One Hundred Years of Solitude - Chapter 8


   “Don’t worry, dear friend,?General Moncada said enigmatically. “He’ll come sooner than you suspect.?
   What General Moncada knew and what he did not wish to reveal at lunch was that Colonel Aureliano Buendía was already on his way to head up the most prolonged, radical, and bloody rebellion of all those he had started up till then.
   The situation again became as tense as it had been during the months that preceded the first war. The cockfights, instituted by the mayor himself, were suspended. Captain Aquiles Ricardo, the commander of the garrison, took over the exercise of municipal power. The Liberals looked upon him as a provocateur. “Something terrible is going to happen,??rsula would say to Aureliano Jos? “Don’t go out into the street after six o’clock.?The entreaties were useless. Aureliano Jos? just like Arcadio in other times, had ceased to belong to her. It was as if his return home, the possibility of existing without concerning himself with everyday necessities, had awakened in him the lewd and lazy leanings of his uncle Jos?Arcadio. His passion for Amaranta had been extinguished without leaving any scars. He would drift around, playing pool, easing his solitude with occasional women, sacking the hiding places where ?rsula had forgotten her money. He ended up coming home only to change his clothes. “They’re all alike,??rsula lamented. “At first they behave very well, they’re obedient and prompt and they don’t seem capable of killing a fly, but as soon as their beards appear they go to ruin.?Unlike Arcadio, who had never known his real origins, he found out that he was the son of Pilar Ternera, who had hung up a hammock so that he could take his siesta in her house. More than mother and son, they were accomplices in solitude. Pilar Ternera had lost the trail of all hope. Her laugh had taken on the tones of an organ, her breasts had succumbed to the tedium of endless caressing, her stomach and her thighs had been the victims of her irrevocable fate as a shared woman, but her heart grew old without bitterness. Fat, talkative, with the airs of a matron in disgrace, she renounced the sterile illusions of her cards and found peace and consolation in other people’s loves. In the house where Aureliano Jos?took his siesta, the girls from the neighborhood would receive their casual lovers. “Lend me your room, Pilar,?they would simply say when they were already inside. “Of course,?Pilar would answer. And if anyone was present she would explain: