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首页 » 经典英文小说 » 百年孤独 One Hundred Years of Solitude » Chapter 6
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Chapter 6

COLONEL AURELIANO BUENDíA organized thirty--two armed uprisings and he lost them all. He had seventeen male children by seventeen different women and they were exterminated one after the other on a single night before the oldest one had reached the age of thirty-five. He survived fourteen attempts on his life, seventy-three ambushes, and a firing squad. He lived through a dose of strychnine in his coffee that was enough to kill a horse. He refused the Order of Merit, which the President of the Republic awarded him. He rose to be Commander in Chief of the revolutionary forces, with jurisdiction and command from one border to the other, and the man most feared by the government, but he never let himself be photographed. He declined the lifetime pension offered him after the war and until old age he made his living from the little gold fishes that he manufactured in his workshop in Macondo. Although he always fought at the head of his men, the only wound that he received was the one he gave himself after signing the Treaty of Neerlandia, which put an end to almost twenty years of civil war. He shot himself in the chest with a pistol and the bullet came out through his back without damaging any vital organ. The only thing left of all that was a street that bore his name in Macondo. And yet, as he declared a few years before he died of old age, he had not expected any of that on the dawn he left with his twenty-one men to join the forces of General Victorio Medina.
"We leave Macondo in your care." was all that he said to Arcadio before leaving. "We leave it to you in good shape, try to have it in better shape when we return."
Arcadio gave a very personal interpretation to the instructions. He invented a uniform with the braid and epaulets of a marshal, inspired by the prints in one of Melquíades' books, and around his waist he buckled the saber with gold tassels that had belonged to the executed captain. He set up the two artillery pieces at the entrance to town, put uniforms on his former pupils, who had been amused by his fiery proclamations, and let them wander through the streets armed in order to give outsiders an impression of invulnerability. It was a doubleedged deception, for the government did not dare attack the place for ten months, but when it did it unleashed such a large force against it that resistance was liquidated in a half hour. From the first day of his rule Arcadio revealed his predilection for decrees. He would read as many as four a day in order to decree and institute everything that came into his head. He imposed obligatory military service for men over eighteen, declared to be public property any animals walking the streets after six in the evening, and made men who were overage wear red armbands. He sequestered Father Nicanor in the parish house under pain of execution and prohibited from saying mass or ringing the bells unless it was for a Liberal victory. In order that no one would doubt the severity of his aims, he ordered a firing squad organized in the square and had it shoot at a scarecrow. At first no one took him seriously. They were, after all, schoolchildren playing at being grownups. But one night, when Arcadio went into Catarino's store, the trumpeter in the group greeted him with a fanfare that made the customers laugh and Arcadio had him shot for disrespect for the authorities. People who protested were put on bread and water with their ankles in a set of stocks that he had set up in a schoolroom. "You murderer!" úrsula would shout at him every time she learned of some new arbitrary act. "When Aureliano finds out he's going to shoot you and I'll be the first one to be glad." But it was of no use. Arcadio continued tightening the tourniquet with unnecessary rigor until he became the cruelest ruler that Macondo had ever known. "Now let them suffer the difference," Don Apolinar Moscote said on one occasion. "This is the Liberal paradise." Arcadio found out about it. At the head of a patrol he assaulted the house, destroyed the furniture, flogged the daughters, and dragged out Don Apolinar Moscote. When úrsula burst into the courtyard of headquarters, after having gone through the town shouting shame brandishing with rage a pitch-covered whip, Arcadio himself was preparing to give the squad the command to fire.
"I dare you to, bastard!" úrsula shouted.
Before Arcadio had time to read she let go with the first blow of the lash. "I dare you to, murderer!" she shouted. "And kill me too, son an evil mother. That way I won't have the eyes to weep for the shame of having raised a monster." Whipping him without mercy, she chased him to the back of the courtyard, where Arcadio curled up like a snail in its shell. Don Apolinar Moscote was unconscious, tied to the post where previously they had had the scarecrow that had been cut to pieces by shots fired in fun. The boys in the squad scattered, fearful that úrsula would go after them too. But she did not even look at them. She left Arcadio with his uniform torn, roaring with pain and rage, and she untied Don Apolinar Moscote and took him home. Before leaving the headquarters she released the prisoners from the stocks.
From that time on she was the one who ruled in the town. She reestablished Sunday masses, suspended the use of red armbands, and abrogated the harebrained decrees. But in spite of her strength, she still wept over her unfortunate fate. She felt so much alone that she sought the useless company of her husband, who had been forgotten under the chestnut tree. "Look what we've come to," she would tell him as the June rains threatened to knock the shelter down. "Look at the empty house, our children scattered all over the world, and the two of us alone again, the same as in the beginning." José Arcadio Buendía, sunk in an abyss of unawareness, was deaf to her lamentations. At the beginning of his madness he would announce his daily needs with urgent Latin phrases. In fleeting clear spells of lucidity, when Amaranta would bring him his meals he would tell her what bothered him most and would accept her sucking glasses and mustard plasters in a docile way. But at the time when úrsula went to lament by his side he had lost all contact with reality. She would bathe him bit by bit as he sat on his stool while she gave him news of the family. "Aureliano went to war more than four months ago and we haven't heard anything about him," she would say, scrubbing his back with a soaped brush. "José Arcadio came back a big man, taller than you, all covered with needle-work, but he only brought shame to our house." She thought she noticed, however, that her husband would grow sad with the bad news. Then she decided to lie to him. 'Rou won't believe what I'm going to tell you," she said as she threw ashes over his excrement in order to pick it up with the shovel. "God willed that José Arcadio and Rebeca should get married, and now they're very happy." She got to be so sincere in the deception that she ended up by consoling herself with her own lies. "Arcadio is a serious man now," she said, "and very brave, and a fine-looking young man with his uniform and saber." It was like speaking to a dead man, for José Arcadio Buendía was already beyond the reach of any worry. But she insisted. He seemed so peaceful, so indifferent to everything that she decided to release him. He did not even move from his stool. He stayed there, exposed to the sun and the rain, as if the thongs were unnecessary, for a dominion superior to any visible bond kept tied to the trunk of the chestnut tree. Toward August, when winter began to last forever, úrsula was finally able to give him a piece of news that sounded like the truth.
"Would you believe it that good luck is still pouring down on us?" she told him. "Amaranta and the pianola Italian are going to get married."
Amaranta and Pietro Crespi had, in fact, deepened their friendship, protected by úrsula, who this time did not think it necessary to watch over the visits. It was a twilight engagement. The Italian would arrive at dusk, with a gardenia in his buttonhole, and he would translate Petrarch's sonnets for Amaranta. They would sit on the porch, suffocated by the oregano and the roses, he reading and she sewing lace cuffs, indifferent to the shocks and bad news the war, until the mosquitoes made them take refuge in the parlor. Amaranta's sensibility, her discreet but enveloping tenderness had been wearing an invisible web about her fiancé, which he had to push aside materially his pale and ringless fingers in order to leave the house at eight o'clock. They had put together a delightful album with the postcards that Pietro Crespi received from Italy. They were pictures of lovers in lonely parks, vignettes of hearts pierced with arrows and golden ribbons held by doves. "I've been to this park in Florence," Pietro Crespi would say, going through the cards. "A person can put out his hand and the birds will come to feed." Sometimes, over a watercolor of Venice, nostalgia would transform the smell of mud and putrefying shellfish of the canals into the warm aroma of flowers. Amaranta would sigh, laugh, and dream of a second homeland of handsome men and beautiful women who spoke a childlike language with ancient cities of whose past grandeur only the cats among the rubble remained. After crossing the ocean in search of it, after having confused passion with the vehement stroking of Rebeca, Pietro Crespi had found love. Happiness was accompanied by prosperity. His warehouse at that time occupied almost a whole block and it was a hothouse of fantasy, with reproductions of the bell tower of Florence that told time with a concert of carillons, and music boxes from Sorrento and compacts from China that sang five-note melodies when they were opened, and all the musical instruments imaginable and all the mechanical toys that could be conceived. Bruno Crespi, his younger brother, was in charge of the store because Pietro Crespi barely had enough time to take care the music school. Thanks to him the Street of the Turks, with its dazzling display of knickknacks, became a melodic oasis where one could forget Arcadio's arbitrary acts and the distant nightmare of the war. When úrsula ordered the revival of Sunday mass, Pietro Crespi donated a German harmonium to the church, organized a children's chorus, and prepared a Gregorian repertory that added a note of splendor to Father Nicanor's quiet rite. No one doubted that he would make Amaranta a fortunate mate. Not pushing their feelings, letting themselves be borne along by the natural flow of their hearth they reached a point where all that was left to do was set a wedding date. They did not encounter any obstacles. úrsula accused herself inwardly of having twisted Rebecca's destiny with repeated postponements and she was not about to add more remorse. The rigor of the mourning for Remedios had been relegated to the background by the mortifications of the war, Aureliano's absence, Arcadio's brutality, and the expulsion José Arcadio and Rebeca. With the imminence of the wedding, Pietro Crespi had hinted that Aureliano José, in whom he had stirred up a love that was almost filial, would be considered their oldest child. Everything made Amaranta think that she was heading toward a smooth happiness. But unlike Rebeca, she did not reveal the slightest anxiety. With the same patience with which she dyed tablecloths, sewed lace masterpieces, embroidered needlepoint peacocks, she waited for Pietro Crespi to be unable to bear the urges of his heart and more. Her day came with the illfated October rains. Pietro Crespi took the sewing basket from her lap and he told her, "We'll get married next month." Amaranta did not tremble at the contact with his icy hands. She withdrew hers like a timid little animal and went back to her work.
"Don't be simple, Crespi." She smiled. "I wouldn't marry you even if I were dead."
Pietro Crespi lost control of himself. He wept shamelessly, almost breaking his fingers with desperation, but he could not break her down. "Don't waste your time," was all that Amaranta said. "If you really love me so much, don't set foot in this house again." úrsula thought she would go mad with shame. Pietro Crespi exhausted all manner of pleas. He went through incredible extremes of humiliation. He wept one whole afternoon in úrsula's lap and she would have sold her soul in order to comfort him. On rainy nights he could be seen prowling about the house with an umbrella, waiting for a light in Amaranta's bedroom. He was never better dressed than at that time. His august head of a tormented emperor had acquired a strange air of grandeur. He begged Amaranta's friends, the ones who sewed with her on the porch, to try to persuade her. He neglected his business. He would spend the day in the rear of the store writing wild notes, which he would send to Amaranta with flower petals and dried butterflies, and which she would return unopened. He would shut himself up for hours on end to play the zither. One night he sang. Macondo woke up in a kind of angelic stupor that was caused by a zither that deserved more than this world and a voice that led one to believe that no other person on earth could feel such love. Pietro Crespi then saw the lights go on in every window in town except that of Amaranta. On November second, All Souls' Day, his brother opened the store and found all the lamps lighted, all the music boxes opened, and all the docks striking an interminable hour, in the midst of that mad concert he found Pietro Crespi at the desk in the rear with his wrists cut by a razor and his hands thrust into a basin of benzoin.
úrsula decreed that the wake would be in house. Father Nicanor was against a religious ceremony and burial in consecrated ground. úrsula stood up to him. "In a way that neither you nor I can understand, that man was a saint," she said. "So I am going to bury him, against your wishes, beside Melquíades' grave." She did it the support of the whole town and with a magnificent funeral. Amaranta did not leave her bedroom. From her bed she heard úrsula's weeping, the steps and whispers of the multitude that invaded the house, the wailing of the mourners, and then a deep silence that smelled of trampled flowers. For a long time she kept on smelling Pietro Crespi's lavender breath at dusk, but she had the strength not to succumb to delirium. úrsula abandoned her. She did not even raise her eyes to pity her on the afternoon when Amaranta went into the kitchen and put her hand into the coals of the stove until it hurt her so much that she felt no more pain but instead smelled the pestilence of her own singed flesh. It was a stupid cure for her remorse. For several days she went about the house with her hand in a pot of egg whites, and when the burns healed it appeared as if the whites had also scarred over the sores on her heart. The only external trace that the tragedy left was the bandage of black gauze that she put on her burned hand and that she wore until her death.

