One Hundred Years of Solitude - Chapter 8


   “I’m happy knowing that people are happy in bed.?
   She never charged for the service. She never refused the favor, just as she never refused the countless men who sought her out, even in the twilight of her maturity, without giving her money or love and only occasionally pleasure. Her five daughters, who inherited a burning seed, had been lost on the byways of life since adolescence. Of the two sons she managed to raise, one died fighting in the forces of Colonel Aureliano Buendía and the other was wounded and captured at the age of fourteen when he tried to steal a crate of chickens in a town in the swamp. In a certain way, Aureliano Jos?was the tall, dark man who had been promised her for half a century by the king of hearts, and like all men sent by the cards he reached her heart when he was already stamped with the mark of death. She saw it in the cards.
   “Don’t go out tonight,?she told him. “Stay and sleep here because Carmelita Montiel is getting tired of asking me to put her in your room.?
   Aureliano Jos?did not catch the deep feeling of begging that was in the offer.
   “Tell her to wait for me at midnight?he said. He went to the theater, where a Spanish company was putting on The Dagger of the Fox, which was really Zorzilla’s play with the title changed by order of Captain Aquiles Ricardo, because the Liberals called the Conservatives Goths. Only when he handed in his ticket at the door did Aureliano Jos?realize that Captain Aquiles Ricardo and two soldiers armed with rifles were searching the audience.
   “Be careful, captain,?Aureliano Jos?warned him. “The man hasn’t been born yet who can lay hands on me.?The captain tried to search him forcibly and Aureliano Jos? who was unarmed, began to run. The soldiers disobeyed the order to shoot. “He’s a Buendía,?one of them explained. Blind with rage, the captain then snatched away the rifle, stepped into the center of the street, and took aim.?