SeeStan ChapLee

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Spy Who Came in from the Heat (4)

[16: 75]

Ma di creder Vafrino anco s'infinge,
Sin ch'ebro il vede e di parlar già stanco,
E sovra l'herba, che l'humor dipinge,
Posare il capo non ch'il tergo o il fianco,
E chiuder gli occhi gravi: allhor gli scinge
La spada, che pendeva al lato manco,
E mentre il sonno più l'affrena e lega,
Egli co 'l proprio cinto anco il rilega.

But Vafrino makes as if he believed him,
Until he sees him drunk and tired of talking;
On the grass -- red with wine -- the man finally
Lays his head, not only his back and hips,
And shuts his drowsy eyes. Vafrino unfastens
The man's sword, that hung on his left side, 
And when sleep dominates him wholly,
Ties him strongly by using his own belt. (*)

(*) In the final printed version, the text is slightly different, and specifies that Vafrino ties the man by using "his own and other belts," probably because one belt would not suffice. At the same time, it is not clear whence these other belts come.
The man, as it has become clear by now, is a Muslim spy -- though a very bad Muslim (he drinks a lot of wine) and a very bad spy! A poor devil, after all. His story will presently confirm the impression.