One Hundred Years of Solitude - Chapter 2

   It was a fine June night, cool and with a moon, and they were awake and frolicking in bed until dawn, indifferent to the breeze that passed through the bedroom, loaded with the weeping of Prudencio Aguilar’s kin.
   The matter was put down as a duel of honor, but both of them were left with a twinge in their conscience. One night, when she could not sleep, ?rsula went out into the courtyard to get some water and she saw Prudencio Aguilar by the water jar. He was livid, a sad expression on his face, trying to cover the hole in his throat with a plug made of esparto grass. It did not bring on fear in her, but pity. She went back to the room and told her husband what she had seen, but he did not think much of it. “This just means that we can’t stand the weight of our conscience.?Two nights later ?rsula saw Prudencio Aguilar again, in the bathroom, using the esparto plug to wash the clotted blood from his throat. On another night she saw him strolling in the rain. Jos?Arcadio Buendía, annoyed by his wife’s hallucinations, went out into the courtyard armed with the spear. There was the dead man with his sad expression.
   “You go to hell,?Jos?Arcadio Buendía shouted at him. “Just as many times as you come back, I’ll kill you again.?
   Prudencio Aguilar did not go away, nor did Jos?Arcadio Buendía dare throw the spear. He never slept well after that. He was tormented by the immense desolation with which the dead man had looked at him through the rain, his deep nostalgia as he yearned for living people, the anxiety with which he searched through the house looking for some water with which to soak his esparto plug. “He must be suffering a great deal,?he said to ?rsula. “You can see that he’s so very lonely.?She was so moved that the next time she saw the dead man uncovering the pots on the stove she understood what he was looking for, and from then on she placed water jugs all about the house. One night when he found him washing his wound in his own room, Jos?Anedio Buendía could no longer resist.