The Bread of Salt by NVM Gonzalez (1958) Usually I was in bed by ten and up by five and thus was

eady fo one !o e day of !y fou teenth yea " Unless G and!othe had fo #otten$ the fifteen %entavos fo the ba&e down ' o# eso (t eet ) and how I en*oyed *in#lin# those %oins in !y po%&et+) would be in the e!pty f uit *a in the %upboa d" I would e!e!be then that olls we e what G and!othe wanted be%ause e%ently she had lost th ee !ola s" ,o youn# people li&e !y %ousins and !yself$ she had always said that the &ind %alled pan de sal ou#ht to be -uite all i#ht" .he b ead of salt+ /ow did it #et that na!e0 , o! whe e did its flavo %o!e$ th ou#h what se% et a%tion of flou and yeast0 1t the is& of bein# *ostled f o! the %ounte by ea ly buye s$ I would push !y way into the shop so that I !i#ht wat%h the !en who$ st ipped to the waist$ wo &ed thei lon# flat wooden spades in and out of the #lowin# !aw of the oven" 2hy did the b ead %o!e nut)b own and the size of !y little fist0 1nd why did it have a pai of lips %onvulsed into a painful f own0 In the half li#ht of the st eet$ and hu yin#$ the pape ba# p essed to !y %hest$ I felt !y %u iosity a little # atified by the oven)f esh wa !th of the b ead I was p oudly b in#in# ho!e fo b ea&fast" 2ell I &new how G and!othe would not !ind if I nibbled away at one pie%e3 pe haps$ I !i#ht even eat two$ to be %ha #ed late a#ainst !y sha e at the table" 4ut that would be bet ayin# a t ust3 and so$ indeed$ I &ept !y pu %hase inta%t" .o #ua d it f o! ha !$ I wat%hed !y steps and avoided the da & st eet %o ne s" ,o !y ewa d$ I had only to loo& in the di e%tion of the sea wall and the fifty ya ds o so of ive bed beyond it$ whe e an old (pania d5s house stood" 1t low tide$ when the bed was d y and the o%&s #linted with b o&en bottles$ the stone fen%e of the (pania d5s %o!pound set off the house as if it we e a %astle" (un ise b ou#ht a wash of silve upon the oofs of the laund y and #a den sheds whi%h had been built low and %lose to the fen%e" 6n dull !o nin#s the li#ht d ipped f o! the ba!boo s% een whi%h %ove ed the ve anda and hun# so!e fou o five ya ds f o! the # ound" Unless it was 1u#ust$ when the da!p$ no theast !onsoon had to be &ept away f o! the oo!s$ th ee se vants aised the s% een p o!ptly at si7)thi ty until it was %o!pletely hidden unde the ve anda eaves" , o! the sound of the pulleys$ I &new it was ti!e to set out fo s%hool" It was in his se vi%e$ as a %o%onut plantation ove see $ that G andfathe had spent the last thi ty yea s of his life" G and!othe had been widowed th ee yea s now" I often wonde ed whethe I was bein# depended upon to spend the yea s ahead in the se vi%e of this # eat house" 6ne day I lea ned that 1ida$ a %lass!ate in hi#h s%hool$ was the old (pania d5s nie%e" 1ll !y doubts disappea ed" It was as if$ befo e his death$ G andfathe had spo&en to !e about he $ %on%ealin# the se iousness of the !atte by puttin# it ove as a *o&e" If now I &ept t ue to the vi tues$ she would step out of he bed oo! ostensibly to say Good Morning to he un%le" /e eal pu pose$ I &new$ was to eveal thus he assent to !y desi e" 6n -uiet !o nin#s I i!a#ined the patte of he shoes upon the wooden ve anda floo as a fu the si#n$ and I would hu y off to s%hool$ ta&in# the oute she had fi7ed fo !e past the post offi%e$ the town plaza and the %hu %h$ the health %ente east of the plaza$ and at last the s%hool # ounds" I as&ed !yself whethe I would t y to wal& with he and de%ided it would be the hei#ht of udeness" 8nou#h that in he blue s&i t and