Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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LXXXIV - Called

In the hall and in the street, I examined myself, if indeed he would have suspected something, but I thought he would not, and made me walk. I was satisfied with the visit, with the joy of Capitú, with the praises of Gurgel, to the point that I did not immediately come to a voice that called me:

-Sr. Bentinho! Mr. Bentinho!

Only after the voice had grown and the owner of it arrived at the door did I stop and see what it was and where it was. It was already in the street of Matacavallos. The house was a crockery, scarce and poor; the doors were half-closed, and the person who called me was a poor gray-haired, poorly dressed man.

-Sr. Bentinho, she said to me crying; Do you know that my son Manduca died?


"He's been dead for half an hour, buried tomorrow." I sent word to your mother right now, and she did me the charity of sending some flowers to put in the coffin. My poor son! He had to die, and it was good for him to die, poor thing, but in spite of everything, it always hurts. What a life he had! One day he still remembered you, and asked if he was in the seminary ... Do you want it? Come in, come on-o ...

It costs me to say this, but rather small by excessive than by diminutive. To answer that no, I did not want to see Manduca, and even made a gesture to escape. It was not fear; On another occasion it could be until I entered with ease and curiosity, but now I was so happy! See a deceased when he returns from a girlfriend ... There are things that do not fit or match. The simple news was already a big haze. My golden ideas lost all color and metal to change into dark gray and ugly, and I can not distinguish anything else. I think I said I was in a hurry, but I probably did not speak in clear words, not even human, because he, leaning against the door, made room for me with the gesture, and I, with no soul to enter or to flee, what he could, and the body entered.

I do not blame the man; for him, the most important thing at the time was his son. But do not blame me either; for me, the most important thing was Capitú. The bad thing was that the two cases came together the same afternoon, and that the death of one came to nose into the life of the other. This is all evil. If I passed before or after, or if Manduca waited a few hours to die, no annoying note would interrupt the melodies of my soul. Why die exactly half an hour ago? Every hour is appropriate to the object; dies very well at six or seven in the afternoon.


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