. For the five and twenty years he has been in an ?rated water factory, doing his work conscientiously, no one has ever found fault with him, and now you come along shouting and abusing him, taking away his character as if he were a bad Christian."
So he had lived, and so he must go on living. He was a torero of the old-fashioned style, lavish, arrogant, astonishing every one with scandalous extravagances, but always ready to help misfortune with princely generosity.[Pg 305] He did not in the least regret his ostentatious life, and yet they wished him to give it up.