Page:Mexico, California and Arizona - 1900.djvu/559

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539
THE REVIVAL OF BULL-FIGHTING.

playful. This disposition, adding to the cruelty of the fate that afterwards overtakes them, is often to be noticed; they frequently have almost the sportiveness of calves. Eventually, however, this one proved more "game" than any other of the afternoon. For one episode, he drove a picador and his horse fairly up against the barrier and never let them go till he had gored the horse to death. The man sustained himself helplessly by holding to the top of the barrier, and lost his lance, but was lucky enough to escape with his life, though not without severe bruises.

The finishing-stroke was given this animal by a mounted matador, a somewhat unusual feature.

The fourth bull was of a peaceable disposition, and would not fight at all, but fairly turned his back on the whole proceedings. He was driven from the ring with ignominy. What hisses, what jeers greeted this unworthy beast who would not lend himself to be butchered to make a Mexican holiday! The number was not diminished, however, for he was immediately replaced by another, of whom I can say nothing, except that his color was very dark; nor do I remember even so much of the next and final one that followed him. To the imposing mass of the fine, half-ruined renaissance church, plainly in sight above the amphitheatre, with its gray tower and large dome faced with colored tiles, I looked up from time to time during the carnage, and listened to the chimes of its sweet old bells with a keen sense of the contrast.

Three horses, with the five bulls, were killed that day, a very fair matter for Mexico; but not much, it seems, for Spain, where apparently the bulls kill more in proportion; for I learn that one Sunday in October last ten horses were killed at San Fernando, eighteen at Valencia, and