- Here's my six, your five isn,t enough.
- Lucky bastard!
This was an always high-spirited game rolling every night in
Moreno's joint right on the corner of the Campina Square in
those at that time very different topographic surroundings of
today's 13 de Maio Plaza. Bernardino de Campos, or Dinico, as
everybody knew him - could be clocked on the minute. One could
even say that the "sessions" were his to open and to
close. A young man with loathsomevices and habits, he inspired
compassion and repulsion at the same time.
- Its kismet ! - some said when they regularly saw that good
looking chap in his 20 youthful years walking rather sinuously
under the effects of the booze through the streets of the
- - Scoundrel! - shouted others when his nefarious adventures
became, leaving the commentators a bad with taste in their
Even the tearful advices of his old parents couldn't stop the
youngster from his course. Whenever to maintain the public law
and order he was picked up by the police, that shameless lad
shouted to his friends and foes:
- You see? Today I got myself a free bed and breakfast! Jail
isn't made for dogs...
His parents lived in deep
squalor in a small house in shreds in the neighbourhoods of
Jundiaquara, the exact adress unknown till today. José, the
oldest son , landing a job in the town of Santos, was the
protector and sponsor of that unhappy home. Emília, the girl
who inspired restless nights to many youngsters of that time,
married with Neguinho Alves and settled down in the backwoods
of Perequê-açu. Dinico was the last son. He staid home to
recklessly martyrize that old helpless couple.
The old Crispim was getting worse day by day. His age, the
troubles and hardships caused by his son were taking him in
ever larger steps to his grave.One Saturday by dusk, , Maria
Rosa seeing the final agony of her partner, tenderly called
- Dinico, your father is going to die! Take these remaining
coins and look for some comforting medicine to help him in his
last hours and bring me a candle to light beside his corpse.
Go my son...its for your father!
And then the old granny drowned in tears. Dinico grabbed the
coins and left with a sarcastic smile in his lips. What kind
of thoughts were roaming his brain?
The answer was right at hand.
Coming into town he was met by
Chico Bento and Manduquinha who invited him for a card game.
- All right, I'm always there for my friends , he said.
He threw away the memory of his agonizing father with the same
easyness with which he snipped away the butt of his cigarette
and followed the guys straight to Moreno's joint to gamble his
After hours a newcomer couldn't resist and shouted:
- Dinico! Your father died...
- My father? Oh well... Gotcha! Died ? So what? Rather him who
is older, than me... These words, even spoken in a degenerate
environment like that, didn't fail to cause embarassment and a
deep silence spread through the joint. Dinico frowned and
broke the silence asking:
- What's up? Here... look, gotcha again!
Suddenly, like a silent storm, the irreverence of that
scoundrel seemed to dissipate the mournful cloud that was
floating in the room carrying the weight of death. The noise
rose again, more booze, more misery...
Next day when he was stumbling
his way home,he met the pallbearers carrying the net that was
used by families without cash to pay a decent coffin, holding
his fathers corpse. Arriving home he found nothing to still
the acid hunger churning in his stomach and for good measure
started beating his old mother . It must be said here that
this was a common procedure, specially when his mother
received some money from her other son Jose and refused to
hand it over to her degenerated son trying to put him pack on
In these moments his strong
arm fell without remorse or compasion on the helpless mother.
She didn't take long to fell sick on the same bed on which the
old Crispim turned his soul over to the Saviour. Paralyzed,
and abandoned , only a few well-meaning neighbours helped to
endure her last days. Dinico of course kept on living his
What a terrible scene! One night he entered the shag and Maria
Rosa in agony, seeing his terrible menacingly moving and booze
reeking figure , begged:
- Son of my entrails, ... I'm dying... but I still want to see
you out of harms way... I'm dying my son! Fetch me some water
I'm so thirsty...
- - You're thirsty? What you're waiting for to die?? Here,
quench your thirst with this...!!
While spitting this imprecations he kicked over the small
fire-pan throwingred hot coals over the dying woman. Then,
striding fast out of the shag, a strange kind of inner force
made him stop to hear the womans last words to her son:
- You miserable scoundrel! You may go! My curse will haunt you
forever! There will be no peace in your life, not even your
death will give relief ! You bastard! Earth herself will not
accept your rotten body back! Go....! Dinico, with a sneer
full of hate and sarcasm left that house like a raging bull,
never to come back.
After his mother's demise, her
curse followed soon. The boy saw himself in misery, without
friends and no word of consolation. Everyone and everything
rejected him. They said that even the trees refused to give
him shade. The wells started to boil when the bastard tried to
quench his thirst.
He killed himself. They found
him hanging from a tree over the Lagoa river,known as Barra da
Lagoa. His funeral was commented between whispers by the lokal
folks, and started to become a major issue when the day after
his burial the grave-digger found Dinico's corpse laying on
top of his grave. Flabbergasted by this horrifying situation
the man digged him in again. But, next day the corpse was
again rotting under the sun.
Well deep into one night, some
of his relatives took the half mummified body to the sea near
the cliffs of Caruçumirim (Prainha). But since then the local
fishers started to be tormented and scared. In the quiet hours
of the night, terific screams rose from the cliffs, the cursed
body claimed to be brought back to the place of his departure
at the Barra da Lagoa. Maybe wanting to return to the place of
Later on, people were saying that some sinister figures were
seen carrying the corpse trough phosphorescent lights . Fact
is that the screams at the cliffs of the Prainha were not
Christmas Eve. Tens of
christmas scenes and figures being decorated throughout the
village. A coming and going of people in the task of
collecting wild flowers, orchids and ferns to decorate the
scenes. Chiquinha Bastos and Clarita Pinto, two young girls
and experts in this type of work, went to explore the the
riverbanks of the Barra da Lagoa. Comming apart there and
coming together here they were collecting their plants when
suddenly Chiquinha found what looked like an old stem of a
tree full with parasite flowers and ferns. She started to
collect those beautiful plants, when, after cleaning almost
all the plants from the stem, turning away she said to
herself, - ..well I think I've got them all...
Suddenly she heard a voice behind her back saying:
- Girl, here are some more!
Turning around, a scream of
terror, and she fainted. That stem that had provided such
beautiful plants changed its position before her eyes showing
perfectly the outlines of a human body mummified and corroded
They say that until today there lies the body that even earth
would not accept, obeying the curse of old Maria Rosa.
the book "Ubatuba - Lendas & Outras Estórias"
(Ubatuba-Legends & Other Stories)
written by Washington de Oliveira
authorized by the writer