El protervo / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Perverse Man

     We constituted an actual menace.

     The clerics would designate us by means of circumlocutions when lifting their prayers, during the divine service.

     We decided to assault the house of a venerable magistrate, to convince him of our activity and of the inefficacy of his decrees and proclamations.

     He hoped to intimidate us by doubling the number of his spies and his bailiffs by flattering them with the promise of an abundant recompense.

     We executed the project stealthily and with determination and took away the wife of the incorruptible judge.

     The youngest of our comrades lost his mask in the middle of the occurrence and came to be recognized and jailed.

     He was left mute after suffering the torments invented by the ministers of justice and he didn’t emit a complaint when the buskin crushed one of his feet. He died banging his head against the wall of the cell with a sunken floor and a low, tin roof.

     I won the jurist’s wife when the booty was distributed, the next day, by chance. Her luxuriance increased the solace of my rustic home. Her scant years separated her from her rheumatic and coughing husband.

     A comrade, enemy of my fortune, allowed himself to treat her with insolence. We struck up a fight to the death and I left him laid out from a blow to the head. Everyone else remained silent, advised by the lesson.

     The woman was unable to endure the company of a lost man and died of shame and grief after two years, leaving me a newborn girl.

     I abandoned her to the care of a few trusted servants, dissolute and cruel people, and I returned to my adventures when the hand of the executioner had decimated the multitude of my faithful.

     Many were still hanging from his gallows, deteriorating in the open air, in a scandalous slum.

     Finding myself alone, I have decided to await in my refuge the apparition of new adepts, emerged from among the poor.

     I direct an unscathed will, in the middle of my years, toward the practice of evil.

     The nefarious servants have demented my daughter by means of funest suggestions and examples. I have locked her in a secure room without an entrance, save for a shutter for passing a few items of food once a day.

     I occasionally peek in to see her and my sarcasms reestablish her weeping and animate her desperation.

Las formas del fuego (1929)

{ José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Obra completa, Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, 1989 }

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