She was not very old, though plainly past forty, strong, healthy, vigorous, and sun-dried; and seeing her daughter and the page on horseback, she exclaimed, "What's this, child?
"A servant of my lady, Dona Teresa Panza," replied the page; and suiting the action to the word he flung himself off his horse, and with great humility advanced to kneel before the lady Teresa, saying, "Let me kiss your hand, Senora Dona Teresa, as the lawful and only wife of Senor Don Sancho Panza, rightful governor of the island of Barataria."
"You are," said the page, "the most worthy wife of a most arch-worthy governor; and as a proof of what I say accept this letter and this present;" and at the same time he took out of his pocket a string of coral beads with gold clasps, and placed it on her neck, and said, "This letter is from his lordship the governor, and the other as well as these coral beads from my lady the duchess, who sends me to your worship."
"That is the truth," said the page; "for it is through Senor Don Quixote that Senor Sancho is now governor of the island of Barataria, as will be seen by this letter."
"There is no need to fetch anybody," said the page; "for though I can't spin I can read, and I'll read it;" and so he read it through, but as it has been already given it is not inserted here; and then he took out the other one from the duchess, which ran as follows:
"You will be glad too," said the page, "when you see the bundle there is in this portmanteau, for it is a suit of the finest cloth, that the governor only wore one day out hunting and now sends, all for Senora Sanchica."
The other half of the second page
is made up of two paragraphs under the head of "Miscellaneous News." One of these paragraphs tells about a quarrel between the Czar of Russia and his eldest son, twenty-one and a half lines; and the other tells about the atrocious destruction of a peasant child by its parents, forty lines, or one-fifth of the total of the reading-matter contained in the paper.
"Not if YOU stand for the forest!" cried the page, whipping out his sword.
The page thereupon engaged him quite fiercely, and Robin found that he had many pretty little tricks at fencing.
So the fight lasted for above a quarter of an hour, at the end of which time the page was almost spent and the hot blood flushed his cheeks in a most charming manner.
"Are you satisfied, fellow?" asked the page, wincing a little at sight of the blood.
"I am Richard Partington, page to Her Majesty, Queen Eleanor," answered the lad with dignity; and again the sound of his voice troubled Robin sorely.