AURELIANO BUEND?A and Remedios Moscote were married one Sunday in March before the altar Father Nicanor Reyna had set up in the parlor. It was the culmination of four weeks of shocks in the Moscote household because little Remedios had reached puberty before getting over the habits of childhood. In spite of the fact that her mother had taught her about the changes of adolescence, one February afternoon she burst shouting into the living room, where her sisters were chatting with Aureliano, and showed them her panties, smeared with a chocolate-colored paste. A month for the wedding was agreed upon. There was barely enough time to teach her how to wash herself, get dressed by herself, and understand the fundamental business of a home. They made her urinate over hot bricks in order to cure her of the habit of wetting her bed. It took a good deal of work to convince her of the inviolability of the marital secret, for Remedios was so confused and at the same time so amazed at the revelation that she wanted to talk to everybody about the details of the wedding night. It was a fatiguing effort, but on the date set for the ceremony the child was as adept in the ways of the world as any of her sisters. Don Apolinar Moscote escorted her by the arm down the street that was decorated with flowers and wreaths amidst the explosion of rockets and the music of several bands, and she waved with her hand and gave her thanks with a smile to those who wished her good luck from the windows. Aureliano, dressed in black, wearing the same patent leather boots with metal fasteners that he would have on a few years later as he faced the firing squad, had an intense paleness and a hard lump in his throat when he met the bride at the door of the house and led her to the altar. She behaved as naturally, with such discretion, that she did not lose her composure, not even when Aureliano dropped the ring as he tried to put it on her finger. In the midst of the. murmurs and confusion of the guests, she kept her arm with the fingerless lace glove held up and remained like that with her ring finger ready until the bridegroom managed to stop the ring with his foot before it rolled to the door, and came back blushing to the altar. Her mother and sisters suffered so much from the fear that the child would do something wrong during the ceremony that in the end they were the ones who committed the impertinence of picking her up to kiss her. From that day on the sense of responsibility, the natural grace, the calm control that Remedios would have in the face of adverse circumstances was revealed. It was she who, on her own initiative, put aside the largest piece that she had cut from the wedding cake and took it on a plate with a fork to Jos?Arcadio Buendía. Tied to the trunk of the chestnut tree, huddled on a wooden stool underneath the palm shelter, the enormous old man, discolored by the sun and rain, made a vague smile of gratitude and at the piece of cake with his fingers, mumbling an unintelligible psalm. The only unhappy person in that noisy celebration, which lasted until dawn on Monday, was Rebeca Buendía. It was her own frustrated party. By an arrangement of ?rsula’s, her marriage was to be celebrated on the same day, but that Friday Pietro Crespi received a letter with the news of his mother’s imminent death. The wedding was postponed. Pietro Crespi left for the capital of the province an hour after receiving the letter, and on the road he missed his mother, who arrived punctually Saturday night and at Aureliano’s wedding sang the sad aria that she had prepared for the wedding of her son. Pietro Crespi returned on Sunday midnight to sweep up the ashes of the party, after having worn out five horses on the road in an attempt to be in time for his wedding. It was never discovered who wrote the letter. Tormented by ?rsula, Amaranta wept with indignation and swore her innocence in front of the altar, which the carpenters had not finished dismantling.