Arcadio gave a rare display of generosity by decreeing official mourning for Pietro Crespi. úrsula interpreted it as the return of the strayed lamb. But she was mistaken. She had lost Arcadio, not when he had put on his military uniform, but from the beginning. She thought she had raised him as a son, as she had raised Rebeca, with no privileges or discrimination. Nevertheless, Arcadio was a solitary and frightened child during the insomnia plague, in the midst of úrsula's utilitarian fervor, during the delirium of José Arcadio Buendía, the hermetism of Aureliano, and the mortal rivalry between Amaranta Rebeca. Aureliano had taught him to read and write, thinking about other things, as he would have done with a stranger. He gave him his clothing so that Visitación could take it in when it was ready to be thrown away. Arcadio suffered from shoes that were too large, from his patched pants, from his female buttocks. He never succeeded in communicating with anyone better than he did with Visitación and Cataure in their language. Melquíades was the only one who really was concerned with him as he made him listen to his incomprehensible texts and gave him lessons in the art of daguerreotype. No one imagined how much he wept in secret and the desperation with which he tried to revive Melquíades with the useless study of his papers. The school, where they paid attention to him and respected him, and then power, with his endless decrees and his glorious uniform, freed him from the weight of an old bitterness. One night in Catarino's store someone dared tell him, "you don't deserve the last name you carry." Contrary to what everyone expected, Arcadio did not have him shot.
"To my great honor," he said, "I am not a Buendía."
Those who knew the secret of his parentage thought that the answer meant that he too was aware of it, but he had really never been. Pilar Ternera, his mother, who had made his blood boil in the darkroom, was as much an irresistible obsession for him as she had been first for José Arcadio and then for Aureliano. In spite of her having lost her charms the splendor of her laugh, he sought her out and found her by the trail of her smell of smoke. A short time before the war, one noon when she was later than usual in coming for her younger son at school, Arcadio was waiting for her in the room where he was accustomed to take his siesta and where he later set up the stocks. While the child played in the courtyard, he waited in his hammock, trembling with anxiety, knowing that Pillar Ternera would have to pass through there. She arrived. Arcadio grabbed her by the wrist and tried to pull her into the hammock. "I can't, I can't," Pilar Ternera said in horror. "You can't imagine how much I would like to make you happy, but as God is my witness I can't." Arcadio took by the waist with his tremendous hereditary strength and he felt the world disappear with the contact of her skin. "Don't play the saint," he said. "After all, everybody knows that you're a whore." Pilar overcame the disgust that her miserable fate inspired in her.
"The children will find out," she murmured. "It will be better if you leave the bar off the door tonight."
The only relatives who knew about it were José Arcadio and Rebeca, with whom Arcadio maintained close relations at that time, based not so much on kinship as on complicity. José Arcadio had put his neck into the marital yoke. Rebeca's firm character, the voracity stomach, her tenacious ambition absorbed the tremendous energy of her husband, who had been changed from a lazy, womanchasing man into an enormous work animal. They kept a clean and neat house. Rebeca would open it wide at dawn and the wind from the graveyard would come in through the windows and go out through the doors to the yard and leave the whitewashed walls and furniture tanned by the saltpeter of the dead. Her hunger for earth, the cloccloc of her parents' bones, the impatience of her blood as it faced Pietro Crespi's passivity were relegated to the attic of her memory. All day long she would embroider beside the window, withdrawn from the uneasiness of the war, until the ceramic pots would begin to vibrate in the cupboard and she would get up to warm the meal, much before the appearance, first, of the mangy hounds, and then of the colossus in leggings and spurs with a double-barreled shotgun, who sometimes carried a deer on his shoulder and almost always a string rabbits or wild ducks. One afternoon, at the beginning of his rule, Arcadio paid them a surprise visit. They had not seen him since they had left the house, but he seemed so friendly and familiar that they invited him to share the stew.
Only when they were having coffee did Arcadio reveal the motive behind his visit: he had received a complaint against José Arcadio. It was said that he had begun by plowing his own yard and had gone straight ahead into neighboring lands, knocking down fences and buildings with his oxen until he took forcible possession of the best plots of land around. On the peasants whom he had not despoiled because he was not interested in their lands, he levied a contribution which he collected every Saturday with his hunting dogs and his double-barreled shotgun. He did not deny it. He based his right on the fact that the usurped lands had been distributed by José Arcadio Buendía at the time of the founding, and he thought it possible to prove that his father had been crazy ever since that time, for he had disposed of a patrimony that really belonged to the family. It was an unnecessary allegation, because Arcadio had not come to do justice. He simply offered to set up a registry office so that José Arcadio could legalize his title to the usurped land, under the condition that he delegate to the local government the right to collect the contributions. They made an agreement. Years later, when Colonel Aureliano Buendía examined the titles to property, he found registered in his brother's name all of the land between the hill where his yard was on up to the horizon, including the cemetery, and discovered that during the eleven months of his rule, Arcadio had collected not only the money of the contributions, but had also collected fees from people for the right to bury their dead in José Arcadio's land.
It took úrsula several months to find out what was already public knowledge because people hid it from her so as not to increase her suffering. At first she suspected it. "Arcadio is building a house," she confided with feigned pride to her husband as she tried to put a spoonful of calabash syrup into his mouth. Nevertheless, she involuntarily sighed and said, "I don't know why, but all this has a bad smell to me." Later on, when she found out that Arcadio had not only built a house but had ordered some Viennese furniture, she confirmed her suspicion that he was using public funds. "You're the shame of our family name," she shouted at him one Sunday after mass when she saw him in his new house playing cards with his officers. Arcadio paid no attention to her. Only then did úrsula know that he had a six-month-old daughter and that Santa Sofía de la Piedad, with whom he was living outside of marriage, was pregnant again. She decided to write to Colonel Aureliano Buendía, wherever he was, to bring him up to date on the situation. But the fast-moving events of those days not only prevented her plans from being carried out, they made her regret having conceived them. The war, which until then had been only a word to designate a vague and remote circumstance, became a concrete and dramatic reality. Around the end of February an old woman with an ashen look arrived in Macondo riding a donkey loaded down with brooms. She seemed so inoffensive that the sentries let her pass without any questions as another vendor, one of the many who often arrived from the towns in the swamp. She went directly to the barracks. Arcadio received her in the place where the classroom used to be and which at that time had been transformed into a kind of rearguard encampment, with roiled hammocks hanging on hooks and mats piled up in the corners, and rifles and carbines and even hunting shotguns scattered on the floor. The old woman stiffened into a military salute before identifying herself:
"I am Colonel Gregorio Stevenson."
He brought bad news. The last centers Liberal resistance, according to what he said, were being wiped out. Colonel Aureliano Buendía, whom he had left fighting in retreat near Riohacha, had given him a message for Arcadio. He should surrender the town without resistance on the condition that the lives and property of Liberals would be respected. Arcadio examined that strange messenger who could have been a fugitive grandmother with a look of pity.
"You have brought something in writing, naturally," he said.
"Naturally," the emissary answered, "I have brought nothing of the sort. It's easy to understand that under the present circumstances a person can't carry anything that would compromise him."
As he was speaking he reached into his bodice and took out a small gold fish. "I think that this will be sufficient," he said. Arcadio could see that indeed it was one of the little fishes made by Colonel Aureliano Buendía. But anyone could have bought it before the war or stolen it, and it had no merit as a safe-conduct pass. The messenger even went to the extreme of violating a military secret so that they would believe his identity. He revealed that he was on a mission to Cura鏰o, where he hoped to recruit exiles from all over the Caribbean and acquire arms and supplies sufficient to attempt a landing at the end of the year. With faith in that plan, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was not in favor of any useless sacrifices at that time. But Arcadio was inflexible. He had the prisoner put into the stocks until he could prove his identity and he resolved to defend the town to the death.
He did not have long to wait. The news of the Liberal defeat was more and more concrete. Toward the end March, before a dawn of premature rain, the tense calm of the previous weeks was abruptly broken by the desperate sounds of a cornet and a cannon shot that knocked down the steeple of the church. Actually, Arcadio's decision to resist was madness. He had only fifty poorly armed men with a ration of twenty cartridges apiece. But among them, his former pupils, excited by the high-sounding proclamations, the determination reigned to sacrifice their skins for a lost cause. In the midst of the tramping of boots, contradictory commands, cannon shots that made the earth tremble, wild shooting, and the senseless sound of cornets, the supposed Colonel Stevenson managed to speak to Arcadio. "Don't let me undergo the indignity of dying in the stocks in these women's clothes," he said to him. "If I have to die, let me die fighting." He succeeded in convincing him. Arcadio ordered them to give him a weapon and twenty cartridges, and he left him with five men to defend headquarters while he went off with his staff to head up the resistance. He did not get to the road to the swamp. The barricades had been broken and the defenders were openly fighting in the streets, first until they used up their ration rifle bullets, then with pistols against rifles, and finally hto hand. With the imminence of defeat, some women went into the street armed with sticks and kitchen knives. In that confusion Arcadio found Amaranta, who was looking for him like a madwoman, in her nightgown two old pistols that had belonged to José Arcadio Buendía. He gave his rifle to an officer who had been disarmed in the fight and escaped with Amaranta through a nearby street to take her home. úrsula was, in the doorway waiting, indifferent to the cannon shots that had opened up a hole in the front of the house next door. The rain was letting up, but the streets were as slippery and as smooth as melted soap, and one had to guess distances in the darkness. Arcadio left Amaranta with úrsula and made an attempt to face two soldiers who had opened up with heavy firing from the corner. The old pistols that had been kept for many years in the bureau did not work. Protecting Arcadio with her body, úrsula tried to drag him toward the house.
"Come along in the name of God," she shouted at him. "There's been enough madness!"
The soldiers aimed at them.
"Let go of that man, ma'am," one of them shouted, "or we won't be responsible!"
Arcadio pushed úrsula toward the house and surrendered. A short time later the shooting stopped and the bells began to toll. The resistance had been wiped out in less than half an hour. Not a single one of Arcadio's men had survived the attack, but before dying they had killed three hundred soldiers. The last stronghold was the barracks. Before being attacked, the supposed Colonel Gregorio Stevenson had freed the prisoners and ordered his men to go out and fight in the street. The extraordinary mobility and accurate aim which he placed his twenty cartridges gave the impression that the barracks was well-defended, and the attackers blew it to pieces with cannon fire. The captain who directed the operation was startled to find the rubble deserted and a single dead man in his undershorts with an empty rifle still clutched in an arm that had been blown completely off. He had a woman's full head of hair held at the neck with a comb and on his neck a chain with a small gold fish. When he turned him over the tip of his boot and put the light on his face, the captain was perplexed. "Jesus Christ," he exclaimed. Other officers came over.
"Look where this fellow turned up," the captain said. "It's Gregorio Stevenson."
Before they took him to the execution wall FatNicanor tried to attend him. "I have nothing to repent," Arcadio said, and he put himself under the orders of the squad after drinking a cup of black coffee. The leader of the squad, a specialist in summary executions, had a name that had much more about it than chance: Captain Roque Carnicero, which meant butcher. On the way to the cemetery, under the persistent drizzle, Arcadio saw that a radiant Wednesday was breaking out on the horizon. His nostalgia disappeared with the mist and left an immense curiosity in its place. Only when they ordered him to put his back to the wall did Arcadio see Rebeca, with wet hair and a pink flowered dress, opening wide the door. He made an effort to get her to recognize him. And Rebeca did take a casual look toward the wall and was paralyzed with stupor, barely able to react and wave goodbye to Arcadio. Arcadio answered her the same way. At that instant the smoking mouths of the rifles were aimed at him and letter by letter he heard the encyclicals that Melquíades had chanted and he heard the lost steps of Santa Sofía de la Piedad, a virgin, in the classroom, and in his nose he felt the same icy hardness that had drawn his attention in the nostrils of the corpse of Remedios. "Oh, God damn it!" he managed to think. "I forgot to say that if it was a girl they should name her Remedios." Then, all accumulated in the rip of a claw, he felt again all the terror that had tormented him in his life. The captain gave the order to fire. Arcadio barely had time to put out his chest and raise his head, not understanding where the hot liquid that burned his thighs was pouring from.
"Bastards!" he shouted. "Long live the Liberal Party!"