white !iddy she would be half a blo%& ahead and$ f o! that distan%e$ pe haps th ow a #lan%e in !y di e%tion$ to bestow upon !y hea t a dese ved and abundant blessin#" I believed it was but i#ht that$ in so!e su%h way as this$ he !ission in !y life was dis#uised" /e na!e$ I was to lea n !any yea s late $ was a %onvenient !ne!oni% fo the -ualities to whi%h a #u!ent !i#ht aspi e" 4ut in those days it was a livin# voi%e" 96h that you !i#ht be wo thy of utte in# !e$9 it said" 1nd how I endeavo ed to build !y body so that I !i#ht live lon# to hono he " 2ith eve y vi%to y at sin#les at the handball %ou t the #a!e was then the % aze at s%hool )) I %ould feel !y body #low in the sun as thou#h it had instantly been %ast in b onze" I #ua ded !y !ind and did not let !y wits #o ast ay" In %lass I would not allow a lesson to pass un!aste ed" 6u 8n#lish tea%he %ould put no -uestion befo e us that did not have a eady answe in !y head" 6ne day he ead :obe t ;ouis (tevenson5s The Sire de Maletroit's Door$ and we we e so enth alled that ou b eaths t e!bled" I &new then that so!ewhe e$ so!eti!e in the not too i!p obable futu e$ a beni#n old !an with a lante n in his hand would also detain !e in a se% et oo!$ and the e dayb ea& would find !e th illed by the sudden %e tainty that I had won 1ida5s hand" It was pe haps on !y violin that he na!e w ou#ht su%h a tende spell" Maest o 1ntonino e!a &ed the de7te ity of !y stubby fin#e s" <ui%&ly I a%ed th ou#h 1la d)until I had all but %o!!itted two thi ds of the boo& to !e!o y" My sho t$ b own a ! lea ned at last to d aw the bow with # a%e" (o!eti!es$ when p a%tisin# !y s%ales in the ea ly evenin#$ I wonde ed if the sea wind %a yin# the st a##lin# notes a% oss the pebbled ive did not t ansfo ! the! into (%hube t5s 9(e enade"9 1t last M " =ustodio$ who was in %ha #e of ou s%hool o %hest a$ be%a!e awa e of !y p o# ess" /e !oved !e f o! se%ond to fi st violin" >u in# the .han&s#ivin# >ay p o# a! he bade !e ende a nu!be $ %o!plete with pizzi%ato and ha !oni%s"

91nothe Valle*o+ 6u own 1lbe t (paldin#+9 I hea d f o! the f ont ow" 1ida$ I thou#ht$ would be in the audien%e" I loo&ed a ound -ui%&ly but %ould not see he " 1s I eti ed to !y pla%e in the o %hest a I hea d 'ete (aez$ the t o!bone playe $ %all !y na!e" 9?ou !ust *oin !y band$9 he said" 9;oo&$ we5ll have !any en#a#e!ents soon" It5ll be va%ation ti!e"9 'ete p essed !y a !" /e had fo so!e ti!e now been as&in# !e to *oin the Minviluz 6 %hest a$ his p ivate band" 1ll I had been able to tell hi! was that I had !y s%hoolwo & to !ind" /e was twenty)two" I was pe haps too youn# to be #oin# a ound with hi!" /e ea ned his s%hool fees and suppo ted his !othe hi in# out his band at least th ee o fou ti!es a !onth" /e now said@ 9.o!o ow we play at the fune al of a =hinese)fou to si7 in the afte noon3 in the evenin#$ *ud#e :oldan5s silve weddin# annive sa y3 (unday$ the !uni%ipal dan%e"9 My head be#an to whi l" 6n the sta#e$ in f ont of us$ the p in%ipal had be#un a spee%h about 1!e i%a" Nothin# he %ould say about the 'il# i! ,athe s and the 1!e i%an %usto! of feastin# on tu &ey see!ed inte estin#" I thou#ht of the !oney I would ea n" ,o seve al days now I had but one wish$ to buy a bo7 of linen statione y" 1t ni#ht when the house was -uiet I would fill the sheets with wo ds that would tell 1ida how !u%h I ado ed he " 6ne of these !o nin#s$ pe haps befo e s%hool %losed fo the holidays$ I would bo ow he al#eb a boo& and the e$ upon a #ood pa#eful of e-uations$ the e I would slip !y !essa#e$ tende