Rodrigo forthwith set out upon the road, and took with him twenty knights. And as he went he did great good, and gave alms, feeding the poor and needy. And upon the way they found a leper, struggling in a quagmire, who cried out to them with a loud voice to help him for the love of God; and when Rodrigo heard this, he alighted from his beast and helped him, and placed him upon the beast before him, and carried him with him in this manner to the inn where he took up his lodging that night. At this were his knights little pleased.
When supper was ready he bade his knights take their seats, and he took the leper by the hand, and seated him next himself, and ate with him out of the same dish. The knights were greatly offended at this foul sight, insomuch that they rose up and left the chamber. But Rodrigo ordered a bed to be made ready for himself and for the leper, and they twain slept together. When it was midnight and Rodrigo was fast asleep, the leper breathed against him between his shoulders, and that breath was so strong that it passed through him, even through his breast; and he awoke, being astounded, and felt for the leper by him, and found him not; and he began to call him, but there was no reply. Then he arose in fear, and called for a light, and it was brought him; and he looked for the leper and could see nothing; so he returned into the bed, leaving the light burning. And he began to think within himself what had happened, and of that breath which had passed through him, and how the leper was not there. After a while, as he was thus musing, there appeared before him one in white garments, who said unto him, "Sleepest thou or wakest thou, Rodrigo?" and he answered and said, "I do not sleep: but who art thou that bringest with thee such brightness and so sweet an odor?" Said he, "I am Saint Lazarus, and know that I was a leper to whom thou didst so much good and so great honor for the love of God; and because thou didst this for his sake hath God now granted thee a great gift; for whensoever that breath which thou hast felt shall come upon thee, whatever thing thou desirest to do, and shalt then begin, that shalt thou accomplish to thy heart's desire, whether it be in battle or aught else, so that thy honor shall go on increasing from day to day; and thou shalt be feared both by Moors and Christians, and thy enemies shall never prevail against thee, and thou shalt die an honorable death in thine own house, and in thy renown, for God hath blessed thee therefore go thou on, and evermore persevere in doing good;" and with that he disappeared. And Rodrigo arose and prayed to our lady and intercessor St. Mary, that she would pray to her blessed son for him to watch over his body and soul in all his undertakings; and he continued in prayer till the day broke. Then he proceeded on his way, and performed his pilgrimage, doing much good for the love of God and of St. Mary.
Now it came to pass that while the King lay before Coimbra, there came a pilgrim from the land of Greece on pilgrimage to Santiago; his name was Estiano, and he was a bishop. And as he was praying in the church he heard certain of the townsmen and of the pilgrims saying that Santiago was wont to appear in battle like a knight, in aid of the Christians. And when he heard this, it nothing pleased him, and he said unto them, "Friends, call him not a knight, but rather a fisherman." Upon this it pleased God that he should fall asleep, and in his sleep Santiago appeared to him with a good and cheerful countenance, holding in his hand a bunch of keys, and said unto him, "Thou thinkest it a fable that they should call me a knight, and sayest that I am not so: for this reason am I come unto thee that thou never more mayest doubt concerning my knighthood; for a knight of Jesus Christ I am, and a helper of the Christians against the Moors."
Then a horse was brought him the which was exceeding white, and the apostle Santiago mounted upon it, being well clad in bright and fair armor, after the manner of a knight. And he said to Estiano, "I go to help King Don Ferrando, who has lain these seven months before Coimbra, and to-morrow, with these keys which thou seest, will I open the gates of the city unto him at the third hour, and deliver it into his hand." Having said this, he departed. And the bishop, when he woke in the morning, called together the clergy and people of Compostella, and told them what he had seen and heard. And as he said, even so did it come to pass; for tidings came, that on that day, and at the third hour, the gates of the city had been opened.
King Don Ferrando then assembled his counts and chief captains, and told them all that the monks of Lorvam had done, in bringing him to besiege the city, and in supplying his army in their time of need: and the counts and chief captains made answer and said, "Certes, O King, if the monks had not given us the stores of their monastery, thou couldest not have taken the city at this time." The King then called for the abbot and the brethren, for they were with him in the host, and said the hours to him daily, and mass in St. Andre's, and buried there and in their monastery as many as had died during the siege, either of arrow-wounds or by lances, or of their own infirmities. So they came before him and gave him joy of his conquest; and he said unto them, "Take ye now of this city as much as ye desire, since by God's favor and your counsel I have won it." But they made answer, "Thanks be to God and to you, and to your forefathers, we have enough and shall have, if so be that we have your favor and dwell among Christians. Only for the love of God, and for the remedy of your own soul, give us one church with its dwelling-houses within the city, and confirm unto us the gifts made to us in old times by your forefathers."
