January 28, 2023

Roque Guinart

(Captain Roque / Senor Roque)

Roque’s Physical Description: Captain Roque is a man who is approximately “thirty-four years of age, with a robust, larger than average build, with a stern look in his Don Quixote Novel eye and a dark complexion.” Typically, he rides a powerful war horse with a steel coat of mail and four little carbines at his sides.

Roque Guinart - Don Quixote
Don Quixote Novel

Roque Puts His Subordinates In Check: On the outskirts of Barcelona, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are surrounded by more than forty live bandits who order them in Catalan to stay where they are and not move an inch until their captain arrives. Before captain Roque arrives, however, his bandits ransack Sancho Panza’s saddle bags relieving him of 200 escudos that the Duke of Aragon gives him. When Captain Roque arrives, however, he not only orders them to stop robbing Sancho Panza but he also commands them to return to him everything they had taken off his dun. Just to make sure his orders are followed, Roque asks Sancho Panza if his men had returned all the prized possessions they had taken from Dapple. Sancho Panza replies that they had except for three of his nightcaps. Upon hearing this, Captain Roque orders Sancho Panza’s nightcaps to be returned forthwith. Captain Roque also shouts for one of his men to not split Sancho Panza head Don Quixote Fiction open with a musket after Sancho Panza says that “justice is a fine thing since it’s needed even amongst thieves.” Here, Captain Roque’s intervention saves Sancho Panza from receiving a damaging blow to his head. Again, when one of Captain Roque’s men says that his captain is “fitter to be a friar than a bandit” because he gives ten escudos to a group of travelling pilgrims and ten escudos to Sancho Panza, Captain Roque “raises his sword and almost splits his squires head in two saying that is how he punishes insolence and effrontery.” After Captian Roque threatens to punish one of his men for insubordination, the other 39 bandits are so dumbfounded, that none of them dares say a single word, such is their obedience.

Roque Sleeps Away From His Men So They Do Not Turn Him Over To The Authorities Or Kill Him in His Sleep: Since Captain Roque has such a large bounty on his head, he sleeps away from his men, lest (driven by their material greed) they report him to the authorities for a large monetary reward, or, alternatively, kill him in his sleep to usurp his position. Therefore, Captain Roque is forever nervous and apprehensive, since he does not want to end-up like one of the many dead bandits he sees swaying from poplar trees. Thus, he takes careful precautions to “sleep in places his men cannot find out about,” because he does not trust them. Evidently, Captain Roque does not want to be turned over to the authorities by his men, especially since he knows that if he is caught by the Viceroy of Catalonia, he will be hanged from the neck, on the outskirts of Barcelona, like one of the thirty dead bandits Don Quixote sees earlier.

Roque’s Unsettled Life: When Don Quixote stays with Captain Roque for three days and three nights he marvels at his way of life, since: he wakes up in one place; eats lunch somewhere else, sometimes he runs away from unknown pursuers; at other times he lies in wait for unknown prey. Furthermore, Don Quixote observes that sometimes Captain Roque sleeps on his feet. Then, suddenly, at an Don Quixote Work Of Fiction – The Bubonic Endemic in the U.S. First Broke Out in San Francisco’s Chinatown instant’s notice, he breaks his sleep to move onto another spot. Forever sending out spies, listening to sentries, and blowing on musket fuses, Captain Roque’s criminal enterprise is very chaotic and haphazard. Moreover, Don Quixote observes that when they travel together they use unfrequented roads, secret short cuts, and hidden paths, to move about the countryside undetected. And when Captain Roque is forced to sleep for a long time, he sleeps away from his men in places they cannot find out about since his men may either try to kill him, to usurp his lucrative position, or hand him over to the Viceroy of Catalonia, for a rich reward.