ly p essin# the leaves of the boo&" (he would pe haps neve w ite ba%&" Neithe by post no by hand would a eply ea%h !e" 4ut no !atte 3 it would be a silen%e full of voi%es" .hat ni#ht I d ea!ed I had etu ned f o! a tou of the wo ld5s !usi% %ente s3 the newspape s of Manila had been #ene ous with p aise" I saw !y pi%tu e on the %ove of a !a#azine" 1 w ite had des% ibed how$ !any yea s a#o$ I used to t ud#e the st eets of 4uenavista with !y violin in a batte ed bla%& %a dboa d %ase" In New ?o &$ he epo ted$ a !illionai e had offe ed !e a (t adiva ius violin$ with a %a d that bo e the ins% iption@ 9In ad!i ation of a #enius you own people !ust su ely be p oud of"9 I d ea!ed I spent a wee&end at the !illionai e5s %ount y house by the /udson" 1 youn# #i l in a blue s&i t and white !iddy %lapped he lily)white hands and$ he voi%e t e!blin#$ % ied 94 avo+9 2hat people now obse ved at ho!e was the dili#en%e with whi%h I attended to !y violin lessons" My aunt$ who had %o!e f o! the fa ! to *oin he %hild en fo the holidays$ b ou#ht with he a !aidse vant$ and to the poo #i l was #iven the %ho e of ta&in# the !oney to the ba&e 5s fo olls and pan de sal" I ealized at on%e that it would be no lon#e be%o!in# on !y pa t to !a&e these !o nin# t ips to the ba&e 5s" I %ould not than& !y aunt enou#h" I be#an to %hafe on bein# #iven othe e ands" (uspe%tin# !y violin to be the e7%use$ !y aunt e!a &ed@ 92hat do you want to be a !usi%ian fo 0 1t pa ties$ !usi%ians always eat last"9 'e haps$ I said to !yself$ she was thin&in# of a pa%& of do#s s% a!blin# fo s% aps tossed ove the fen%e by so!e %a eless &it%hen !aid" (he was the so t you %ould depend on to say su%h vul#a thin#s" ,o that eason$ I thou#ht$ she ou#ht not to be ta&en se iously at all" 4ut the e!a & hu t !e" 1lthou#h G and!othe had %ounseled !e &indly to !ind !y wo & at s%hool$ I went a#ain and a#ain to 'ete (aez5s house fo ehea sals" (he had de!anded that I deposit with he !y ea nin#s3 I had felt too wea& to efuse" (e% etly$ I %ounted the !oney and de%ided not to as& fo it until I had enou#h with whi%h to buy a b oo%h" 2hy this ti!e I wanted to #ive 1ida a b oo%h$ I didn5t &now" 4ut I had set !y hea t on it" I sea %hed the downtown shops" .he =hinese %le &s$ seein# !e so youn#$ we e annoyed when I in-ui ed about p i%es" 1t last the =h ist!as season be#an" I had not %ounted on 1ida5s leavin# ho!e$ and e!e!be in# that he pa ents lived in 4ada*oz$ !y to !ent was al!ost unbea able" Not on%e had I t ied to tell he of !y love" My lette s had e!ained unw itten$ and the al#eb a boo& unbo owed" .he e was still the b oo%h to find$ but I %ould not de%ide on the so t of b oo%h I eally wanted" 1nd the !oney$ in any %ase$ was in G and!othe 5s pu se$ whi%h s!elled of 9.i#e 4al!"9 I # ew so!ewhat feve ish as ou %lass =h ist!as p o# a! d ew nea " ,inally it %a!e3 it was a wa ! >e%e!be afte noon" I de%ided to leave the oo! when ou 8n#lish tea%he announ%ed that !e!be s of the %lass !i#ht e7%han#e #ifts" I felt fo tunate3 'ete was at the doo $ be%&onin# to !e" 2e wal&ed out to the po %h whe e$ 'ete said$ he would tell !e a se% et" It was about an asalto the ne7t (unday whi%h the 4uenavista 2o!en5s =lub wished to #ive >on 8steban5s dau#hte s$ Aosefina and 1li%ia$ who we e a ivin# on the !o nin# stea!e f o! Manila" .he spinste s we e !u%h loved by the ladies" ?ea s a#o$ when they we e youn#e $ these ladies studied solfe##io with Aosefina and the piano and ha p with 1li%ia" 1s 'ete told !e all this$ his lips ash)# ay f o! p a%tisin# all !o