office. He set down his suitcase and knocked on the door.
There was no answer. Manuel, standing in the hallway, felt
there was some one in the room. He felt it through the door.
'Retana,' he said, listening.
There was no answer.
He's there, all right, Manuel thought.
'Retana,' he said and banged the door.
"'Who's there?' said some one in the office.
'Me, Manolo,' Manuel said*.
'What do you want?' asked the voice..
'I want to work,' Manuel said. ^^ ~*
Something in the door clicked several times and it swung
open. Manuel went in, carrying his suitcase.390
A little man sat behind a desk at the far side of the room.
Over his head was a bull's head, stuffed by a Madrid ta&i-
dernust; on the walls were framed photographs and bull-
The little man sat looking at Manuel.,
*I thought they'd killed you/ he said
Manuel knocked with his knuckles on the desk. The little
man sat looking at him across the desk.
'How many corridas you had this year?' Retana asked.
'One, 3 he answered.
'Just that one?' the little man asked.
'I read about it in the papers, 5 Retana said. He leaned
back in the chair and looked at Manuel.391
wooden box of cigarettes toward Manuel.
'Have a cigarette,' he said.
Manuel lit it.
'Smoke?' he said, offering the match to Retana.
'No,' Retana waved his hand, 'I never smoke.'
Retana watched him smoking.
'Why don't you get a job and go to work?' he said.
*I don't want to work,' Manuel said. 'I am a bull-fighter/
There aren't any bull-fighters any more,' Retana said.
Tm a bull-fighter,' Manuel said.
212 THE UNDEFEATED394
'Yes, while you're in there/ Retana said.
Retana sat, saying nothing and looking at Manuel.
Til put you in a nocturnal if you want,' Retana offered.
'When?' Manuel asked.
'I don't like to substitute for anybody,' Manuel said. That
was the way they all got killed. That was the way Salvador
got killed. He tapped with his knuckles on the table.
'It's all I've got,' Retana said.
'Why don't you put me on next week? 5 Manuel suggested.
'You wouldn't draw,' Retana said. 'All they want is Litri
and Rubito and La Torre. Those kids are good.'
'They'd come to see me get it,' Manuel said, hopefully.
'No, they wouldn't. They don't know who you are any
'I've got a lot of stuff,' Manuel said.
'I'm offering to put you on to-morrow night,' Retana said.
4 You can work with young Hernandez and kill two novillos
after the Chariots.'
'Whose novillos?' Manuel asked.
'I don't know. Whatever stuff they've got in the corrals.
What the veterinaries won't pass in the daytime.'
'I don't like to substitute,' Manuel said.
'You can take it or leave it,' Retana said. He leaned for-
ward over the papers. He was no longer interested. The
appeal that Manuel had made to him for a moment when he
thought of the old days was gone. He would like to get him396
to substitute for Larita because he could get him cheaply.
He could get others cheaply too. He would like to help him,
though. Still he had given him the chance. It was up to him.
'How much do I get?' Manuel asked. He was still playing
with the idea of refusing. But he knew he could not refuse.
'Two hundred and fifty pesetas,' Retana said. He had
thought of five hundred, but when he opened his mouth it
said two hundred and fifty.
THE UNDEFEATED 213
'You pay Villalta seven thousand/ Manuel said.
'You're not Villalta,' Retana said.
'I know it,' Manuel said.
'He draws it, Manolo,' Retana said in explanation.
'Sure,' said Manuel. He stood up. 'Give me three hun-
dred, Retana! 5
'All right,' Retana agreed. He reached in the drawer for a
'Can I have fifty now?' Manuel asked.
'Sure,' said Retana. He took a fifty-peseta note out of his
pocket-book and laid it, spread out flat, on the table.
Manuel picked it up and put it in his pocket.
'What about a cuadrilla?' he asked.
'There's the boys that always work for me nights,' Retana
said. 'They're all right.'
'How about picadors?' Manuel asked.
'They're not much,' Retana admitted.
'I've got to have one good pic,' Manuel said.
'Get him then,' Retana said. 'Go and get him.'398
'Not out of this,' Manuel said. 'I'm not paying for any
cuadrilla out of sixty duros.'
Retana said nothing but looked at Manuel across the big
'You know I've got to have one good pic,' Manuel said.
Retana said nothing but looked at Manuel from a long way
'It isn't right,' Manuel said.
Retana was still considering him, leaning back in his chair,
considering him from a long way away.
There're the regular pics/ he offered.
'I know, 5 Manuel said. 'I know your regular pics.'
Retana did not smile. Manuel knew it was over.
'All I want is an even break, 5 Manuel said reasoningly.
*When I go out there I want to be able to call my shots on the
bull. It only takes one good picador. 5
He was talking to a man who was no longer listening.
2i 4 THE UNDEFEATED
If you want something extra/ Retana said, 'go and get it.
There will be a regular cuadrilla out there. Bring as many
of your own pics as you want. The charlotada is over by
'All right/ Manuel said. 'If that's the way you feel about
'That's the way/ Retana said.
Til see you to-morrow night/ Manuel said.
Til be out there/ Retana said.400
Manuel picked up his suitcase and went out.
'Shut the door/ Retana called.
Manuel looked back. Retana was sitting forward looking at
some papers. Manuel pulled the door tight until it clicked.
He went down the stairs and out of the door into the hot
brightness of the street. It was very hot in the street and the
light on the white buildings was sudden and hard on his eyes.
He walked down the shady side of the street toward the
Puerta del Sol. The shade felt solid and cool as running
water. The heat came suddenly as he crossed the intersect-
ing streets. Manuel saw no one he knew in all the people he
Just before the Puerto del Sol he turned into a cafe.
It was quiet in the cafe. There were a few men sitting at
tables against the wall. At one table four men played cards.
Most of the men sat against the wall smoking, empty coffee-
cups and liqueur-glasses before them on the tables. Manuel
went through the long room to a small room in back. A man
sat at a table in the corner asleep. Manuel sat down at one
of the tables.
A waiter came in and stood beside Manuel's table.
'Have you seen Zurito?' Manuel asked him.
'He was in before lunch/ the waiter answered, 'He won't
be back before five o'clock.'
