You ought to have killed me. That was the first
time in my life that I was ever afraid. I never expected they
would let Norbert go. I told you that we ought to go into court
and have Acacia testify that Norbert had sworn he was going to
kill Faustino, but you wouldn't listen. We could have got others,
too, to say the same. Then it would have been easy; they never
would have let him go. I know I made a fool of myself, but when
I saw that Norbert was free, that the law would never stop there,
that they would look somewhere else, I was afraid. I wanted to
forget. They were talking already in the village; after what
happened before, they have their eyes open. That talk has got
to be stopped, no matter what. So long as nobody knows why he
was killed, nobody will ever find out who killed him either.
[Pause.] Why was he killed? I don't know. Don't
ask me. Weren't you talking all the time? "If another man
gets her, look out! Something happens." Then you told me
she was going to be married. "I can't scare this one off;
it's all over, he will take her away. I can't think...."
Didn't you come to me in the morning early again and again, before
it was light, and wake me up and say: "Get up, Rubio; I
haven't closed my eyes all night. I must get out. To the fields!
I must walk!" And then we'd take our guns and go out and
walk for hours, side by side, without speaking a word. At last,
when the fit had passed, and we'd put a few shots in the air
so that nobody could say that we did no hunting when we went
out to hunt, I'd tell you that we scared away the game; but you
said we frightened evil thoughts: and we'd sit down on some hummock
and then you would burst out laughing like one mad, as if some
weight had been lifted from your soul, and you'd catch me around
the neck and talk, and talk, and talk--you didn't know how you
talked, nor what you said, nor why, nor whether it had any sense
at all; but it always came to the same thing: "I am mad,
crazy, a wild man! I cannot live like this. I want to die. I
don't know what devil has gotten into me. This is torment, hell!"
And then you'd shuffle the words again, over and over, but it
was always the same, you were dying--death! And you talked death
so long that one day death heard--and he came. And you know it.
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