The last thing Roberto Ingnacio Garcia remembered as he regained consciousness surrounded by a verdant canopy adorned with flowers of many colors was riding out with Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar,aka El Cid and his knights. He recalled that the day had been dismally cloudy and a cold, wind-driven drizzle had been making headway towards the Almoravide Berber camp extremely difficult. The road had been treacherously narrow unsuitable for cavalry and with thick vegetation on each side, the danger of a sudden ambuscade was very real. Why the Cid had carelessly chosen this rout instead of circumventing and taking the longer but safer one he couldn't understand. Nevertheless, they had been making slow but steady progress when the Cid suddenly ordered a halt. He had remained on his mount silently for too long for Garcia's liking when he finally spoke.
"Garcia," he said while looking intently away into the distance,
"I want you to go ahead and scout out the road for any sign of an Almoravid ambush!" El Cid had gruffly ordered.
Garcia recalled having suspected that this was the Cid's way of getting him executed for an extremely intense disagreement over a senorita the previous evening at a tavern in Valencia in which El Cid had come out the loser when the wench had chosen him instead.
"But sir, what stops them from ambushing me on the way there?"
El Cid had been morosely silent for the better part of a minute before responding. Garcia could see the muscles of his jaw working furiously as he searched for an answer.
"Trust in the Lord. He will protect!" the Cid had finally uttered sternly not even deigning to look at him when he said it.
Not daring to get into a heated argument with the Cid, Garcia had spurred his mount and proceeded down the rock strewn road at a slow trot as the rest of the knights halted and waited. All had gone without incident until he came to a bend in the road, then the sound of a whistling arrow followed by a stabbing pain to the kidney and another to his throat brought an end to his worries and he quickly drifted into blackness.
Then the aroma of greenery, infused his consciousness and the pressure of ground against his back told him he was lying prone. There was no pain from the deadly wounds he had just received. Hastily he felt for the scars of the arrows which had seemed to just recently pierced him and found none. Gradually and tentatively he had opened his eyes to the sudden rays of gentle sunlight that were filtering through the canopy of large pointed leaves which were shading him from the sun. Perhaps he was back in Barcelona where court physicians had saved his life and where he was convalescing. But if so, where were they?
Cautiously raising himself to a sitting position, he gazed about in confusion. Where was this place? How had he gotten here. Why wasn't he dressed in his armor? Where were his weapons, his horse? The road that he had just been traveling on? Gradually as his mind began to clear he heard voices a short distance away and the soft meandering of a river as it coursed between and over the smooth riverbed rocks.
Parting the leaves with his hands, Garcia beheld young people dressed in long, white garments cupping the crystalline waters in their hands and drinking deep. In the distance he saw others rising as if from the ground leaving their flowered canopies behind as if butterflies emerging from their cocoons and joining them. There was laughter, shouts of tearful joy and recognition as if long-separated loved ones had suddenly been reunited. Then approaching him were his two children and his wife whom he had lost to an Almoravid Berber attack on his village years ago. Then the scripture which he had read dozens of times came to him as if by inspiration from higher power, a power that wanted him to understand came to his mind.
"You will be with me in paradise""
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