My Escape from the Auto de Fe at Valladolid - Chapter 15 - 16
Summary: October 1559 * Don Fernando de la Mina A story founded on historic fact, retold by Pastor Timms.
 
 

Summary

Don Fernando de la Mina, a nobleman of Spain, is arrested for his sympathy with the Protestant faith. Sentenced to death, he miraculously escapes during a thunderstorm, and happens upon a poor peddler in a hut who has been killed by the storm. Quickly changing clothes with the peddler, Fernando narrowly escapes his pursuers. Upon finding the poor peddler dressed in Fernando's clothes, his pursuers presume Fernando to have been stricken by divine justice and his body taken for burial. Disguised as a peddler, Fernando makes his way back to the city of Simancas to attend the Auto de Fé (Act of Faith), where his coffin is brought along with several Protestant sympathizers that are to be publicly executed. Fernando hopes to find his beloved, the Doña Rosa de Riello so he can assure her that he is not dead.

Don Fernando discovers a plot to betray and arrest his betrothed and comes up with a plan to make contact with her. His intention is to gain her trust, as the buhonero (peddler) that he is disguised as. On a pretext, he establishes contact, and begins making himself indispensable to the Dona Rosa and her maid Ana.

Knowing that the Dona Rosa is under suspicion of being a heretic, they make their escape from the city Valladolid and head to Navarre (a territory of France). On the way, the Captain of the Guard finds them and tries to arrest them but thanks to Don Fernando's quick thinking, he is quickly made unconscious and the group  continues to the next city where Don Fernando, now accepted as the Dona Rosa's faithful servant, disguises himself as a French courtier to match the two women's disguise as a French lady and her maid returning to Paris.

The company takes shelter in a northern town for several days .

CHAPTER XV

Danger at Duenasaeros

But the fourth evening of our pleasant stay at the little town of Duenasaeros was a very critical period in our adventures.

During that day a stranger joined me in the servants’ room. He was a fat and rather reticent fellow and proclaimed himself to be a laybrother of the Convento de Miraflores at Burgos and servant of a priest who, he said, was due to arrive at the Fonda that evening. And sure enough about seven o’clock the gate bell rang. The laybro­ther thereupon rose slowly from his seat beside me and went out from our room into the patio in order to receive his superior. As he passed out I looked through the half­-open doorway and perceived that the priest who was arriving at the Fonda was none other than Father Lorenzo! He whom I had overheard speaking with my cousin, Don Juan de Lario, in the wine shop at Valladolid a week before!

Instantly I suspected the purpose of his visit. The Captain of the Inquisition Guard, on his return to Valladolid four days before, had, of course, soon discovered the deception I played upon him on the evening of our fight, and now, having failed to trace the two countrywomen at either Valladolid or Cabezon, he and the priest were pushing their inquiries further northward to Duenasaeros. The priest would seek for clues among the traveling guests at the various Fondas en route (the lay­brother learning all he could among the servants), while the Captain would search the roads and hold himself in readiness to effect our arrest at any moment.

Now, you must know that the servants' room at the Fonda (as is usual at Spanish inns) was set in from the patio just at the further end of the courtyard. It was a small and rather dark room and was lighted by a window that overlooked the corner of the patio and through this window we servants could see the table where the supper was now being laid, and, by listening very carefully, as servants generally do, we could hear most of the conversa­tion of our masters in the patio. My lady, I could see, was already seated at table and the priest was now descending down the open stairway from his bedroom.

Presently, through the window, I overheard Father Lorenzo say, in our beautiful Castellano, "Buenas noches, Senora," to which my beloved aptly replied, in the French tongue, "Bon soir, Monseigneur."

Then said the priest, accommodating himself to my lady's assumed tongue and speaking in most execrable French: "I hear, Madame, that you are returning to your home in Paris! I have a great many clerical friends there, and I should like to inquire who is your Father Confessor in Paris?"

"Father Ambrose, of St. Denis," replied the Dona Rosa with wonderful readiness.

"And to whom," persisted the priest, "to whom did he entrust your spiritual welfare at Valladolid, eh? Do you remember?"

"No," replied Madame, who was evidently beginning to be disconcerted by the cunning priest's persistency, "I do not remember at the moment, Father, but I daresay I can tell you when I refer to my tablets after supper. But why do you ask?"

