By Arturo Perez-Reverte
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Extra resources for The King's Gold
And that was precisely how the Earl of Leicester had arrived, the typical cunning, cruel, piratical Englishman—however much the people of that nation may hide behind privileges and hypocrisy. He disembarked a great many soldiers and succeeded in taking the Fort of Puntal. At the time, neither the young Charles I nor his minister Buckingham had forgiven the rebuff received when the former had wanted to marry a Spanish infanta, who kept him waiting around in Madrid for so long that he finally lost patience and returned to London with his tail between his legs.
El Puerto de Santa María was the main base for the king’s galleys, and my master knew it from the time when he set sail against the Turks and the Berbers. As for the galleys, those war machines propelled by human blood and muscle, he knew far more about them than most would care to. That is why, after presenting ourselves to the captain of the Levantina, who glanced at our passport and gave us permission to stay on board, Alatriste found us a comfortable place near a crossbow embrasure—having first greased the palm of the galleymaster in charge of the rabble with a silver piece of eight—and remained awake all night, his back resting against our luggage and his dagger at the ready.
The broad brim of Alatriste’s hat cast a mask of shadow over his face, a mask that only emphasized the paleness of his eyes, with the light and the landscape of El Arenal reflected in them. ” he asked. “I’m only acting as intermediary. I am currently much in favor at court. The king requires me to be witty, and the queen laughs at my jokes. ” “Don’t speak too loudly. ” Alatriste observed the poet, amused. ” Quevedo was tugging at his ruff where it irritated his skin. “Being an artist and enjoying regular hot meals are two activities that are rarely compatible.
The King's Gold by Arturo Perez-Reverte