Chronicle of a Death Foretold
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A man returns to the town where a baffling murder took place 27 years earlier, determined to get to the bottom of the story. Just hours after marrying the beautiful Angela Vicario, everyone agrees, Bayardo San Roman returned his bride in disgrace to her parents. Her distraught family forced her to name her first lover; and her twin brothers announced their intention to murder Santiago Nasar for dishonoring their sister.
Yet if everyone knew the murder was going to happen, why did no one intervene to stop it? The more that is learned, the less is understood, and as the story races to its inexplicable conclusion, an entire society--not just a pair of murderers—is put on trial.
committed, and both were rudimentary and had seen a lot of use. Faustino Santos couldn't understand what had happened. "They came to sharpen their knives a second time," he told me, "and once more they shouted for people to hear that they were going to cut Santiago Nasar's guts out, so I believed they were kidding around, especially since I didn't pay any attention to the knives and thought they were the same ones." This time, however, Clotilde Armenta noticed from the moment she saw them enter
been together at Maria Alejandrina Cervantes's until after three, when she herself sent the musicians away and turned out the lights in the dancing courtyard so that her pleasurable mulatto girls could go to bed by themselves and get some rest. They'd been working without cease for three days, first taking care of the guests of honor in secret, and then turned loose, the doors wide open for those of us still unsated by the wedding bash. Maria Alejandrina Cervantes, about whom we used to say that
told the mayor that he'd seen a phosphorescent bird fluttering over his former home, and he thought it was the soul of his wife, who was going about demanding what was hers. The mayor slapped his brow, but it had nothing to do with the widower's vision. "Shit!" he shouted. "I'd completely forgotten about that poor man!" He went up the hill with a patrol and found the car with its top down in front of the farmhouse, and he saw a solitary light in the bedroom, but no one answered his knocks. So
counselor of the family. No one had as much authority as he to talk to Santiago Nasar. Nevertheless, he thought that if the rumor was baseless it would alarm him unnecessarily, and he preferred to consult first with Cristo Bedoya in case the latter was better informed. He called to him as he went by. Cristo Bedoya gave a pat on the back to Santiago Nasar, who was already at the corner of the square, and answered Yamil Shaium's call. "See you Saturday," he told him. Santiago Nasar didn't reply,
was the uproar of the roosters. Santiago Nasar had reason to feel cheated. He had contributed several loads of wood to the public solicitudes of Father Carmen Amador, and in addition, he himself had chosen the capons with the most appetizing combs. But it was a passing annoyance. My sister Margot, who was with him on the pier, found him in a good mood and with an urge to go on with the festivities in spite of the fact that the aspirins had given him no relief. "He didn't seem to be chilly and was