Dom Casmurro Chapter 120


Next morning I woke up free from the disturbing thoughts of the day before. I dismissed these as hallucinations, had my coffee, skimmed through the papers and went to study some lawsuits. Capitu and Cousin Justina had gone to the nine o’clock mass at Lapa. Sancha’s image disappeared amid the allegations of the opposing party, allegations that were false, inadmissible and with no authority in law or usage. I saw it was an easy matter to win the case and consulted Dalloz, Pereira and Souza …

Only once did I look at Escobar’s portrait. It was a fine photograph, taken a year previously. He was standing, his frock-coat buttoned up, his left hand on the back of a chair, his right at his breast, and he was gazing into the distance to the left of the onlooker. As a pose it was both natural and elegant. The frame I had had made did not cover the dedication, which was written underneath, not on the back. ‘To my dear friend, Bentinho, affectionately, Escobar. 20–4–70.’ Those words strengthened my resolve of the morning and effectively dissipated my memories of the day before. In those days my sight was good; I could read the words from where I was sitting. I returned to my lawsuits.