One Hundred Years of Solitude - Chapter 9
“I understand, Aureliano,?he would conclude on the key. “Long live the Liberal party!?
He finally lost all contact with the war. What in other times had been a real activity, an irresistible passion of his youth, became a remote point of reference for him: an emptiness. His only refuge was Amaranta’s sewing room. He would visit her every afternoon. He liked to watch her hands as she curled frothy petticoat cloth in the machine that was kept in motion by Remedios the Beauty. They spent many hours without speaking, content with their reciprocal company, but while Amaranta was inwardly pleased in keeping the fire of his devotion alive, he was unaware of the secret designs of that indecipherable heart. When the news of his return reached her, Amaranta had been smothered by anxiety. But when she saw him enter the house in the middle of Colonel Aureliano Buendía’s noisy escort and she saw how he had been mistreated by the rigors of exile, made old by age and oblivion, dirty with sweat and dust, smelling like a herd, ugly, with his left arm in a sling, she felt faint with disillusionment. “My God,?she thought. “This wasn’t the person I was waiting for.?On the following day, however, he came back to the house shaved and clean, with his mustache perfumed with lavender water and without the bloody sling. He brought her a prayerbook bound in mother-of-pearl.