Roque’s Relationship With Claudia Jeronima: When Captain Roque appears in a glade on the outskirts of Barcelona, Claudia Jeronima bursts onto the scene riding a thin-boned palfrey. Right away she asks Captain Roque to remedy her misfortune in a disappointed love affair—or to at least comfort her in her plight—since she shot Don Vicente because she thought he spurnned her love by cheating on her with another woman. Claudia Jeronima’s thunderous appearance immediately causes Captain Roque to turn his head at the noise and to give audience to this handsome figure. By way of stating her business, Claudia Jeronima says she is the daughter of Simon Forte, Captain Roque’s special friend, who is the deadly enemy of his don quixote – quixotism enemy Clauquel Torrellas, because he belongs to the opposite faction. According to Claudia Jeronima, Clauquel Torrellas son, one Don Vicente Torrellas, saw her, wooed her, she heeded him, she fell in love with him, all behind her father’s back. Yesterday, she discovered that Don Vicente Torrellas, forgetful of his pledge to her, was about to marry another woman. Evidently, Claudia Jeronima is so hurt by this news that she fires her musket at Don Torrellas, as well as her two pistols, and puts four bullets in his body. Amazed by Claudia’s forthrightness and courage, as well as her striking presence, Captain Roque asks her to come with him to go and find out whether her enemy is dead and what is best to be done for her. Indeed, Captain Roque even pledges to protect Claudia Jeronima from Don Vicente’s vengeful relatives by taking her to France where she has blood relatives that she can live with. In addition, Captain Roque vows to protect Claudia Jeronima’s father, Simon Forte, from coming to harm lest Don Vicente’s relatives avenge themselves on him for his daughter’s transgressions. To determine whether Don Torrellas is dead or alive, they reach the place where she shot him but all they find is recently spilt blood. All of a sudden, however, they spot Don Torellas on a nearby hilltop, being carried away, dead or alive, to be buried or treated. Rapidly, they clamber down dale, and uphill, to the location where Don Vicente is being carried by his servants. Here, they discover his fate. On approach they overhear Don Torrellas begging his servants, in a weak and weary voice, to allow him to die where he is, since the pain of his wounds is unbearable, given the physical jolting of his carriage. As he lies on the ground dying, Don Torrellas says, in short dying gasps, that he did not court another woman, or marry her, and that such speculation is nothing but a false rumor of no real substance. Before dying, Don Torrellas presses Claudia Jeronima’s hand to his bosom, as a gesture of his undying love. In turn, Claudia Jeronima passionately wrings Don Torrellas’s hand, and collapses to the ground in a bundle of guilt and dejection. Later, when Claudia Jeronima discovers that the rumors of Don Torrellas’s faithlessness was hearsay—and that she mistakenly caused the death of her own lover—Claudia Jeronima is so overcome with howls of grief that she passes out. Though he is a man who never weeps, this reaction draws tears from his eyes, since Claudia Jeronima is the author of her own tragic fate. Though Captain Roque offers to assist Claudia Jeronima in her plight by accompanying her to wherever she pleases—and by defending her father against the whole world if necessary—Claudia Jeronima declines his assistance, thanking him in the best words she can muster. Then, Claudia Jeronima takes leave of Captain Roque in tears.

Roque’s Sentries Language and Demography: Most of Captain Roque’s sentries are lowly Gascons, or unruly peasants, who are born and raised in Gascony, a province of southwestern France. Though they speak a halting form of Spanish, in topsy-turvy diction, their mother tongue is a crude dialect of French, characterized by the heavy use of slang. Some of Captain Roque’s more intelligent subordinates (i.e. his lieutenants and sergeants) are native Spaniards, who use proper Spanish.

Roque’s Reconnaissance: At times, Captain Roque sends his men out to reconnoiter the highways and byways of Catalonia, to observe the people passing by. Their orders, readers learn, are to keep Captain Roque informed of the strength and numbers of people passing through his territory, and whether they friend, or foe, victims, or hunters. When Captain Roque’s sentires bring him intelligence about the groups of people travelling through his territory, either he orders his men to bring them to him ? if, that is, the group is easily captured ? or, if they are not, he orders his goons to take flight.

Roque Returns Heisted Goods: Because Captain Roque is a menace to most people—but not to Don Quixote and Sancho Panza—he orders his men to return Sancho Panza’s waist-pouch, as well as everything they took off his donkey. To guarantee compliance, Captain Roque follows-up by asking his gang if they had returned everything they had taken off of Sancho Panza’s donkey. When Sancho Panza says that they had except for three night caps given to him as a gift, Captain Roque orders them to return his pajama tops forthwith. Later, when Captain Roque takes eighty escudos off of the wife of the President of the Naples tribunal, and sixty escudos of off two Spanish infantry captains, he orders that half of their funds be returned to them because “it is not [his] intention to offend [ladies] of high rank,” or infantry Captains that may come looking for him. Captain Roque also returns the paltry wages of two poor pilgrims adding another ten escudos to relieve their pain and suffering.

Roque Does Not Steal Too Much: Since Captain Roque does not want to offend women of high rank and Spanish infantry captains who may seek vengeance, he only takes a portion of their goods. By not being greedy, Captain Roque ensures his own survival, as well as the survival of his criminal gang, since the authorities may not fight to destroy them, if the stakes are not high enough.

Roque Helps Don Quixote and Sancho Panza: Captain Roque does not rob Sancho Panza, talks to Don Quixote politely, and takes the pair to Barcelona since: one, they free a chain gang of outlaws who are dealt with too severely for minor transgressions; two, because they trample the Holy Brotherhood’s rural laws; and three, because Don Quixote tries to redeem Captain Roque’s eternal soul. This is why Captain Roque protects Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, and this is why he threatens to destroy his men if they harm them.