nin# on his t o!bone$ I saw in !y !ind the siste s in thei sil& d esses$ shufflin# off to %hu %h fo theevenin# benedi%tion" .hey we e ve y devout$ and the 4uenavista ladies ad!i ed that" I had al!ost fo #otten that they we e twins and$ despite thei a#e$ often d essed ali&e" In low)boso!ed voile bodi%es and white su!!e hats$ I e!e!be ed$ the pai had attended G andfathe 5s fune al$ at old >on 8steban5s behest" I wonde ed how su%%essful they had been in Manila du in# the past th ee yea s in the !atte of findin# suitable husbands"

9.his pa ty will be a %o!plete su p ise$9 'ete said$ loo&in# a ound the po %h as if to swea !e to se% e%y" 9.hey5ve hi ed ou band"9 I *oined !y %lass!ates in the oo!$ # eetin# eve yone with a Me y =h ist!as *ollie than that of the othe s" 2hen I saw 1ida in one %o ne unw appin# so!ethin# two #i ls had #iven he $ I found the boldness to # eet he also" 9Me y =h ist!as$9 I said in 8n#lish$ as a hai b ush and a powde %ase e!e #ed f o! the fan%y w appin#" It see!ed to !e athe apt that su%h #ifts went to he " 1l eady seve al #i ls we e #athe ed a ound 1ida" .hei eyes #lowed with envy$ it see!ed to !e$ fo those fai %hee&s and the bobbed da &) b own hai whi%h linea#e had denied the!" I was too du!bst u%& by !y own !eanness to hea e7a%tly what 1ida said in answe to !y # eetin#" 4ut I e%ove ed sho tly and as&ed@ 92ill you be away du in# the va%ation09 9No$ I5ll be stayin# he e$9 she said" 2hen she added that he %ousins we e a ivin# and that a bi# pa ty in thei hono was bein# planned$ I e!a &ed@ 9(o you &now all about it09 I felt I had to e7plain that the pa ty was !eant to be a su p ise$ an asalto" 1nd now it would be nothin# of the &ind$ eally" .he wo!en5s %lub !at ons would hustle about$ dis#uisin# thei s%u yin# a ound fo %a&es and %andies as fo so!e baptis!al pa ty o othe " In the end$ the :ivas siste s would outdo the!" 4o7es of !e in#ues$ bonbons$ ladyfin#e s$ and %inna!on buns that only the (wiss ba&e s in Manila %ould !a&e we e pe haps %o!in# on the boat with the!" I i!a#ined a table #li!!e in# with lon#)ste!!ed pun%h #lasses3 enth oned in that a ay would be a hu#e b i%&) ed bowl of #lea!in# %hina with #olden flowe s a ound the b i!" .he lo%al !at ons$ howeve ha d they t ied$ howeve sin%e e thei effo ts$ we e bound to fail in thei aspi ation to ise to the level of >on 8steban5s dau#hte s" 'e haps$ I thou#ht$ 1ida &new all this" 1nd that I should sha e in a fo e&nowled#e of the !at ons5 hopes was a !atte beyond love" 1ida and I %ould lau#h to#ethe with the #ods" 1t seven$ on the appointed evenin#$ ou s!all band #athe ed -uietly at the #ate of >on 8steban5s house$ and when the ladies a ived in thei heavy shawls and t i! panuelo$ twitte in# with e7%ite!ent$ we we e %o!!anded to play the 'oet and 'easant ove tu e" 1s 'ete di e%ted the band$ his eyes #lowed with p ide fo his havin# been pa t of the bi# event" .he !ulti%olo ed li#hts that the old (pania d5s #a dene s had st un# alon# the vine)%ove ed fen%e we e swit%hed on$ and the wo!en e!a &ed that >on 8steban5s dau#hte s !i#ht have !ade so!e p epa ations afte all" 'ete hid his fa%e f o! the #la e" If the wo!en felt let down$ they did not show it" .he ove tu e shuffled alon# to its %li!a7 while five !en in white shi ts bo e hu#e bo7es of #oods into the house" I e%o#nized one of the ba&e s in spite of the unifo !" 