Caesara- (pages 23-24)
«Why,» she thought, «what if I were to spend the night in this enchanted heavenly place? Who can see me, who knows me?»
Night had fallen. Big, white stars were trembling in the sky and the moon’s silvery light was sailing through transparent waves of clouds curling across its path. The night was warm, heavy with the scent of armfuls of flowers; the hills glowed in a shroud of mist. The quiet waters of the lake around the glade gleamed like silver; the glowing waves occasionally lapped the dreamy shores. Across this fairy-like night descended upon a heavenly spot surrounded by the sea, Caesara walked like a snowy phantom, her long golden hair reaching down to her ankles. She walked slowly. The dreams, the enchantment of a fragrant summer night had invaded her virgin soul. She was on the verge of tears. Thinking of her lover, she fancied she was Eve in paradise, alone with her grief. She came up to the lake and saw a path of gravel stones under the surface. She began to cross the lake, the water circling apace around her ankles. She gazed on that enchanted glade. A yearning for happiness filled her heart; she was craving for love like a young tender child, her lips were parched with longing for a kiss, her mind was lifeless like a bed of flowers half-burnt by drought. Having reached the glade, the scented shade of the tall trees fell like a blue reflection on her skin so that she looked like a marble statue in the bluish light. Suddenly, among the trees, she saw the figure of a man. She thought it was her imagination, a figment projected upon the mesh of leaves. That figure assumed ever clearer outlines. It was Hyeronimo.
«Why,» she thought, «what a fool I am. He is present everywhere, in the night’s splendour, in the silence of the glades.» He came nearer. He, too, thought a lifelike figure stood before him. He gave her a long look; they gazed a long time upon each other.
As he took her hand, she shrieked.
'Caesara,' he shouted embracing her, 'Caesara! Are you an imaginary figment, a dream, a shadow of the night in the snowy light of the moon? Or is it you? You!'
She was crying, could not answer. She thought she was crazy, she thought it was a dream and only longed for the dream to last forever.
'Is it you? Your own self?' she asked in a strangled voice. Her mind was clearing; all her dreams were returning, splendid and yearning for life. She could not stop gazing on him and had quite forgotten the state she was in.
The evening had turned cloudy. Shut up in their cell, Caesara sat by the window, her head among the flower pots, her brow against the window pane, her fingers pattering upon it. She smiled a sly smile. Hyeronimo had never been so open-hearted, had never loved her as much as he did now, that he knew what was in her heart. And why should she be smiling? Had she found the loop to ensnare her lover forever? She had not. But a would-be philosophical thought crossed her mind.
'Man is an animal after all,' she said, 'and loves his young above all things. His young? Oh, if I only had a little one, I should devour it with boundless love. Strange creatures we are, both men and women, the manifold ways we look upon the simplest thing in the world, our young.' She threw herself upon the bed. It seemed she had a baby at her breast and fondled it, she then wrapped up a small cushion patting it, fondling it as if were her baby.
It had grown dark and the rain started a quick monotonous patter against the window panes. Now and again, a flash of lightning would illumine the interior of the cell; in that rapid flare the whole house and all objects seemed to give a start, to quicken into life, such is the fantastic nature of a flash of lightning.
She went up to the window. Outside the weather was fearful. Black clouds split by lightning were crowding in the sky, the sea was heaving with deep uproar like the distant bellowing of bulls; suddenly, she saw a burning fire.
«Great God,» she thought in fear, «Hyeronimo has lit a fire on such a night. Maybe just for a while.»
The fire was constantly burning with ever greater force.
«Could he be in danger,» she thought «and should this be a signal for me?» She shook in al her limbs; her lips were bloodless and pale.