THE WAR was over in May. Two weeks before the government made the official announcement in a high-sounding proclamation, which promised merciless punishment for those who had started the rebellion, Colonel Aureliano Buendía fell prisoner just as he was about to reach the western frontier disguised as an Indian witch doctor. Of the twenty-one men who had followed him to war, fourteen fell in combat, six were wounded, and only one accompanied him at the moment of final defeat: Colonel Gerineldo Márquez. The news of his capture was announced in Macondo with a special proclamation. “He’s alive,??rsula told her husband. “Let’s pray to God for his enemies to show him clemency.?After three days of weeping, one afternoon as she was stirring some sweet milk candy in the kitchen she heard her son’s voice clearly in her ear. “It was Aureliano, ?she shouted, running toward the chestnut tree to tell her husband the news. “I don’t know how the miracle took place, but he’s alive and we’re going to see him very soon.?She took it for granted. She had the floors of the house scrubbed and changed the position of the furniture. One week later a rumor from somewhere that was not supported by any proclamation gave dramatic confirmation to the prediction. Colonel Aureliano Buendía had been condemned to death and the sentence would be carried out in Macondo as a lesson to the population. On Monday, at ten-thirty in the morning, Amaranta was dressing Aureliano Jos?when she heard the sound of a distant troop and the blast of a cornet one second before ?rsula burst into the room with the shout: “They’re bringing him now!?The troop struggled to subdue the overflowing crowd with their rifle butts. ?rsula and Amaranta ran to the corner, pushing their way through, and then they saw him. He looked like a beggar. His clothing was torn, his hair and beard were tangled, and he was barefoot. He was walking without feeling the burning dust, his hands tied behind his back with a rope that a mounted officer had attached to the head of his horse. Along with him, also ragged and defeated, they were bringing Colonel Gerineldo Márquez. They were not sad. They seemed more disturbed by the crowd that was shouting all kinds of insults at the troops.