One Hundred Years of Solitude - Chapter 9


   “How strange men are,?she said, because she could not think of anything else to say. “They spend their lives fighting against priests and then give prayerbooks as gifts.?
   From that time on, even during the most critical days of the war, he visited her every afternoon. Many times, when Remedios the Beauty was not present, it was he who turned the wheel on the sewing machine. Amaranta felt upset by the perseverance, the loyalty, the submissiveness of that man who was invested with so much authority and who nevertheless took off his sidearm in the living room so that he could go into the sewing room without weapons, But for four years he kept repeating his love and she would always find a way to reject him without hurting him, for even though she had not succeeded in loving him she could no longer live without him. Remedios the Beauty, who seemed indifferent to everything and who was thought to be mentally retarded, was not insensitive to so much devotion and she intervened in Colonel Gerineldo Márquez’s favor. Amaranta suddenly discovered that the girl she had raised, who was just entering adolescence, was already the most beautiful creature that had even been seen in Macondo. She felt reborn in her heart the rancor that she had felt in other days for Rebeca, and begging God not to impel her into the extreme state of wishing her dead, she banished her from the sewing room. It was around that time that Colonel Gerineldo Márquez began to feel the boredom of the war. He summoned his reserves of persuasion, his broad and repressed tenderness, ready to give up for Amaranta a glory that had cost him the sacrifice of his best years. But he could not succeed in convincing her. One August afternoon, overcome by the unbearable weight of her own obstinacy, Amaranta locked herself in her bedroom to weep over her solitude unto death after giving her final answer to her tenacious suitor:
   “Let’s forget about each other forever,?she told him. “We’re too old for this sort of thing now.?