'Bring me some coffee and milk and a shot of the ordinary/
The waiter came back into the room carrying a tray with a
THE UNDEFEATED- 215
big coffee-glass and a liqueur-glass on it. In his left hand he
held a bottle of brandy. He swung these down to the table
and a boy who had followed him poured coffee and milk into
the glass from two shiny, spouted pots with long handles.402
Manuel took off his cap and the waiter noticed his pigtail
pinned forward on his head. He winked at the coffee-boy as
he poured out the brandy into the little glass beside
Manuel's coffee. The coffee-boy looked at Manuel's pale face
'You fighting here?' asked the waiter, corking up the bottle.
'Yes,' Manuel said. 'To-morrow.'
The waiter stood there, holding the bottle on one hip.
'You in the Charlie Chaplins?' he asked.
The coffee-boy looked away, embarrassed.
'No. In the ordinary. 5
'I thought they were going to have Chaves and Hernan-
dez,' the waiter said.
'No. Me and another.'
'Who? Chaves or Hernandez?'
'Hernandez, I think/
'What's the matter with Chaves?'
'He got hurt. 5
"Where did you hear that?'
"Hey, Looie,' the waiter called to the next room. 'Chaves
Manuel had taken the wrapper off the lumps of sugar and
dropped them into his coffee. He stirred it and drank it
down, sweet, hot, and warming in his empty stomach. He
drank off the brandy.
'Give me another shot of that,' he said to the waiter.404
The waiter uncorked the bottle and poured the glass full r
slopping another drink into the saucer. Another waiter had
come up in front of the table. The coffee-boy was gone,
'Is Chaves hurt bad?' the second waiter asked Manuel.
'I don't know,' Manuel said. 'Retana didn't say.'
216 THE UNDEFEATED
'A hell of a lot he cares/ the tall waiter said. Manuel had
not seen him before. He must have just come up.
'If you stand in with Retana in this town, you're a made
man/ the tall waiter said. 'If you aren't in with him, you
might just as well go out and shoot yourself.'
'You said it,' the other waiter who had come in said. 'You
said it then.'
'You're right I said it,' said the tall waiter. 'I know what
I'm talking about when I talk about that bird.'
'Look what he's done for Villalta,' the first waiter said.
'And that ain't all,' the tall waiter said. 'Look what he's
done for Marcial Lalanda. Look what he's done for
'You said it, kid,' agreed the short waiter.
Manuel looked at them, standing talking in front of his
table. He had drunk his second brandy. They had for-
gotten about him. They were not interested in him.
'Look at that bunch of camels,' the tall waiter went on.
'Did you ever see this Nacional II?'
'I seen him last Sunday, didn't I?' the original waiter said.
'He's a giraffe,' the short waiter said.
'What did I tell you?' the tall waiter said. 'Those are
'Say, give me another shot of that/ Manuel said. He had
poured the brandy the waiter had slopped over in the saucer
into his glass and drank it while they were talking.
The original waiter poured his glass full mechanically, and
the three of them went out of the room talking.
In the far corner the man was still asleep, snoring slightly
on the intaking breath, his head back against the wall.
Manuel drank his brandy. He felt sleepy himself. It was too
hot to go out into the town. Besides there was nothing to do.
He wanted to see Zurito. He would go to sleep while he waited.
He kicked his suitcase under the table to be sure it was there.
Perhaps it would be better to put it back under the seat,
against the wall. He leaned down and shoved it under.
THE UNDEFEATED 217
Then he leaned forward on the table and went to sleep.407
When he woke there was some one sitting across the table
from him. It was a big man with a heavy brown face like
an Indian. He had been sitting there some time. He had
waved the waiter away and sat reading the paper and
occasionally looking down at Manuel, asleep, his head on the
table. He read the paper laboriously, forming the words with
his lips as he read. When it tired him he looked at Manuel.
He sat heavily in the chair, his black Cordoba hat tipped
Manuel sat up and looked at him.
'Hello, Zurito, 5 he said.
c Hello, kid,' the big man said.
'I've been asleep,' Manuel rubbed his forehead with the
back of his fist.
'I thought maybe you were.'
'Good. How is everything with you?'
'Not so good.'
They were both silent. Zurito, the picador, looked at
Manuel's white face. Manuel looked down at the picador's
enormous hands folding the paper to put away in his pocket.
'I got a favour to ask you, Manos,' Manuel said.
Manosduros was Zurito's nickname. He never heard it
without thinking of his huge hands. He put them forward
on the table self-consciously.
'Let's have a drink,' he said.
'Sure,' said Manuel.
The waiter came and went and came again. He went out
of the room looking back at the two men at the table.
'What's the matter, Manolo?' Zurito set down his glass.409
'Would you pic two bulls for me to-morrow night?' Manuel
asked, looking up at Zurito across the table.
c No, J said Zurito. Tm not pic-ing. 5
Manuel looked down at his glass. He had expected that
answer; now he had it. Well, he had it.
2i8 THE UNDEFEATED
Tm sorry, Manolo, but I'm not pic-ing.' Zurito looked at
'That's all right,' Manuel said.
Tm too old,' Zurito said.
'I just asked you,' Manuel said.
'Is it the nocturnal to-morrow?'
'That's it. I figured if I had just one good pic, I could get410
away with it.'
'How much are you getting?'
'Three hundred pesetas.'
'I get more than that for pic-ing.'
'I know,' said Manuel. 'I didn't have any right to ask
'What do you keep on doing it for?' Zurito asked. 'Why
don't you cut off your coleta, Manolo?'
'I don't know,' Manuel said.
'You're pretty near as old as I am,' Zurito said.
*I don't know,' Manuel said. 'I got to do it. If I can fix it
so that I get an even break, that's all I want. I got to stick
with it, Manos.'411
'No, you don't.'
'Yes. I do. I've tried keeping away from it.'
'I know how you feel. But it isn't right. You ought to get
out and stay out.'
'I can't do it. Besides, I've been going good lately.'
Zurito looked at his face.
'You've been in the hospital.'
'But I was going great when I got hurt.'
Zurito said nothing. He tipped the cognac out of his
saucer into his glass.
'The papers said they never saw a better faena,' Manuel
Zurito looked at him.412
'You know when I get going I'm good,' Manuel said.
'You're too old,' the picador said.
'No, 5 said Manuel. 'You're ten years older than I am.'
THE UNDEFEATED 219
'With me it's different.'
Tm not too old,' Manuel said.
They sat silent, Manuel watching the picador's face.
'I was going great till I got hurt,' Manuel offered.
