One Hundred Years of Solitude - Chapter 7


   Actually, they did not dare carry out the sentence. The rebelliousness of the town made the military men think that the execution of Colonel Aureliano Buendía might have serious political consequences not only in Macondo but throughout the area of the swamp, so they consulted the authorities in the capital of the province. On Saturday night, while they were waiting for an answer Captain Roque Carnicero went with some other officers to Catarino’s place. Only one woman, practically threatened, dared take him to her room. “They don’t want to go to bed with a man they know is going to die,?she confessed to him. “No one knows how it will come, but everybody is going around saying that the officer who shoots Colonel Aureliano Buendía and all the soldiers in the squad, one by one, will be murdered, with no escape, sooner or later, even if they hide at the ends of the earth.?Captain Roque Carnicero mentioned it to the other officers and they told their superiors. On Sunday, although no one had revealed it openly, although no action on the part of the military had disturbed the tense calm of those days, the whole town knew that the officers were ready to use any manner of pretext to avoid responsibility for the execution. The official order arrived in the Monday mail: the execution was to be carried out within twenty-four hours. That night the officers put seven slips of paper into a cap, and Captain Roque Carnicero’s unpeaceful fate was foreseen by his name on the prize slip. “Bad luck doesn’t have any chinks in it,?he said with deep bitterness. “I was born a son of a bitch and I’m going to die a son of a bitch.?At five in the morning he chose the squad by lot, formed it in the courtyard, and woke up the condemned man with a premonitory phrase.
   “Let’s go, Buendía,?he told him. “Our time has come.?
   “So that’s what it was,?the colonel replied. “I was dreaming that my sores had burst.?