Dona Perfecta eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 222 pages of information about Dona Perfecta.

Lieutenant-colonel Pinzon lay stretched at full length upon the bed.  Pepe Rey drew a chair up to the bedside and, leaning his elbow on the bed and his head on his hand, began his conference, consultation, exposition of plan, or whatever else it might be called, and continued talking for a long time.  Pinzon listened to him with profound attention and without interrupting him, except to ask an occasional question for the purpose of obtaining further details or additional light upon some obscure point.  When Pepe Rey ended, Pinzon looked grave.  He stretched himself, yawning with the satisfaction of one who has not slept for three nights, and then said: 

“You plan is dangerous and difficult.”

“But not impossible.”

“Oh, no! for nothing is impossible.  Reflect well about it.”

“I have reflected.”

“And you are resolved to carry it through?  Consider that these things are not now in fashion.  They generally turn out badly and throw discredit on those who undertake them.”

“I am resolved.”

“For my part, then, although the business is dangerous and serious—­very serious—­I am ready to aid you in all things and for all things.”

“Can I rely upon you?”

“To the death.”

CHAPTER XIX

A TERRIBLE BATTLE-STRATEGY

The opening of hostilities could not long be delayed.  When the hour of dinner arrived, after coming to an agreement with Pinzon regarding the plan to be pursued, the first condition of which was that the friends should pretend not to know each other, Pepe Rey went to the dining-room.  There he found his aunt, who had just returned from the cathedral where she had spent the morning as was her habit.  She was alone, and appeared to be greatly preoccupied.  The engineer observed that on that pale and marble-like countenance, not without a certain beauty, there rested a mysterious shadow.  When she looked up it recovered its sinister calmness, but she looked up seldom, and after a rapid examination of her nephew’s countenance, that of the amiable lady would again take on its studied gloom.

They awaited dinner in silence.  They did not wait for Don Cayetano, for he had gone to Mundogrande.  When they sat down to table Dona Perfecta said: 

“And that fine soldier whom the Government has sent us, is he not coming to dinner?”

“He seems to be more sleepy than hungry,” answered the engineer, without looking at his aunt.

“Do you know him?”

“I have never seen him in all my life before.”

“We are nicely off with the guests whom the Government sends us.  We have beds and provisions in order to keep them ready for those vagabonds of Madrid, whenever they may choose to dispose of them.”

“There are fears of an insurrection,” said Pepe Rey, with sudden heat, “and the Government is determined to crush the Orbajosans—­to crush them, to grind them to powder.”

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Dona Perfecta from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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