'You ought to have seen me, Manos,' Manuel said y
'I don't want to see you,' Zurito said. 'It makes me
'You haven't seen me lately.'413
'I've seen you plenty.'
Zurito looked at Manuel, avoiding his eyes.
'You ought to quit it, Manolo.'
'I can't,' Manuel said. 'I'm going good now, I tell you/
Zurito leaned forward, his hands on the table.
'Listen. I'll pic for you and if you don't go big to-morrow
night, you'll quit. See? Will you do that?'
Zurito leaned back, relieved.
'You got to quit,' he said. 'No monkey business. You got
to cut the coleta/
'I won't have to quit,' Manuel said. 'You watch me. I've
got the stuff.'414
Zurito stood up. He felt tired from arguing.
'You got to quit,' he said. Til cut your coleta myself.'
'No, you won't,' Manuel said. 'You won't have a chance/
Zurito called the waiter.
'Come on/ said Zurito. 'Come on up to the house.'
Manuel reached under the seat for his suitcase. He was
happy. He knew Zurito would pic for him. He was the best
picador living. It was all simple now.
'Come on up to the house and we'll eat,' Zurito said.
Manuel stood in the patio de caballos waiting for the
Charlie Chaplins to be over. Zurito stood beside him.
Where they stood it was dark. The high door that led into
the bull-ring was shut. Above them they heard a shout, then
220 THE UNDEFEATED415
another shout of laughter. Then there was silence. Manuel
liked the smell of the stables about the patio de caballos.
It smelt good in the dark. There was another roar from the
arena and then applause, prolonged applause, going on and
'You ever seen these fellows? 5 Zurito asked, big and
looming beside Manuel in the dark.
'No,' Manuel said.
'They're pretty funny,' Zurito said. He smiled to himself
in the dark.
The high, double, tight-fitting door into the bull-ring
swung open and Manuel saw the ring in the hard light of the
arc-lights, the plaza, dark all the way around, rising high;
around the edge of the ring were running and bowing two
men dressed like tramps, followed by a third in the uniform
of a hotel bell-boy who stooped and picked up the hats and
canes thrown down on to the sand and tossed them back up
into the darkness.416
The electric light went on in the patio.
Til climb on to one of those ponies while you collect the
kids,' Zurito said.
Behind them came the jingle of the mules, coming out to
go into the arena and be hitched on to the dead bull.
The members of the cuadrilla, who had been watching the
burlesque from the runway between the barrera and the
seats, came walking back and stood in a group talking, under
the electric light in the patio. A good-looking lad in a silver-
and-orange suit came up to Manuel and smiled.
Tm Hernandez,' he said and put out his hand.
Manuel shook it.
'They're regular elephants we've got to-night,' the boy said
'They're big ones with horns/ Manuel agreed.
'You drew the worst lot,' the boy said.
'That's all right,' Manuel said. 'The bigger they are, the
more meat for the poor.'
THE UNDEFEATED 221
'Where did you get that one?' Hernandez grinned.
'That's an old one/ Manuel said. 'You line up your cuad-
rilla, so I can see what I've got.'
'You've got some good kids,' Hernandez said. He was very
cheerful. He had been on twice before in nocturnals and was
beginning to gfet a following in Madrid. He was happy the
fight would start in a few minutes.
'Where are the pics?' Manuel asked.
'They're back in the corrals fighting about who gets the
beautiful horses/ Hernandez grinned.418
The mules came through the gate in a rush, the whips
snapping, bells jangling and the young bull ploughing a
furrow of sand.
They formed up for the paseo as soon as the bull had gone
Manuel and Hernandez stood in front. The youths of
the cuadrillas were behind, their heavy capes furled over
their arms. In back, the four picadors, mounted, hold-
ing their steel-tipped push-poles erect in the half-dark of the
'It's a wonder Retana wouldn't give us enough light to see
the horses by/ one picador said.
'He knows we'll be happier if we don't get too good a look
at these skins/ another pic answered.
'This thing I'm on barely keeps me off the ground/ the
first picador said.419
'Well, they're horses.'
'Sure, they're horses.'
They talked, sitting their gaunt horses in the dark.
Zurito said nothing. He had the only steady horse of the
lot. He had tried him, wheeling him in the corrals and he
responded to the bit and the spurs. He had taken the
bandage off his right eye and cut the strings where they had
tied his ears tight shut at the base. He was a good, solid
horse, solid on his legs. That was all he needed. He intended
to ride him all through the corrida. He had already, since he
222 THE UNDEFEATED
had mounted, sitting in the half-dark in the big, quilted
saddle, waiting for the paseo, pioed through the whole
corrida in his mind. The other picadors went on talking on
both sides of him. He did not hear them.
The two matadors stood together in front of their three
peones, their capes furled over their left arms in the same420
fashion. Manuel was thinking about the three lads in back of
him. They were all three Madrilenos, like Hernandez, boys
about nineteen. One of them, a gipsy, serious, aloof, and
dark-faced, he liked the look of. He turned.
'What's your name, kid?' he asked the gipsy.
Tuentes,' the gipsy said.
'That's a good name,' Manuel said.
The gipsy smiled, showing his teeth.
'You take the bull and give him a little run when he comes
out,' Manuel said.
'All right,' the gipsy said. His face was serious. He began
to think about just what he would do.
'Here she goes,' Manuel said to Hernandez.
'All right. We'll go.'421
Heads up, swinging with the music, their right arms
swinging free, they stepped out, crossing the sanded arena
under the arc-lights, the cuadrillas opening out behind, the
picadors riding after, behind came the bull-ring servants and
the jingling mules. The crowd applauded Hernandez as they
marched across the arena. Arrogant, swinging, they looked
straight ahead as they marched.
They bowed before the president, and the procession
broke up into its component parts. The bull-fighters went
over to the barrera and changed their heavy mantles for the
light fighting capes. The mules went out. The picadors
galloped jerkily around the ring, and two rode out the gate
they had come in by. The servants swept the sand
Manuel drank a glass of water poured for him by one of
Retana's deputies, who was acting as his manager and sword-
THE UNDEFEATED 223
handler. Hernandez came over from speaking with his own
'You got a good hand, kid, 5 Manuel complimented him.
'They like me,' Hernandez said happily.
'How did the pasco go? 5 Manuel asked Retana 5 s man.
