Spanish by Choice/Novelas Cortas 05/Print version
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Novelas Cortas: La Corneta de Llaves, pt. 2
Luego soñé que estaba tendido en una camilla, en mi prisión.
Llevéme la mano a los ojos como para quitarme una venda, y me toqué los ojos abiertos, dilatados....—¿Me había quedado ciego?
No....—Era que la prisión se hallaba llena de tinieblas.
Oí un doble de campanas..., y temblé.
Era el toque de Animas.[21-1]
—Son las nueve.... (pensé.)—Pero ¿de qué día?
Una sombra más obscura que el tenebroso aire de la prisión se inclinó sobre mí.
Parecía un hombre....
¿Y los demás? ¿Y los otros diez y ocho?
¡Todos habían muerto fusilados!
Yo vivía, o deliraba dentro del sepulcro.
Mis labios murmuraron maquinalmente un nombre, el nombre de siempre,[21-2] mi pesadilla....
—¿Qué quieres?—me respondió la sombra que había a mi lado.
—¡Dios mío! (exclamé.)—¿Estoy en el otro mundo?
—¡No!—dijo la misma voz.
—¿Dónde estoy?—¿Es ésta la ermita de San Nicolás?—¿No me hallo prisionero?—¿Lo he soñado todo?
—No, Basilio; no has soñado nada.—Escucha.
Como sabrás,[21-3] ayer maté al Teniente Coronel en buena lid....—¡Estoy vengado!—Después, loco de furor, seguí(88) matando..., y maté... hasta después de anochecido..., hasta que no había un cristino[21-4] en el campo de batalla.... Cuando salió la luna, me acordé de(89) ti.—Entonces enderecé mis pasos a la ermita de San Nicolás con intención de esperarte.
Serían las diez de la noche. La cita era a la una, y la noche antes no había yo pegado los ojos....—Me dormí,(90) pues, profundamente.
Al dar(91) la una, lancé un grito y desperté.
Soñaba que habías muerto....
Miré a mi alrededor,(92) y me encontré solo.
¿Qué había sido de(93) ti?
Dieron las dos..., las tres..., las cuatro....—¡Qué noche de angustia!
Tú no parecías....
¡Sin duda habías muerto!...
Entonces dejé la ermita, y me dirigí a este pueblo en busca de los facciosos.
Llegué al salir el sol.[22-1]
Todos creían que yo había perecido la tarde antes....
Así fué que, al verme, me abrazaron, y el General me colmó de distinciones.
En seguida supe que iban a ser fusilados veintiún[22-2] prisioneros.
Un presentimiento se levantó en mi alma.
—¿Será Basilio uno de ellos?—me dije.
Corrí, pues, hacia el lugar de la ejecución.
El cuadro estaba formado.
Oí unos tiros....
Habían empezado a fusilar.
Tendí la vista...; pero no veía....
Me cegaba el dolor; me desvanecía el miedo.
Al fin te distingo....
¡Ibas a morir fusilado!
Faltaban dos víctimas para llegar a ti....
¿Qué hacer?(94) Me volví loco; dí un grito; te cogí entre mis brazos, y, con una voz ronca, desgarradora, tremebunda, exclamé:
—¡Éste no! ¡Éste no, mi General!...
El General, que mandaba el cuadro, y que tanto me conocía[23-1] por mi comportamiento de la víspera, me preguntó:
—Pues qué, ¿es músico?
Aquella palabra fué para mí lo que sería para un viejo ciego de nacimiento ver de pronto el sol en toda su refulgencia.
La luz de la esperanza brilló a mis ojos tan súbitamente, que los cegó.
—¡Músico (exclamé); sí..., sí..., mi General! ¡Es músico! ¡Un gran músico!
Tú, entretanto, yacías sin conocimiento.
—¿Qué instrumento toca?—preguntó el General.
—El... la... el... el...; ¡si!... ¡justo!..., eso es..., ¡la corneta de llaves!
Cinco segundos, cinco siglos, tardó la contestación.
—Sí, mi General; hace falta—respondió el Músico mayor.
—Pues sacad a ese hombre de las filas, y que siga la ejecución al momento....—exclamó el jefe carlista.
Entonces te cogí en mis brazos y te conduje a este calabozo.
—¡Te debo la vida!
—¡No tanto!—respondió Ramón.
—¿Cómo es eso?—exclamé.
—¿Sabes tocar la corneta?
—Pues no me debes la vida, sino que he comprometido la mía sin salvar la tuya. Quedéme frío como una piedra.
—¿Y música? (preguntó Ramón.) ¿Sabes?
—Poca, muy poca....—Ya recordarás la que nos enseñaron en el colegio....
—¡Poco es, o, mejor dicho, nada!—¡Morirás sin remedio!... ¡Y yo también, por traidor..., por falsario!—¡Figúrate tú que dentro de quince días estará organizada la banda de música a que has de(98) pertenecer!...
—¡Ni más ni menos!—Y como no tocarás la corneta.... (porque Dios no hará un milagro), nos fusilarán a los dos sin remedio.
—¡Fusilarte! (exclamé.) ¡A ti! ¡Por mí! ¡Por mí, que te debo la vida!—¡Ah, no, no querrá el cielo! Dentro de quince días sabré música[24-1] y tocaré la corneta de llaves.
Ramón se echó a reír.
—¿Qué más queréis que os diga, hijos míos?