With that the King turned to his sons and his soldiers, and said, "Of a truth, by our Creator, they who desire so little are men of God. I would have given them half the city, and they will have only a single church! Now therefore, since they require but this, on the part of God Almighty let us grant and confirm unto them what they ask, to the honor of God and St. Mamede." And the brethren brought him their charters of King Ramiro, and King Bermudo, and King Alfonso, and of Gonzalo Moniz, who was a knight and married a daughter of King Bermudo, and of other good men. And the King confirmed them, and he bade them make a writing of all which had passed between him and them at the siege of Coimbra; and when they brought him the writing, they brought him also a crown of silver and of gold, which had been King Bermudo's, and which Gonzalo Moniz had given to the monastery in honor of God and St. Mamede.
The King saw the crown, set with precious stones, and said, "To what end bring ye hither this crown?" And they said, "That you should take it, sire, in return for the good which you have done us." But he answered, "Far be it from me that I should take from your monastery what the good men before me have given to it! Take ye back the crown, and take also ten marks of silver, and make with the money a good cross, to remain with you forever. And he who shall befriend you, may God befriend him; but he who shall disturb you or your monastery, may he be cursed by the living God and by his saints." So the King signed the writing which he had commanded to be made, and his sons and chief captains signed it also, and in the writing he enjoined his children and his children's children, as many as should come after him, to honor and protect the monastery of Lorvam; upon his blessing he charged them so to do, because he had found the brethren better than all the other monks in his dominions.
Then King Don Ferrando knighted Rodrigo of Bivar in the great mosque of Coimbra, which he dedicated to St. Mary. And the ceremony was after this manner: the King girded on his sword, and gave him the kiss, but not the blow. To do him honor the Queen gave him his horse, and the Infanta Dona Urraca fastened on his spurs; and from that day forth he was called Ruydiez. Then the King commanded him to knight nine noble squires with his own hand; and he took his sword before the altar, and knighted them. The King then gave Coimbra to the keeping of Don Sisnando, Bishop of Iria; a man who, having more hardihood than religion, had by reason of his misdeeds gone over to the Moors, and sorely infested the Christians in Portugal. But during the siege he had come to the King's service, and bestirred himself well against the Moors; and therefore the King took him into his favor, and gave him the city to keep, which he kept, and did much evil to the Moors till the day of his death. And the King departed and went to Compostella, to return thanks to Santiago.
But then Benalfagi, who was the lord of many lands in Estremadura, gathered together a great power of the Moors and built up the walls of Montemor, and from thence waged war against Coimbra, so that they of Coimbra called upon the King for help. And the King came up against the town, and fought against it, and took it. Great honor did Ruydiez win at that siege; for having to protect the foragers, the enemy came out upon him, and thrice in one day was he beset by them; but he, though sorely pressed by them, and in great peril, nevertheless would not send to the camp for succor, but put forth his manhood and defeated them. And from that day che King gave more power into his hands, and made him head over all his household.
Now the men of Leon besought the King that he should repeople Zamora, which had lain desolate since it was destroyed by Almanzor. And he went thither and peopled the city, and gave to it good privileges. And while he was there came messengers from the five kings who were vassals to Ruydiez of Bivar, bringing him their tribute; and they came to him, he being with the King, and called him Cid, which signifieth lord, and would have kissed his hands, but he would not give them his hand till they had kissed the hand of the King. And Ruydiez took the tribute and offered the fifth thereof to the King, in token of his sovereignty; and the King thanked him, but would not receive it; and from that time he ordered that Ruydiez should be called the Cid, because the Moors had so called him.
At this time Martin Pelaez the Asturian came with a convoy of laden beasts, carrying provisions to the host of the Cid; and as he passed near the town the Moors sallied out in great numbers against him; but he, though he had few with him, defended the convoy right well, and did great hurt to the Moors, slaying many of them, and drove them into the town. This Martin Pelaez who is here spoken of, did the Cid make a right good knight, of a coward, as ye shall hear. When the Cid first began to lay seige to the city of Valencia, this Martin Pelaez came unto him; he was a knight, a native of Santillana in Asturias, a hidalgo, great of body and strong of limb, a well-made man and of goodly semblance, but withal a right coward at heart, which he had shown in many places when he was among feats of arms. And the Cid was sorry when he came unto him, though he would not let him perceive this; for he knew he was not fit to be of his company. Howbeit he thought that since he was come, he would make him brave, whether he would or not.
When the Cid began to war upon the town, and sent parties against it twice and thrice a day, for the Cid was alway upon the alert, there was fighting and tourneying every day. One day it fell out that the Cid and his kinsmen and friends and vassals were engaged in a great encounter, and this Martin Pelaez was well armed; and when he saw that the Moors and Christians were at it, he fled and betook himself to his lodging, and there hid himself till the Cid returned to dinner. And the Cid saw what Martin Pelaez did, and when he had conquered the Moors he returned to his lodging to dinner. Now it was the custom of the Cid to eat at a high table, seated on his bench, at the head. And Don Alvar Fañez, and Pero Bermudez, and other precious knights, ate in another part, at high tables, full honorably, and none other knights whatsoever dared take their seats with them, unless they were such as deserved to be there; and the others who were not so approved in arms ate upon estrados, at tables with cushions. This was the order in the house of the Cid, and every one knew the place where he was to sit at meat, and every one strove all he could to gain the honor of sitting at the table of Don Alvar Fañez and his companions, by strenuously behaving himself in all feats of arms; and thus the honor of the Cid was advanced.
Martin Pelaez, thinking none had seen his badness, washed his hands in turn with the other knights, and would have taken his place among them. And the Cid went unto him, and took him by the hand and said, "You are not such a one as deserves to sit with these, for they are worth more than you or than me; but I will have you with me:" and he seated him with himself at table. And he, for lack of understanding, thought that the Cid did this to honor him above all the others. On the morrow the Cid and his company rode towards Valencia, and the Moors came out to the tourney; and Martin Pelaez went out well armed, and was among the foremost who charged the Moors, and when he was in among them he turned the reins, and went back to his lodging; and the Cid took heed to all that he did, and saw that though he had done badly he had done better than the first day. And when the Cid had driven the Moors into the town he returned to his lodging, and as he sat down to meat he took this Martin Pelaez by the hand, and seated him with himself, and bade him eat with him in the same dish, for he had deserved more that day than he had the first. And the knight gave heed to that saying, and was abashed; howbeit he did as the Cid commanded him: and after he had dined he went to his lodging and began to think upon what the Cid had said unto him, and perceived that he had seen all the baseness which he had done; and then he understood that for this cause he would not let him sit at board with the other knights who were precious in arms, but had seated him with himself, more to affront him than to do him honor, for there were other knights there better than he, and he did not show them that honor. Then resolved he in his heart to do better than he had done heretofore.
Another day it happened that the Cid and his company, along with Martin Pelaez, rode toward Valencia, and the Moors came out to the tourney full resolutely, and Martin Pelaez was among the first, and charged them right boldly; and he smote down and slew presently a good knight, and he lost there all the bad fear which he had had, and was that day one of the best knights there: and as long as the tourney lasted there he remained, smiting and slaying and overthrowing the Moors, till they were driven within the gates, in such manner that the Moors marveled at him, and asked where that devil came from, for they had never seen him before. And the Cid was in a place where he could see all that was going on, and he gave good heed to him, and had great pleasure in beholding him, to see how well he had forgotten the great fear which he was wont to have. And when the Moors were shut up within the town, the Cid and all his people returned to their lodging, and Martin Pelaez full leisurely and quietly went to his lodging also, like a good knight. And when it was the hour of eating, the Cid waited for Martin Pelaez; and when he came, and they had washed, the Cid took him by the hand and said, "My friend, you are not such a one as deserves to sit with me from henceforth; but sit you here with Don Alvar Fañez, and with these other good knights, for the good feats which you have done this day have made you a companion for them;" and from that day forward he was placed in the company of the good.