'Like a wedding, 5 said the handler. 'Fine. You came out
like Joselito and Belmonte. 5
Zurito rode by, a bulky equestrian statue. He wheeled his
horse and faced him toward the toril on the far. side of the
ring where the bull would come out. It was strange under
the arc-light. He pic-cd in the hot afternoon sun for big
money. He didn't like this arc-light business. He wished
they would get started.
Manuel went up to him.
'Pic him, Manos, 5 he said. 'Cut him down to size for
Til pic him, kid,' Zurito spat on the sand. Til make him423
jump out of the ring.'
'Lean on him, Manos,' Manuel said.
Til lean on him,' Zurito said. 'What's holding it up?'
'He's coming now,' Manuel said.
Zurito sat there, his feet in the box-stirrups, his great legs
in the buckskin-covered armour gripping the horse, the reins
in his left hand, the long pic held in his right hand, his broad
hat well down over his eyes to shade them from the lights,
watching the distant door of the toril. His horse's ears
quivered. Zurito patted him with his left hand.
The red door of the toril swung back and for a moment
Zurito looked into the empty passageway far across the
arena. Then the bull came out in a rush, skidding on his four
legs as he came out under the lights, then charging in a gallop,
moving softly in a fast gallop, silent except as he woofed
through wide nostrils as he charged, glad to be free after the
In the first row of seats, slightly bored, leaning forward to
write on the cement wall in front of his knees, the substitute
224 THE UNDEFEATED
bull-fight critic of El Heraldo scribbled: 'Campagnero, Negro,
42, came out at 90 miles an hour with plenty of gas '
Manuel, leaning against the barrera, watching the bull,
waved his hand and the gipsy ran out, trailing his cape. The
bull, in full gallop, pivoted and charged the cape, his head
down, his tail rising. The gipsy moved in a zigzag, and as he
passed, the bull caught sight of him and abandoned the cape
to charge the man. The gip sprinted and vaulted the red
fence of the barrera as the bull struck it with his horns. He
tossed into it twice with his horns, banging into the wood
The critic of El Heraldo lit a cigarette and tossed the match
at the bull, then wrote in his note-book, 'large and with425
enough horns to satisfy the cash customers, Campagnero
showed a tendency to cut into the terrain of the bull-fighters'.
Manuel stepped out on the hard sand as the bull banged
into the fence. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Zurito
sitting the white horse close to the barrera, about a quarter
of the way around the ring to the left. Manuel held the
cape close in front of him, a fold in each hand, and shouted
at the bull. 'Huh! Huh!' The bull turned, seemed to brace
against the fence as he charged in a scramble, driving into
the cape as Manuel side-stepped, pivoted on his heels with
the charge of the bull, and swung the cape just ahead of the
horns. At the end of the swing he was facing the bull again
and held the cape in the same position close in front of his
body, and pivoted again as the bull recharged. Each time,
as he swung, the crowd shouted.
Four times he swung with the bull, lifting the cape so it
billowed full, and each time bringing the bull around to
charge again. Then, at the end of the fifth swing, he held the
cape against his hip and pivoted, so the cape swung out like
a ballet dancer's skirt and wound the bull around himself
like a belt, to step clear, leaving the bull facing Zurito on the426
white horse, come up and planted firm, the horse facing
the bull, its ears forward, its lips nervous, Zurito, his hat over
THE UNDEFEATED 225
his eyes, leaning forward, the long pole sticking out before
and behind in a sharp angle under his right arm, held half-
way down, the triangular iron point facing the bull.
El Heraldo's second-string critic, dra,wing on his cigarette,
his eyes on the bull, wrote: 'the veteran Manolo designed
a series of acceptable veronicas, ending in a very Belmontistic
recorte that earned applause from the regulars, and we
entered the tercio of the cavalry.'
Zurito sat his horse, measuring the distance between the
bull and the end of the pic. As he looked, the bull gathered
himself together and charged, his eyes on the horse's chest.
As he lowered his head to hook, Zurito sunk the point of the427
pic in the swelling hump of muscle above the bull's shoulder,
leaned all his weight on the shaft, and with his left hand
pulled the white horse into the air, front hoofs pawing, and
swung him to the right as he pushed the bull under and
through so the horns passed safely under the horse's belly
and the horse came down, quivering, the bull's tail brushing
his chest as he charged the cape Hernandez offered him.
Hernandez ran sideways, taking the bull* out and away
with the cape, toward the other picador. He fixed him with
a swing of the cape, squarely facing the horse and rider, and
stepped back. As the bull saw the horse he charged. The
picador's lance slid along his back, and as the shock of the
charge lifted the horse, the picador was already half-way out
of the saddle, lifting his right leg clear as he missed with the
lance and falling to the left side to keep the horse between
him and the bull. The horse, lifted and gored, crashed over
with the bull driving into him, the picador gave a shove with
his boots against the horse and lay clear, waiting to be lifted
and hauled away and put on his feet.
Manuel let the bull drive into the fallen horse; he was in no428
hurry, the picador was safe; besides, it did a picador like that
good to worry. He'd stay on longer next time. Lousy pics!
He looked across the sand at Zurito a little way out from the
barrera, his horse rigid, waiting.
226 THE UNDEFEATED
'Huh!' he called to the bull, 'TomarP holding the cape in
both hands so it would catch his eye. The bull detached him-
self from the horse and charged the cape, and Manuel, running
sideways and holding the cape spread wide, stopped, swung on
his heels, and brought the bull sharply around facing Zurito.
'Campagnero accepted a pair of varas for the death of one
rosinante, with Hernandez and Manolo at the quites,' El
Heraldo's critic wrote. 'He pressed on the iron and clearly
showed he was no horse-lover. The veteran Zurito resur-
rected some of his old stuff with the pike-pole, notably the
'Ole! OleP the man sitting beside him shouted. The shout
was lost in the roar of the crowd, and he slapped the critic on
the back. The critic looked up to see Zurito, directly below
him, leaning far out over his horse, the length of the pic429
rising in a sharp angle under his armpit, holding the pic
almost by the point, bearing down with all his weight, hold-
ing the bull off, the bull pushing and driving to get at the
horse, and Zurito, far out, on top of him, holding him, hold-
ing him, and slowly pivoting the horse against the pressure,
so that at last he was clear. Zurito felt the moment when the
horse was clear and the bull could come past, and relaxed
the absolute steel lock of his resistance, and the triangular
steel point of the pic ripped in the bull's hump of shoulder
muscle as he tore loose to find Hernandez's cape before his
muzzle. He charged blindly into the cape and the boy took
him out into the open arena.
