Juan Wins a Wager for the Governor.
Juan was well known for a brave man, though a fool, and the priest and the governor wished to try him on a wager. The governor told him that the priest was dead, and ordered him to watch the body in the church that night. The priest lay down on the bier before the altar, and after Juan came the priest arose. Juan pushed him down again and ran out of the church and secured a club. Returning, he said to the priest, “You are dead; try to get up again and I will break you to pieces.” So Juan proved himself to be a brave man, and the governor won his wager.
Juan Hides the Salt.
Juan’s father came into possession of a sack of salt, which used to be very precious and an expensive commodity. He wished it hidden in a secure place and so told Juan to hide it till they should need it. Juan went out and after hunting for a long time hid it in a carabao wallow, and of course when they went to fetch it again nothing was left but the sack.
The Man in the Shroud.
Juan, being a joker, once thought to have a little fun at others’ expense, so he robed himself in a shroud, placed a bier by the roadside, set candles around it, and lay down so that all who went by should see him and be frightened. A band of robbers went by that way, and seeing the corpse, besought it to give them luck. As it happened, they were more than usually fortunate, and when they returned they began to make offerings to him to secure continuance of their good fortune. As the entire proceeds of their adventures were held in common, they soon began to quarrel over the offerings to be made. The captain became angry, and drew his sword with a threat to run the corpse through for causing so much dissension among his men.
This frightened the sham dead man to such a degree that he jumped up and ran away, and the robbers, who were even more frightened than he, ran the other way, leaving all their plunder.
Juan then returned and gathered all the money and valuables left behind by the robbers, and carried them home. Now he had a friend who was very curious to know how he came into possession of so much wealth, and so Juan told him, only he said nothing about robbers, but told his friend, whose name was Pedro, that the things were the direct reward of God for his piety.
Pedro, being afraid of the woods, decided to lie just inside the church door; besides, that being a more sacred place, he felt sure that God would favor him even more than Juan. He arranged his bier with the candles around him, and lay down to await the shower of money that should reward his devotions. When the sacristan went to the church to ring the bell for vespers, he saw the body lying there, and not knowing of any corpse having been carried in, he was frightened and ran to tell the padre. The padre, when he had seen the body, said it was a miracle, and that it must be buried within the church, for the sanctification of the edifice.