1. Why isn't the Marquis at his best?
The Marquis is not at his best during the fencing bout because the previous evening he had been partying. Don Jamie can tell this by the way he is breathing hard and sweating profusely. It isn't necessarily a problem as the Marquis is still known as the best swordsman in Madrid and only fights Don Jaime because he needs the practice and because he loves fencing.
2. Describe Luis de Ayala.
Luis de Ayala has a mane of thick, curly hair. His strong build is complemented by his grand gestures and passions, which in turn make him good company.
3. Why is Don Jaime struggling with what he calls the Holy Grail?
Don Jaime's Holy Grail is a treatise in the Art of Fencing. He is struggling to write because he is known throughout the fencing world as one of the greats, so he feels under pressure to deliver something groundbreaking. As a result, he is trying to find the ultimate move. This is not proving easy.
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