One Hundred Years of Solitude - Chapter 10


   “I go Tuesday nights,?he confessed. “if you promise not to tell anyone I’ll take you next Tuesday.?
   Indeed, on the following Tuesday Petronio came down out of the tower with a wooden stool which until then no one had known the use of, and he took Jos?Arcadio Segundo to a nearby pasture. The boy became so taken with those nocturnal raids that it was a long time before he was seen at Catarino’s. He became a cockfight man. “Take those creatures somewhere else,??rsula ordered him the first time she saw him come in with his fine fighting birds. “Roosters have already brought too much bitterness to this house for you to bring us any more.?Jos?Arcadio Segundo took them away without any argument, but he continued breeding them at the house of Pilar Ternera, his grandmother, who gave him everything he needed in exchange for having him in her house. He soon displayed in the cockpit the wisdom that Father Antonio Isabel had given him, and he made enough money not only to enrich his brood but also to look for a man’s satisfactions. ?rsula compared him with his brother at that time and could not understand how the twins, who looked like the same person in childhood, had ended up so differently. Her perplexity did not last very long, for quite soon Aureliano Segundo began to show signs of laziness and dissipation. While he was shut up in Melquíades?room he was drawn into himself the way Colonel Aureliano Buendía had been in his youth. But a short time after the Treaty of Neerlandia, a piece of chance took him out of his withdrawn self and made him face the reality of the world. A young woman who was selling numbers for the raffle of an accordion greeted him with a great deal of familiarity. Aureliano Segundo was not surprised, for he was frequently confused with his brother. But he did not clear up the mistake, not even when the girl tried to soften his heart with sobs, and she ended taking him to her room. She liked him so much from that first meeting that she fixed things so that he would win the accordion in the raffle. At the end of two weeks Aureliano Segundo realized that the woman had been going to bed alternately with him and his brother, thinking that they were the same man, and instead of making things clear, he arranged to prolong the situation. He did not return to Melquíades?room. He would spend his afternoons in the courtyard, learning to play the accordion by ear over the protests of ?rsula, who at that time had forbidden music in the house because of the mourning and who, in addition, despised the accordion as an instrument worthy only of the vagabond heirs of Francisco the Man. Nevertheless, Aureliano Segundo became a virtuoso on the accordion and he still was after he had married and had children and was one of the most respected men in Macondo.