Why did he ask indeed! The reason was all too obvious–at least it was obvious enough to me! So without staying to hear anymore, I hurried up to Ana's room, and, after telling all I had heard I bade her pack the luggage and valuables and these I at once carried down to the stables. Then I returned to Ana's room once more and bade her tell our mistress to plead indisposition and retire to her room immediately after supper.

Down in the stable the genial ostler now helped me to load my mule and, when he had pocketed the silver piece that I had given him for his trouble, we began chatting together familiarly and confidentially as fellow servants should. Said he, pointing across the patio to Father Lorenzo, who sat writing a letter at the further end of the supper table: "Some of these priests seem to think that servants like us ought never to be tired! It is past eight o'clock and, would you believe it, just before you came into the stable the Father came and bade me get ready to ride to Valladolid and deliver a letter to the Captain of the Inquisition Guard. Twenty miles! Why, I shan’t be there till midnight!”

“No,” thought I, “you won’t. But if  you deliver your letter at midnight, the Captain will be here with his warrant by the morning.”

So I quickly saddled the Captain’s horse, and then went up to the women’s room and told them to put on their cloaks and leave a light burning in their room, and then go and hide themselves in the bedroom, which was fortunately just at the top of the stairs. As soon as the women were safely hidden in my bedroom, I descended very slowly and solemnly into the patio and there, gravely approaching the priest, I said: “Father, the French lady to whom you spoke at supper-time is lying in her bedroom very seriously ill, and she desires to see you.”

Now, Father Lorenzo, like every earnest priest, Roman or Protestant, was true to his sacred trust, and, cruel bigot though he was, he was ever ready to sacrifice himself in the cause of charity or suffering. As I approached him he turned his head and scrutinized me sternly. But when he saw my distressed look and heard my anxious appeal, he listened to my request with patience and sympathy. He immediately laid down his pen, then he pounced his unfinished letter with sand, folded it in his wallet, and prepared to follow me up the staircase intent only on ministering priestly solace to a suffering soul–and I almost hated myself for deceiving so sincere and kindly a man! But three innocent lives were at stake.

Respectfully I preceded him up the stairs and along the gallery and there I very, very slowly opened the door of Madame’s empty room. Father Lorenzo, who was taken quite off his guard stepped unsuspectingly into the dimly lighted chamber–and I followed him! But just as I came near to the niche in the wall where the lighted bronze lamp stood, I carefully stumbled over something in the darkness and overthrew the lighted lamp upon the brick floor.

Profoundly humble in my whispered excuses, I begged that the Father would not venture to move in the darkness until I had brought another lighted lamp up from the kitchen. Then, groping my way to the door, I passed out and quietly secured it after me. Then I walked quickly along the gallery to my own bedroom and there, hastily gathering the women, I fled with them down the stairs and across the deserted patio into the stable. There, with the assistance of the ostler and me, the Dona Rosa and her maid mounted the Captain’s large chestnut horse, while I bestrode my patient little mule.

We then bade a hasty adios to the friendly ostler and hurried out through the back stable exit, before the priest could realize my purpose or raise an alarm to prevent our escape.

Had I delayed my maneuver even a couple of minutes the priest would have finished his letter and dispatched it by the ostler and then, in his absence, it would have been impossible for us to leave the Fonda that night, and we should assuredly have been arrested when the Captain arrived with his warrant in the morning!

CHAPTER XVI

Suspicion among Friends

It was now nearly nine o’clock and a calm, cold night as we rode from the back exit of the warm stable into the Calle Vera Crux, and thence out upon the great north road that links Valladolid with Burgos. There on the open road beneath the starlit purple sky we three fugitives pressed on in silence hour after hour. Right through the night we rode, until a thin green thread of light on the eastern horizon heralded the dawn of day and warned us to leave the highway and pass into a less-frequented country road.

Cheered by the rising sun and gradually feeling more and more secure from immediate pursuit, we now began to talk about our recent perilous experience. But it was only Ana and I who talked and not the Dona Rosa. My lady remained strangely silent for quite a long time. She had evidently been thinking rather critically during the night, and now she suddenly turned to me and asked, with an air of marked suspicion: "Senor, how was it that you an uneducated buhonero, so readily understood the questions that you overheard Father Lorenzo ask me at supper time? He spoke in French, and he spoke very rapidly too! You could not have become sufficiently proficient in the language to understand it so well with only four days’ tuition!"

