The Bivouac

“A los primeros ecos del clarín de mayo, los jóvenes habían corrido a alistarse bajo la bandera de los libres…” Así escribía Juana Manuela Gorriti sobre la independencia latino americana en El Pozo del Yocci. A continuación algunos párrafos traducidos al inglés de un capítulo posterior.

It is the guerrilla patriots’ camp.
There, hundreds of men of different races, different customs and different beliefs, united by national sentiment, warring together, starting the same life chances and dangers, and at that moment, sitting around the same fire, gathered in pavilions their heterogeneous weapons, and mixing their dialects, they abandon the troubled talks of the bivouac.
There are encountered well-groomed men of Buenos Aires, the rude inhabitants of the Pampa, the Cordovan with coppery skin and golden hair, and the sullen inhabitant of the wastelands of Santiago, which feeds on prosopis and wild honey, and the poetic Tucumán, which suspends his bed to the branches of the lemon, and the people who live on the slopes of the Andes, and those who drink the blue waters of the Salado River, and toasted children of Bracho, riding on swift wings of the ostrich, and the hook border, which starts its elegant buskin foals to hock.
“How little are the troop’s food rations!” Sergeant Contreras, a Salta mulatto, exclaimed, addressing a rather big man of undulating hair and tanned face, as he stirred a churrasco on the coals in the hearth. “No one would say that today we killed enough Spaniards to fill a pact.”…

“Poor Captain Theodore! So brave and so handsome!”
Hadi Halfa, military camp
Hadi Halfa, military camp
“I would have followed him, if I were near him.”
“I was then to the other side of the river, perched on top of a Kapok pouring on those devils the load of my gun, and I saw the captain plunging himself, sword in hand, to the centre of the column. ¡Caramba! There was a fierce whirlwind! Lunge here, sword there … After a while sounded almost four shots, and ‘s all over … and just saw a frightened horse fled downriver.
“I started a fire, nestled in the hollow of a tree, and saw the poor captain fell pierced with bullets. For more signs from a bunk came out a scream that broke my heart. It was a woman’s voice: it insured something about him.”
“Or from a Goth official who killed from the first blow. Captain Theodore had a pulse! … And he wasn’t even twenty years old.
“Theodore! Why no surname?”
“Who knows!”
“I know why: because his father is a rich man and stubborn Spaniard, who blamed him for serving in our ranks, and had disinherited him, and even took away the name.”
“No matter! Well, just Theodore, he was a brave soldier. Wretched is the hand that killed him! I do not ask more of God, but the consolation of putting to throw my knife.”
“Where did the captain fall?”
“In the narrowness of the river, beyond the five alders, leaving up to the willows. The eldest Peralta was already looking for his body.”
“Hum! Who knows if it can be found!”…  (The Bivouac, from El Pozo del Yocci, de Juana Manuela Gorriti.)

Prosopis alba, llamado popularmente algarrobo blanco, tacu, es una especie arbórea de Sudamérica que habita el centro de Argentina, la ecorregión de Gran Chaco y parte de la Mesopotamia argentina. Salta en la provincia fitogeográfica chaqueña y El Espinal, Formosa, o de Corrientes, norte de San Luis, Córdoba y centro de Santa Fe. También se puede encontrar en el norte chileno.
Otros nombres comunes son: en guaraní, ibopé, igopé o ibopé pará; en ayoreo, najnuniaja; en dialecto menonita, algroboom; y en nivaclé, faaiyuc"ibopé".
El nombre “algarrobo” proviene originalmente de los conquistadores españoles, que compararon este árbol, presumiblemente por sus vainas comestibles, con el algarrobo europeo (Ceratonia siliqua), cuyas vainas también son comestibles. Ambos árboles pertenecen a la familia de las fabáceas.
El algarrobo es el árbol puesto en el camino para comer, como dicen los Lengua-Maskoy (el nombre guaraní es Ibopé-pará).

Artículo relacionado
El pozo del Yocci, párrafos en castellano.

Suscribíte al blog para recibir párrafos de los clásicos de la literatura.