Zurito sat patting his horse and looking at the bull charg-
ing the cape that Hernandez swung for him out under the
bright light while the crowd shouted.
'You see that one?' he said to Manuel.
'It was a wonder/ Manuel said.
'I got him that time,' Zurito said. 'Look at him now.'430
At the conclusion of a closely turned pass of the cape the
bull slid to his knees. He was up at once, but far out across
the sand Manuel and Zurito saw the shine of the pumping
THE UNDEFEATED 227
flow of blood, smooth against the black of the bull's shoulder.
'I got him that time,' Zurito said.
'He's a good bull,' Manuel said.
'If they gave me another shot at him, I'd kill him,' Zurito
'They'll change the thirds on us,' Manuel said.
'Look at him now,' Zurito said.
'I got to go over there,' Manuel said, and started on a run
for the other side of the ring, where the monos were leading a
horse out by the bridle toward the bull, whacking him on the431
legs with rods and all, in a procession, trying to get him to-
ward the bull, who stood, dropping his head, pawing, unable
to make up his mind to charge.
Zurito, sitting his horse, walking him toward the scene, not
missing any detail, scowled.
Finally the bull charged, the horse leaders ran for the
barrera, the picador hit too far back, and the bull got under
the horse, lifted him, threw him on to his back.
Zurito watched. The monos, in their red shirts, running
out to drag the picador clear. The picador, now on his feet,
swearing and flopping his arms. Manuel and Hernandez
standing ready with their capes. And the bull, the great,
black bull, with a horse on his back, hooves dangling, the
bridle caught in the horns. Black bull with a horse on his
back, staggering short-legged, then arching his neck and
lifting, thrusting, charging to slide the horse off, horse sliding
down. Then the bull into a lunging charge at the cape
Manuel spread for him.432
The bull was slower now, Manuel felt. He was bleeding
badly. There was a sheen of blood all down his flank.
Manuel offered him the cape again. There he came, eyes
open, ugly, watching the cape. Manuel stepped to the side
and raised his arms, tightening the cape ahead of the bull for
Now he was facing the bull. Yes, his head was going down
a little. He was carrying it lower. That was Zurito.
2*8 THE UNDEFEATED
Manuel flopped the cape; there he comes; he side-stepped
and swung in another veronica. He's shooting awfully
accurately, he thought. He's had enough fight, so he's
watching now. He's hunting now. Got his eye on me. But
I always give him the cape.
He shook the cape at the bull; there he comes; he side-
stepped. Awful close that time. I don't want to work that
close to him.433
The edge of the cape was wet with blood where it had
swept along the bull's back as he went by.
All right, here's the last one.
Manuel, facing the bull, having turned with him each
charge, offered the cape with his two hands. The bull looked
at him. Eyes watching, horns straight forward, the bull
looked at him, watching.
'Huh! 5 Manuel said, 'Toro!' and leaning back, swung the
cape forward. Here he comes. He side-stepped, swung the cape
in back of him, and pivoted, so the bull followed a swirl of cape
and then was left with nothing, fixed by the pass, dominated
by the cape. Manuel swung the cape under his muzzle with
one hand, to show the bull was fixed, and walked away.
There was no applause.
Manuel walked across the sand toward the barrera, while
Zurito rode out of the ring. The trumpet had blown to434
change the act to the planting of the banderillos while Manuel
had been working with the bull. He had not consciously
noticed it. The monos were spreading canvas over the two
dead horses and sprinkling sawdust around them.
Manuel came up to the barrera for a drink of water.
Retana's man handed him the heavy porous jug.
Fuentes, the tall gipsy, was standing holding a pair of
banderillos, holding them together, slim, red sticks, fish-hook
points out. He looked at Manuel.
'Go on out there, 5 Manuel said.
The gipsy trotted out. Manuel set down the jug and
watched. He wiped his face with his handkerchief.
THE UNDEFEATED 229
The critic of El Heraldo reached for the bottle of warm
champagne that stood between his feet, took a drink, and
finished his paragraph.435
c the aged Manolo rated no applause for a vulgar series
of lances with the cape and we entered the third of the
Alone in the centre of the ring the bull stood, still fixed.
Fuentes, tall, flat-backed, walking toward him arrogantly,
his arms spread out, the two slim, red sticks, one in each hand,
held by the fingers, points straight forward. Fuentes walked
forward. Back of him and to one side was a peon with a cape.
The bull looked at him and was no longer fixed.
His eyes watched Fuentes, now standing still. Now he
leaned back, calling to him. Fuentes twitched the two
banderillos and the light on the steel points caught the
His tail went up and he charged.
He came straight, his eyes on the man. Fuentes stood still,
leaning back, the banderillos pointing forward. As the bull
lowered his head to hook, Fuentes leaned backward, his arms
came together and rose, his two hands touching, the436
banderillos two descending red lines, and leaning forward
drove the points into the bull's shoulder, leaning far in over
the bull's horns and pivoting on the two upright sticks, his
legs tight together, his body curving to one side to let the
e Ole!' from the crowd.
The bull was hooking wildly, jumping like a trout, all four
feet off the ground. The red shaft of the banderillos tossed as
Manuel, standing at the barrera, noticed that he looked
always to the right.
'Tell him to drop the next pair on the right,' he said to
the kid who started to run out to Fuentes with the new
A heavy hand fell on his shoulder. It was Zurito.
230 THE UNDEFEATED437
'How do you feel, kid?' he asked.
Manuel was watching the bull.
Zurito leaned forward on the barrera, leaning the weight
of his body on his arms. Manuel turned to him.
'You're going good,' Zurito said.
Manuel shook his head. He had nothing to do now until
the next third. The gipsy was very good with the banderillos.
The bull would come to him in the next third in good shape.
He was a good bull. It had all been easy up to now. The
final stuff with the sword was all he worried over. He did
not really worry. He did not even think about it. But stand-
ing there he had a heavy sense of apprehension. He looked
out at the bull, planning his faena, his work with the red
cloth that was to reduce the bull, to make him manageable.
The gipsy was walking out toward the bull again, walking
heel-and-toe, insultingly, like a ballroom dancer, the red
shafts of the banderillos twitching with his walk. The bull
watched him, not fixed now, hunting him, but waiting to get438
close enough so he could be sure of getting him, getting the
horns into him.