The history saith that from that day forward this knight Martin Pelaez was a right good one, and a right valiant, and a right precious, in all places where he chanced among feats of arms, and he lived alway with the Cid, and served him right well and truly. And the history saith, that after the Cid had won the city of Valencia, on the day when they conquered and discomfited the King of Seville, this Martin Pelaez was so good a one, that setting aside the body of the Cid himself, there was no such good knight there, nor one who bore such part, as well in the battle as in the pursuit. And so great was the mortality which he made among the Moors that day, that when he returned from the business the sleeves of his mail were clotted with blood, up to the elbow; insomuch that for what he did that day his name is written in this history, that it may never die. And when the Cid saw him come in that guise, he did him great honor, such as he never had done to any knight before that day, and from thenceforward gave him a place in all his actions and in all his secrets, and he was his great friend. In this knight Martin Pelaez was fulfilled the example which saith, that he who betaketh himself to a good tree, hath good shade, and he who serves a good lord winneth good guerdon; for by reason of the good service which he did the Cid, he came to such good state that he was spoken of as ye have heard: for the Cid knew how to make a good knight, as a good groom knows how to make a good horse.
On the following day after the Christians had taken possession of the town, the Cid entered it with a great company, and he ascended the highest tower of the wall and beheld all the city; and the Moors came unto him, and kissed his hand, saying he was welcome. And the Cid did great honor unto them. And then he gave order that all the windows of the towers which looked in upon the town should be closed up, that the Christians might not see what the Moors did in their houses; and the Moors thanked him for this greatly. And he commanded and requested the Christians that they should show great honor to the Moors, and respect them, and greet them when they met: and the Moors thanked the Cid greatly for the honor which the Christians did them, saying that they had never seen so good a man, nor one so honorable, nor one who had his people under such obedience.
Now Abeniaf thought to have the love of the Cid; and calling to mind the wrath with which he had formerly been received, because he had not taken a gift with him, he took now great riches which he had taken from those who sold bread for so great a price during the siege of Valencia, and this he carried to the Cid as a present. Among those who had sold it were some men from the islands of Majorca, and he took from them all that they had. This the Cid knew, and he would not accept his gifts. And the Cid caused proclamation to be made in the town and throughout the whole district thereof, that the honorable men and knights and castellans should assemble together in the garden of Villa Nueva, where the Cid at that time sojourned. And when they were all assembled, he went out unto them, to a place which was made ready with carpets and with mats, and he made them take their seats before him full honorable, and began to speak unto them, saying: "I am a man who have never possessed a kingdom, neither I nor any man of my lineage. But the day when I first beheld this city I was well pleased therewith, and coveted it that I might be its lord; and I besought the Lord our God that he would give it me. See now what his power is, for the day when I sat down before Juballa I had no more than four loaves of bread, and now by God's mercy I have won Valencia.
"If I administer right and justice here, God will let me enjoy it; if I do evil, and demean myself proudly and wrongfully, I know that he will take it away. Now then, let every one go to his own lands, and possess them even as he was wont to have and to hold them. He who shall find his field, or his vineyard, or his garden, desert, let him incontinently enter thereon; and he who shall find his husbanded, let him pay him that hath cultivated it the cost of his labor, and of the seed which he hath sown therein, and remain with his heritage, according to the law of the Moors. Moreover, I have given order that they who collect my dues take from you no more than the tenth, because so it is appointed by the custom of the Moors, and it is what ye have been wont to pay. And I have resolved in my heart to hear your complaints two days in the week, on the Monday and the Thursday; but if causes should arise which require haste, come to me when ye will and I will give judgment, for I do not retire with women to sing and to drink, as your lords have done, so that ye could obtain no justice, but will myself see to these things, and watch over ye as friend over his friend, and kinsman over his kinsman. And I will be cadi and guazil, and when dispute happens among ye I will decide it." When he had said these things, they all replied that they prayed God to preserve him through long and happy years; and four of the most honorable among them arose and kissed his hands, and the Cid bade them take their seats again.