 

奥雷连诺上校发动了三十二次武装起义,三十二次都遭到了失败。他跟十六个女人生了十七个儿子,这些儿子都在一个晚上接二连三被杀死了,其中最大的还不满三十五岁。他自己遭到过十四次暗杀、七十二次埋伏和一次枪决,但都幸免于难。他喝了一杯掺有士的宁(注:一种毒药)的咖啡,剂量足以毒死一匹马,可他也活过来了。他拒绝了共和国总统授予他的荣誉勋章。他曾升为革命军总司令,在全国广大地区拥有生杀予夺之权,成了政府最畏惧的人物,但他从来没有让人给他拍过照。战争结束以后,他拒绝了政府给他的终身养老金,直到年老都在马孔多作坊里制作小金鱼为生。尽管他作战时经常身先士卒,但他唯一的伤却是他亲手造成的,那是结束二十年内战的尼兰德投降书签订之后的事。他用手枪朝自己的胸膛开了一枪,子弹穿过脊背,可是没有击中要害。这一切的结果不过是马扎多的一条街道拿他命了名。

然而,据他自己寿终之前不久承认,那天早晨,他率领二十一人的队伍离开马孔多,去投奔维克多里奥·麦丁纳将军的部队时,他是没有想到这些的。

“我们把这个镇子交给你了,”他离开时向阿卡蒂奥说。“你瞧,我们是把它好好儿交给你的,到我们回来的时候,它该更好了。”

阿卡蒂奥对这个指示作了十分独特的解释。他看了梅尔加德斯书里的彩色插图,受到启发,就给自己设计了一套制服,制服上面配了元帅的饰带和肩章,并且在腰边挂了一把带有金色穗子的军刀;这把军刀本来是属于那个已经被枪决的上尉的。然后,他在市镇人口处安了两门大炮,鼓动他以往的学生,叫他们穿上军服,把他们武装起来,让他们耀武扬威地走过街头,使人从旁看出这个镇子是坚不可摧的。其实,这个鬼把戏未必有用:的确,几乎整整一年,政府不敢发出进攻马孔多的命令,可是最终决定大举猛攻这个镇子时,半小时之内就把抵抗镇压下去了。阿卡蒂奥在执掌政权之初,对发号施令表现了很大的爱好。有时,他一天发布四项命令,想干什么就干什么。他规定年满十八岁的人都须服兵役,宣布晚上六时以后出现在街上的牲畜为公共财产,强迫中年男人戴上红臂章。他把尼康诺神父关在家里,禁止外出,否则枪毙:只有在庆祝自由党胜利时,才准做弥撒、敲钟。为了让大家知道他并不想说着玩玩,他命令一队士兵在广场上向稻草人练习射击。起初,谁也没有认真看待这些。归根到底,这些士兵不过是假装大人的小学生。有一天晚上,阿卡蒂奥走进卡塔林诺游艺场的时候,乐队小号手故意用军号声欢迎他,引起了哄堂大笑。阿卡蒂奥认为这个号手不尊重新的当局,下令把他枪毙了。那些敢于反对的人,他下令给他们戴上脚镣,把他们关在学校教室里,只让他们喝水、吃面包。“你是杀人犯!”乌苏娜每次听到他的横行霸道,都向他叫嚷。“奥雷连诺知道的时候,他会枪毙你,我第一个高兴。”然而一切都是枉然。阿卡蒂奥继续加强这种毫无必要的酷烈手段,终于成了马孔多不曾有过的暴君。“现在,镇上的人感到不同啦,”阿·摩斯柯特有一次说。“这就是自由党的天堂。”这些话传到了阿卡蒂奥耳里。他领着一队巡逻兵,闯进阿.摩斯柯特的住所,砸毁家具,抽打他的几个女儿,而把过去的镇长沿着街道朝兵营拖去。乌苏娜知道了这伴事情,非常惭愧,狂喊乱叫,愤怒地挥着树脂浸透的鞭子,撒腿奔过市镇;当她冲进兵营院子的时候,士兵们已经站好了枪毙阿·摩斯柯特先生的队列,阿卡蒂奥准备亲自发出“开枪”的命令。

“你敢,杂种!”乌苏娜叫道。

阿卡蒂奥还没清醒过来,她已拿粗大的牛筋鞭给了他一下子。“你敢,杀人犯,”她喝道。“你也杀死我吧,你这婊子养的。那样,我起码用不着因为喂大了你这个怪物而惭愧得流泪了。”她无情地追着阿卡蒂奥抽打,直到他躲在院中最远的一个角落里,象蜗牛似的蜷缩在那儿。绑在柱子上的阿·摩斯柯特先生已经失去知觉,在这之前,柱子上挂着一个被子弹打穿了许多窟窿的稻草人。行刑的小伙子们四散奔逃,生怕乌苏娜也拿他们出气。可她看都不看他们一眼。阿卡蒂奥的制服已经扯破,他又痛又恼,大声狂叫;乌苏娜把他撇在一边,就去松开阿·摩斯柯特先生,领他回家。但在离开兵营之前,她把戴着脚镣的犯人都给放了。

