-Nothing can be seen
-We should be close already
-Yes, but nothing can be heard.
-I can’t see anything
-Poor you, Ignacio.
The long dark shadow of the men continued moving up and down, tripping over the rocks, shrinking and growing according to the shore of the river. Itwas a solo shadow, wobbling.
The moon came over the earth, like a round blaze of fire.
-We should be arriving at that town, Ignacio. You who have ears free to hear, look and see if you can hear the barking of the dogs. Keep in mind that that will tell us Tonaya is just around the mount. And it has been hours since we left the mount. Remember that, Ignacio.
-Yes, but I don’t see a sign ofanything.
-I am tired.
-Put me down.
The old man walked backwards until he reached a wall and he rearranged his load there, without releasing it from his shoulders. Although his legs were buckling, he did not want to sit down, because afterwards he would be unable to lift the body of his son, since back there, hours before, they had helped him load him on his back. And this is how he was carried sincethen.
-How do you feel?
They spoke little. Each time less. At times he seemed to be sleeping. At times he seemed to be cold. Trambling. He knew when the trembling would seize his son because of the jerkings he felt, and because he would dig his feet into his loins like spurs. Later the hands of his son, locked around his neck shook his head vigorously like a rattle.
He gritted his teehso that he would not bite his tongue, and when his son finished he would ask:
-Does it hurt a lot?
-Somewhat- his son answered.
At first he had said: “Let me down here… put me down here… go on alone. I will catch up to you tomorrow or whenever I recover a bit”. He had said this like fifty times. But now he never said that.
There was the moon. In front of them. A big and colored moon that filledtheir eyes with light and that stretched and obscured more their shadow over the earth.
-I can’t see where I am going- he said.
But no one answered him.
The other was sitting up there, completely illuminated by the moon, with his pale face, without blood, reflecting the opaque light. And he was below.
-Did you hear me, Ignacio? I’m telling you that you aren’t looking well.
The other remainedsilent.
He continued walking, stumblingly. He slouched his body and later straightened to return to stumbling again.
-This is not a road. They told us that behind the hill was Tonaya. We have already passed the hill. And Tonaya can not be seen, nor is any noise letting us know that we are close to it. Why do you not want to tell me what you see, you up there, Ignacio?
-Put me down, father.-You feel bad?
-I will take you to Tonaya no matter what. There I will find someone to care for you. They said there was a doctor there. I will take you to him. I have carried you for hours and I am not going to leave you thrown aside here so that you die. [literal: "so that they end who you are."]
He trembled a bit. He walked a few steps sideways and returned to straightening up.
-I willtake you to Tonaya.
-Put me down.
His voice became soft, he barely whispered:
-I want to rest a bit.
-Sleep up there. After all, I have a good grip on you.
The moon continued rising, almost blue, into the clear sky. The face of the old man, wet with sweat, was filled by the moon. He hid his eyes to block what was in front of him [the moonlight] since he couldn’t bend his head held tightly bythe hands of his son.
-All that I do, I don’t do for you. I do it for your deceased mother. Because you were her son. That’s why I do this. She would reprimand me if I left you there, where I found you, and I would not have picked you up to take you to be cured, as I am doing. It is her that has given me courage, not you. Firstly because to you I do not owe anything more than difficulties,...