Then the Cid spake unto them and said: "It is told me that Abeniaf hath done much evil, and committed great wrong toward some of ye, in that he hath taken great riches from ye to present them to me, saying, that this he did because ye sold food for a great price during the siege. But I will accept no such gift; for if I were minded to have your riches, I could take them, and need not ask them neither from him, nor from any other; but thing so unseemly as to take that which is his from any one, without just cause, I will not do. They who have gotten wealth thus, God hath given it them; let them go to Abeniaf, and take back what he hath forced from them, for I will order him to restore the whole." Then he said, "Ye see the riches which I took from the messengers who went to Murcia; it is mine by right, for I took it in war because they brake the covenant which they had made, and would have deceived me: nevertheless I will restore it to the uttermost centesimo, that nothing thereof shall be lost. And ye shall do homage to me that ye will not withdraw yourselves, but will abide here, and do my bidding in all things, and never depart from the covenant which ye make with me; for I love ye, and am grieved to think of the great evil and misery which ye endured from the great famine, and of the mortality which there was. And if ye had done that before which ye have done now, ye would not have been brought to these sufferings and have bought the cafiz of wheat at a thousand maravedis; but I trust in God to bring it to one maravedi. Be ye now secure in your lands, and till your fields, and rear cattle; for I have given order to my men that they offer ye no wrong, neither enter into the town to buy nor to sell; but that they carry on all their dealings in Alcudia, and this I do that ye may receive no displeasure. Moreover I command them not to take any captive into the town, but if this should be done, lay ye hands on the captive and set him free, without fear, and if any one should resist, kill him and fear not. I myself will not enter your city nor dwell therein, but I will build me a place beside the bridge of Alcantara, where I may go and disport myself at times, and repair when it is needful." When he had said these things he bade them go their way.
Well pleased were the Moors when they departed from him, and they marveled at the greatness of his promises, and they set their hearts at rest, and put away the fear which they had had, thinking all their troubles were over; for in all the promises which the Cid had made unto them, they believed that he spake truth; but he said these things only to quiet them, and to make them come to what he wished, even as came to pass. And when he had done, he sent his Almoxarife, Abdalla Adiz, to the custom-house, and made him appoint men to collect the rents of the town for him, which was done accordingly. And when the Cid had given order concerning his own affairs at his pleasure, the Moors would fain have entered again into possession of their heritages as he told them; but they found it all otherwise, for of all the fields which the Christians had husbanded, they would not yield up one; albeit they let them enter upon such as were left waste: some said that the Cid had given them the lands that year, instead of their pay, and other some that they rented them and had paid rent for the year.
The Moors waited till Thursday, when the Cid was to hear complaints, as he had said unto them. When Thursday came all the honorable men went to the garden, but the Cid sent to say unto them that he could not come out that day, because of other causes which he had to determine; and he desired that they would go their way for that time, and come again on the Monday: this was to show his mastery. And when it was Monday they assembled again in the garden, and the Cid came out to them, and took his seat upon the estrado, and the Moors made their complaint. And when he had heard them he began to make similitudes, and offer reasons which were not like those which he had spoken the first day; for he said to them, "I ask of ye, whether it is well that I should be left without men? or if I were without them, I should be like unto one who hath lost his right arm, or to a bird that hath no wings, or to one who should do battle and hath neither spear nor sword. The first thing which I have to look to is to the well-being of my people, that they may live in wealth and honor, so that they may be able to serve me, and defend my honor: for since it has pleased God to give me the city of Valencia, I will not that there be any other lord here than me. Therefore I say unto you and command you, if you would be well with me, and would that I should show favor unto you, that ye see how to deliver that traitor Abeniaf into my hands. Ye all know the great treason which he committed upon King Yahia, his lord and yours, how he slew him, and the misery which he brought upon you in the siege; and since it is not fitting that a traitor who hath slain his lord should live among you, and that his treason should be confounded with your loyalty, see to the obeyment of my command."
When the honorable Moors heard this, they were dismayed; verily they knew that he spake truth touching the death of the King, but it troubled them that he departed form the promise which he had made; and they made answer that they would take counsel concerning what he had said, and then reply. Then five of the best and most honorable among them withdrew, and went to Abdalla Adiz, and said unto him, "Give us thy counsel now the best and truest that thou canst, for thou art of our law, and oughtest to do this: and the reason why we ask counsel of thee is this. The Cid promised us many things, and now behold he says nothing to us of what he said before, but moveth other new reasons, at which great dismay hath seized us. And because thou better knowest his ways, tell us now what is his pleasure, for albeit we might wish to do otherwise, this is not a time wherein anything but what he shall command can be done." When the Almoxarife heard this he made answer, "Good men, it is easy to understand what he would have, and to do what should be done. We all know the great treason which Abeniaf committed against ye all in killing your lord the King; for albeit at that time ye felt the burden of the Christians, yet was it nothing so great as after he had killed him, neither did ye suffer such misery. And since God hath brought him who was the cause to this state, see now by all means how ye may deliver him into the hands of the Cid; and fear not, neither take thought for the rest; for though the Cid may do his pleasure in some things, better is it to have him for lord than this traitor who hath brought so much evil upon ye. Moreover the things of this world soon pass away, and my heart tells me that we shall ere long come out of the bondage of the Cid, and of the Christians; for the Cid is well-nigh at the full of his days, and we who remain alive after his death shall then be masters of our city."
