Still reading it—about 200 pages to go! DQ and Sancho and I met an
interesting character recently and I want to share him with you. Maybe if
you have read the book, you remember him. It’s Master Pedro and he has a
magical monkey that can relate past and present events (not the future, though–heh-heh.)
Master Pedro goes around performing at inns and public places and finds
big audiences who are amazed at the way the little monkey can relate all
this information! In the book he is called an “ape” but since part of the performing act involves him jumping up on the shoulder of Master Pedro I picture him more as a small monkey and so that’s what I call him.
Don Quixote and Sancho meet him on the “trail” and ask if there will be any
“novel” events in the performance as they have heard great praise for him.
Oh, indeed, Pedro reassures them—much novel to see and hear,–and so
DQ and Sancho attend a show at the inn where they are staying and we go along with them–
In the performances, Master Pedro gives out a question and asks it aloud to
the audience–for instance, it might be, “what person recently had a fire at their property?” (he gets away with that poor grammar . . .) And! Lo! and behold! the monkey jumps up on his shoulder and whispers the answer in his ear. Then, Pedro (that’s Master Pedro to you)
announces the answer the monkey has just given him: Farmer Brown. And,
YES! it’s true!! Farmer Brown recently had a fire in his barn! How did that
monkey know that????? Well, you and I and the other readers know, because Cervantes tells us so, that before giving a performance in an area or village or town, Master Pedro idly walks around the area or village and talks with people ABOUT RECENT EVENTS! And so, of course he knows the answer to any
question he might ask (!) so that “the monkey” knows every answer. The people in the audience pay up in “reals’ (that’s their money back then)to find out even more about events. Trouble is, the monkey can’t tell the future(and neither can Master Pedro. . .)and sometimes some people in the audience “don’t care” to spend money to find out things they already know!
STill, Master Pedro makes a good living at this sleight of hand business and is popular at the inns for nightly entertainment.
Kind of fun to read about– and reminds me of fortune tellers and how they
might be able to guess and predict . . .
Two other people we met recently are the “duke ” and “duchess” and that business carried on for chapter after chapter. The duchess became quite fond of Sancho and his silly ways and thought he was shrewd. The duke asked how his plan for governing an island was coming along, and Sancho admitted that Quixote still had not given him one————-and the duke, who said that he had some islands in his possession, gave one to Sancho and so now he has finally become a governor! And he is quite wise and acts liked Solomon and
gives sensible answers to the island people when they come to him with problems and questions. Currently he’s having trouble with some of his attendants who are guarding his food carefully, not wanting him to eat anything not good for him. Might as well have the vegan police in this book! Sancho is hungry and looking at veal and mutton on his plate and then WHISH! the attendant whirls it into nothing with his magic wand.
So, I’m on page 752, but who’s counting? (I am) and although I can’t say the
end is near, at least I have a little chart in the back of the book now to edge my way all the way to page 923 . . .