Friday, 24 August 2012

A Day In The Life Of Miguel De Cervantes' Landlady

"Well, that's me all right. Dulcinea. "Dulcie Nada', 'e used to call me, cheeky beggar. Nada's more than I ever used to get from 'im, I can tell you. Writer, you say? All I ever saw 'im write was promissory notes. Wrote a famous book? Cooking the books'd be more 'is style, I reckon. Drank, too. Coming home at all hours, raving about Giants with great whirling arms. And it was only the old Mill down at Cartama.
What was it called, this book, did you say? 'Don Quijote, Knight of La Mancha'? Well, a Mancha's a Stain, that much I do know. And if 'is bedlinen was anything to go by, 'e'd a damn good right to be a Knight of it - when 'e'd 'ad a night of it, know what I mean, hehe! Oooh, and the sorts 'e used to knock about with! Bedbugs wouldn't bite 'em. Mind, that Sancho, 'e was a proper gentleman, 'e was. 'Ad a few laughs together, we did! 'E ad this mule, 'e did. Loved that mule like a brother, so 'e did. And who's to blame 'im? All Christian men are brothers, says the Padre, but if that makes the likes of Mr Cervantes my brother, well, I'd rather take my chances with the mule, if it's all the same to you.
So, this Quijote, 'e was in love with this woman called Dulcinea, was 'e? And you reckon that's meant to be me? Not on your life! I wouldn't 'ave 'ad 'im with a whole sack of beans, as a present! Not that 'e didn't ask, I'll 'ave you know.
But I says to 'im, 'Miguelito,' I says. 'If I take you, you'll be getting rid of all those preposterous books, for the kick-off. They're not Christian, and they're not clean.' Know what 'e says to me? 'Lovely Dulcinea,' 'e says. Lovely Dulcinea! The ratbag. 'You're a true daughter of the Soil. And, such being your parentage, you needn't kick up such a fuss when some of it finds its way into the house!'
Well, I'll tell you what I did - I chased him out with the broom, and 'is grubby old tomes with 'im!
And off 'e went down the street, laughing and singing like a Heathen.
No Sir, that wouldn't 'ave suited me - not at all!
Now then, are you wanting this room, or aren't you? Last gentleman as 'ad this bed, 'e was a Priest, a clean, holy man, and a good eater, too. Any bugs as are in there'll come with a Papal Blessing, and a full stomach.
How much? Well, it's five Duros a night, and four if you eat here. Why's that? It's just my way, that's all. Anyways, I'd rather make a loss of a Duro than see one go in 'er pockets at the Baker's across the road, and that's my business, and my Prerogative, I believe.
You'll take it? I'll send Sancho down to take up your bags. If there's anything else you want, I'll see what can be done. Nothing lawful's too much trouble, as we say here, Sir! Hope you enjoy your stay."

No comments:

Post a Comment