Three unpublished chronicles

Mona Hatoum, “Kapan”, 2012.


Texts discovered by researcher Alexandre Juliete Rosa in the collection of the newspaper D. Quixote

Strange adventure of Dr. Pelino[I]

The amanuensis Frederico, in order to hasten his appointment, would not let go of the coat of Dr. Pelino, who was his director. The latter, in turn, very touched by the tributes he received from his subordinate, gave him to copy the biographies that are still unpublished and are those of Messrs. Seabra, Epitácio Pessoa, Tavares de Lyra and Carlos Maximiliano.

Last year, the home of amanuensis Frederico was, as they say in the daily 'Social Notes', congratulated on the birth of yet another son of the same zealous employee.

 He was a man and Pelino, invited to be godfather, accepted the honor and tried to come up with a very original and meaningful name. He thought and wanted to put Hemoglobin, a very reasonable thing as it was the main part of the blood, the blood that is the essence of our own life; but, after such hard thought, he discovered that the name was feminine. Well, hello!... She thought for two more weeks and turned to the history of Brazil. Caramuru, Aybere, Cunhambembe, Poty, did not serve. He stopped at Jagoanharo. Very beautiful! What did you mean? He walked from here to there and discovered: angry dog. Oh hell! Does not fit.

After all, he decided to name the little one according to what he barely knew about geometry and named him Hexagon.

On the day of Frederico's son's baptism, Pelino showed up wearing the beautiful tailcoat that he had had made when he was a student in Recife: and, if he didn't wear his pants, it was because, when he was fighting with Floriano, the competent seat of them they were irretrievably lost, due to the accidents that children's diapers suffer a lot.

At the soirée, the director was enthusiastic and the entire Frederico family was overjoyed with the honor of having one of these almost ministers as a spiritual relative. In the interval between one waltz and another, the godmother asked him:

– Compadre, recite something.

Pelino, with that cavernous voice that comes out so well from his fleshless face and his bone-only skull, responded diligently:

– I’ve been so forgetful, my lady…

At the insistence of almost everyone present, Pelino consented to recite; and, with his soulful voice from another world, he warned:

– I will recite a ballad of my composition – A Partida. I did it thirty-five years ago.

And began:

The game

When you left sad

On the back of the wild sea,

I was all goofy

And as thin as a wick.

I looked from all sides

I saw no one to love;

I only saw four soldiers

They were going to board

And so on, causing great success in the room, so much so that, when it ended, the applause was silent.

Around one o'clock, Pelino said goodbye and, as Frederico lived just above Praça da Bandeira, on a street across from Senador Furtado, to save money, the director decided to walk to the square, a hundred réis stop.

On the way he had a bad encounter. A guy grabbed him by the throat and another took everything he had in his pocket. How should it be? Go back to your friend's house? They were already collected, it would therefore be inconvenient…

He decided to walk home. Pelino lived in Catete and bravely prepared to go from Mariz e Barros to his house, in Calcantes.

It was on a kind of avenue and, inhabiting it, were he and an employee Joaquim, in his late thirties, a bit thrown around. Pelino ate out and Joaquim managed to eat.

Pelino came walking down Rua Mariz e Barros, firmly deciding to get home on foot, when, in Praça da Bandeira, a heavy splash of water hit him.

There was nowhere to go: there was no money to take the tram. She continued on foot and the rain did not let up. She washed him from head to toe. The coconut was left in mush, the tailcoat was dripping like a roof, the boots felt like sailing. The most extraordinary thing is that the shirt's chest and collar have turned black.

He arrived at Catete after all. Joaquim, when he opened the door, with the candle in his hand, desperately shouted:

- Help! Help!

Scared Pelino asked:

– What is this, boy! You are crazy?

Joaquim calmed down and explained:

– I didn't recognize you, sir. He has a beard and white hair…

The rain had dissolved 'Negrita'.


Do you, by any chance, remember the tilburis? I'm betting that everyone will answer this question: vaguely.

There must be a lot of people who no longer know that such a thing happened and what it was. Girls who are already trying out flirtations and boys who are already learning to inhale their smoke, if you ask them what a tilbury was, they will say firmly that they don't know and perhaps they will think that he was some national hero, because of all things The one we forget most quickly is our heroes.

Just look at Santos Dummont. When he arrived here more than 16 years ago, there were parties and continued excitement for an entire week.

There was no wise society that did not receive him and perpetrate speeches upon speeches upon him; There was no educational institute that did not receive him with the most ardent enthusiasm; There was no street that he passed through that was not covered with flower petals by the ladies; and one night they even took the horses out of his cart and pulled him through the whole city. Rio's music bands were not enough to fulfill the orders and the panegyrists, in verse and prose, remained and multiplied. He had made Europe 'bow down to Brazil', the song said.

Who remembers him today? Nobody. He walks around without a clap, without a cheer, without being mentioned in the newspapers.

The status of a national hero is very sad. Once he is, he will inevitably be forgotten.

So, quite naturally, when fourteen-year-old boys are asked what they mean by tilbury, they will respond very shrewdly, as they already sense the shape of our civility:

– It was a man there who did something remarkable.