As Fuentcs walked forward the bull charged. Fuentes ran
across the quarter of a circle as the bull charged and, as he
passed running backward, stopped, swung forward, rose on
his toes, arm straight out, and sunk the banderillos straight
down into the tight of the big shoulder muscles as the bull
The crowd were wild about it.
That kid won't stay in this night stuff long,' Retana's man
said to Zurito.
'He's good, 5 Zurito said.
'Watch him now.'
Fuentes was standing with his back against the barrera.
Two of the cuadrilla were back of him, with their capes ready439
to flop over the fence to distract the bull.
The bull, with his tongue out, his barrel heaving, was
THE UNDEFEATED * 3 t
watching the gipsy. He thought he had him now. Back
against the red planks. Only a short charge away. The bull
The gipsy bent back, drew back his arms, the banderillos
pointing at the bull. He called to the bull, stamped one foot.
The bull was suspicious. He wanted the man. No more
barbs in the shoulder.
Fuentcs walked a little closer to the bull. Bent back. Called
again. Somebody in the crowd shouted a warning.
'He's too damn close,' Zurito said.
'Watch him,' Retana's man said.440
Leaning back, inciting the bull with the banderillos,
Fuentes jumped, both feet off the ground. As he jumped the
bull's tail rose and he charged. Fuentes came down on his
toes, arms straight out, whole body arching forward, and
drove the shafts straight down as he swung his body clear of
the right horn.
The bull crashed into the barrera where the flopping capes
had attracted his eye as he lost the man.
The gipsy came running along the barrera toward Manuel,
taking the applause of the crowd. His vest was ripped where
he had not quite cleared the point of the horn. He was
happy about it, showing it to the spectators. He made the
tour of the ring. Zurito saw him go by, smiling, pointing at
his vest. He smiled.
Somebody else was planting the last pair of banderillos.
Nobody was paying any attention.
Retana's man tucked a baton inside the red cloth of a
muleta, folded the cloth over it, and handed it over the
barrera to Manuel. He reached in the leather sword-case,441
took out a sword, and holding it by its leather scabbard,
reached it over the fence to Manuel. Manuel pulled the
blade out by the red hilt and the scabbard fell limp.
He looked at Zurito. The big man saw he was sweating,
'Now you get him, kid,' Zurito said.
232 THE UNDEFEATED
'He's in good shape/ Zurito said.
'Just like you want him, 5 Retana's man assured him.
The trumpeter, up under the roof, blew for the final act,
and Manuel walked across the arena toward where, up in the
dark boxes, the president must be.
In the front row of seats the substitute bull-fight critic442of
El Heraldo took a long drink of the warm champagne. He
had decided it was not worth while to write a running story
and would write up the corrida back in the office. What the
hell was it anyway? Only a nocturnal. If he missed any-
thing he would get it out of the morning papers. He took
another drink of the champagne. He had a date at Maxim's
at twelve. Who were these bull-fighters anyway? Kids and
bums. A bunch of bums. He put his pad of paper in his
pocket and looked over toward Manuel, standing very much
alone in the ring, gesturing with his hat in a salute toward a
box he could not see high up in the dark plaza. Out in the
ring the bull stood quiet, looking at nothing.
'I dedicate this bull to you, Mr. President, and to the public
of Madrid, the most intelligent and generous of the world,'
was what Manuel was saying. It was a formula. He said it
all. It was a little long for nocturnal use.
He bowed at the dark, straightened, tossed his hat over his
shoulder, and, carrying the muleta in his left hand and the
sword in his right, walked out toward the bull.443
Manuel walked toward the bull. The bull looked at him;
his eyes were quick. Manuel noticed the way the banderillos
hung down on his left shoulder and the steady sheen of blood
from Zurito's pic-ing. He noticed the way the bull's feet
were. As he walked forward, holding the muleta in his left
hand and the sword in his right, he watched the bull's feet.
The bull could not charge without gathering his feet together.
Now he stood square on them, dully.
Manuel walked toward him, watching his feet. This was
all right. He could do this. He must work to get the bull's
THE UNDEFEATED 233
head down, so he could go in past the horns and kill him.
He did not think about the sword, not about killing the bull.
He thought about one thing at a time. The coming things
oppressed him, though. Walking forward, watching the
bull's feet, he saw successively his eyes, his wet muzzle, and
the wide, forward-pointing spread of his horns. The bull
had light circles about his eyes. His eyes watched Manuel.
He felt he was going to get this little one with the white444
Standing still now and spreading the red cloth of the
muleta with the sword, pricking the point into the cloth so
that the sword, now held in his left hand, spread the red
flannel like the jib of a boat, ManueL noticed the points of
the bull's horns. One of them was splintered from banging
against the barrera. The other was sharp as a porcupine
quill. Manuel noticed while spreading the muleta that the
white base of the horn was stained red. While he noticed
these things he did not lose sight of the bull's feet. The bull
watched Manuel steadily.
He's on the defensive now, Manuel thought. He's reserv-
ing himself. I've got to bring him out of that and get his
head down. Always get his head down. Zurito had his head
down once, but he's come back. He'll bleed when I start him
going and that will bring it down.
Holding the muleta, with the sword in his left hand widen-
ing it in front of him, he called to the bull.
The bull looked at him.445
He leaned back insultingly and shook the widespread
The bull saw the muleta. It was a bright scarlet under the
arc-light. The bull's legs tightened.
Here he comes. Whoosh! Manuel turned as the bull came
and raised the muleta so that it passed over the bull's horns
and swept down his broad back from head to tail. The bull
had gone clean up in the air with the charge. Manuel had
234 THE UNDEFEATED
At the end of the pass the bull turned like a cat coming
around a corner and faced Manuel.
He was on the offensive again. His heaviness was gone.
Manuel noted the fresh blood shining down the black
shoulder and dripping down the bull's leg. He drew the
sword out of the muleta and held it in his right hand. The
muleta held low down in his left hand, leaning toward the446
left, he called to the bull. The bull's legs tightened, his eyes
on the muleta. Here he comes, Manuel thought. Yuh!
He swung with the charge, sweeping the muleta ahead of
the bull, his feet firm, the sword following the curve, a point
of light under the arcs.