The good men thanked him much, and held themselves to be well advised, and said that they would do willingly what he bade them; and they returned forthwith to the Cid, and said unto him that they would fulfill his commandment. Incontinently did the good men dispeed themselves of the Cid, and they went into the city, and gathered together a great posse of armed men, and went to the place where Abeniaf dwelt; and they assaulted the house and brake the doors, and entered in and laid hands on him, and his son, and all his company, and carried them before the Cid. And the Cid ordered Abeniaf to be cast into prison, and all those who had taken counsel with him for the death of King Yahia.
When this was done, the Cid said unto the good men, "Now that ye have fulfilled my bidding, I hold it good to show favor unto you in that which ye yourselves shall understand to be fitting for me to grant. Say therefore what ye would have, and I will do that which I think behooveth me: but in this manner, that my dwelling-place be within the city of Valencia, in the Alcazar, and that my Christian men have all the fortresses in the city." And when the good men heard this, they were greatly troubled; howbeit they dissembled the sorrow which they resented, and said unto him, "Sir Cid, order it as you think good, and we consent thereto." Then said he unto them that he would observe towards them all the uses and customs of their law, and that he would have the power, and be lord of all; and they should till their fields and feed their flocks and herds, and give him his tenth, and he would take no more.
When the Moors heard this they were pleased; and since they were to remain in the town, and in their houses and their inheritances, and with their uses and customs, and that their mosques were to be left them, they held themselves not to be badly off. Then they asked the Cid to let their guazil be the same as he had first appointed, and that he would give them for their cadi the Alfaqui Alhagi, and let him appoint whom he would to assist him in distributing justice to the Moors; and thus he himself would be relieved of the wearisomeness of hearing them, save only when any great occasion might befall. And the Cid granted this which they required, and they kissed his hand, and returned into the town. Nine months did the Cid hold Valencia besieged, and at the end of that time it fell into his power, and he obtained possession of the walls, as ye have heard. And one month he was practising with the Moors that he might keep them quiet, till Abeniaf was delivered into his hands; and thus ten months were fulfilled, and they were fulfilled on Thursday, the last day of June, in the year of the era one thousand one hundred and thirty and one, which was in the year one thousand ninety and three of the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. And when the Cid had finished all his dealings with the Moors, on this day he took horse with all his company in good array, his banner being carried before him, and his arms behind; and in this guise, with great rejoicings he entered the city of Valencia. And he alighted at the Alcazar, and gave order to lodge all his men round about it; and he bade them plant his banner upon the highest tower of the Alcazar. Glad was the Campeador, and all they who were with him, when they saw his banner planted in that place. And from that day forth was the Cid possessed of all the castles and fortresses which were in the kingdom of Valencia, and established in what God had given him, and he and all his people rejoiced.
Three days after the Cid had died King Bucar came into the port of Valencia, and landed with all his power, which was so great that there is not a man in the world who could give account of the Moors whom he brought. And there came with him thirty and six kings, and one Moorish queen, who was a negress, and she brought with her two hundred horsewomen, all negresses like herself, all having their hair shorn save a tuft on the top, and this was in token that they came as if upon a pilgrimage, and to obtain the remission of their sins; and they were all armed in coats of mail and with Turkish bows. King Bucar ordered his tents to be pitched round about Valencia, and Abenalfarax, who wrote this history in Arabic, saith that there were full fifteen thousand tents; and he bade that Moorish negress with her archers to take their station near the city. And on the morrow they began to attack the city, and they fought against it three days strenuously; and the Moors received great loss, for they came blindly up to the walls and were slain there. And the Christians defended themselves right well; and every time that they went upon the walls, they sounded trumpets and tambours, and made great rejoicings, as the Cid had commanded. This continued for eight days or nine, till the companions of the Cid had made ready everything for their departure, as he had commanded. And King Bucar and his people thought that the Cid dared not come out against them; and they were the more encouraged, and began to think of making bastiles and engines wherewith to combat the city, for certes they weened that the Cid Ruydiez dared not come out against them, seeing that he tarried so long.
