One Hundred Years of Solitude - Chapter 8


   A short time later contradictory news of the war began to come in. While the government itself admitted the progress of the rebellion, the officers in Macondo had confidential reports of the imminence of a negotiated peace. Toward the first of April a special emissary identified himself to Colonel Gerineldo Márquez. He confirmed the fact to him that the leaders of the party had indeed established contact with the rebel leaders in the interior and were on the verge of arranging an armistice in exchange for three cabinet posts for the Liberals, a minority representation in the congress, and a general amnesty for rebels who laid down their arms. The emissary brought a highly confidential order from Colonel Aureliano Buendía, who was not in agreement with the terms of the armistice. Colonel Gerineldo Márquez was to choose five of his best men and prepare to leave the country with them. The order would be carried out with the strictest secrecy. One week before the agreement was announced, and in the midst of a storm of contradictory rumors, Colonel Aureliano Buendía and ten trusted officers, among them Colonel Roque Carnicero, stealthily arrived in Macondo after midnight, dismissed the garrison, buried their weapons, and destroyed their records. By dawn they had left town, along with Colonel Gerineldo Márquez and his five officers. It was such a quick and secret operation that ?rsula did not find out about it until the last moment, when someone tapped on her bedroom window and whispered, “If you want to see Colonel Aureliano Buendía, come to the door right now.??rsula Jumped out of bed and went to the door in her nightgown and she was just able to see the horsemen who were leaving town gallop off in a mute cloud of dust. Only on the following day did she discover that Aureliano Jos?had gone with his father.
   Ten days after a joint communiqu?by the government and the opposition announced the end of the war, there was news of the first armed uprising of Colonel Aureliano Buendía on the western border. His small and poorly armed force was scattered in less than a week. But during that year, while Liberals and Conservatives tried to make the country believe in reconciliation, he attempted seven other revolts. One night he bombarded Riohacha from a schooner and the garrison dragged out of bed and shot the fourteen best-known Liberals in the town as a reprisal. For more than two weeks he held a customs post on the border and from there sent the nation a call to general war. Another of his expectations was lost for three months in the jungle in a mad attempt to cross more than a thousand miles of virgin territory in order to proclaim war on the outskirts of the capital. On one occasion he was lea than fifteen miles away from Macondo and was obliged by government patrols to hide in the mountains, very close to the enchanted region where his father had found the fossil of a Spanish galleon many years before.