One Hundred Years of Solitude - Chapter 4

   “I’m going to talk to the girl,?she told him, “and you’ll see what I’ll serve her on the tray.?
   She kept her promise. But it was a bad moment, because the house had lost its peace of former days. When she discovered Rebeca’s passion, which was impossible to keep secret because of her shouts, Amaranta suffered an attack of fever. She also suffered from the barb of a lonely love. Shut up in the bathroom, she would release herself from the torment of a hopeless passion by writing feverish letters, which she finally hid in the bottom of her trunk. ?rsula barely had the strength to take care of the two sick girls. She was unable, after prolonged and insidious interrogations, to ascertain the causes of Amaranta’s prostration. Finally, in another moment of inspiration, she forced the lock on the trunk and found the letters tied with a pink ribbon, swollen with fresh lilies and still wet with tears, addressed and never sent to Pietro Crespi. Weeping with rage, she cursed the day that it had occurred to her to buy the pianola, and she forbade the embroidery lessons and decreed a kind of mourning with no one dead which was to be prolonged until the daughters got over their hopes. Useless was the intervention of Jos?Arcadio Buendía, who had modified his first impression of Pietro Crespi and admired his ability in the manipulation of musical machines. So that when Pilar Ternera told Aureliano that Remedios had decided on marriage, he could see that the news would only give his parents more trouble. Invited to the parlor for a formal interview, Jos?Arcadio Buendía and ?rsula listened stonily to their son’s declaration. When he learned the name of the fiancée, however, Jos?Arcadio Buendía grew red with indignation. “Love is a disease,?he thundered. “With so many pretty and decent girls around, the only thing that occurs to you is to get married to the daughter of our enemy.?But ?rsula agreed with the choice. She confessed her affection for the seven Moscote sisters. for their beauty, their ability for work, their modesty, and their good manners, and she celebrated her son’s prudence. Conquered by his wife’s enthusiasm, Jos?Arcadio Buendía then laid down one condition: Rebeca, who was the one he wanted, would marry Pietro Crespi. ?rsula would take Amaranta on a trip to the capital of the province when she had time, so that contact with different people would alleviate her disappointment. Rebeca got her health back just as soon as she heard of the agreement, and she wrote her fianc?a jubilant letter that she submitted to her parents?approval and put into the mail without the use of any intermediaries. Amaranta pretended to accept the decision and little by little she recovered from her fevers, but she promised herself that Rebeca would marry only over her dead body.