En quince días... ¡oh poder de la voluntad! En quince días con sus quince noches (pues no dormí ni reposé un momento en medio mes), ¡asombraos!... ¡En quince días aprendí a tocar la corneta!
¡Qué días aquellos!
Ramón y yo nos salíamos al campo, y pasábamos horas y horas con cierto músico que diariamente venía de un lugar próximo a(99) darme lección....
¡Escapar!...— Leo en vuestros ojos esta palabra....—¡Ay! Nada más imposible!—Yo era prisionero, y me vigilaban.... Y Ramón no quería escapar sin mí.
Y yo no hablaba, yo no pensaba, yo no comía....
Estaba loco, y mi monomanía era la música, la corneta, la endemoniada corneta de llaves....
¡Quería aprender, y aprendí! Y, si hubiera sido mudo, habría hablado....
Y, paralítico, hubiera andado....
Y, ciego, hubiera visto.
¡Oh! ¡La voluntad suple por todo!—QUERER ES PODER.
Quería: ¡he aquí la gran palabra!
Quería..., y lo conseguí.—¡Niños, aprended esta gran verdad!
Salvé, pues, mi vida y la de Ramón.
Pero me volví loco.
Y, loco, mi locura fué el arte.
En tres años no solté la corneta de la mano.
Do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-si; he aquí mi mundo durante todo aquel tiempo.
Mi vida se reducía a soplar.[25-1]
Ramón no me abandonaba....
Emigré a Francia, y en Francia seguí tocando la corneta.
¡La corneta era yo! ¡Yo cantaba con la corneta en la boca!
Los hombres, los pueblos, las notabilidades[25-2] del arte se agrupaban para oírme....
Aquello era un pasmo, una maravilla....
La corneta se doblegaba entre mis dedos; se hacía elástica, gemía, lloraba, gritaba, rugía; imitaba al ave[25-3], a la fiera, al sollozo humano....—Mi pulmón era de hierro.
Así viví otros dos años más.
Al cabo de ellos falleció mi amigo.
Mirando su cadáver, recobré la razón....
Y cuando, ya en mi juicio, cogí un día la corneta... (¡qué asombro!), me encontré con que[25-4] no sabía tocarla....
¿Me pediréis ahora que os haga són[25-5] para bailar?
(The first figures refer to the original pages of text, and second figures to the reference figures in text).
21-1: Ánimas: ringing of bells, generally at sunset, inviting to prayer for the souls of the dead.
21-2: el nombre de siempre: the same name as always. Cf. lo de siempre, the same as ever.
21-3: Como sabrás: cf. note no habría andado, p. 8, 6.
21-4: cristino: see note Carlos e Isabel, p. 16, 3.
22-1: al salir el sol: at sunrise (el sol is the subject of salir).
22-2: veintiún: (for veinte y un.) Observe that uno in compounds is not pluralized and drops o before a noun. Other compounds are similarly formed, e.g. dieciseis, veintiseis.
23-1: tanto me conocía: knew me so well.
23-2: un corneta: the nouns corneta, trompeta, etc., used in the feminine, denote the instrument, and in the masculine, the player.
24-1: sabré música: ordinarily the definite article is used before a noun employed in a general sense. Here a partitive sense is hinted: I shall know (some) music.
25-1: mi vida se reducía a soplar: I passed all my time in playing (soplar, to blow).
25-2: notabilidades: noted men; celebrities.
25-3: al ave: el replaces la before feminine nouns beginning with accented a or ha. Un is occasionally used for una in the same cases (not academic).
25-4: me encontré con que, etc.: con governs the whole following clause as its object. Psychologically an intervening noun is indicated: I met with (the discovery) that I could not, etc.
25-5: haga són: (make sound) play. Alarcón has accented són to distinguish it from the verb son.
88. Sigo hablando. — I go on talking.
Siguió hablando. — He continued talking.
(Review 15, 39, 53, 22, 54, 32).
89. Me acuerdo de eso. — I remember that.
90. Dormía. — He slept.
Se durmió. — He fell asleep.
91. Dió la una (cf. 39). — It struck one.
92. A su alrededor. — Around him.
93. ¿Qué ha sido de él? — What has become of him?
94. ¿Qué hacer? — What is (or was) to be done?
(Review 64, 86, 50, 72).
95. Hace falta una corneta. — A cornet is lacking, or is needed.
96. No bien dejé de hablar. — No sooner did I cease to speak.
Déjate de monadas. — Cease your grimaces.
97. Se levantó. — He rose.
(Review 48, 13, 8, 27).
98. Ha de ir (cf. note 3, 3). — He must (or is to) go.
99. Vino a dármelo. — He came to give it to me.
N.B. The infinitive expressing purpose is regularly preceded by para, but after verbs of motion by a.
(Review 77, 47, 64, 29, 88).
(Review 9, 61).
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If you have Invariant Sections, Front-Cover Texts and Back-Cover Texts, replace the "with...Texts." line with this:
- with the Invariant Sections being LIST THEIR TITLES, with the
- Front-Cover Texts being LIST, and with the Back-Cover Texts being LIST.
If you have Invariant Sections without Cover Texts, or some other combination of the three, merge those two alternatives to suit the situation.
If your document contains nontrivial examples of program code, we recommend releasing these examples in parallel under your choice of free software license, such as the GNU General Public License, to permit their use in free software.