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The Gold Mine Legend: "The dry corpse" The Iron Cross
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 - Gotcha!
- 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 town.
- - Scoundrel! - shouted others when his nefarious adventures became, leaving the commentators a bad with taste in their mouths.
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 her son:
- 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 mother's coins.
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 Gods path.

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 nefarious life.
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 his demise.
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 heared again.

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 by time.
They say that until today there lies the body that even earth would not accept, obeying the curse of old Maria Rosa.

Abridged from the book "Ubatuba - Lendas & Outras Estórias" (Ubatuba-Legends & Other Stories)
written by Washington de Oliveira ("seo" Filhinho)
authorized by the writer

 

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