Alfredo remembered that period with a wonder not unmixed with shame.
That was less than four years ago. He could not understand those months
of a great hunger that was not of the body nor yet of the mind, a
craving that had seized on him one quiet night when the moon was abroad
and under the dappled shadow of the trees in the plaza, man wooed maid.
Was he being cheated by life? Love--he seemed to have missed it. Or was
the love that others told about a mere fabrication of perfervid
imagination, an exaggeration of the commonplace, a glorification of
insipid monotonies such as made up his love life? Was love a combination
of circumstances, or sheer native capacity of soul? In those days love
was, for him, still the eternal puzzle; for love, as he knew it, was a
stranger to love as he divined it might be.[email protected]