OW IT CAME to pass that the days of King Almudafar were fulfilled: and he left his two sons Zulema and Abenalfange, and Zulema had the kingdom of Zaragoza, and Abenalfange the kingdom of Denia. And Zulema put his kingdom under my Cid's protection, and bade all his people obey him even as they would himself. Now there began to be great enmity between the two brethren, and they made war upon each other. And the Count Don Ramon Berenguer of Barcelona helped Abenalfange, and was enemy to the Cid because he defended Zulema. And my Cid chose out two hundred horsemen and went out by night, and fell upon the lands of Alcaniz and brought away great booty. Great was the talk among the Moors; how my Cid was over-running the country.
When Don Ramon Berenguer the Count of Barcelona heard this, it troubled him to the heart, and he held it for a great dishonour, because that part of the land of the Moors was in his keeping. And he spake boastfully saying, "Great wrong doth that Cid of Bivar offer unto me; he ravages the lands which are in my keeping, and I have never renounced his friendship; but since he goes on in this way I must take vengeance." So he and King Abenalfange gathered together a great power both of Moors and Christians, and went in pursuit of the Cid, and after three days and two nights they came up with him in the pine-forest of Tebar. And when the Cid heard this he sent to Don Ramon saying, that the booty which he had won was none of his, and bidding him let him go on his way in peace: but the Count made answer, that my Cid should now learn whom he had dishonoured. Then my Cid sent the booty forward, and bade his knights make ready. "They are coming upon us," said he, "with a great power both of Moors and Christians, to take from us the spoils which we have so hardly won, and without doing battle we cannot be quit of them; for if we should proceed they would follow till they overtook us: therefore let the battle be here, and I trust in God that we shall win more honour, and something to boot. They come down the hill, drest in their hose, with their gay saddles, and their girths wet. Before they get upon the plain ground let us give them the points of our lances; and Ramon Berenguer will then see whom he has overtaken to-day in the pine-forest of Tebar, thinking to despoil him of booty won from the enemies of God and of the faith."
While my Cid was speaking, his knights had taken their arms, and were ready on horseback for the charge. Presently they saw the Frenchmen coming down the hill, and when they had not yet set foot upon the plain ground, my Cid bade his people charge, which they did with a right good will, thrusting their spears so stiffly, that by God's good pleasure not a man whom they encountered but lost his seat. The Count's people stood firm round their Lord; but my Cid was in search of him, and when he saw where he was, he made up to him, clearing the way as he went, and gave him such a stroke with his lance that he felled him. When the Frenchmen saw their Lord in this plight they fled away and left him; and the pursuit lasted three leagues, and would have been continued farther if the conquerors had not had tired horses. Thus was Count Ramon Berenguer made prisoner, and my Cid won from him that day the good sword Colada, which was worth more than a thousand marks of silver. That night did my Cid and his men make merry, rejoicing over their gains. And the Count was taken to my Cid's tent, and a good supper was set before him; nevertheless he would not eat, though my Cid besought him so to do. And on the morrow my Cid ordered a feast to be made, that he might do pleasure to the Count, but the Count said that for all Spain he would not eat one mouthful, but would rather die, since he had been beaten in battle by such a set of ragged fellows. And Ruydiez said to him, "Eat and drink, Count, for this is the chance of war; if you do as I say you shall be free; and if not you will never return again into your own lands." And Don Ramond answered, "Eat you, Don Rodrigo, for your fortune is fair and you deserve it; take you your pleasure, but leave me to die." And in this mood he continued for three days, refusing all food. But then my Cid said to him, "Take food, Count, and be sure that I will set you free, you and any two of your knights, and give you wherewith to return into your own country." And when Don Ramond heard this, he took comfort and said, "If you will indeed do this thing I shall marvel at you as long as I live." "Eat then," said Ruydiez, "and I will do it: but mark you, of the spoil which we have taken from you I will give you nothing; for to that you have no claim neither by right nor custom, and besides we want it for ourselves, being banished men, who must live by taking from you and from others as long as it shall please God." Then was the Count full joyful, being well pleased that what should be given him was not of the spoils which he had lost; and he called for water and washed his hands, and chose two of his kinsmen to be set free with him. And my Cid sate at the table with them, and said, "If you do not eat well, Count, you and I shall not part yet." Never since he was Count did he eat with better will than that day! And when they had done he said, "Now, Cid, if it be your pleasure let us depart." And my Cid clothed him and his kinsmen well with goodly skins and mantles, and gave them each a goodly palfrey, with rich caparisons, and he rode out with them on their way. And when he took leave of the Count he said to him, "Now go freely, and I thank you for what you have left behind; if you wish to play for it again let me know, and you shall either have something back in its stead, or leave what you bring to be added to it." The Count answered, "Cid, you jest safely now, for I have paid you and all your company for this twelve--months, and shall not be coming to see you again so soon."
