And why have you put Llagostera here?

In Lolita’s cabinet. The room was guarded with furniture belonging to this lady’s private property, and in it the degree of education and good taste of the owner was immediately discovered. Jute, pep. 272Luche, glitter, strawberry trees, pine covered with walnut and various other elements of Catalan-style domestic decoration, exalted, in Lolita’s opinion, that dark guesthouse cabinet to the category of a Medicean loggia . Hanging obliquely on the wall was a guitar, with Andalusian scenes painted around the black urbicular mouth. Another paragon of pictorial art was an auction painting, in oil, crowning the fireplace. Lolita pretended to make her visitors believe that she had painted it.

“But can you paint?”

“Jesus!” Since I was little they gave me lersions of paint; but I have already abandoned it.

It was not uncommon for the visitor, to flatter the author, to come to look at the painting, and then, with some surprise, they noticed that the work was signed in red by R. Llagostera.

“What’s your last name, Lolita?”

-Me? Montoya.

“And why have you put Llagostera here?”

Lolita also approached, who could not read, and after examining those little red brush strokes, meaningless to her, explained:

“They are floresiya.” And you call them yagosteras? Jesus, what a term! If they are poppies, their cousin.

There were up to four large white cardboard hat boxes on the ground, with the lid dropped to one side, and they were like Pomona baskets or cornucopias of abundance, judging by the eruptive profusion of flowers and fruits, of all seasons and latitudes, that exceeded the edges.

Verónica, Amparito, Lolita, and San Antonio de Padua were in the room, doing a gymnastic step that is usually called the pine , on the corner. The three women were seated around a table with a marble stone; about himp. 273night table, several sheets and a pencil. Amparito had an open book in his hands.

—Listen carefully, Veronica, because this is very important. Come on, read, girl.

Amparito read.

“Having achieved Mr. Sonnini …” Amparito read eme-erre .

—But baby, you don’t know how to read.

—Here it says eme erre: capital eme, erre.

“What did you design?” One or the other? Come on, come on, now comes the good.

“Having eme-erre Sonnini,” Amparito continued, “managed to open a passage to the inner chamber of one of the royal tombs on Mount Libico, near Thebes, he found in it a sarcophagus in which was a mummy of extraordinary beauty and in excellent condition. conservation; Examining it carefully he discovered, attached to his left breast with a particular kind of rubber, a long scroll of papyrus, which, having unfolded it, greatly excited his curiosity because of the hieroglyphs that were marvelously painted on it.

“Have you found out?” Lolita asked Veronica. That mummy rust is neither more nor less than a papa that you will see at the end of the book. He is an oracle, and he tells you all the things that you know: love affairs, money, everyone, and always the chipén. This is better than the cards. Well girl; now read where there is a cross with lapis colorao. And you, Veronica, you are very serious, that this is like a reso.

Amparito read:

—Pastoral of Balapsis, by command of Hermes Trimegistus, to the priests of the great temple. Priests of the Thebans! Servants of the great temple of Hecatómpilos! You who in the sacred city of Diospolis have consecrated your life to the service of the king of gods and men! Hermes, faithful inp. 274interpreter of the will of Osiris, health and peace sends you!

“Didn’t I think it was like a reso?” And do not think that it is something der mengue. That will be seen later. Now find the question you want to ask. There they are all in er papa Amariyo.

Veronica, a little awed by such mysterious preambles, read the list of questions on a large sheet of parchment paper.

“Do I have to say the question you ask?”

“Of course, chiquiya.”

—Well, this: “Does the person I love correspond to and appreciate?” He wanted to imply, smiling, that he did not attach great importance to the oracle; but he couldn’t quite smile and blush.

“But you gorfa,” Lolita exclaimed, overjoyed. Are we still with those little things from the heart?

“If it’s for asking …

“I also want to ask later,” Amparito suggested shyly.

“You already know he loves you, girl.” Read now what to do.

“When any man or woman is going to do you, oh!” Priests, ”Amparito read,“ ask some questions to make the offerings be presented and the sacrifices made at the same time that the temple servants raise the invocations high in harmonious songs. Once silence is reestablished, the soothsayer will order the foreigner who came to consult the oracle to mark with a reed soaked in the blood of the sacrifice within a circle formed with the twelve signs of the Zodiac five lines of stripes, straight or inclined, in the manner of these …

-I will tell you; This should be done like this, a burto —and Lolita began to draw sticks on a page, without looking at the paper.