The bull recharged as the pase natural finished and Manuel
raised the muleta for a pase de pecho. Firmly planted, the
bull came by his chest under the raised muleta. Manuel
leaned his head back to avoid the clattering banderillo
shafts. The hot, black bull body touched his chest as it passed.
Too damn close, Manuel thought. Zurito, leaning on the
barrera, spoke rapidly to the gipsy, who trotted out toward
Manuel with a cape. Zurito pulled his hat down low and
looked out across the arena at Manuel.
Manuel was facing the bull again, the muleta held low and
to the left. The bull's head was down as he watched the
'If it was Belmonte doing that stuff, they'd go crazy/447
Retana's man said.
Zurito said nothing. He was watching Manuel out in the
centre of the arena.
'Where did the boss dig this fellow up? 5 Retana's man
'Out of the hospital,' Zurito said.
That's where he's going damn quick,' Retana's man said.
Zurito turned on him.
'Knock on that,' he said, pointing to the barrera.
'I was just kidding, man,' Retana's man said.
'Knock on the wood.'
THE UNDEFEATED 235
Retana's man leaned forward and knocked three times448
on the barrera.
'Watch the faena,' Zurito said.
Out in the centre of the ring, under the lights, Manuel was
kneeling, facing the bull, and as he raised the muleta in both
hands the bull charged, tail up.
Manuel swung his body clear and, as the bull recharged,
brought around the muleta in a half-circle that pulled the bull
to his knees.
'Why, that one's a great bull-fighter,' Retana's man said.
'No, he's not,' said Zurito.
Manuel stood up and, the muleta in his left hand, the
sword in his right, acknowledged the applause from the
The bull had humped himself up from his knees and stood
waiting, his head hung low.449
Zurito spoke to two of the other lads of the cuadrilla and
they ran out to stand back of Manuel with their capes. There
were four men back of him now. Hernandez had followed
him since he first came out with the muleta. Fuentes stood
watching, his cape held against his body, tall, in repose,
watching, lazy-eyed. Now the two came up. Hernandez
motioned them to stand one at each side. Manuel stood
alone, facing the bull.
Manuel waved back the men with the capes. Stepping back
cautiously, they saw his face was white and sweating.
Didn't they know enough to keep back? Did they want to
catch the bull's eye with the capes after he was fixed and
ready? He had enough to worry about without that kind of
The bull was standing, his four feet square, looking at the
muleta. Manuel furled the muleta in his left hand. The
bull's eyes watched it. His body was heavy on his feet. He
carried his head low, but not too low.
Manuel lifted the muleta at him. The bull did not move.450
Only his eyes watched.
236 THE UNDEFEATED
He's all lead, Manuel thought. He's all square. He's
framed right. He'll take it.
He thought in bull-fight terms. Sometimes he had a
thought and the particular piece of slang would not come
into his mind and he could not realize the thought. His
instincts and his knowledge worked automatically, and his
brain worked slowly and in words. He knew all about bulls.
He did not have to think about them. He just did the right
thing. His eyes noted things and his body performed the
necessary measures without thought. If he thought about it,
he would be gone.
Now, facing the bull, he was conscious of many things at
the same time. There were the horns, the one splintered, the
other smoothly sharp, the need to profile himself toward the
left horn, lance himself short and straight, lower the muleta,
so the bull would follow it, and, going in over the horns, put
the sword all the way into a little spot about as big as a five-451
peseta piece straight in back of the neck, between the sharp
pitch of the bull's shoulders. He must do all this and must
then come out from between the horns. He was conscious
he must do all this, but his only thought was in words: 'Corto
'Corto y derecho,' he thought, furling the muleta. Short
and straight. Corto y derecho, he drew the word out of the
muleta, profiled on the splintered left horn, dropped the
muleta across his body, so his right hand with the sword on
the level with his eye made the sign of the cross, and, rising
on his toes, sighted along the dipping blade of the sword at
the spot high up between the bull's shoulders.
Corto y derecho he launched himself on the bull.
There was a shock, and he felt himself go up in the air. He
pushed on the sword as he went up and over, and it flew out
of his hand. He hit the ground and the bull was on him.
Manuel, lying on the ground, kicked at the bull's muzzle with
his slippered feet. Kicking, kicking, the bull after him,
missing him in his excitement, bumping him with his head,452
THE UNDEFEATED 237
driving the horns into the sand. Kicking like a man keeping
a ball in the air, Manuel kept the bull from getting a clean
thrust at him.
Manuel felt the wind on his back from the capes
flopping at the bull, and then the bull was gone, gone
over him in a rush. Dark, as his belly went over. Not even
Manuel stood up and picked up the muleta. Fuentes
handed him the sword. It was bent where it had struck the
shoulder-blade. Manuel straightened it on his knee and ran
toward the bull, standing now beside one of the dead horses*
As he ran, his jacket flopped where it had been ripped under
'Get him out of there,' Manuel shouted to the gipsy. The
bull had smelled the blood of the dead horse and ripped into
the canvas cover with his horns. He charged Fuentes's cape,453
with the canvas hanging from his splintered horn, and the
crowd laughed. Out in the ring, he tossed his head to rid
himself of the canvas. Hernandez, running up from behind
him, grabbed the end of the canvas and neatly lifted it off
The bull followed it in a half-charge and stopped still. He
was on the defensive again. Manuel was walking toward him
with the sword and muleta. Manuel swung the muleta
before him. The bull would not charge.
Manuel profiled toward the bull, sighting along the
dipping blade of the sword. The bull was motionless,
seemingly dead on his feet, incapable of another charge.
Manuel rose to his toes, sighting along the steel, and
Again there was the shock and he felt himself being borne
back in a rush, to strike hard on the sand. There was no
chance of kicking this time. The bull was on top of him.
Manuel lay as though dead, his head on his arms, and the
bull bumped him. Bumped his back, bumped his face in the454
sand. He felt the horn go into the sand between his folded
238 THE UNDEFEATED
arms. The bull hit him in the small of the back. His face
drove into the sand. The horn drove through one of his
sleeves and the bull ripped it off. Manuel was tossed clear
and the bull followed the capes.
Manuel got up, found the sword and muleta, tried the
point of the sword with his thumb, and then ran toward the
barrcra for a new sword.
Retana's man handed him the sword over the edge of the
'Wipe off your face/ he said.
