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NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Plays by Jacinto Benavente. Trans. John Garrett Underhill. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1921.
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.