Far Away And Long Ago A History Of My Early Life By W. H. Hudson

 -  Had he never heard of Barboza, the celebrated fighter who had
killed so many men in fights?

Perhaps he had - Page 150
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Had He Never Heard Of Barboza, The Celebrated Fighter Who Had Killed So Many Men In Fights?

Perhaps he had heard and did not wish to die just yet:

At all events a change came over his spirit; he became more rational and even apologetic, and Barboza graciously accepted the assurance that he had no desire to provoke a quarrel.

And so there was no fight after all!

The second occasion was about two years later - a long period, during which there had been a good many duels with knives in our neighbourhood; but Barboza was not in any of them, no person had come forward to challenge his supremacy. It is commonly said among the gauchos that when a man has proved his prowess by killing a few of his opponents, he is thereafter permitted to live in peace.

One day I attended a cattle-marking at a small native estancia a few miles from home, owned by an old woman whom I used to think the oldest person in the world as she hobbled about supporting herself with two sticks, bent nearly double, with her half-blind, colourless eyes always fixed on the ground. But she had granddaughters living with her who were not bad-looking: the eldest, Antonia, a big loud-voiced young woman, known as the "white mare" on account of the whiteness of her skin and large size, and three others. It was not strange that cattle- branding at this estancia brought all the men and youths for leagues around to do a service to the venerable Dona Lucia del Ombu.

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