1 Vadinho, Dona Flor's first husband, died one Sunday of Carnival, in the morning, when, dressed up like a Bahian woman, he was dancing the samba, with the greatest enthusiasm, in the Dois de Julho Square, not far from his house. He did not belong to the group--he had just joined it, in the company of four of his friends, all masquerading as bahianas, and they had come from a bar on Cabeca, where the whiskey flowed like water at the expense of one Moyses Alves, a cacao planter, rich and open-handed. The group was accompanied by a small, well-rehearsed orchestra of guitars and flutes; the four-string guitar was played by Carlinhos Mascarenhas, a tall, skinny character famous in the whorehouses--ah, a divine player. The men were got up as Gypsies and the girls as Hungarian or Romanian peasants; never, however, had a Hungarian or Romanian, or even a Bulgarian or Slovak, swung her hips the way they did, those brown girls in the flower of their youth and coquetry. When Vadinho, the liveliest of the lot, saw the group come around the corner and heard the skeleton-like Mascarenhas strumming his sublime four-string guitar, he hurried forward, and chose as his partner a heavily rouged Romanian, a big one, as monumental as a church--the Church of St. Francis, for she was a mass of golden sequins--and announced: "Here I come, my Russian from Tororo." The Gypsy Mascarenhas, who was also bedecked with glass beads and spangles and had gaudy earrings hanging from his ears, pulsed his four-string guitar still more sonorously, the flutes and Spanish guitars groaned, and Vadinho took his place in the samba with that exemplary enthusiasm he brought to everything he did except work. He whirled in the middle of the group, stomped in front of the mulatta, approached her in flourishes and belly-bumps, then suddenly gave a kind of hoarse moan, wobbled, listed to one side, and fell to the ground, a yellow slobber drooling from his mouth on which the grimace of death could not wholly extinguish the fatuous smile of the complete faker he had always been. His friends were under the impression that it was the result of the load he had taken aboard: not the whiskeys the planter had treated them to--those four or five doses would have had little effect on the class of drinker Vadinho was--but all the rum imbibed from the evening before until noon when the Carnival was officially inaugurated at the Triumph Bar, in the Municipal Square--all of it hitting him at once and knocking him out. But the big mulatta was not fooled; a nurse by profession, she knew death when she saw it; it was a familiar sight to her in the hospital. Not, however, to the point of giving her belly-bumps, of winking its eye at her, of dancing the samba with her. She bent over Vadinho, laid her hand on his neck, and shuddered, a chill running through her stomach and up her spine: "Dear God, he's dead." Others touched the body, too, felt his pulse, raised his head with its fair hair, listened to his heart. It was useless, a waste of time. Vadinho had taken leave of the Carnival of Bahia for good. 2 There was a hubbub in the group of dancers and in the street, a rush through the neighborhood, a God-be-with-us sending a shiver through the merrymakers--and on top of everything Anete, a romantic and hysterically inclined young teacher, took advantage of the occasion to have an attack of nerves, with squeals and the threat of fainting. All that act for the benefit of the vain Carlinhos Mascarenhas, for whom that affected creature sighed, always on the verge of swooning, describing herself as hypersensitive, twitching like a cat having its hair rubbed the wrong way when he strummed the guitar. A guitar that was now mute, hanging uselessly from the hands of its player, as though Vadinho had carried off its final notes with him to the other world. People came running from every direction; after thAmado, Jorge is the author of 'Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands', published 2006 under ISBN 9780307276643 and ISBN 0307276643.