This question was an embarrassing one and caused me to think awhile before I could answer it discreetly. Then, turning to her with an engaging smile I replied: "Senora, when I had the honour of addressing you in the Plazuela del Hospicio a few days ago, I was, in very truth a buhonero and nothing better than a buhonero—with only my rags and a peddler's pack as my sole possessions in the whole wide world. But, Senora, I should like you to know that before I fell to that low estate I had enjoyed a modicum of wealth and learning and had mixed with men and women in exalted stations of life. But, during the past few months I have suffered the severest and strangest vicissitudes of fortune. May it please you to know that six months ago, before disaster overtook me, I was a Spanish nobleman's confidential secretary! I held all his secrets and knew his inmost thoughts. He and I were identical in our aims and dispositions. It was I who wrote all his correspondence. Sometimes I wrote in Latin to his Lutheran friends in Germany, and sometimes in French to his brother at the Court of the Prince of Conde in Paris."

"Secretary!" interrupted Ana, "then why did you employ the public escribano to write that note you sent to me—and why, if you can write, why did you sign that letter with a cross?"

"Senora," I replied, addressing myself to the Dona Rosa, "Senora, I have learned discretion in a very hard school. Six months ago the nobleman whom I served was destroyed by the religious vengeance that now threatens you, and the same catastrophe that ruined him has also ruined and degraded me even to the condition of the poor buhonero whom you honoured by receiving into your service. Senora, in grateful fulfillment of Don Fernando de la Mina's behest, of which I have already told you, I have pledged my life and all that I have to the service of the Dona Rosa de Riello, and I hope to prove myself worthy of her confidence and to win advancement in my mistress's esteem equally with your Excellency's advancing fortunes."

The Dona Rosa listened to my proud speech with evident surprise, and with some slight show of indignation too, and she was just on the point of asking further awkward questions when our conversation was happily interrupted by the approach of a couple of countrywomen who passed across the road immediately in front of us. These women were laughing and singing and were followed by a group of talkative men and boys. They were, all of them, just about to start their day's work at the large olive farm which we ourselves were now approaching.

A man in the field, nearby, was leading an ox into the crushing shed. He opened the high barnlike doors and drove the ox through them, and then yoked the beast to the millbar and started him off upon his daily tramp round and round the crushing vat. Presently, some women entered the shed and proceeded to refill the vat with a fresh supply of olives and to adjust the panshons that received the oil which was now beginning to flow into them from the vents in the vat. And there everywhere around us the daily work of the farm began. Far away in the gardens on the rising ground men, women, and children were beating the trees with long rods. Some were up in the trees shaking the branches and some were picking up and basketing the olives that fell to the ground, while others were carrying heavy loads of the fruit toward the crushing mill.

