Lazaro’s next master is a tambourine painter. Lazaro helps the tambourine painter mix his colors and suffers many ills under this master, too.
Much like Lazaro’s account of his time with the friar, his account of his time with the tambourine painter is brief. It may be inferred that, although there was a great deal of suffering under this master, Lazaro doesn’t feel the need to describe it in detail because suffering has become such a normal part of his life.
One day Lazaro enters a cathedral where he meets a chaplain, who employs Lazaro by putting him in charge of four jugs of water and a mule. This way, Lazaro sells water around the city, splitting the profits with the chaplain. Lazaro keeps this job for four years, and he is happy during this time because the money he makes enables him to have a stable diet for the first time in his life. After four years, he has finally saved enough to buy himself a used jacket, a nice old cloak, and a sword. Once he is well-dressed, he returns the donkey to his master and quits the job.
The most striking detail of Lazaro’s description of the time he spends working for the chaplain is that he spends the money he saves on the exact set of items worn and carried by the squire, though he doesn’t seem to notice this parallel himself. This is significant because it represents the gradual convergence of Lazaro’s system of values with that of the squire’s—values that Lazaro had previously mocked because he saw them as empty. It is also worth noting that the chaplain—a religious figure—employs Lazaro in a commercial venture. This would have been seen as conflicting with the chaplain’s religious vows and obligations.