Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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LXXIV - The Clasp

In the parlor, Uncle Cosme and Jose Dias were talking, one sitting, the other walking and stopping. The sight of Jose Dias reminded me of what he had said to me in the seminary: "Aquillo, as long as you do not get some mountain range that marries her ...." It was certainly allusion to the knight. This memory aggravated my impression of the street; but would not that word, unconsciously guarded, give me credit for the malice of their eyes? The desire I had was to take Jose Dias by the collar, take him to the hall and ask him if he had spoken of truth or by hypothese; but Jose Dias, who stops when he sees me enter, continued to walk and to speak. I impatiently wanted to go to the house on foot, I imagined that Capitú would leave the frightened window and soon appear and inquire and explain .... And the two spoke until Uncle Cosme rose to go and see the sick, and Jose Dias came to see me, to the window of the other window.

For a moment I had the desire to ask him what was between Capitú and the peaks of the neighborhood; now, imagining that he was coming just to tell me, I was afraid to hear him. Maybe it will cover his mouth. Jose Dias saw in my face some signal different from the usual expression, and asked me with interest:

-What is it, Bentinho?

So as not to fital it, I dropped my eyes. The eyes, falling down, saw that one of the loops of the man's trousers was unbuttoned, and as he insisted on knowing what I had, I replied with a pointed finger:

-Look at the clip, button the clip.

Jose Dias leaned over, and I ran away.


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