* Juan is a slave boy. When he is 5, his mother dies, and he begins his work as a pageboy. His mistress is kind to him.
* Zarema left Juan a bracelette and hoop earrings given to her by Juan's father. Juan's mistress gives him the earrings and teaches him to read.
* Juan does not mind his life as a slave. He gets nice clothes and money for sweets. When Master, a sickly man, dies, Mistress goes to Madrid.
* Don Diego is Mistress's nephew. He is a painter, and Juan is deeply interested in his art. One day, there is a funeral at Diego's house.
* Shortly after this, Juan sees a plague notice on the bakery door. The next day, his mistress is dead, and Juan is sick.
* Juan wakes up after days of retching and hallucination to find he has been deserted...
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