Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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CXVIII - The Hand of Sancha

Everything is over, reader; is an old truism, which could be added that not everything that lasts lasts a long time. This second part does not find believers easy; On the contrary, the idea that a wind chateau lasts longer than the same wind from which it is made will be difficult to take off from the head, and it is good that it be so that the custom of those quasi-eternal constructions may not be lost.

Our castello was solid, but a Sunday ... We had spent the night in Flamengo, not only the two inseparable houses, but also the one added and cousin Justina. It was then that Escobar, telling me the window, told me to go and have dinner the next day; we needed to talk about a family project, a project for all four.

"For all four?" A contradiction.

-No. You can not guess what it is, nor do I say it. Come tomorrow.

Sancha did not take his eyes from us during the conversation, at the corner of the window. When her husband left, she came to see me. He asked me what we should do; I told him of a project that I did not know what it was; she asked me a secret, and she told me what it was: a trip to Europe for two years. He said this with his back to the inside, almost sighing. The sea hit the shore with great force; there was hangover.

"Shall we all?" I asked at last.

-Let's go.

Sancha raised his head and looked at me with such pleasure that I, thanks to her relations and Capitú, would not give me a kiss on her forehead. However, Sancha's eyes did not invite fraternal expansions, they seemed warm and intimate, they said another thing, and soon they moved away from the window, where I stared thoughtfully at the sea. The night was clear.

I even looked for Sancha's eyes at the piano; I found them on the way. They stopped the four and stood before each other, some waiting for the others to pass, but none passed. Such is the case in the street between two stubborn ones. Caution turned us off; I turned back to myself. And so I went in to dig in the memory if I had ever looked at her with the same expression, and I was uncertain. I had only one certainty, that one day I thought of her, as one thinks of the beautiful stranger that passes; but then she would have guessed it... Perhaps the simple thought had translated me here, and she had fled to me angrily or a little, and now by an invincible movement ... Invincible; this word was like a blessing from priest to mass, which we receive and repeat in itself.

"The sea is about to challenge us tomorrow," Escobar's voice told me.

"Do you enter the sea tomorrow?"

I've come in with bigger, bigger seas. "" You can not imagine what a good sea is in rough weather. It is necessary to swim well, as I do, and to have these lungs, "he said, striking his chest, and these arms; feel

I felt his arms, as if they were Sancha's. It costs me this confession, but I can not supprimil it; was to hock the truth. I did not even touch them with this idea, but I still felt something else: I found them thicker and stronger than mine, and I envied them; accresce that they knew how to swim.

When we left, I spoke again to the mistress of the house. Her hand tightened on mine, and it lingered longer than usual.

Modesty then demanded, as now, that I should see in Sancha's gesture a sanction for her husband's plan and a thank-you. It must have been so, but a particular fluid that ran all over my body took away the conclusion I am writing. I felt Sancha's fingers still between mine, squeezing each other. It was an instant of vertigo and sin. He passed quickly in the clock of time; when I got the watch in my ear, only the minutes of virtue and reason worked.

"... A most delightful lady," concluded Jose Dias, a speech he had been making.

-Deliciosissima! I repeated with some ardor, which I soon tempered, mended me: Really, a beautiful night!

"What must be all of that house," continued the guest. Not now; here the sea is angry; Listen.

The strong sea was heard, as was already heard from home, the hangover was great, and from a distance the waves were growing. Capitú and Cousin Justina, who were on their way, stopped at one of the laps of the beach, and we all talked; but I was talking badly. There was no way to completely forget Sancha's hand or the eyes we exchanged. Now I found this to you, now I have it. The instants of the devil intercalated in the minutes of God, and the clock was thus marking alternatively my perdition and my salvation. Jose Dias said goodbye to us at the door. Prima Justina slept in our house; he would leave the next day after lunch and Mass. I went back to my office, where I lingered longer than usual.

The portrait of Escobar, which I had there, at the foot of my mother, spoke to me as if it were the person himself. I sincerely fought the impulses I brought from Flamengo; I rejected the figure of my friend's wife, and I called myself disloyal. Besides, who said that there was any intention of that species in the gesture of farewell and in previous ones? Everything could be connected to the interest of our trip. Sancha and Capitú were so friendly that it would be a pleasure for them to go together. When there was any sexual intention, who would prove to me that it was a glowing sensation, destined to die with night and somnio? There are remorse that they are not born of another sin, nor have a longer duration. I clung to this hypothese that reconciled with Sancha's hand, which I felt by heart in my hand, warm and long, tight and squeezing ...

Honestly, I felt bad between a friend and the attraction. Timidity might have been another cause of that crisis; it is not only the sky that gives our virtues, the shyness also, not counting chance, but chance is an accident; the best origin of them is the sky. However, since shyness comes from the sky, which gives us the complexion, virtue, daughter of it is, genealogically, the same celestial blood. That way he would think, if he could; but at first I wandered. Passion was neither inclination. Caprice would or what? After twenty minutes it was nothing, nothing at all. The picture of Escobar seemed to speak to me; I saw the straightforward altitude, I shook my head and went to lie down.


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