It was the mixed spot of patio and garden

“Long from there, gluttonous, selfish, you eat everything,” Veronica clapped her hands to drive away an extraordinarily corpulent and voracious hen from entering a crowd of other poultry, whom Veronica at that time was fattening by throwing handfuls of corn at them, exercising scandalously hegemony, and when by terror and by force of pecks, when by diligence, most of the food was stuffed.

It was the mixed spot of patio and garden, behind a hut with a village appearance, with a corridor on the only floor that it had on the mezzanine. Between the bars of the corridor an old fruitless vine was entangled, in whose shade and in his shirt sleeves Alberto wrote. The small garden was closed on one side by the casuca, on the other two, perpendicular to it, two walls, not very high, dividing with thep. 348orchards of the neighboring houses, and completing the rectangle, an iron fence painted light green, which fell over the sea, because the house and orchard were located on a living rock on the cliff of the coast, like all the houses in the town, called Celorio . From the orchard you went out to the sea by a stone ladder, where boats could dock when the tide was high, and when it was low it provided excellent bathing for those who did not know how to swim.

Veronica continued:

“This badly educated Dona Baldomera doesn’t let the others live, as if they weren’t daughters of God.” They are staying in my bones and they are going to die consumptive. I think the best thing is to sell it.

“Or eat it.”

-Not that. Would you have the courage to eat that little animal that you first saw alive? I won’t let you work on all this; sorry, son, and continue with your papers. I will try to be quiet, and that, at least for me, it is almost impossible to tie a knot in the tongue. Look how I have changed since you have known me until now: in everything, except talking up the elbows. Well, I said.

Alberto applied himself to correcting the proofs of the first part of a novel he was writing. Veronica, momentarily embodying the personality of the goddess Themis, made an effort to put some order in that little gallinaceous world that she ruled, and to distribute goods and satisfy needs in accordance with the pure norms of distributive justice. He got tired of assuming such a high mission very soon and came to where Alberto was writing.

—For today you have to put up with me and send the work to hell. I want to talk to you and I have no roast so that certain things that I have been digging for many days can rot inside my body.

p. 349″Let’s see what it is that digs you.” I quit working and I listen to you.

-No, here no. Those have closed the timbers, but maybe they are awake already and hear us. We go for a walk to the Cape of Death; by the rocks, if you like, and incidentally we catch crabs, limpets and periwinkles. And that what I am going to tell you is very serious and I will not have the humor for such trifles.

“Going on.”

They went out into the street, reached the church, which was the last building in the town, and continued in the desert, bordering the sea above broken brown crags.

“Don’t you think that Rosina is in love with Fernando?” Veronica spoke, looking at the ground as if looking for a safe place to place the plant.


“Even though she says she hates him.” What do you say?

“I have already told you that for me she is in love with Fernando.”

“Then why is he deceiving this poor Theophilus?” Speak up, say something, man.

“Cheat … Explain yourself better.”

—That Teófilo doesn’t give a damn, that he laughs at him, that he has him like a dick to entertain himself and make fun of him, that all the jokes and pampering he does to her are fake, that he’s a bad woman.

“Don’t get overheated.”

“I can’t help it.” Tell me what you think, if I deserve trust.

-I think you are wrong.

“Am I wrong?” Are you trying to make me understand that Rosina loves Teófilo?

“I think so.”

“And the other one too?”

-As well. In a different way.

p. 350″Are you kidding me?” What, can you love two people at the same time: what is said to love? Go. You don’t know what you’re saying to yourself. You love one, only one. And if you say otherwise, it’s because you don’t know what honey is. What do I say at the same time? In all your life, you hear me, in all your life you only love one person. And I even suspect that most people don’t want any of them.

They sat at the juncture of a high crag, full of humid, green, and sonorous shadow. Alberto looked closely at Verónica and said:

“Is that all you had to tell me?”

“Why are you looking at me like that, Alberto?” What do you figure out?

—In the end, they are theirs and the rest of us neither go nor come to us.

“You can’t feel what you say.” Teófilo is your friend. Sometimes you look like brothers to me. Do you think Teófilo is happy?

“Theophilus can never be happy.”

-Shut up, shut up.

“And now she’s being as happy as she can be.”

“You don’t know what you’re saying, do you hear me?” With all your books and your science, I, an ignorant woman, tell you that you do not know what you are saying. Besides, haven’t you noticed that this woman is killing Teófilo? Can’t you see that he’s sick, even when he doesn’t notice it or hides it, and that he gets worse day by day?

-Yes. That is why I say that it is as happy as it can be.

-You’ve gone mad?

They walked around the house in silence.

As soon as they had resumed their relations, after that spree at the Bombilla, Teófilo had said to Rosina:

“Before we go on, we need to know what we’re going to do.” Separating myself from you would cost me my life, I’m sure; but I do not hesitate to renounce life rather than give in to be your half lover. From the first time to now the circumstances have changed. I have money; we can live from my work. Do you give up everything, everything and everyone for me? Otherwise I swear that you will not see me again, it will cost what it will cost.