My name is Pedro Guinea but I am known to many people as Malasombra-theoutlaw. For a time I was the slave of Juan II the king of Navarre in theroyal palace of Tudela. My job was to taste all the food and drinks for the king.The food like roast game was very good but sometimes it was poisoned by theking’s enemies and I used to get sick and dizzy.
One day the king wanted to eat lentils. I didn’t like lentils. I tried a teaspoonclosing my eyes. That very moment I imagined an ugly lentil with a moustachethat wanted to kiss me. ‘Pouh’ I shouted spitting it out in the king’s face. Theking got angry and said ‘Cut off his head!’.
We joined a caravan with wine, food and jewel carriages and lotsof soldiers to protect the booty from the bands of thieves. Manytimes the thieves would attack the villages around Bardenas.
Suddenly one of the soldiers shouted something and we were in acloud of dust. When the dust settled the soldiers were gone andinstead of them we saw 29 ugly outlaws wearing masks. ‘You arefree now’ said the chief of the outlaws breaking the chain with hissword.
I was staring at him. He was red headed like a flame and almost 2 meters tall. He hadarms like legs of hams and strange clothes covered with animal skins and a wolf head.Sanchicorrota looked at me and said: ‘You seem to be a valiant man. You could be a goodoutlaw. Do you want to join us?’I shrugged my shoulders. I was a slave getting orders all the time. They didn’tlet me choose. I didn’t think long and agreed. And so I was converted in one ofSanchicorrota’s 30 outlaws.
Our hideout was in Bardena Blanca, in a caveon the top of a mountain. It was in a hiddenplace but from there all the desert could be seen.The cave was like a castle dug in the rock. The outlaws were poor people who didn’t want to starve or put up with things that weren’t right. They were peasants who had to give their crop to the king without getting anything instead or soldiers fed up to fight in wars that they didn’t understand. So for us the real king was the king of Bardenas, Sanchicorrota.
Sanchicorrota told me that his real name was Sancho, that being called Sanchico-littleSancho- was a joke because he was very big. He also told me that Rota comes from‘errota’ which means mill in the Basque language. His family had a mill in Cascante andthey had to give nearly all the flour to the king. One day he got angry and he couldn’t takeit any longer. The king threw his parents in the dungeon so he decided to be an outlaw andfight for justice.
and share the booty with the peasants and the inhabitants from the villages around Bardenas.
They received us like kings celebrating and dancing in our honour.
I would always go with Sanchicorrota and as I’ve got darkskin they called me `Shadow’. But the soldiers who wanted tocatch me called me the `Bad Shadow’.
Sanchicorrota was very clever. When the soldiers put posterssaying `Sanchicorrota wanted. Reward 200 gold florines’ he wouldchange them with other posters with the king’s face and a reward of400 gold florines.
The soldiers were tracking us but they were always lost becauseSanchicorrota had a trick. He would inverse the horseshoes so themarks would go in the opposite direction. He would laugh and say`They are not going to catch us ever’.