Then Count Ramond pricked on more than apace, and many times looked behind him, fearing that my Cid would repent what he had done, and send to take him back to prison, which the perfect one would not have done for the whole world, for never did he do disloyal thing.
At last after long and pitiful fighting it was bruited abroad throughout all lands, how the Cid Ruydiez had won the noble city of Valencia.
And now the Cid bethought him of Dona Ximena his wife, and of his daughters Dona Elvira and Dona Sol, whom he had left in the monastery of St. Pedro de Cardena and he called for Alvar Fanez and Martin Antolinez of Burgos, and spake with them, and besought them that they would go to Castille, to King Don Alfonso and take him a present from the riches which God had given them; and the present should be a hundred horses, saddled and bridled; and that they would kiss the King's hand for him, and beseech him to send to him his wife Dona Ximena, and his daughters; and that they would tell the King all the mercy which God had shown him, and how he was at his service with Valencia and with all that he had. Moreover he bade them take a thousand marks of silver to the monastery of St. Pedro de Cardena, and give them to the Abbot, and thirty marks of gold for his wife and daughters, that they might prepare themselves and come in honourable guise. And he ordered three hundred marks of gold to be given them, and three hundred marks of silver, to redeem the chests full of sand which he had pledged in Burgos to the Jews; and he bade them ask Rachel and Vidas to forgive him the deceit of the sand, for he had done it because of his great need.
Then Alvar Fanez and Martin Antolinez dispeeded themselves of the King, and took their way toward Burgos. When they reached Burgos they sent for Rachel and for Vidas, and demanded from them the chests, and paid unto them the three hundred marks of gold and the three hundred of silver as the Cid had commanded, and they besought them to forgive the Cid the deceit of the chests, for it was done because of his great necessity. And they said they heartily forgave him, and held themselves well paid; and they prayed God to grant him long life and good health, and to give him power to advance Christendom, and put down Pagandom. And when it was known through the city of Burgos the goodness and the gentleness which the Cid had shown to these merchants in redeeming from them the chests full of sand and earth and stones, the people held it for a great wonder, and there was not a place in all Burgos where they did not talk of the gentleness and loyalty of the Cid; and they besought blessings upon him, and prayed that he and his people might be advanced in honour. When they had done this, they went to the monastery of St. Pedro de Cardena, and the porter of the King went with them, and gave order everywhere that everything which they wanted should be given them. If they were well received, and if there was great joy in St. Pedro de Cardena over them, it is not a thing to ask, for Dona Ximena and her daughters were like people beside themselves with the great joy which they had, and they came running out on foot to meet them, weeping plenteously.
After a long life-time of adventure the Cid sickened of a malady. And the day before his weakness waxed great, he ordered the gates of Valencia to be shut, and went to the Church of St. Peter; and there the Bishop Don Hieronymo being present, and all the clergy who were in Valencia, and the knights and honourable men and honourable dames, as many as the church could hold, the Cid Ruydiez stood up, and made a full noble preaching, showing that no man, however honourable or fortunate he may be in this world, can escape death, to which, said he, "I am now full near; and since ye know that this body of mine hath never yet been conquered, nor put to shame, I beseech ye let not this befall it at the end, for the good fortune of man is only accomplished at his end." Then he took leave of the people, weeping plenteously, and returned to the Alcazar, and betook himself to his bed, and never rose from it again; and every day he waxed weaker and weaker. He called for the caskets of gold in which was the balsam and the myrrh which the Soldan of Persia had sent him; and when these were put before him he bade them bring him the golden cup, of which he was wont to drink; and he took of that balsam and of that myrrh as much as a little spoonful, and mingled it in the cup with rose-water, and drank of it; and for the seven days which he lived he neither ate nor drank aught else than a little of that myrrh and balsam mingled with water. And every day after he did this, his body and his countenance appeared fairer and fresher than before, and his voice clearer, though he waxed weaker and weaker daily, so that he could not move in his bed.