Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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CVI - Ten Pounds Stirling

I have already said that I am spared, or it is said now, and not only of money but also of things used, of those that are kept by tradition, by remembrance or by nostalgia. Some shoes, for example, shallow black ribbons that crossed each other on the instep and top of the leg, the last ones he wore before wearing boots, brought them home, and took them from far away from the drawer of the commode, with other junk, telling me that they were pieces of growth. My mother, who had the same genius, liked to hear and do so.

As for the pure savings of money, I will tell a case, and that is enough. It was precisely on the occasion of an astronomical license, at Gloria Beach. You know I made her doze off sometime. One night he lost himself in staring at the sea with such force and concentration that he made me jealous.

"You do not listen to me, Captain.

-I? I hear perfectly.

"What did I say?"

"You ... you were talking about Sirius."

"What, Sirius, Capitú. I've told you about twenty minutes of Sirius.

"He was talking about ... he was talking about Mars," she amended hurriedly.

Actually, it was from Mars, but of course it just picked up the sound of the word, not the sense. I was serious, and the impetus he gave me was to leave the room; Capitú, realizing it, became the most cuddly of creatures, took me by the hand, confessed to me that he had been counting, that is, summoning some money to discover a certain parcella that he did not think. It was a conversion from paper to gold. At first he supposes that it was a resource for me to unburden myself, but a little while ago I was calculating also, already with paper and pencil, on the knee, and gave the difference that they seek.

"But what are these pounds?" I asked him in the end.

Captain looked at me with a laugh, and replied that the fault of breaking the secret was mine. He got up, went into the bedroom, and returned with ten pounds sterling in his hand; were the leftovers of the money I gave him monthly for the expenses.

-All this?

"It's not much, ten pounds alone; is what the miser of his wife could arrange, in some months, he concluded by making the gold jingle in his hand.

-Who was the broker?

-Your friend Escobar.

"How did he not tell me anything?"

-It was today.

"Elle was here?"

"Shortly before you arrive; I did not tell you not to be suspicious.

I wanted to spend twice the gold on some commemorative gift, but Capitú stopped me. On the contrary, he asked me what we should do about those pounds.

"They are yours," I said.

"They are ours," he amended.

"You keep them."

The next day I went to Escobar to the warehouse, and I laughed at their secret. Escobar smiled and told me that I was to go to my office to tell me everything. The little sister (she still called Capitú) had told him about it on the occasion of our last visit to Andarahy, and told him the reason for the secret.

"When I told Sanchinha this," she concluded, she was astonished: "How could Capitú save, now that everything is so expensive?" "I do not know, daughter; I know you got ten pounds. "

"See if she understands too."

-I do not believe; Sanchinha is not spender, but she is not spared either; I'll give it to you, but that's enough.

I, after a few moments of reflection:

-Capitú is an angel!

Escobar nodded, but without enthusiasm, as if he could not say the same for the woman. So you would think, too, so sure that the virtues of the near people give us such or such vanity, pride or consolation.


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