One Hundred Years of Solitude - Chapter 7


   “You must mean,?the officer corrected with a friendly smile, “that you are the mother of Mister Aureliano Buendía.??rsula recognized in his affected way of speaking the languid cadence of the stuck-up people from the highlands.
   “As you say, mister,?she accepted, “just as long as I can see him.?
   There were superior orders that prohibited visits to prisoners condemned to death, but the officer assumed the responsibility of letting her have a fifteen-minute stay. ?rsula showed him what she had in the bundle: a change of clean clothing, the short boots that her son had worn at his wedding, and the sweet milk candy that she had kept for him since the day she had sensed his return. She found Colonel Aureliano Buendía in the room that was used as a cell, lying on a cot with his arms spread out because his armpits were paved with sores. They had allowed him to shave. The thick mustache with twisted ends accentuated the sharp angles of his cheekbones. He looked paler to ?rsula than when he had left, a little taller, and more solitary than ever. He knew all about the details of the house: Pietro Crespi’s suicide, Arcadio’s arbitrary acts and execution. the dauntlessness of Jos?Arcadio Buendía underneath the chestnut tree. He knew that Amaranta had consecrated her virginal widowhood to the rearing of Aureliano Jos?and that the latter was beginning to show signs of quite good judgment and that he had learned to read and write at the same time he had learned to speak. From the moment In which she entered the room ?rsula felt inhibited by the maturity of her son, by his aura of command, by the glow of authority that radiated from his skin. She was surprised that he was so well-informed. “You knew all along that I was a wizard,?he joked. And he added in a serious tone, “This morning, when they brought me here, I had the impression that I had already been through all that before.?In fact, while the crowd was roaring alongside him, he had been concentrating his thoughts, startled at how the town had aged. The leaves of the almond trees were broken. The houses, painted blue, then painted red, had ended up with an indefinable coloration.