从这时起,乌苏娜开始掌管这个市镇。她恢复了星期日的弥撒,取消了红色臂章,宣布阿卡蒂奥轻率的命令无效。乌苏娜虽然表现勇敢,心中却悲叹自己的命运。她感到自己那么孤独,就去找被忘在栗树下的丈夫,向他无用地诉苦。“你瞧,咱们到了什么地步啦,”她向他说;周围是六月里的雨声,雨水很有冲毁棕榈棚的危险。“咱们的房子空啦,儿女们四分五散啦,象最初那样,又是咱们两人了。”可是,霍·阿·布恩蒂亚精神错乱,对她的抱怨听而不闻。最初丧失理智的时候,他还用半通不通的拉丁语说说日常生活的需要。在短暂的神志清醒当中,阿玛兰塔给他送饮食来的时候,他还向她诉说自己最大的痛苦,顺从地让她给他拨火罐、抹芥末膏。可是,乌苏娜开始到栗树下来诉苦时,他已失去了跟现实生活的一切联系。他坐在板凳上,乌苏娜一点一点地给他擦身,同时就谈家里的事。“奥雷连诺出去打仗,已经四个多月啦,我们一点都不知道他的消息,”她一面说,一面用抹了肥皂的刷子给丈夫擦背。“霍·阿卡蒂奥回来了,长得比你还高,全身刺满了花纹,可他只给我们家丢脸。”她觉得坏消息会使丈夫伤心,于是决定向他撒谎。“你别相信我刚才告诉你的话吧,”说着,她拿灰撒在他的粪便上,然后用铲子把它铲了起来。“感谢上帝,霍·阿卡蒂奥和雷贝卡结婚啦,现在他们挺幸福。”她学会了把假话说得十分逼真,自己也终于在捏造中寻得安慰。“阿卡蒂奥已经是个正经的人,很勇敢,穿上制服挺神气,还配带了一把军刀。”这等于跟死人说话,因为已经没有什么能使霍·阿·布恩蒂亚愉快和悲哀了。可是,乌苏娜继续跟丈夫唠叨。他是那么驯顺,对一切都很冷淡,她就决定给他松绑。松了绳子的霍·阿·布恩蒂亚,在板凳上动都不动一下。他就那么日晒雨淋,仿佛绳子没有任何意义,因为有一种比眼睛能够看见的绳索更强大的力量把他拴在粟树上。八月间,大家已经开始觉得战争将要永远拖延下去的时候,乌苏娜终于把她认为真实的消息告诉了大夫。

“好运气总是跟着咱们的,”她说。“阿玛兰塔和摆弄自动钢琴的意大利人快要结婚啦!”

在乌苏娜的信任下,阿玛兰塔和皮埃特罗·克列斯比的友好关系确实发展很快;现在,意大利人来访时,乌苏娜认为没有心要在场监视了。这是一种黄昏的幽会。皮埃特罗·克列斯比总是傍晚才来,钮扣孔眼里插一朵栀子花,把佩特拉克的十四行诗翻译给阿玛兰塔听。他俩坐在充满了玫瑰花和牛至花馨香的长廊上:他念诗,她就绣制花边袖口,两人都把战争的惊扰和变化抛到脑后;她的敏感、审慎和掩藏的温情,仿佛蛛网一样把未婚夫缠绕起来,每当晚上八时他起身离开的时候,他都不得不用没戴戒指的苍白手指拨开这些看不见的蛛网,他跟阿玛兰塔·起做了一个精美的明信画片册,这些明信画片都是他从意大利带来的。在每张明信片上,都有一对情人呆在公园绿树丛中的僻静角落里,还有一些小花饰--箭穿的红心或者两只鸽子用嘴衔着的一条金色丝带。“我去过佛罗伦萨的这个公园,”皮埃特罗·克列斯比翻阅着画片说。“只要伸出下去,鸟儿就会飞来啄食。”有时,看到一幅威尼斯水彩画,他的怀乡之情会把水沟里的淤泥气味和海中贝壳的腐臭昧儿变成鲜花的香气。阿玛兰塔一面叹息一面笑,并且憧憬着那个国家,那里的男男女女都挺漂亮,说起话来象孩子,那里有古老的城市,它们往日的宏伟建筑只剩下了在瓦砾堆里乱刨的几只小猫。皮埃特罗·克列斯比漂洋过海追求爱情,并且把雷贝卡的感情冲动跟爱情混为一谈,但他总算得到了爱情,慌忙热情地吻她。幸福的爱情带来了生意的兴隆。皮埃特罗·克列斯比的店铺已经占了几乎整整一条街道,变成了幻想的温室--这里可以看到精确复制的佛罗伦萨钟楼上的自鸣钟,它用乐曲报告时刻;索伦托的八音盒和中国的扑粉盒,此种扑粉盒一开盖子,就会奏出五个音符的曲子;此外还有各种难以想象的乐器和自动玩具。他把商店交给弟弟布兽诺·克列斯比经管,因为他需要有充分的时间照顾音乐学校。由于他的经营,各种玩物令人目眩的上耳其人街变成了一个仙境,人们一到这里就忘掉了阿卡蒂奥的专横暴戾,忘掉了战争的噩梦。根据乌苏娜的嘱咐,星期日的弥撒恢复以后,皮埃特罗·克列斯比送给教堂一架德国风琴,组织了一个儿童合唱队,并且教他们练会格里戈里的圣歌--这给尼康诺神父简单的礼拜仪式增添了一些光彩。大家相信,阿玛兰塔跟这意大利人结婚是会幸福的。他俩并不催促自己的感情,而让感情平稳、自然地发展,终于到了只待确定婚期的地步。他俩没有遇到任何阻碍。乌苏娜心中谴责自己的是,一再拖延婚期曾把雷贝卡的生活搞得很不象样,所以她就不想再增加良心的不安了。由于战争的灾难、奥雷连诺的出走、阿卡蒂奥的暴虐、霍·阿卡蒂奥和雷贝卡的被逐,雷麦黛丝的丧事就给放到了次要地位。皮埃特罗·克列斯比相信婚礼非举行不可,甚至暗示要把奥雷连诺·霍塞认做自己的大儿子,因为他对这个孩子充满了父爱。一切都使人想到,阿玛兰塔已经游近了宁静的海湾,就要过美满幸福的生活了。但她跟雷贝卡相反,没有表现一点急躁。犹如绣制桌布的图案、缝制精美的金银花边、刺绣孔雀那样,她平静地等待皮埃特罗·克列斯比再也无法忍受的内心煎熬。这种时刻跟十月的暴雨一块儿来临了。皮埃特罗·克列斯比从阿玛兰塔膝上拿开刺绣篮于,双手握住她的一只手。“我不能再等了,”他说。“咱们下个月结婚吧。”接触他那冰凉的手,她甚至没有颤栗一下。她象一只不驯服的小野兽,缩回手来,重新干活。

