“Don’t be frightened, lad! What’s the matter with you? Come now, gently…. It’s just that they are killing Judas, silly.”
Yes, they are killing Judas. They have hung one at Monturrio, another at the Calle de Enmedio; the other is there at the Pozo del Concejo. I saw them last night, as still in the air as if held by supernatural force, the rope which fastened them to a balcony being invisible in the dark. What grotesque medleys they were, of old top hats and women’s sleeves, masks of Ministers of State, and hoop skirts, beneath the serene stars! The dogs barked at them, but did not quite go away, and the horses, distrustful, did not want to pass below them…
Now the bells are saying, Platero, that the veil of the high altar has been rent. I do not think that there is a single shotgun in the town that has not been fired at Judas. The odor of powder even reaches here. Another shot! And another!
Yet today, Platero, Judas is the deputy, the teacher, the lawyer, the tax collector, the mayor, the midwife; and each man, turned boy against his Holy Saturday morning, fires his cowardly gun at the one he hates, in a superimposition of vague and absurd spring simulations.