The Cid Captures Castrejon To Supply His Troops

September 16, 2021

The Cid and his followers were now in the land of the Moors, and they halted on the mountain and fed their horses and remained there until evening; and in the darkness they set forward again that they might not be seen, and rode all night, and before dawn they came to Castrejon.

Then Alvar Fanez said to the Cid that he would take two hundred horsemen and scour the country and lay hands on whatever he could without fear of Alfonso or the Moors. And he advised the Cid to lie in ambush where he was and take the Castle of Castrejon by surprise, and this counsel seemed good to the Cid. Then Alvar Fanez rode off with his troop and left the Cid in ambush.

When the morning came, the Moors of Castrejon, not knowing that an enemy was near, opened the castle gates and went to work in the fields as they were used to do. Then the Cid rose from ambush, and fell upon them and took their flocks, and pursued them to the gates. There arose a cry from within the castle, that the Christians were making an attack, and many ran to the gates to defend them; but the Cid came up with his sword in his hand, and slew eleven Moors with his own hand, and the others ran to hide themselves. So that the Cid quickly won the castle and took gold and silver and whatever he could.

A statue of Álvar Fáñez in Burgos, Spain.

Meanwhile Alvar Fanez rode over the country, plundering whatever he could seize, and presently came back driving flocks and herds before him, and bringing much clothing and other spoils. When the Cid saw what had been done, he rejoiced greatly, and he ordered that all the spoil taken by both parties should be put in a heap, and that Alvar should take a fifth, as he well deserved. But Alvar said the Cid had need of it all for the support of his men; so the Cid divided his spoil among all his followers. And he allowed the Moors to come freely and give money for the stuff that they wished to buy back, so that all who were in the company of the Cid were made rich. Then he sent word to Don Alfonso [VI, King of León and Castile] that he and his companions would yet serve him against the Moors.

Alfonso VI of Castile

The Cid now told his followers that they could not stay in this castle, as it had no water, and that Alfonso had a treaty of peace with these Moors, and that if they remained there, the king would come against them, and as they had all received a share of the spoils, he thought best that they ride elsewhere. So on the next day they set forth again, restoring the castle to the Moors who were grateful for this kindness.

Calvin Dill Wilson, The Story of the Cid: For Young People (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1901), 88–90.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 795

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