One Hundred Years of Solitude - Chapter 7


   “What did you expect???rsula sighed. “Time passes.?
   “That’s how it goes,?Aureliano admitted, “but not so much.?
   In that way the long-awaited visit, for which both had prepared questions and had even anticipated answers, was once more the usual everyday conversation. When the guard announced the end of the visit, Aureliano took out a roll of sweaty papers from under the cot. They were his poetry, the poems inspired by Remedios, which he had taken with him when he left, and those he had written later on during chance pauses in the war. “Promise me that no one will read them,?he said. “Light the oven with them this very night.??rsula promised and stood up to kiss him good-bye.
   “I brought you a revolver,?she murmured.
   Colonel Aureliano Buendía saw that the sentry could not see. “It won’t do me any good,?he said in a low voice, “but give it to me in case they search you on the way out.??rsula took the revolver out of her bodice and put it under the mattress of the cot. “And don’t say good-bye,?he concluded with emphatic calmness. “Don’t beg or bow down to anyone. Pretend that they shot me a long time ago.??rsula bit her lip so as not to cry.
   “Put some hot stones on those sores,?she said.
   She turned halfway around and left the room. Colonel Aureliano Buendía remained standing, thoughtful, until the door closed. Then he lay down again with his arms open. Since the beginning of adolescence, when he had begun to be aware of his premonitions, he thought that death would be announced with a definite, unequivocal, irrevocable signal, but there were only a few hours left before he would die and the signal had not come. On a certain occasion a very beautiful woman had come into his camp in Tucurinca and asked the sentries?permission to see him. They let her through because they were aware of the fanaticism of mothers, who sent their daughters to the bedrooms of the most famous warriors, according to what they said, to improve the breed. That night Colonel Aureliano Buendía was finishing the poem about the man who is lost in the rain when the girl came into his room. He turned his back to her to put the sheet of paper into the locked drawer where he kept his poetry. And then he sensed it. He grasped the pistol in the drawer without turning his head.