“At the first glance I perceived, with amazement and alarm, that she was Telesforo’s implacable enemy. She was just as he had described her to me—with her enormous nose, her devilish eyes, her awful mouth, her percale handkerchief, and that diminutive fan which seemed in her hands the scepter of indecency and mockery.
“She immediately observed that I was looking at her, and fixed her gaze upon me in a peculiar manner, as if recognizing me, as if letting me know that she recognized me, as if acquainted with the fact that the dead man had told me about the scenes in Jardines Street and Lobo Street, as if defying me, as if declaring me the inheritor of the hate which she had cherished for my unfortunate friend.
“I confess that at the time my fright was greater than my wonder at; those new coincidences and accidents. It seemed evident to me that some supernatural relation, antecedent to earthly fife, had existed between the mysterious old woman and Telesforo. But for the time being my sole concern was about my own life, my own soul, my own happiness—all of which would be exposed to the greatest peril if I should really inherit such a curse.
Publicly exposing my cowardice
“The tall woman began to laugh. She pointed at me contemptuously with the fan, as if she had read my thoughts and were publicly exposing my cowardice. I had to lean on a friend’s arm to keep myself from falling. Then she made a pitying or disdainful gesture, turned on her heels, and went into the cemetery. Her head was turned towards tnr. She fanned herself and nodded to me at the same time. She sidled along among the graves with an indescribable, infernal coquetry, until at last she disappeared forever in that labyrinth of tombs.
“I say forever, since fifteen years have passed and I have never seen lin again. If she was a human being she must have died before this; if she was not, I rest in the conviction that she despised me too much to meddle with me.
“Now, then, bring on your theories! Give me your opinion about these strange events. Do you still regard them as entirely natural?”