One Hundred Years of Solitude - Chapter 1

   “It’s the largest diamond in the world.?
   “No,?the gypsy countered. “It’s ice.?
   Jos?Arcadio Buendía, without understanding, stretched out his hand toward the cake, but the giant moved it away. “Five reales more to touch it,?he said. Jos?Arcadio Buendía paid them and put his hand on the ice and held it there for several minutes as his heart filled with fear and jubilation at the contact with mystery. Without knowing what to say, he paid ten reales more so that his sons could have that prodigious experience. Little Jos?Arcadio refused to touch it. Aureliano, on the other hand, took a step forward and put his hand on it, withdrawing it immediately. “It’s boiling,?he exclaimed, startled. But his father paid no attention to him. Intoxicated by the evidence of the miracle, he forgot at that moment about the frustration of his delirious undertakings and Melquíades?body, abandoned to the appetite of the squids. He paid another five reales and with his hand on the cake, as if giving testimony on the holy scriptures, he exclaimed:
   “This is the great invention of our time.?