" Dr. Juvenal Urbino used to say that he experienced no emotion when he met the woman with whom he would live until the day of his death." "At last Dr. Juvenal Urbino asked the patient to sit up, and with exquisite care he opened her nightdress down to the waist; her pure high breasts with the childish nipples shone for an instant in the darkness of the bedroom, like a flash of gunpowder, before she hurried to cover them with crossed arms." "She responded, and he continued giving her very soft kisses on her cheeks, her nose, her eyelids, while he slipped his hand under the sheet and caressed her flat, straight pubic hair; the pubic hair of a Japanese. She did not move his hand away, but she kept hers on the alert in the event that he took one step further." " ....when he returned to the stateroom he found her waiting for him naked in the bed. Then it was she who took the initiative, and gave herself without fear, without regret, with the joy of an adventure on the high seas, and with no traces of bloody ceremony except for the rose of honor on the sheet." "Although she was as free as he was, and perhaps would not have been opposed to making their relationship public, from the very first Florentino Ariza considered it a clandestine adventure."

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