1 %ho us of %onfused # eetin#s$ and the wo!en t ooped into the house3 and befo e we had settled in the sala to play 91 4as&et of :oses$9 the heavy da!as& %u tains at the fa end of the oo! we e d awn and a lon# table i%hly sp ead was evealed unde the %handelie s" I e!e!be ed that$ in ou haste to be on hand fo the asalto$ 'ete and I had dis%ou a#ed the !e!be s of the band f o! ta&in# thei suppe s" 9?ou5ve done us a # eat hono +9 Aosefina$ the !o e bu7o! of the twins$ # eeted the ladies" 96h$ but you have not allowed us to ta&e you by su p ise+9 the ladies de!u ed in a %ho us" .he e we e si#hs and fu the p otestations a!id a ustle of s&i ts and the #litte of ea in#s" I saw 1ida in a lon#$ flowin# white #own and wea in# an a %h of sa!pa#uita flowe s on he hai " 1t he %o!!and$ two se vants b ou#ht out a #lea!in# ha p f o! the !usi% oo!" 6nly the sli#htest s% apin# %ould be hea d be%ause the se vants we e ba efoot" 1s 1ida di e%ted the! to pla%e the inst u!ent nea the seats we o%%upied$ !y hea t leaped to !y th oat" (oon she was lost a!on# the #uests$ and we played 9.he >an%e of the Glowwo !s"9 I &ept !y eyes %losed and held fo as lon# as I %ould he adiant fi#u e befo e !e" 1li%ia played on the ha p and then$ in answe to the deafenin# applause$ she offe ed an en%o e" Aosefina san# afte wa d" /e voi%e$ thou#h a little hus&y$ fet%hed eno !ous si#hs" ,o he en%o e$ she #ave 9.he ;ast :ose of (u!!e 93 and the son# b ou#ht ba%& snat%hes of the yea s #one by" Me!o ies of solfe##io lessons eddied about us$ as if the e we e ustlin# leaves s%atte ed all ove the hall" >on 8steban appea ed" 8a lie $ he had # eeted the % owd handso!ely$ twistin# his !usta%he to hide a natu al shyness befo e tal&ative wo!en" /e stayed lon# enou#h to listen to the ha p a#ain$ whispe in# in his aptu e@ 9/eavenly" /eavenly " " "9 4y !idni#ht$ the !e y!a&in# la##ed" 2e played while the pa ty #athe ed a ound the # eat table at the end of the sala" My !ind t aveled a% oss the seas to the distant %ities I had d ea!ed about" .he siste s sailed a!on# the ladies li&e two # eat white line s a!id a fleet of tu#boats in a bay" (o!eone had thou#htfully e!e!be ed)and at last 'ete (aez si#naled to us to put ou inst u!ents away" 2e wal&ed in sin#le file a% oss the hall$ led by one of the ba efoot se vants"

4ehind us a %ouple of hoa se sop anos san# 9;a 'alo!a9 to the a%%o!pani!ent of the ha p$ but I did not %a e to find out who they we e" .he si#ht of so !u%h silve and %hina %onfused !e" .he e was !o e food befo e us than I had eve i!a#ined" I sea %hed in !y !ind fo the na!es of the dishes3 but !y i#no an%e appalled !e" I wonde ed what had happened to the bo7es of food that the 4uenavista ladies had sent up ea lie " In a silve bowl was so!ethin#$ I dis%ove ed$ that appea ed li&e whole e## yol&s that had been dipped in honey and peppe !int" .he seven of us in the o %hest a we e all of one !ind about the feast3 and so$ %onfident that I was with f iends$ I allowed !y %ovetousness to have its sway and not only stuffed !y !outh with this and that %onfe%tion but also w apped up a -uantity of those e##)yol& thin#s in seve al sheets of nap&in pape " None of !y %o!panions had thou#ht of doin# the sa!e$ and it was with so!e p ide that I slipped the pa%&et unde !y shi t" .he e$ I &new$ it would not bul#e" 9/ave you eaten09 I tu ned a ound" It was 1ida" My bow tie see!ed to ti#hten a ound !y %olla " I !u!bled so!ethin#$ I did not &now what" 9If you wait a little while till they5ve #one$ I5ll w ap up a bi# pa%&a#e fo you$9 she added" I b ou#ht a hand&e %hief to !y !outh" I !i#ht have hono ed he soli%itude ade-uately and even elieved !yself of any e!ba ass!ent3 I %ould not -uite believe that she