“But that’s impossible.”

p. 275″Very easy.”

“I’m saying about the blood and those signs of I don’t know how many.”

“That is not mandatory.” Read below, girl.

“The translator,” Amparito read, “believes it is his duty to warn here that he knows from experience that most of these ceremonies can be dispensed with.” In inquiries made to the oracle, the circle and signs of the zodiac may be omitted, and instead of a reed soaked in blood, he and his friends have used constantly, and always with good success, a pen with common ink and other times a pencil or charcoal. Gifts, sacrifices and invocations are also superfluous in the land of Christians; but, instead, it is of absolute necessity that the querent believe in God with a closed fist and venerate his inscrutable ways.

-You see it? You believe in God, pa disappointment.

“Yes, no …

“Well, now make the lines.”

Verónica obeyed everything indicated to her. Amparito, who had already fully understood the manipulation of the oracle, acted as a fortune teller.

-Sagittarius; non, three pairs, non, ”Amparito hissed. The answer says: “Meditate well if the object of your affection deserves your love.”

“Would you like me,” Lolita asked, freaked out as if with a personal success of hers, “if you don’t let him have an aturuya?”

“Can you ask the same question twice?” Veronica asked.

“And two thousand.”

Veronica drew five rows of sticks for the second time.

“Keys, non, four pairs,” Amparito said. The answer says: «A loving correspondence is now doubtful; but perseverance and attention will ensure your success. ”

p. 276″This must be a witchcraft thing, because it is not explained that he responds so accordingly,” Veronica declared with shining eyes.

“Well, there’s still something else to go mu güena, but what a mu güena.” Girl, look for the book. There they give you a preview of what you are going to know for the day and the month in which you were born.

“I was born on the fifth of September.”

“September, Amparito.” Look for the sign.

“Virgo,” Amparito read in a candid voice.

Veronica’s face lit up. Lolita, between giggles that she couldn’t hold back, commented:

“It’s greasy too.”

“The woman born at this time,” Amparito read, “will be very honest, sincere, frank, very clean in her person and with ardent desires, modest in her conversation, affecting marital pleasures and faithful to her husband;” She will also be a very good mother and a very woman of her house.

“He won’t complain about your luck, dammit.” Well if you saw mine. Read, Amparito, that mine is in the scorpion. Lizard, lizard!

“The woman born at this time,” Amparito read, “will be reckless, imperious, intriguing, and contrived;” of fickle and unpleasant temper, and friend to raise the elbow.

“What calurnias!” Lolita sighed, crossing herself and looking tenderly at the head down San Antonio.

“In life,” Amparito continued, “all his plans will almost always be ruined by his same madness and misconduct in love; he will access his pleasures only for private purposes, and he will be inconsistent and unfair. He says no more.

“And does it seem little to you?” It has made me like a black rag.

“Now I’m going to see mine, if you allow me,” Amparito spoke.

p. 277″Let’s go, let’s go see the donseyita in the house.”

“I was born on November 29, so … Sagittarius,” Amparito decided after consulting the book. Oh, I don’t know what gives me !; I do not dare.

“Come on, girl, and don’t be disgraceful.”

Amparito began to read with a flat voice, as if he were reading out of routine and without unraveling the meaning of the reading. Travesedo entered this and stopped to listen. Lolita and Verónica were so absorbed and absorbed that they did not notice the arrival of Travesedo. Amparito read:

—In love it will be constant; but she will want to rule over her husband, from whom she will demand a strict fulfillment of the nuptial duties, to whose delights she will be too inclined; she will love her children, but will be careless with them; She will also be affectionate towards her husband as long as he continues to make the due sacrifices to Venus …

Travesedo couldn’t hold back any longer. He entered with a determined step and threatening continent, snatched the book from Amparito’s hands, tore it to pieces, and then looked at Lolita with an expression so angry that the woman was left as if petrified by fright. The other two did not give foot or hand either. Travesedo began to shout:

“Get out of here immediately, Amparo!” Get out of here if you don’t want me to spank you, bad head. ” Travesedo faced Lolita: “And you scoundrel, idiot, don’t you understand that you’re corrupting that girl?” This has been concluded; Today you take your junk and leave with fresh wind, today. I don’t want charges of conscience.

Lolita released to cry with extreme bitterness. He clasped his hands in a prayerful attitude, hiccupped, turned his innocent and careful eyes so soonp. 278 Saint Anthony acrobatic as he did Travesedo, and he said breathlessly.

