The traveller's family comes from a village in the Leon Mountains. Though they were poor, they were wealthier than their neighbors. His father had been a soldier and learned to be very liberal with finances. The traveller had two brothers.
Not wanting to ruin his children, the father divides up his property into four parts. He gives each son a part and keeps the fourth for himself. The only stipulation is that each son follow the path that he indicates. They have a choice to serve the king, go to sea, or to enter the church.
Being the eldest, the traveller chose first and chose to serve the king. The second son chose to go to the West Indies to become a trader. The third chose to enter the church and become a learned man. They all leave their father, though they return some of their inheritance to him. The traveller leaves for Alicante. This occurred 22 years ago. He has since lost contact with his family, though he has written to them.
In Milan, the traveller bought the things he needed as a soldier so he could do service in Piedmont. He heard the Duke of Alva was going to Flanders and changed his plans. He went on many campaigns.
He wished to join Don John of Austria in his campaign against the Turks. He was promoted to captain. He got captured by the Turks. He became a galley slave. Before long, he met another soldier who had been caputred and force to row for his master--Don Pedro de Aguilar.
Don Fernando announces that Don Pedro is his brother. He escaped. He is now rich, married, and has three children.