One Hundred Years of Solitude - Chapter 7


   “Please don’t shoot,?he said.
   When he turned around holding his Pistol, the girl had lowered hers and did not know what to do. In that way he had avoided four out of eleven traps. On the other hand, someone who was never caught entered the revolutionary headquarters one night in Manaure and stabbed to death his close friend Colonel Magnífico Visbal, to whom he had given his cot so that he could sweat out a fever. A few yards away, sleeping in a hammock in the same room. he was not aware of anything. His efforts to systematize his premonitions were useless. They would come suddenly in a wave of supernatural lucidity, like an absolute and momentaneous conviction, but they could not be grasped. On occasion they were so natural that he identified them as premonitions only after they had been fulfilled. Frequently they were nothing but ordinary bits of superstition. But when they condemned him to death and asked him to state his last wish, he did not have the least difficulty in identifying the premonition that inspired his answer.
   “I ask that the sentence be carried out in Macondo,?he said.
   The president of the court-martial was annoyed. “Don’t be clever, Buendía,? he told him. “That’s just a trick to gain more time.?
   “If you don’t fulfill it, that will be your worry.?the colonel said, “but that’s my last wish.?
   Since then the premonitions had abandoned him. The day when ?rsula visited him in jail, after a great deal of thinking he came to the conclusion that perhaps death would not be announced that time because it did not depend on chance but on the will of his executioners. He spent the night awake, tormented by the pain of his sores. A little before dawn he heard steps in the hallway. “They’re coming,?he said to himself, and for no reason he thought of Jos?Arcadio Buendía, who at that moment was thinking about him under the dreary dawn of the chestnut tree. He did not feel fear or nostalgia, but an intestinal rage at the idea that this artificial death would not let him see the end of so many things that he had left unfinished. The door opened and a sentry came in with a mug of coffee. On the following day at the same hour he would still be doing what he was then, raging with the pain in his armpits, and the same thing happened. On Thursday he shared the sweet milk candy with the guards and put on his clean clothes, which were tight for him, and the patent leather boots. By Friday they had still not shot him.