When the horsemen came near, “Get out of the way!” bawled one of them. “Stand clear, or these bulls will have you in pieces in no time.”
“Halt, scoundrels!” roared the Knight. “What are bulls to Don Quixote de la Mancha, if they were the fiercest that ever lived? Stop, hangdogs!”
But the herdsmen had no time to answer, nor Don Quixote to get out of the way had he wanted to do so, for before any one knew what was happening, the bulls had run right over him and “Rozinante,” leaving them and Sancho and “Dapple,” his ass, stunned and bruised, rolling in the dust.
As soon as Don Quixote came to his senses he got up in great haste, stumbling here and falling there, and began to run after the herd.
“Stop, you scoundrels!” he bawled. “Stop! It is a single knight that defies you.”
But no one took the least notice of him, and he sat sadly down on the road, waiting till Sancho brought “Rozinante” to him. Then master and man went on their way, Don Quixote sore ashamed of his defeat, hurt as much in mind as in body.
That evening they dismounted at the door of an inn, and put up “Rozinante” and “Dapple” in the stable. Sancho asked the landlord what he could give them for supper.
“Why,” said the man, “you may have anything you choose to call for. The inn can provide fowls of the air, birds of the earth, and fishes of the sea.”
“There’s no need for all that,” said Sancho. “If you roast a couple of chickens it will be enough, for my master eats but little, and for myself, I have no great appetite.”
“Chickens?” said the host. “I am sorry I have no chickens just now. The hawks have killed them all.”
“Well, then, roast us a pullet, if it be tender.”
“A pullet? Well, now, that is unlucky. I sent away fifty to the market only yesterday. But, putting pullets aside, ask for anything you like.”
“Why, then,” said Sancho, pondering, “let us have some veal, or a bit of kid.”
“Sorry sir, we are just out of veal and kid also. Next week we shall have enough and to spare.”
“That helps us nicely,” said Sancho. “But at any rate, let us have some eggs and bacon.”
“Eggs!” cried the landlord. “Now didn’t I tell him I had no hens or pullets, and how then can I have eggs? No, no! Ask for anything you please in the way of dainties, but don’t ask for hens.”
“Body o’ me!” said Sancho, “let us have something. Tell me what you have, and have done.”
“Well, what I really and truly have is a pair of cow-heels that look like calves’-feet, or a pair of calves’-feet that look like cow-heels. You can have that and some bacon.”
“They are mine,” cried Sancho. “I don’t care whether they are feet or heels.”
And as Don Quixote had supper with some other guests who carried with them their own cook and their own larder, Sancho and the landlord supped well on the cow-heels.