Thursday, January 15, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 10)


Aniceta

When we had finished saying the Station, we went to our homes.
It was already more than nine at night, and my mother had told me to come home during the day.
(24)
And on that day it was dark when I arrived.
When I got home, my mother said to me, Didn’t I tell you to come home before dark?
Very frightened because of two things—for having seen the figure so beautiful, and for coming home late—I didn’t dare to come into the kitchen. And I leaned against the wall, very sad.


What a picture. The young girl in the fresh radiance of her twelve years, leaning against the wall in dismay, trying to support with the softness of her look the unlikeliness of her words.

And I said to my mother, I have seen an Angel! The acid response of Aniceta could be expected: Is that all? On top of coming home late, you come saying these things?
And I answered again, But it’s true; I have seen an Angel.


The replies, and the replies to the replies continued between the daughter and her mother. Aniceta, less sure each time in her refusals, finished being much inclined to admit that her daughter, that daughter for whom she lived and whom she watched over with extreme care, must have really experienced something.(25)
24. It would be expected, and very proper for Aniceta to watch like this over her only daughter. In Garabandal the nights are really dark with the streets hardly lit up. And although the people were of upright morality, a girl like Conchita had no business being in the village at such a time.

25. I have come across a new version of what occurred on that memorable afternoon. It comes from Pilar, the mother of Mari Cruz, and was taken down on a tape recorder in the kitchen of her home—without her knowing it—on the afternoon of July 25th, 1964:
«We never fought with each other . . . And it happened one day, a Sunday, the 18th of June. I was at the laundry with a cow that I was keeping at the house. (Pilar took the cow to water at the laundry, as was her custom, so that it could be stabled, since night was falling) There I met Angelita, the wife of Fael, and I don’t know who else . . . She said to me: —But what happened to Mari Cruz?
—What’s happened? What’s happened?
—I answered—What’s she done?

—But you don’t know about it then? That she says she has seen an angel.

—An angel? Oh, what a thing! This frightened me. I thought that she had done something bad. After that, I went on walking while thinking, "Is it possible that the girl is going around saying these ridiculous things about angels and church affairs?" (The atmosphere in Mari Cruz’s home must not have been especially religious. Conchita lets an observation escape in her diary about Mari Cruz’ father Escol├ístico, who does not go much to mass.)

While walking I met Mari Cruz right here by Sinda’s home.
I was irritated and I said to her:
—Listen, Mari Cruz, what are you going around saying here?
—Nothing.

—What do you mean nothing? They told me at the laundry that you have seen an angel . . . Look, I am going to give you a beating, since you are too grown up to say these things . . . While I was saying this, Jacinta, who was there, answered:
—Yes, we really saw him.
—May God be praised. —I said— You are also mixed up in this? What a shame. Most Holy Mary. Young girls of your age!

And that day I gave Mari Cruz a good scolding; but I didn’t scold her after that.»