All this while the company of the Cid were preparing all things to go into Castile, as he had commanded before his death; and his trusty Gil Diaz did nothing else but labor at this. And the body of the Cid was thus prepared: first it was embalmed and anointed, and the virtue of the balsam and myrrh was such that the flesh remained firm and fair, having its natural color, and his countenance as it was wont to be, and the eyes open, and his long beard in order, so that there was not a man who would have thought him dead if he had seen him and not known it. And on the second day after he had departed, Gil Diaz placed the body upon a right noble saddle, and this saddle with the body upon it he put upon a frame; and he dressed the body in a gambax of fine sendal, next the skin. And he took two boards and fitted them to the body, one to the breast and the other to the shoulders; these were so hollowed out and fitted that they met at the sides and under the arms, and the hind one came up to the pole, and the other up to the beard. These boards were fastened into the saddle, so that the body could not move.
All this was done by the morning of the twelfth day; and all that day the people of the Cid were busied in making ready their arms, and in loading beasts with all that they had, so that they left nothing of any price in the whole city of Valencia, save only the empty houses. When it was midnight they took the body of the Cid, fastened to the saddle as it was, and placed it upon his horse Bavieca, and fastened the saddle well; and the body sat so upright and well that it seemed as if he was alive. And it had on painted hose of black and white, so cunningly painted that no man who saw them would have thought but that they were greaves and cuishes, unless he had laid his hand upon them; and they put on it a surcoat of green sendal, having his arms blazoned thereon, and a helmet of parchment, which was cunningly painted that every one might have believed it to be iron; and his shield was hung round his neck, and they placed the sword Tizona in his hand, and they raised his arm, and fastened it up so subtilely that it was a marvel to see how upright he held the sword. And the Bishop Don Hieronymo went on one side of him, and the trusty Gil Diaz on the other, and he led the horse Bavieca, as the Cid had commanded him. And when all this had been made ready, they went out from Valencia at midnight, through the gate of Roseros, which is towards Castile. Pero Bermudez went first with the banner of the Cid, and with him five hundred knights who guarded it, all well appointed. And after these came all the baggage. Then came the body of the Cid, with an hundred knights, all chosen men, and behind them Dona Ximena with all her company, and six hundred knights in the rear. All these went out so silently, and with such a measured pace, that it seemed as if there were only a score. And by the time that they had all gone out it was broad day.
Now Alvar Fañez Minaya had set the host in order, and while the Bishop Don Hieronymo and Gil Diaz led away the body of the Cid, and Dona Ximena, and the baggage, he fell upon the Moors. First he attacked the tents of that Moorish queen the negress, who lay nearest to the city; and this onset was so sudden, that they killed full a hundred and fifty Moors before they had time to take arms or go to horse. But that Moorish negress was so skilful in drawing the Turkish bow, that it was held for a marvel; and it is said that they called her in Arabic Nugueymat Turya, which is to say, the Star of the Archers. And she was the first that got on horseback, and with some fifty that were with her, did some hurt to the company of the Cid; but in fine they slew her, and her people fled to the camp. And so great was the uproar and confusion, that few there were who took arms, but instead thereof they turned their backs and fled toward the sea. And when King Bucar and his kings saw this, they were astonished. And it seemed to them that there came against them on the part of the Christians full seventy thousand knights, all as white as snow: and before them a knight of great stature upon a white horse with a bloody cross, who bore in one hand a white banner, and in the other a sword which seemed to be of fire, and he made a great mortality among the Moors who were flying. And King Bucar and the other kings were so greatly dismayed that they never checked the reins till they had ridden into the sea; and the company of the Cid rode after them, smiting and slaying and giving them no respite; and they smote down so many that it was marvelous, for the Moors did not turn their heads to defend themselves. And when they came to the sea, so great was the press among them to get to the ships, that more than ten thousand died in the water. And of the six and thirty kings, twenty and two were slain. And King Bucar and they who escaped with him hoisted sails and went their way, and never more turned their heads.
Alvar Fañez and his people, when they had discomfited the Moors, spoiled the field, and the spoil thereof was so great that they could not carry it away. And they loaded camels and horses with the noblest things which they found, and went after the Bishop Don Hieronymo and Gil Diaz, who, with the body of the Cid, and Doña Ximena, and the baggage, had gone on till they were clear of the host, and then waited for those who were gone against the Moors. And so great was the spoil of that day, that there was no end to it: and they took up gold, and silver, and other precious things as they rode through the camp, so that the poorest man among the Christians, horseman or on foot, became rich with what he won that day.
Try out the other sections