This page has been validated.


By Coelho Netto

Member Brazilian Academy of Letters

When the pigeons leave, misfortune follows.
—Indian superstition.

WHEN Joanna appeared at the door yawning, fatigued after the long sleepless night spent at her son's bedside, Triburcio, on the terrace, leaning against his spade, was watching the pigeon-house closely.

The sun was already setting and gilded the moist leaves. At the edge of the ravine, turtle-doves and starlings were circling in the air, making a joyous noise above the high branches of the neighboring trees.

The caboclo[1] Indian did not remove his eyes from the pigeon-house. The wrinkles on his forehead bore witness to an inner struggle—, grave thoughts which were

  1. Caboclo signifies copper-colored. Indigenous tribes of Brazil are so called from the color of their skin.