Manuel, running again toward the bull, wiped his bloody
face with his handkerchief. He had not seen Zurito. Where
The cuadrilla had stepped away from the bull and waited455
with their capes. The bull stood, heavy and dull again after
Manuel walked toward him with the muleta. He stopped
and shook it. The bull did not respond. He passed it right
and left, left and right before the bull's muzzle. The bull's
eyes watched it and turned with the swing, but he would not
charge. He was waiting for Manuel.
Manuel was worried. There was nothing to do but go in.
Corto y derecho. He profiled close to the bull, crossed the
muleta in front of his body and charged. As he pushed in the
sword, he jerked his body to the left to clear the horn. The
bull passed him and the sword shot up in the air, twinkling
under the arc-lights, to fall red-hiked on the sand.
Manuel ran over and picked it up. It was bent and he
straightened it over his knee.
As he came running toward the bull, fixed again now, he
passed Hernandez standing with his cape.
'He's all bone,' the boy said encouragingly.456
Manuel nodded, wiping his face. He put the bloody
handkerchief in his pocket.
There was the bull. He was close to the barrera now.
Damn him. Maybe he was all bone. Maybe there was not
THE UNDEFEATED 239
any place for the sword to go in. The hell there wasn't!
He'd show them.
He tried a pass with the muleta and the bull did not move.
Manuel chopped the muleta back and forth in front of the
bull. Nothing doing.
He furled the muleta, drew the sword out, profiled and
drove it on the bull. He felt the sword buckle as he shoved it
in, leaning his weight on it, and then it shot high in the air,
end-over-ending into the crowd. Manuel had jerked clear as
the sword jumped.
The first cushions thrown down out of the dark missed him.457
Then one hit him in the face, his bloody face looking toward
the crowd. They were coming down fast. Spotting the sand.
Somebody threw an empty champagne bottle from close
range. It hit Manuel on the foot. He stood there watching
the dark, where the things were coming from. Then some-
thing whisked through the air and struck by him. Manuel
leaned over and picked it up. It was his sword. He straightened
it over his knee and gestured with it to the crowd.
'Thank you,' he said. 'Thank you!'
Oh, the dirty bastards! Dirty bastards! Oh, the lousy,
dirty bastards! He kicked into a cushion as he ran.
There was the bull. The same as ever. All right, you dirty,
Manuel passed the muleta in front of the bull's black
You won't! All right. He stepped close and jammed the458
sharp peak of the muleta into the bull's damp muzzle.
The bull was on him as he jumped back and as he tripped
on a cushion he felt the horn go into him, into his side. He
grabbed the horn with his two hands and rode backward,
holding tight on to the place. The bull tossed him and he was
clear. He lay still. It was all right. The bull was gone.
He got up coughing and feeling broken and gone. The
2 4 o THE UNDEFEATED
'Give me the sword/ he shouted. 'Give me the stuff.'
Fuentes came up with the muleta and the sword.
Hernandez put his arm around him.
'Go on to the infirmary, man/ he said. 'Don't be a damn
'Get away from me/ Manuel said. 'Get to hell away from459
He twisted free. Hernandez shrugged his shoulders.
Manuel ran toward the bull.
There was the bull standing, heavy, firmly planted.
All right, you bastard! Manuel drew the sword out of the
muleta, sighted with the same movement, and flung himself
on to the bull. He felt the sword go in all the way. Right up
to the guard. Four fingers and his thumb into the bull. The
blood was hot on his knuckles, and he was on top of the bull.
The bull lurched with him as he lay on, and seemed to
sink; then he was standing clear. He looked at the bull going
down slowly over on his side, then suddenly four feet in the
Then he gestured at the crowd, his hand warm from the
All right, you bastards! He wanted to say something, but
he started to cough. It was hot and choking. He looked460
down for the muleta. He must go over and salute the presi-
dent. President hell! He was sitting down looking at some-
thing. It was the bull. His four feet up. . Thick tongue out.
Things crawling around on his belly and under his legs.
Crawling where the hair was thin. Dead bull. To hell with
the bull! To hell with them all! He started to get to his feet
and commenced to cough. He sat down again, coughing.
Somebody came and pushed him up.
They carried him across the ring to the infirmary, running
with him across the sand, standing blocked at the gate as the
mules came in, then around under the dark passageway, men
grunting as they took him up the stairway, and then laid him
THE UNDEFEATED 241
The doctor and two men in white were waiting for him.
They laid him out on the table. They were cutting away his
shirt. Manuel felt tired. His whole chest felt scalding inside.
He started to cough and they held something to his mouth.
Everybody was very busy.461
There was an electric light in his eyes. He shut his eyes.
He heard someone coming very heavily up the stairs. Then
he did not hear it. Then he heard a noise far off. That was
the crowd. Well, somebody would have to kill his other bull.
They had cut away all his shirt. The doctor smiled at him.
There was Retana.
'Hello, Retana!' Manuel said. He could not hear his voice.
Retana smiled at him and said something. Manuel could
not hear it.
Zurito stood beside the table, bending over where the
doctor was working. He was in his picador clothes, without
Zurito said something to him. Manuel could not hear it.
Zurito was speaking to Retana. One of the men in white
smiled and handed Retana a pair of scissors. Retana gave
them to Zurito. Zurito said something to Manuel. He could
not hear it.462
To hell with this operating-table. He'd been on plenty of
operating-tables before. He was not going to die. There
would be a priest if he was going to die.
Zurito was saying something to him. Holding up the
That was it. They were going to cut off his coleta. They
were going to cut off his pigtail.
Manuel sat up on the operating-table. The doctor stepped
back, angry. Someone grabbed him and held him.
'You couldn't do a thing like that, Manos,' he said.
He heard suddenly, clearly, Zurito's voice.
'That's all right,' Zurito said. 'I won't do it. I was joking/
'I was going good,' Manuel said. 'I didn't have any luck.
That was all.'463
-2 4 2 THE UNDEFEATED
Manuel lay back. They had put something over his face.
It was all familiar. He inhaled deeply. He felt very tired.
He was very, very tired. They took the thing away from his
*I was going good,' Manuel said weakly, 'I was going
Retana looked at Zurito and started for the door.
Til stay here with him/ Zurito said.
Retana shrugged his shoulders.
Manuel opened his eyes and looked at Zurito.
'Wasn't I going good, Manos?' he asked, for confirmation.
'Sure,' said Zurito. 'You were going great.'464
The doctor's assistant put the cone over Manuel's face and
he inhaled deeply. Zurito stood awkwardly > watching.