It will then take the kindness and patience of the late Dr. Vieira Fazenda to explain to them that tilbury it was a two-wheeled car, pulled by a single horse, whose only passenger was next to the coachman, inside the car; and that this name came to him because it was introduced here by an English doctor, Dr. Tílburi, who used him on his clinical visits. We will have to say more.

After avenues were opened and streets were widened, with the introduction of the automobile, the tilbury disappeared with many other things and urban uses. The only one who remained undaunted, mocking the records and progress, was Dr. Brício Filho, who at that time was director of the newspaper The century.

Just like that, whether by mockery or because it was, this survivor of the species disappeared.

Nobody sees one more tilbury in Rio. At least on the street. It is possible that there will be them in the stables, because he probably died of old age and, tomorrow, perhaps they will still be able to serve.

However, the tilbury it remains stubborn, it continues to exist, I won’t say it for everyone; but, for a certain official department, it is still a living thing and capable of interesting the population, to the point of making them spend money on the deceased carriage.

Just look at this ad official diary, from July 30 last:


TÍLBURIS (Price tables) …………………………….. $200

O official diary always repeats the ad; and, sharing the certainty of “his writing”, that there is still tilburis rent, it's safe to believe that he'll have to wait a long time for two hundred réis nickels to rain down in his drawer.

If the ad were here, on Don Quixote, or in any other periodical, the expense of it would certainly have taken away his hope of one day compensating for the loss, with the proceeds from the sale of such tables; but it is the government who pays, so it is not worth bothering with such a thing.

I believe that the men of daily expect a formidable rise in gasoline, despite Dr.'s diet. Bulhões, to the point of forcing cars to suspend traffic.

Os tilburis They take to the streets, free their old horses from the coal and vegetable farms in the suburbs, they become valued and, consequently, will increase the value of the tables.

The time is for appreciation…

Everything is waiting…

A hero[iii]

And everyone in her circle was interested in Sylvia's strange desire to marry a hero.

Little by little it spread among the young men who knew her; from there, it also spread among ladies and ladies; and, after a short time, the entire city that came to Rua do Ouvidor pointed out the naive Sylvia:

– Do you see that girl!

- I am. Who is it?

– She’s the one who wants to marry a hero.

There was no one who didn't find the poor girl's desire strange, as if it weren't like any other.

She might well deserve that future. She was not ugly, rather beautiful; she had good attributes.

All her friends, from everywhere, when the opportunity offered, said:

– Sylvia only says that she will marry a hero.

Another, forgetting that she had said the same thing, observed, asking:

– What does she mean by that?

The other said:

- Whatnot! He must be a very wise and educated doctor.

Another more illustrated objected:

– Which doctor, which nothing! He must be a man far above the ordinary, who does or has done a lot in favor of humanity, through this or that means, with heart and character, well behaved; but the anonymous sarcasm did not understand that she deserved such a fate.

The more indulgent simply laughed; the most cruel and envious could not contain themselves:

– How pretentious!

After a few years, she got married; and those closest to her were already forgetting her almost girlish desire. However, those she knew by sight still remembered him, as she was even known as – heroine.

One asked another:

– Who is the groom?

– It’s a guy from the banks.

– Will he be the hero?

– It could also be finance.

If any of those others who had heard about their dreams asked:

– Who is Sylvia’s husband?

– He’s a boy from “Caboteira”.

– Will he be the hero?

– I don't know, but he's a good guy, because I've known him since he was a boy.

After all, Gastão, to whom his friend Benedito asked the same question, more or less:

– Do you know Sylvia’s husband?

- I know.

- Who is it?

– He’s a boy from “Caboteira”

– Is this the hero she wanted?

– Heroism doesn’t fill the belly.

– She wanted a…

- And yes.

– From what?

– From football.[iv]

Lima Barreto (1881-1922) was a journalist and writer. Author, among other books, of Sad end of Policarpo Quaresma.


[I] Don Quixote. Rio de Janeiro, May 15, 1918. Link:

[ii] Don Quixote. Rio de Janeiro, September 4, 1918. Link:

[iii] Don Quixote. Rio de Janeiro, November 6, 1918. Link:

[iv] Nowadays, from an editorial point of view, Lima Barreto's chronicles are very well established and available for reading. This is due to some factors: (i) the writer's zeal in keeping the texts he published in the press; (ii) the work carried out by Francisco de Assis Barbosa, whether in the recovery of the writer's estate [which included other collaborators, such as the historian and biographer R. Magalhães Júnior], or in the editing and publication of Complete works of Lima Barreto, in 17 volumes, in 1956; (iii) continuity in the work of editing and publishing the author's chronicles, with emphasis on the collections All Chronicle, 2 Volumes, organized by Beatriz Resende and Rachel Valença, launched by the publisher AGIR in 2004 and the set of 164 hitherto unpublished texts by Lima Barreto, bundled in the volume Lima Barreto: satires and other subversions, the result of research carried out by Felipe Corrêa, launched in 2016 by Penguin/Cia das Letras.

I compared to this collection of publications the texts that I present now and that I believe have still been unpublished in book form. The three chronicles were found in editions of the humorous newspaper Don Quixote. In addition to these, I found the chronicle “Uma Relíquia de Amor”, also unpublished in a book, present in the same Don Quixote, and published on the website the earth is round in the January 31, 2024 edition. Link:

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