—Oh, little virgin of my weapon, San Antonio … if I didn’t have the curpa … that it has itself … to see its fate der sodiaco!

Lolita’s affliction and her strange lamentations determined in Travesedo an epichen sensation of tenderness and hilarity. Verónica interceded, assuming responsibility for what happened. Travesedo gently and paternally grasped Lolita’s wild appendage with his knuckles and tried to mitigate her grief with soft words.

—Hey, calm down, you ugly, it’s not worth it. It was an outburst of mine and I didn’t want to upset you. But, don’t you understand, woman, that Amparito is a girl and shouldn’t find out about certain things? It is true that you are as young as she is. The fault is Dona Verónica.

“Yes, I have it, I confess it;” but what are we going to do now?

“If I’ve been yelling, calling you, a quarter of an hour straight,” Travesedo added. And as if the earth had swallowed you up. It is past one o’clock and the house to be swept. Antonia is not at home; the food, of course, will not be ready. This is a pandemonium. Let’s see, Lolita, aren’t you ashamed of not having washed or combed yet? You have to see you, daughter. I don’t know how anyone likes you.

Lolita was disheveled, dirty, tripona, because her breasts, of considerable size, without the support of the corset, fell to her waist, simulating a bandullo. He was wearing a red flannel robe that looked like it had been made from mop cloth.

“Are you eating with us today, Veronica?” I mean, if there is something to eat.

“No, I’m going home.” Everyone will be there by now.

p. 279-No. I order and command you to stay and eat whatever is available with us.

“Well, if you order it, all you have to do is shut up.”

“Walking to the dining room.” And you, Lolita, wash your hands at least.

Lolita stayed to wash her hands and Travesedo and Verónica went out together. In the corridor Travesedo said:

—And to think that this poor woman is one of the most famous coquets in Madrid and there is no shortage of someone who pays her well …

“Don’t be bad.” Lolita is very cute.

“Yes, very cute;” one could say that it is perfect, because the excessively small of the mouth is corrected with the excessively long of the nose.

Soon all the guests were gathered in the dining room. Veronica sat down to Travesedo’s right. The voluminous Blanca, the cook, served the food, because Amparito did not dare to introduce himself. Travesedo, along with the dean of the inn, also enjoyed the presidency at the table and the power to direct and direct the conversation according to his taste. Almost everything he spoke to her. That day he began the talk by making considerations about the anarchist attack of the previous day and describing with punctual and repulsive circumstances the painting that in the company of Teófilo and Alberto he had had the opportunity to witness in the relief house.

“For God’s sake,” Teofilo begged, “don’t talk about that.”

“Sure,” Veronica added. Anyone eats hearing those things.

“That is precisely why I do it,” Travesedo explained. In this way we will not miss seeing the shortage of supplies, if there is one, as I presume.

“Didn’t you leave the house yesterday, Lolita?” —Investigationp. 280went Bishop, squinting a little with excitement.

“Did I get out of the forecast of the letters?” And why were they shaving him, Don Eduardo?

-To who?

—Ar uncle that anarchist.

“I don’t know how to tell you.”

At the time of cooking, Antonia appeared. He was coming from the street, smiling wearily. Travesedo, flaunting his fiscal prerogatives, started with innumerable questions and warnings, all with a reproachful and monitoring air. Antonia, as if obeying the need to exonerate herself from her feelings and impressions rather than from Travesedo’s speech, began to speak:

“Lord, what a world this is!” Poor little girl! It seems to me that she is going to be very unhappy.

“Well,” Travesedo interrupted, “it seems that you spent the morning at Tomelloso’s house.” But, woman, what have you lost in that house?

“Leave my soul alone, roncón.” Can I forget that I have been serving you for ten years, and that I was serving in the house when Angels were born? She slowly took off her mantilla, removing the pins, which she was placing between her lips.

“Take those pins out of your mouth …” said Travesedo. You make me nervous. There are two things that I cannot bear with patience: pins are put in the mouth, or the knife to eat, as Macias does, that he sticks it up to the bell.

“We’re not happy with this,” objected the comedian. Brochero, the famous actor, a man of society as everyone knows, and my first stage director, when we had to eat on stage he ordered us to do it that way, because the people of the good world eat that way.

“Poor Angels!” Repeated Antonia.