“别天真了,克列斯比,”阿玛兰塔微笑着说。“我死也不会嫁给你。”

皮埃特罗·克列斯比失去了自制。他毫不害臊地哭了起来,在绝望中差点儿扭断了手指,可是无法动摇她的决心。“别白费时间了,”阿玛兰塔回答他。“如果你真的那么爱我,你就不要再跨过这座房子的门坎。”乌苏娜羞愧得无地自容。皮埃特罗·克列斯比说尽了哀求的话。他卑屈到了不可思议的地步。整个下午,他都在乌苏娜怀里痛哭流涕,乌苏娜宁愿掏出心来安慰他。雨天的晚上,他总撑着一把绸伞在房子周围徘徊,观望阿玛兰塔窗子里有没有灯光。皮埃特罗·克列斯比从来不象这几天穿得那么讲究。他虽象个落难的皇帝,但头饰还是挺有气派的。见到阿玛兰塔的女友--常在长廊上绣花的那些女人,他就恳求她们设法让她回心转意。他抛弃了自己的一切事情,整天整天地呆在商店后面的房间里,写出一封封发狂的信,夹进一些花瓣和蝴蝶标本,寄给阿玛兰塔;她根本没有拆阅就把一封封信原壁退回。他把自己关在屋子里弹齐特拉琴,一弹就是几个小时。有一天夜里,他唱起歌来,马孔多的人闻声惊醒,被齐特拉琴神奇的乐曲声迷住了,因为这种乐曲声不可能是这个世界上的;他们也给充满爱情的歌声迷住了,因为比这更强烈的爱情在人世间是不可能想象的。然而,皮埃特罗·克列斯比看见了全镇各个窗户的灯光,只是没有看兄阿玛兰塔窗子里的灯光。十一月二日,万灵节那一夭,他的弟弟打开店门,发现所有的灯都是亮着的,所有的八音盒都奏着乐曲,所有的钟都在没完没了地报告时刻;在这乱七八槽的交响乐中,他发现皮埃特罗·克列斯比伏在爪屋的写字台上--他手腕上的静脉已给刀子割断,两只手都放在盛满安息香树胶的盟洗盆中。

乌苏娜吩咐把灵枢放在她的家里,尼康诺神父既反对为自杀者举行宗教仪式,也反对把人埋在圣地。乌苏娜跟神父争论起来。“这个人成了圣徒,”她说。“这是怎么一回事,你我都不了解。不管你想咋办,我都要把他埋在梅尔加德斯旁边。”举行了隆重的葬礼之后,在全镇的人一致同意下,她就那样做了。阿玛兰塔没有走出卧室。她从自己的床铺上,听到了乌苏娜的号啕声、人们的脚步声和低低的谈话声,以及哭灵女人的数落声,然后是一片深沉的寂静,寂静中充满了踩烂的花朵的气味。在颇长一段时间里。阿玛兰塔每到晚上都还感到薰衣草的味儿,但她竭力不让自己精神错乱。乌苏娜不理睬她了。那天傍晚,阿玛兰塔走进厨房,把一只手放在炉灶的炭火上,过了一会儿,她感到的已经不只是疼痛,而是烧焦的肉发出的臭味了,这时,乌苏娜连眼睛都不扬一扬,一点也不怜悯女儿。这是对付良心不安的人最激烈的办法。一连几天,阿玛兰塔都在家中把手放在一只盛着蛋清的盆子里,的伤就逐渐痊愈了,而且在蛋清的良好作用下,她心灵的创伤也好了。这场悲剧留下的唯一痕迹,是缠在她那的伤的手上的黑色绷带,她至死都是把它缠在手上的。

阿卡蒂奥表现了意外的宽厚态度,发布了正式哀悼皮埃特罗·克列斯比的命令。乌苏娜认为这是浪子回头的举动,但她想错了。她失去了他,根本不是从他穿上军服时开始的,而是老早开始的,她认为,她把他当做自己的孙子抚养成人,就象养育雷贝卡一样,既没优待他,也没亏待他。然而,阿卡蒂奥却长成了个乖僻、胆怯的孩子,因为在他童年的时候,正好失眠症广泛流行,乌苏娜大兴土木,霍·阿·布恩蒂亚精神错乱,奥雷连诺遁居家门,阿玛兰塔和雷贝卡彼此仇视。奥雷连诺教他读书写字时,仿佛对待一个陌生人似的,他心中所想的完全是另一码事。他拿自己的衣服给阿卡蒂奥(让维希塔香加以修改),因为这些衣服准备扔掉了。阿卡蒂奥感到苦恼的是一双不合脚的大鞋、裤子上的补丁以及女人的屁股。他跟维希塔香和卡塔乌尔谈话时,多半是用他们的语言。唯一真正关心他的人是梅尔加德斯:这老头儿把令人不解的笔记念给他听,教他照相术。谁也没有猜到,他在大家面前如何掩饰自己的痛苦,如何哀悼老头儿的去世;他翻阅老头儿的笔记,拼命寻找使这吉卜赛人复活的办法,但是毫无结果。在学校里,他受到大家的尊敬;掌握市镇大权以后,他穿上神气的军服,发布严厉的命令,他那经常落落寡欢的感觉才消失了。有天晚上在卡塔林诺游艺场里,有人大胆地向他说:“你配不上你现在的这个姓。”出乎大家的预料,阿卡蒂奥没有枪毙这个鲁莽的人。

“我不是布恩蒂亚家的人,”他说,“那倒荣幸得很。”

了解他那出身秘密的人听了这个回答,以为他一切都明白了,其实他永远都不知道谁是他的父母。象霍·阿卡蒂奥和奥雷连诺一样,他对自己的母亲皮拉·苔列娜感到一种不可遏止的欲望:当她走进他正在修饰照相底版的暗室时,他那血管里的热血竟然沸腾起来。尽管皮拉·苔列娜已经失去魅力,已经没有朗朗的笑声,他还是寻烟的苦味找到她。战前不久,有一天中午,比往常稍迟一些,她到学校里去找自己的小儿子。阿卡蒂奥在房间里等候她--平常他都在这儿睡午觉,后来他命令把这儿变成把拘留室。孩子在院子里玩耍,他却躺在吊床上急躁得发颤,因他知道皮拉·苔列娜准会经过这个房间。她来了。阿卡蒂奥一把抓住她的手,试图把她拉上吊床。“我不能,我不能,”皮拉·苔列娜惊恐地说。“你不知道,我多想让你快活,可是上帝作证,我不能。”阿卡蒂奥用他祖传的膂力拦腰把她抱住,一接触她的身体,他的两眼都开始模糊了,“别装圣女啦,”他说。“大家都知道你是个婊子。”皮拉·苔列娜竭力忍受悲惨的命运在她身上引起的厌恶。

“孩子们会看见的,”她低声说。“今儿晚上你最好不要闩上房门。”