Science Deceptions
Media Deceptions
Reformation
Spiritual Deceptions
A Basis for Conflict
Is there evidence for Creation science? How does it compare to evolution? The following articles give insight in to these questions and more.
Conforming Under Pressure Evolution Is Not Science—It's Religion How Can We See Stars That Are Billions Of Light Years Away? Creation and Evolution: Is Compromise Possible? Understanding the Creation Week Geocentricity: It's Time to Face the Facts The Rise of Evolutionary Thinking Earth's History: Conflicting Paradigms Lamarck Proposes Natural Selection Where did the Universe Come From? Evidence for a Young Universe Age Of The Earth Is Carbon-Dating Accurate? Flood Chronology
Evidence in Stone
Can we understand the age of the earth by the rocks? What theory does the evidence support?
Soft Rock Evidence for Rapid Washout
The Fossil Record
What does the fossil record show us? Is it all random or a defined science that we can understand? Where does evolution fit? Uncover mysteries in the history of the Earth.
Evolutionary Sequences Order in the Fossil Record Evolution of the Horse Explosive Evolution Fossils prove a Flood Fossil Footprints Dinosaurs and the Flood Petrified Trees The Biblical Flood Reasons For Extinction Fossil Reefs The Post-Flood World Human Evolution
Genes of Genesis
As we study the genome, the molecule, and the atom, we see a vast network of intricate systems beyond our understanding. Were these systems really formed by chance?
Why So Many Species - Glossary Is the Gastraea Hypothesis Viable? Mechanisms For Variation Built-in Variation in the Gene Pool Answering Questions "Species" versus "Kind" Molecules That Began Life Creating Life in a Test Tube? Post-Flood Distribution Natural Selection Reproductive Exchange Natural Selection as a Creative Force Transposable Elements The Evidence of Things Not Seen Recombination of Chromosomes Ernst Haeckel's Theories Dinosaur Extinction and Global Catastrophe Jesus Christ—All Things Become New Variation and Classification Evolution: Miracle of Miracles Why So Many Species? Is The Grand Canyon Proof of Noah's Flood? Spiders and the Creative Genius of God Things That Negate Evolution: Snake Legs Wrong Assumptions in C-14 Dating Methods Rapid Cave Formation The Australian Problem Synesthesia: Mystery of God’s Creation
Creation to Restoration
How did this world change from the perfection depicted in Genesis to a world full of thorns, thistles, parasites, and death? If God made everything perfect, how could it have all been so changed?
A Good World Gone Bad An Imperfect Planet Evidence For Design Evidence For Transformation Rapid Transformation Clean and Unclean: The History of the Human Diet The Dawn Chorus and Life Forces
Archaeology and the Bible
Archaeology and prophecy have proven the Bible to be true. But what's so special about the Bible that makes it a point of so much controversy?
Archaeology Confirms the Bible Tyre and the Bible Petra and the Bible Egypt and the Bible Babylon and the Bible The Lost Books of the Bible
Crossing Musical Boundaries
Music is a powerful emotional motivator that crosses cultural and language barriers. Its message can be understood by every culture and people across the planet.
Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Christianity The Philosophers Talk Music The Pursuit of Pleasure Music and Worship The Beat Whose Music? The Rave Can You Feel the Music? The Bible and Rock Music: Are they Compatible? The Last Great Contest – Worship The Ear Classical Music Therapy Music and the Frontal Lobe From the Horse's Mouth: The Rock Industry Condemns Itself
Hollywood and the Movies
What is the system of worship found most often in our society? Does it glorify God?
Hollywood's History Gnostic Themes in the Movies Hollywood and Gnosticism
Brain Closed—Please Come Again
Research has shown that our sensitivity to stimuli reduces itself yearly by about 1%. Is your brain hibernating?
The Dangers of Television
Beware of the television's abilities to hypnotize, alter moods, and even cause depression.
Violence and Video Games
Like music and movies, video games are addictive and can cause behavioral problems.
The Origins of Halloween
What is the origin behind this popular festival celebrated every October 31?
Introduction to the Reformation
What started the Protestant Reformation? Was the Reformation a success? Does it still matter today?
The Pope Claims to be God on Earth
Read proof that throughout the Roman Church's history, the Papacy has often claimed that the Pope is divine.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - A Timeline
The oppression of Protestants is widespread and consistent throughout history.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - Quotes
It was once written in America's oldest Catholic newspaper, the Boston Pilot, that "No good government can exist without religion, and there can be no religion without an Inquisition, which is wisely designed for the promotion and protection of the true faith.”

Read several authors' thoughts on papal Rome's history.
Catholic Councils
What happened at the Council of Trent? The First Vatican Council The Second Vatican Council
The Jesuits
Learn what people throughout history have had to say on the reputation, history, and political nature of the Jesuit Order.
An Introduction to the Jesuits Jesuits and the Hippie Movement Ignatius of Loyola and Martin Luther "Caring" and a New Morality Ignatius Loyola and Spiritual Formation Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises Protestantism Destroyed The Jesuit Superior General
Cross and Crown
This book "Cross and Crown" is a powerful and thrilling recital of the most romantic and dramatic incidents in history to be found on record, told in the simplest, most graphic, and entertaining form.
The Aggressive Intentions of the Papacy
The historian Ranke says this about Protestant-Catholic relations: "In the year 1617, everything betokened a decisive conflict between them. The Catholic party appears to have felt itself the superior. At all events it was the first to take up arms."