“In short, why poor?”

p. 281-Why? Because that such Pascualito del diaño I think he loves her as much as I do. What do I imagine! … It is enough to have eyes on your face. What that rogue is up to is for the money. Well, the man, the lady and the young lady, in Babia. They are crazy about such a wedding.

-Who is it? Lolita asked. Sisilia? What a greasy point …

Antonia retired; he turned from the door.

“Ah, I forgot!” The postman gave me this letter for you on the stairs, Don Teófilo, ”and he handed the poet an envelope.

The handwriting was unknown, and the stamp was from Germany. Teofilo held the letter in his hand and looked at it without resolving to open it. In an instant a thousand absurd assumptions and hypotheses crowded into his brain. He paled. They were all looking at him curiously, most notably Veronica. He tore the envelope. Inside it was a postcard. The first thing that jumped before his eyes was the signature: Rosina. From pale he turned livid. The postcard said:

I do not ask for your forgiveness, because I know that I do not deserve to be forgiven. I’m so looking forward to meeting and talking! Perhaps then you will understand and excuse me. I cannot forget the affection you had for me, and I have the illusion that, despite everything, you keep it for me. The fact is that since I have been so lucky and I am already a star , the businessman at the Prince’s Theater in Madrid wanted to hire me. I go? It all depends on your ordering me. Reply to the Post Office list number 1,315, Berlin ,

Rosina .

Teofilo, although filled with astonishment and bewilderment, smiled in spite of himself. Her mood, which for six months had been one of mild misfortune and sad resignation, suddenly turned to heartbreaking happiness. His poor heart was once again represented in the manner of stray dogs, for whom the air is full of incognito boots and clubs. As the doorbell rang at that time, Teofilo thought:p. 282boot that materializes. ” He went out to open the voluminous Blanca and returned immediately saying:

“Two gentlemen asking for you, Don Teófilo.”

The poet stood up with the expression of a man who heroically submits to the designs of adversity and produced the astonishment of all who listened to him, exclaiming:

“The boot that materializes, gentlemen.” He raised his eyes and murmured, ” Fiat voluntas tua .”

The two gentlemen had the flamenco packaging of two gamblers by trade. They wore thick rings on their fingers, smoked excellent Havana cigars, dressed with plenty of seasoning, were plump, and showed the ruddyness of neat digestions on their faces.

“Are you Teófilo Pajares?” Asked one, stroking his erect, imposing mustaches.

“Your servant.”

“You are under arrest.”

-Can I know why?

“You will know that in time.” Now, do you want to tell us what your room is?

“Which saint am I going to show you which is my room?”

“We have to seize their papers.”

-Okay; whatever you have.

He led them to his room. The two policemen were keeping all the papers they found at hand.

“Will you allow me to say goodbye to my friends?” Teofilo requested.

“Good manners are not incompatible with sad police duties,” declared one of the gentlemen, wearing a tortilla yellow tie.

“Alberto, Eduardo!” Teofilo yelled from his bedroom door, and when his friends came he added, “They’re taking me prisoner.”

p. 283Travesedo and Guzmán, after listening to Teófilo and seeing how diligently the two policemen seized all of Teófilo’s budding poetic work, did not know whether to condole or laugh.

“Is there already, and since when, a criminal procedure to prosecute literary crimes?” Travesedo asked.

“Literary crimes! … Mechachis in ten with literature,” grumbled one of the policemen, stopping reading a ballad with dispatch, perpetrated by Teofilo, to contemplate with suspicion Travesedo’s dark beard and his face, at first glance nothing reassuring. If when you drop bombs you call it literature, I don’t know what reality will be …

“Carape!” Travesedo ejaculated, his face lighting up, despite the gloom of his beard, with the light of discernment. Because it turns out that because of your friendship with that poor Santonja they complicate you in yesterday’s attack.

“You said so,” said the man in the yellow tortilla tie. In the house of the anarchist many quotations of this gentleman have been found, conceived in mysterious terms.

“But this man,” Travesedo explained, “is incapable of killing a fly.”

One of the policemen, who was leaning over Teofilo’s trunk, throwing out of it, in bundles, the poet’s miserable trousseau, said again:

‘Neither was Napoleon capable of killing a fly; but it killed men like flies: eight million killed, according to the most recent statistics.

Guzmán and Travesedo could not hide their concern. They anticipated serious complications.

When saying goodbye, Teófilo said:

“Don’t be upset.” My heart tells me that it is the best thing that could happen to me, and my heart neverp. 284It’s cheating, ”and he coughed regrettably. Then he hugged his two friends.