夜里,他在吊床上等她,火烧火燎地急得直颤。他没合眼,仔细倾听蟋蟀不住地鸣叫,而且麻鹬象时刻表那样准时地叫了起来,他越来越相信自己受骗了。他的渴望刚要变成愤怒的当儿,房门忽然打开。几个月以后,站在行刑队面前的时候,阿卡蒂奥将会忆起这些时刻:他首先听到的是邻室黑暗中摸摸索索的脚步声,有人撞到凳子的磕绊声,然后漆黑里出现了一个人影,此人怦怦直跳的心脏把空气都给震动了。他伸出一只手去,碰到了另一只手,这只手的一个指头上戴着两只戒指。他伸手抓住那一只手正是时候,要不然,那一只手又会给黑暗吞没了。他感到了对方手上的筋脉和脉搏的猛烈跳动,觉得这个手掌是湿漉漉的,在大拇指的根部,生命线被一条歪斜的死亡线切断了。他这才明白,这并不是他等待的女人,因为她身上发出的不是烟的苦昧,而是花儿的芳香,她有丰满的胸脯和男人一样扁扁的乳头。她的温存有点儿手忙脚乱,她的兴奋显得缺乏经验。她是个处女,有一个完全不可思议的名字--圣索菲娅·德拉佩德。皮拉·苔列娜拿自己的一半积蓄--五十比索给了她,让她来干现在所干的事儿。阿卡蒂奥不止一次看见这个姑娘在食品店里帮助自己的父母,但是从来没有注意过她,因为她有一种罕见的本领:除非碰上机会,否则你是找不到她的。可是从这一夜起,她就象只小猫似的蜷缩在他那暖和的腋下了。她得到父母的同意,经常在午睡时到学校里来,因为皮拉·苔列娜把自己的另一半积蓄给了她的父母。后来,政府军把阿卡蒂奥和圣索菲娅·德拉佩德撵出学校,他俩就在店铺后屋的黄油罐头和玉米袋子之间幽会了。到阿卡蒂奥担任市镇军政长官的时候,他俩有了一个女儿。

知道这件事情的亲戚只有霍·阿卡蒂奥和雷贝卡,这时,阿卡蒂奥是跟他俩保持着密切关系的,这种关系的基础与其说是亲人的感情,不如说是共同的利益。霍·阿卡蒂奥被家庭的重担压得弯着脖子。雷贝卡的坚强性格,她那不知满足的情欲,她那顽固的虚荣心,遏制了丈大桀骜不驯的脾气--他从一个懒汉和色鬼变成了一头力气挺大的、干活的牲口。他俩家里一片整洁。每天早晨,雷贝卡都把窗子完全敞开,风儿从墓地吹进房间,通过房门刮到院里,在墙上和家具上都留下薄薄一层灰尘。吃土的欲望,父母骸骨的声响,她的急不可耐和皮埃特罗·克列斯比的消极等待,--所有这些都给抛到脑后了。雷贝卡整天都在窗前绣花,毫不忧虑战争,直到食厨里的瓶瓶罐罐开始震动的时候,她才站起身来做午饭;然后出现了满身污泥的几条猎狗,它们后面是一个拿着双筒枪、穿着马靴的大汉;有时,他肩上是一只鹿,但他经常拎回来的是一串野兔或野鸭。阿卡蒂奥开始掌权的时候,有一天下午突然前来看望雷贝卡和她丈夫。自从他俩离家之后,阿卡蒂奥就没有跟他俩见过面,但他显得那么友好、亲密,他们就请他尝尝烤肉。

开始喝咖啡时,阿卡蒂奥才说出自己来访的真正目的:他接到了别人对霍·阿卡蒂奥的控告。有人抱怨说,霍·阿卡蒂奥除了耕种自己的地段,还向邻接的土地扩张;他用自己的牛撞倒了别人的篱笆,毁坏了别人的棚子,强占了周围最好的耕地。那些没有遭到他掠夺的农民--他不需要他们的土地--他就向他们收税。每逢星期六,他都肩挎双筒枪,带着一群狗去强征税款。霍·阿卡蒂奥一点也不否认。他强词夺理地说,他侵占的土地是霍·阿·布恩蒂亚在马孔多建村时分配的,他能证明:他的父亲当时已经疯了,把事实上属于布恩蒂亚家的地段给了别人。这是没有必要的辩解,因为阿卡蒂奥根本不是来裁决的。他主张成立一个登记处,让霍·阿卡蒂奥侵占的土地合法化,条件是霍· 阿卡蒂奥必须让地方当局代替他收税。事情就这样商定。过了几年,奥雷连诺上校重新审查土地所有权时发现,从他哥哥家所在的山丘直到目力所及之处,包括墓地在内的全部土地都是记在他哥哥名下的,而且阿卡蒂奥在掌权的十一个月中,在自己的衣兜里不仅塞满了税款,还有他允许人家在霍·阿卡蒂奥土地上埋葬死人所收的费用。

过了几个月,乌苏娜才发现了大家都已知道的情况,因为人家不愿增加她的痛苦,是把这种情况瞒着她的。起初,她产生了怀疑。“阿卡蒂奥在给自己盖房子啦,” 她试图拿一匙南瓜粥喂到丈夫嘴里,假装骄傲地告诉他。但她忍不住叹气:“我不知道为啥,这些都不合我的意。”随后,她知道阿卡蒂奥不仅盖成了房子。甚至给自己订购了维也纳家具,她就怀疑他动用了公款。有个星期天做完弥撒回来,她看见他在新房子里跟自己的军官们玩纸牌。“你是咱们家的耻辱,”她向他叫嚷。阿卡蒂奥没有理睬她。乌苏娜这时才知道,他有一个刚满半岁的女儿,跟他非法同居的圣索菲娅·德拉佩德又怀了孕。乌苏娜决定写信给奥雷连诺上校,不管他在哪儿,把这些情况告诉他,然而随后几天事态的发展,不但阻止了她实现自己的计划,甚至使她感到后悔。对马孔多的居民来说,“战争”至今不过是一个词儿,表示一种模糊的、遥远的事情,现在成了具体的、明显的现实了。二月底,一个老妇骑着一头毛驴,驴背。上载着一些笤帚,来到马孔多镇口。她的模样是完全没有恶意的,哨兵没问什么就让她通行了,他们以为她不过是从沼泽地来的一个女商贩,老妇迳直走向兵营。阿卡蒂奥在以前的教室里接见她,这教室现在变成了后方营地:到处都可看见卷着的或者悬在铁环上的吊铺,各个角落都堆着草席,地上乱七八糟地扔着步枪、卡宾枪、甚至猎枪。老妇采取“立正”姿势,行了个军礼,然后自我介绍:

“我是格列戈里奥·史蒂文森上校。”

他带来了不好的消息。据他说,自由党人进行抵抗的最后几个据点已给消灭了。奥雷连诺上校正在一面战斗,一面撤离列奥阿察,派他带着使命来见阿卡蒂奥,说明马孔多无需抵抗就得放弃,条件是自由党人的生命财产必须得到保障。阿卡蒂奥轻蔑地打量古怪的信使,这人是不难被看成一个可怜老妇的。

“你当然带有书面指示罗,”他说。

“不,”使者回答,“我没带任何这类东西。每个人都明白,在目前情况下,身边是不能有任何招惹麻烦的东西的。”

说着,他从怀里掏出一条小金鱼来放在桌上。“我认为这就够了,”他说。阿卡蒂奥看出,这确实是奥雷连诺上校所做的小金鱼。不过,这个东西也可能是谁在战前就买去或偷去的,因此不能作为证件。为了证明自己的身份,使者甚至不惜泄露军事秘密。他说,他带着重要使命潜往库拉索岛,希望在那儿招募加勒比海岛上的流亡者,弄到足够的武器和装备,打算年底登陆。奥雷连诺上校对这个计划很有信心,所以认为目前不该作无益的牺牲。可是阿卡蒂奥十分固执,命令把使者拘押起来,弄清了此人的身份再说:而且,他誓死要保卫马孔多镇。