This article highlights quotes from historical and Catholic sources proving the Papacy's aggressive nature.
Christianity and Violence
Would the world be a safer place without Christian fundamentalism?
Stories of the Reformation
Dive into history to uncover the remarkable stories of faith and passion in early Protestantism.
An Italian mystic. A minister to a British king. An Augustine monk. A Swiss farmer's boy. What do these men have in common? They were used by God in powerful ways to bring about the Protestant Reformation. Enter into the lives of these ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
Inspiration for these articles comes from Gideon and Hilda Hagstoz' Heroes of the Reformation
Philipp Melanchthon John Laski Jerome of Prague John Wycliffe Louis De Berquin Gaspard De Coligny
Religious Doublespeak
Language can be used to communicate both truth and lies. Learn about the religious doublespeak being used to pull the wool over the eyes of the world.
Hegelian Thinking and World Politics
Hegelian dialectic thinking is applied in many situations in world politics. Often the ordinary people are used as pawns in the game of Hegelian psychology played by those who pull the strings of world control.
The Great Controversy
Read this classic work by Ellen G. White.
The Destruction of Jerusalem Persecution in the First Centuries An Era of Spiritual Darkness The Waldenses John Wycliffe Huss and Jerome Luther's Separation From Rome Luther Before the Diet The Swiss Reformer Progress of Reform in Germany Protest of the Princes The French Reformation The Netherlands and Scandinavia Later English Reformers The Bible and the French Revolution The Pilgrim Fathers Heralds of the Morning An American Reformer Light Through Darkness A Great Religious Awakening A Warning Rejected Prophecies Fulfilled What is the Sanctuary? In the Holy of Holies God's Law Immutable A Work of Reform Modern Revivals Facing Life's Record The Origin of Evil Enmity Between Man and Satan Agency of Evil Spirits Snares of Satan The First Great Deception Can Our Dead Speak to Us? Liberty of Conscience Threatened The Impending Conflict The Scriptures a Safeguard The Final Warning The Time of Trouble God's People Delivered Desolation of the Earth The Controversy Ended
Who is Jesus?
Is Jesus really who He says He is?
Did Jesus Ever Exist? Was Jesus the Messiah? Is What Christianity Teaches True? The Godhead and the One True God Movement Is Jesus God? Jesus: The Mercy Seat Why Did Jesus Have To Die? Six Purposes for Christ's Life and Death on Earth What Day Did Jesus Die? The 70-Week Prophecy Jesus, the Recycled Redeemer Names of Christ in Revelation
Prophecy
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
The First Beast—Comparing Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 Revelation Identifies End-Time Babylon The Second Beast of Revelation 13 Identifying the Antichrist The Final Confederacy The Seven Plagues Walking Through Daniel Walking through Revelation
Religious Trends
What are the trends in the religious world today? Sun Worship, The UN and the One World Religion, Eastern Mysticism and Spiritism... Just what do all these things mean in light of Bible prophecy?
Babylonian Religion Sun Worship The Charismatic Movement Politics and the Papacy Paganism and Mary Wealth Redistribution Spiritism throughout Religions Catholic Pentecostalism Unity at All Cost? Sustainability Paganism and Christmas Pentecostalism The Charismatic Movement and Spiritual Gifts Manifesting the Charismatic Spirit The New Age Movement Paganism in our Culture The United Nations' Global Government The History of Tongues Secret Societies Revival and the "Power of God" Signs and Wonders What’s So Bad about Spiritual Formation? Zionism
Sabbath
Most people can understand the reasoning behind nine of the Ten Commandments—don't kill, don't lie, don't steal. But what about the Sabbath Commandment? Why would God give such a law? Why should we follow it?
What is the Seventh-Day Sabbath? Creation and the Sabbath The Weekly Cycle Why Sunday? Sabbath FAQ
The Second Coming of Christ
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
Signs of The Second Coming of Christ The Second Coming of Christ Viewpoints How Christ will Return What will Happen to God's People? What will Happen to the Rejecters of God? Will there be a Secret Rapture? The Millennium of Peace
The Bible
Can the Bible be trusted to provide answers to our questions? Does it contain truth? Learn about the evidence that proves the Bible's authenticity.
Archaeology Confirms the Bible Choosing the Books of the Bible Studying Scripture Scripture is Inspired by God Testing the Gospel of Thomas Testing the Gospel of Judas The Spirit in Scripture The Gospel Story The Lost Books of the Bible Spiritual Gifts
Christian Living: Sin and Salvation
Consider the crucial points of the Christian life.
Christian Living Good God, Bad World. Why? God's Plan to Eradicate Sin The Ceremonial Feasts Pointed to Christ
Death
Is there more to death than the fact that it is the opposite of life? What are the false doctrines involving the immortality of the soul?
Death: Understanding the Terminology A Biblical Understanding of Death The Resurrection of Lazarus Spiritism Hell and Purgatory An Immediate Afterlife? The Parable of Lazarus