Roque’s Repentance: Since Captain Roque is driven to robbery by a twisted sense of vengeance for an affront he received a long time ago, he “continues a criminal way of life even though he knows he shouldn’t.” Though by nature he is a “well intentioned and compassionate sort of man,” it seems that the Holy Brotherhood has driven him to a life of crime, since he is too independent, and too much of a free spirit, to bow down to the Holy Inquisition. Since he is driven by anger and destruction, not enlightenment and construction, he is so caught up in “a chain of vengeances” that he fights to destroy his enemies, as well as the enemies of his friends. But Captain Roque is intelligent enough to envision his own bleak-end, especially when he sees other bandits dangling from trees ? dead and forgotten. Since Don Quixote is amazed to hear Captain Roque speak with such good sense, he tells him that the “beginning of good health lies in knowing the disease, [coupled with] the patient’s willingness to take the medicine prescribed by the doctor.” Then Don Quixote tells Captain Roque that he is ill, that he “knows what his disease is, and heaven, or, more accurately God, his doctor, will give him the medicines he needs to cure” him of his maladies. Because intelligent sinners, Don Quixote says, are closer to recovery than foolish reprobates, all he needs to do, suggests our knight, is be in hale spirits and good cheer, because with hope, and hard work, and much effort, he can improve the “disease of [his] conscience” so that he is mentally and physically whole again. Don Quixote further says that if Captain Roque wants to get into heaven, he will teach him to be a knight errant just like him, since the penances he will undergo as a knight errant—like destroying the wicked, and doing good to all—will redeem his immortal soul.

Roque’s Distribution of Loot: After Captain Roque robs the money and valuables of the wife of the President of the Naples tribunal, along with her young daughter, a duenna, a maid, and two captains of the Spanish infantry, Roque orders that their clothes, jewels, money, and everything else the criminal gang had stolen since their last distribution, be brought to him forthwith, and divided fairly, according to the rules of distributive justice. To ensure that the loot is divided fairly, Captain Roque makes “rapid calculations in his head, and puts cash in place of whatever cannot be divided, which he shares evenly [among his band of thieves] so that nobody is given one farthing more, or less, than what they deserve.” This act of distributive justice causes Captain Roque’s men to cry out “long live Captain Roque, in spite of all the thieving murderers who want to do for him.”

Roque’s Fair Distribution: Since “justice is a fine thing even when it is needed amongst thieves,” Captain Roque deals evenhandly with his men, in a fair and straightforward manner, dividing the take between them in such a manner that each receives their fair share of the loot, according to his level of contribution.

Roque Robs Two Spanish Infantry Captains, Dona Guiomar de Quinoes (the wife of the president of the Naples Tribunal) As Well as Her Daughter, Her Maid, and Her Duenna: When Captain Roque, and his band of forty thieves, spot a group of people passing by them on the King’s highway, he orders his sentries to bring them to him immediately and to “not let a single one escape.” Subsequently, his sentries bring back their prize which is comprised of: a coachful of women with half a dozen servants accompanying them on foot and on horseback; two gentlemen who happen to be captains of the Spanish infantry; and two pilgrims who travel with the group. We learn that the Spanish infantry captains travel to Barcelona to embark on a galley departing to Sicily, while Dona Guiomar de Quinones (the wife of the president of the Naples tribunal) travels to Naples to join her husband. When Captain Roque robs the judge’s wife, the two captains, and their sundry fellow travelers, he does not take the total amount of money he can—which amounts to nine hundred escudos and sixty reals in all—rather he steals 140 escudos from the travelers, since he does not want to cause too great an offense. Out of the amount Captain Roque plunders, he begs Dona Guiomar de Quinones for her forgiveness, since he feels he has “no choice but to comply with the obligations of his wicked calling.” And when two pilgrims are about to hand over what little money they have to th robbers, Captain Roque commands them to stop, and gives them 10 escudos each. Then, he sends them on their way.

Roque’s Correspondence With Don Antonio Moreno: Captain Roque writes a letter to his friend Don Antonio Moreno, in which he says that he has the famous Don Quixote de la Mancha with him, about whom people are talking so much, and that “he is the funniest and most intelligent man in the world,” who should be received amicable. Then he tells Don Antonio Moreno that on Saint John the Baptist’s day, Don Quixote will be left in the middle of Barcelona’s city beach, in full armour, on his horse Rocinante, with his Squire Sancho Panza riding his ass, Dapple, and that he should tell his friends, the Niarros about this, so they can have fun with him. Captain Roque then writes that his enemies, the Cadells, should not be informed about Don Quixote’s arrival, so they are deprived of the pleasure of playing tricks on him. In short, Captain Roque says that Don Quixote mixture of madness and sound sense, along with Sancho Panza’s drollery, cannot fail to delight everybody. Then, he sends a letter with one of his couriers, who enters the city unnoticed, by changing into farmer’s clothes.

Roque Fights His Dark Overlord To Protect Don Quixote: Captain Roque and his gang of outlaws like Don Quixote so much that they fight the prince of darkness—“the source of all evil in this world”—when he orders two boys to play a mean trick on Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Consequently, when two imps lift Rocinante and Dapple’s tails and ram “a handful of [prickly] gorse” in their rumps—which causes them to rear back and buck until they throw Don Quixote and Sancho Panza to the ground with the force of their kicking—Don Quixote and Sancho Panza remove the plumage from Rocinante and Dapple’s rumps, while Don Antonio Moreno’s men punish the boys for their wicked insolence.


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Originally posted 2020-01-16 23:03:40.