没等多久。自由党人失败的消息就越来越可信了。三月底的一天晚上,不合节令的雨水提前泼到马孔多街上的时候,前几个星期紧张的宁静突然被撕心裂肺的号声冲破了,接着,隆隆的炮击摧毁了教堂的钟楼。其实决定抵抗纯粹是疯狂的打算。阿卡蒂奥指挥的总共是五十个人,装备很差,每人顶多只有二十发子弹。诚然,在这些人当中有他学校里的学生,在他漂亮的号召激励之下,他们准备为了毫无希望的事情牺牲自己的性命。炮声隆隆,震天动地,只能听到零乱的射击声、靴子的践踏声、矛盾的命令声、毫无意义的号声;这时,自称史蒂文森上校的人,终于跟阿卡蒂奥谈了一次话。“别让我戴着镣铐、穿着女人的衣服可耻地死,”他说,“如果我非死不可,那就让我在战斗中死吧,”他的话说服了阿卡蒂奥。阿卡蒂奥命令自己的人给了他一支枪和二十发子弹,让他和五个人留下来保卫兵营,自己就带着参谋人员去指挥战斗。阿卡蒂奥还没走到通往沼地的路上,马孔多镇口的防栅就被摧毁了,保卫市镇的人已在街上作战,从一座房子跑到另一座房子;起初,子弹没有打完时,他们拿步枪射击,然后就用手枪对付敌人的步枪了,最后发生了白刃战。失败的危急情况迫使许多妇女都拿着棍捧和菜刀奔到街上。在一片混乱中,阿卡蒂奥看见了阿玛兰塔,她正在找他:她穿着一个睡衣,手里握着霍·阿·布恩蒂亚的两支旧式手枪,活象一个疯子。阿卡蒂奥把步枪交给一个在战斗中失掉武器的军官,带着阿玛兰塔穿过近旁的一条小街,想把她送回家去。乌苏娜不顾炮弹的呼啸,在门口等候,其中一发炮弹把邻舍的正面打穿了一个窟窿。雨停了街道滑溜溜的,好似融化的肥皂,在夜的黑暗里只能摸索前进。阿卡蒂奥把阿玛兰塔交给乌苏娜,转身就向两个敌兵射击,因为那两个敌兵正从旁边的角落里向他开火。在橱里放了多年的手枪没有打响。乌苏娜用身体挡住阿卡蒂奥,打算把他推到房子里去。“去吧,看在上帝份上,”她向他叫道。“胡闹够啦!”

敌兵向他俩瞄准。

“放开这个人,老大娘,”一个士兵吆喝,“要不,我们就不管三七二十一了!”

阿卡蒂奥推开乌苏娜,投降了。过了一阵,枪声停息,钟声响了起来。总共半小时,抵抗就被镇压下去了。阿卡蒂奥的人没有一个幸存。但在牺牲之前,他们勇敢地抗击了三百名敌兵。兵营成了他们的最后一个据点。政府军已经准备猛攻。自称格列戈里奥·史蒂文森的人,释放了囚犯,命令自己的人离开兵营,到街上去战斗。他从几个窗口射击,异常灵活,准确无误,打完了自己的二十发子弹使人觉得这个兵营是有防御力量的,于是进攻者就用大炮摧毁了它。指挥作战的上尉惊讶地发现,瓦砾堆里只有一个穿着衬裤的死人。炮弹打断的一只手还握着一支步枪,弹夹已经空了;死人的头发又密又长,好象女人的头发,用梳子别在脑后;他的脖子上挂着一根链条,链条上有条小金鱼。上尉用靴尖翻过尸体,一看死者的面孔,就惊得发呆了。“我的上帝!”他叫了一声。其他的军官走拢过来。

“你们瞧,他钻到哪儿来啦,”上尉说,“这是格列戈里奥·史蒂文森呀。”

黎明时分,根据战地军事法庭的判决,阿卡蒂奥在墓地的墙壁前面被枪决了。在一生的最后两小时里,他还没弄明白,他从童年时代起满怀的恐惧为什么消失了。他倾听他的各项罪行时是十分平静的,完全不是因为打算表现不久之前产生的勇气。他想起了乌苏娜--这时,她大概跟霍·阿·布恩蒂亚一起,正在栗树下面喝咖啡。他想起了还没取名的八个月的女儿,想起了八月间就要出生的孩子。他想起了圣索菲娅·德拉佩德,想起了昨天晚上他出来打仗时,她为了第二天的午餐而把鹿肉腌起来的情景,他记起了她那披到两肩的头发和又浓又长的睫毛,那样的睫毛仿佛是人造的。他怀念亲人时并没有感伤情绪,只是严峻地总结了自己的一生,开始明白自己实际上多么喜爱自己最憎恨的人。法庭庭长作出最后判决时,阿卡蒂奥还没发现两个小时已经过去了。“即使列举的罪行没有充分的罪证,”庭长说,“但是根据被告不负责任地把自己的部下推向毫无意义的死亡的鲁莽行为,已经足以判决被告的死刑。”在炮火毁掉的学校里,他曾第一次有过掌权以后的安全感,而在离这儿几米远的一个房间里,他也曾模糊地尝到过爱情的滋味,所以他觉得这一套死亡的程序太可笑了。其实,对他来说,死亡是没有意义的,生命才是重要的。因此,听到判决之后,他感到的不是恐惧,而是留恋。他一句话没说,直到庭长问他还有什么最后的要求。

“请告诉我老婆,”他用响亮的声音回答。“让她把女儿取名叫乌苏娜,”停了停又说:“象祖母一样叫做乌苏娜。也请告诉她,如果将要出生的是个男孩,就管他叫霍·阿卡蒂奥,但这不是为了尊敬我的大伯,而是为了尊敬我的祖父。”

在阿卡蒂奥给带到墙边之前,尼康诺神父打算让他忏悔。“我没有什么忏悔的,”阿卡蒂奥说,然后喝了一杯黑咖啡,就听凭行刑队处置了。行刑队长是个“立即执行”的专家,他的名字并不偶然,叫做罗克·卡尼瑟洛上尉,意思就是“屠夫”。毛毛丽不停地下了起来,阿卡蒂奥走向墓地的时候,望见天际出现了星期二灿烂的晨光。他的留恋也随着夜雾消散了,留下的是无限的好奇。行刑队命令他背向墙壁站立时,他才发现了雷贝卡--她满头湿发,穿一件带有粉红色小花朵的衣服,正把窗子打开。他竭力引起她的注意。的确,雷贝卡突然朝墙壁这边瞥了一眼,就惊恐得愣住了,然后勉强向他招手告别。阿卡蒂奥也向她挥了挥手。在这片刻间,几支步枪黑乎乎的枪口瞄准了他,接着,他听到了梅尔加德斯一字一句朗诵的教皇通谕,听到了小姑娘圣索菲娅·德拉佩德在教室里摸索的脚步声,感到自己的鼻子冰冷、发硬,就象他曾觉得惊异的雷麦黛丝尸体的鼻子。“嗨,他妈的,”他还来得及想了一下,“我忘了说,如果生下的



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