Camelot Garden


"He's very sad," Ursula answered, "because he thinks that you're going to die."

"Tell him," the colonel said, smiling, "that a person doesn't die when he should but when he can."


No one knew why a man who had always been so generous had begun to covet money with such anxiety, and not he modest amounts that would have been enough to reslve an emergency, but a fortunate of such mad size that the mere mention of it left Aureliano Segundo awash in amazement. His old fellow party members, to whom he went asking for help, hid so as not to receive him. It was round that time that he was heard to say: "The only difference today between Liberals and Conservatives is that the Liberals go to mass at five o'clock and the Conservatives at eight." Nevertheless, he insisted with such perserverence, begged in such a way, broke his code of dignity to such a degree, that with a little help from here and a little more from there, sneaking about everywhere, with a slippery diligence and a pitiless perseverance, he managed to put together in eight months more money than Ursula had buried. The he visited the ailing Colonel Gerineldo Marquez so that he would help him start the total war. 


After the armistice of Neerlandia, while Colonel Aureliano Buendia took refuge with his little gold fishes, he kept in touch with the rebel officers who had been faithful to help until the defeat. With them he waged the sad war of daily humiliation, of entreaties and petitions, of come-back-tomorrow, of any-time-now, of we're-studying-your-case-with-the-proper-attention; the war hopelessly lost against the many your-most-trulys who should have signed and would never sign the lifetime pensions. The other war, the bloody one of twenty years, did not cause them as much damage as the corrosive war of enternal postponements. Even Colonel Gerineldo Marquez, who escaped three attempts on his life, survived five wounds, and emerged unscathed from innumerable battles, succumbed to that atrocious siege of waiting and sank into the miserable defeat of old age, thinking of Amaranta among the diamond-shaped patches of light in a borrowed house. The last veterans of whom he had word had appeared photographed in a newspaper with their faces shamelessly raised beside an anonymous president of the republic who gave them buttons with his likeness on them to wear in their lapels and returned to them a flag soiled with blood and gunpowder so that they could place it on their coffins. The others, more honorable, were still waiting for a letter in the shadow of public charity, dying of hunger, living through rage, rotting of old age amid the exquisitie shit of glory. 






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