had seen !e$ and yet I was su e that she &new what I had done$ and I felt all a do fo he #one f o! !e enti ely" I wal&ed away to the nea est doo $ p ayin# that the da!as& %u tains !i#ht hide !e in !y sha!e" .he doo #ave on to the ve anda$ whe e on%e !y love had t od on sunbea!s" 6utside it was da &$ and a faint wind was sin#in# in the ha bo " 2ith the nap&in balled up in !y hand$ I flun# out !y a ! to s%atte the e##)yol& thin#s in the da &" I waited fo the soft sound of thei fall on the #a den) shed oof" Instead$ I hea d a spatte in the isin# ni#ht)tide beyond the stone fen%e" ,a the away #li!!e ed the li#ht f o! G and!othe 5s window$ %allin# !e ho!e" 4ut the pa ty b o&e up at one o the eabouts" 2e wal&ed away with ou inst u!ents afte the !at ons we e done with thei inte !inable #ood)byes" .hen$ to the tune of 9Aoy to the 2o ld$9 we pulled the ' o# eso (t eet shop&eepe s out of thei beds" .he =hinese !e %hants we e espe%ially #ene ous" 2hen 'ete divided ou %olle%tion unde a st eet la!p$ the e was al eady a little #low of dayb ea&" /e wal&ed with !e pa t of the way ho!e" 2e stopped at the ba&e 5s when I told hi! that I wanted to buy with !y own !oney so!e b ead to eat on the way to G and!othe 5s house at the ed#e of the sea wall" /e lau#hed$ thin&in# it st an#e that I should be hun# y" 2e found ou selves alone at the %ounte 3 and we wat%hed the ba&e y assistants at wo & until ou bodies # ew wa ! f o! the oven a% oss the doo " It was not -uite five$ and the b ead was not yet eady" 1) B) C) D) 5) H) 2hat is the plot of the sto y0 5 points 2hat is its the!e0 5 points 2hat is its point of view0 5 points 2hy the sto y evolves in the title Eb ead of saltF0 15 points >oes the sto y happen in eal life0 87plain why o why not" 1G points If you a e the autho $ how would you end the sto y0 1G points

The Bread of Salt Answers: 1" .he fi st)pe son na ato tells of his att a%tion to his !estiza %lass!ate 1ida$ whose un%le5s !ansion he would see wheneve he went to the ba&e y fo pan de sal (9the b ead of salt9)" 4ut an e!ba assin# in%ident du in# a pa ty fo 1ida5s elatives !a&es hi! feel that 1ida sees hi! as an infe io " /e avoids he afte wa ds and$ despite havin# pa ta&en of the !any deli%a%ies at the pa ty$ de%ides to #et pan de sal to eat afte leavin# the pa ty" .his su##ests his etu n to his si!ple outine life afte losin# his obsession with 1ida" B" (to y is tal&s !o e about the painful ealization of the youn# boy who was blinded f o! eality" In openin# s%ene$ we a e told about the # eat (panish house whe e 1ida lived and f o! the line 9I often wonde ed whethe I was bein# depended upon to spend the yea s ahead in the se vi%e of this # eat house9$ it %lea ly shows the diffe en%e of thei %lasses" 1s we all &now$ in the eal wo ld$ %lasses a e a hind an%e to love and !a ia#e whi%h the boy failed to ealize f o! the ve y sta t be%ause of his youn# a#e" C" .he point of view of the sto y is a fi st pe son na ato " D" .he sto y evolves in the title Ib ead of saltJ be%ause it all sta ted when he was buyin# pan de sal eve y !o nin# in the ba&e y nea the # eat (panish house whe e his !estiza %lass!ate 1ida lived and whe e he be#un to fall in love with 1ida"

5" I thin& the sto y did not happened in eal life be%ause if it had happen in the eal life we would &now the na!e of the boy be%ause he !a&e it th ou#h the news pape " H" If I we e the autho I would up the sto y by 1ida fallin# fo the boy *ust !a&e the sto y a happy endin#"

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