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The Church Auctioneer and Clown of Villar

Good-bye, friend José; my vow is accomplished, and I leave you in peace with your mules.’

“‘And with the broken earthenware,’ said I, ‘and with my fortunes blasted, and with my legs bleeding; and all because I met you!’

“‘Say not so, friend José, for had it not been for me you would most assuredly have been swallowed up by the underground abyss. No, say not so, nor yet complain of your mouse-coloured mule, for to lament the death of a father is but natural.’

“The student walked quietly away, and I then set to making the mules get up, which, after much trouble, I succeeded in doing; but noticing that the mouse-coloured mule kept her head on one side as if in pain, I examined her, and on looking into her ear I discovered the end of a cigarette which that vile student had purposely dropped into it. I now knew that I had been deceived; but the cheat had already disappeared, so, like a wise man, I trudged home, sold my animals to pay my debts, and, having nothing better to do, I married Joanna and became, as you know, the church clown and auctioneer.”

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