Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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XIII - Capitú

Suddenly, I heard a voice cry from within the house on foot:


And in the yard:


And again in the house:

-Come here!

I could not have it. My legs went down the three steps that led to the chacara, and they walked to the little yard. It was their custom, in the evenings, and in the mornings too. That the legs are also people, only inside the arms, and are worth of themselves, when the head does not govern them by means of ideas. Mine arrived at the foot of the wall. There was a communication door there torn up by my mother, when Capitú and I were small. The door had no key and no taramela, it opened by pushing on one side or pulling on another, and closed the weight of a stone hanging from a rope. It was almost exclusively ours. In creancas, we made a visit knocking on one side, and being received from the other with many gestures. When the dolls of Capitú got sick, the doctor was me. He entered the backyard of the house with a stick under his arm, to imitate Dr. João da Costa's bengal; took his wrist and told him to show his tongue. "She's deaf, poor thing!" Exclaimed Capitú. Then I scratched my chin, like the doctor, and ended up ordering some bloodsucking or giving him a vomit: it was the doctor's usual therapeutics.



"Stop busting the wall; come here.

Her mother's voice was now closer, as if from the back door. Quiz to go to the yard, but the legs, so little walkers, now seemed stuck to the ground. At last I made an effort, pushed open the door, and entered. Capitú stood at the foot of the front wall, facing him, scratching with a nail. The murmur of the door was looking back; when he came with me, he leaned against the wall, as if to conceal something. I walked for her; of course the gesture changed, because she came to me, and asked me uneasily:

-What do you have?

-I? Anything.

-Nothing; You have something.

Maybe insist that nothing, but not find language. All of me was eyes and heart, a heart that was going to come out, sure, out of the mouth. She could not take her eyes off the fourteen-year-old creature, tall, strong and full, clutched in a faded calico dress. The thick hair, made in two braids, with the ends tied to one another, in the fashion of time, came down his back. Brunette, big, clear eyes, straight, long nose, her mouth was thin and her chin was broad. The hands, despite some rough offices, were healed with love; they did not smell like fine soaps or toilet waters, but with common well water and soap they brought them without macula. She wore long, shallow, old shoes, which she had given herself a few stitches.

-What do you have? he repeated.

"It's nothing," I finally mumbled.

And I soon said:

"It's news.

-Notice of what?

I thought I would tell him that I was going to go into the seminary and stare at the impression he would make. If I shocked her, she really liked me; if not, he did not like it. But all this calculation was obscure and quick; I felt I could not speak clearly, I had now the view I do not know how ...


-Do you know...

In this I looked at the wall, the place where she had been scratching, writing or biting, as her mother had said. I saw some open scratches, and he reminded me of the gesture she had made to keep them busy. So I asked them to come close, and I took a step. Capitú grabbed me, but either because I feared that I would run away, or because I would deny otherwise, he ran ahead and erased the script. It was the same as adding to me the desire to read what it was.


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