Adoption

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Adoption. Emilia Pardo Bazan

The man, without being round, rolls so much, that I did not admire to hear what follows in the mouth of an Aragonese who, after several vicissitudes, had come to practice his profession as a doctor in the English army of Bengal. Endowed with a spirit of ardent adventurer, of a nature typical of centuries of conquests and discoveries, the Aragonese found himself well in the regions described by Kipling; but he saw them differently than Kipling, because far from recognizing that the English are wise colonizers, he drew in clean that they are cruel, avid and exploited, and that if they do not do with the Bengali settlers what they did with the natives of Tasmania, which was not to leave one alive, it is because there are millions of Indians and the system was inapplicable. In addition, he learned in India the traditional Spanish secrets that he did not want to communicate, recipes and specifics with which the Indians achieve surprising cures, and when talking about this, rolling the sleeve of the jacket and the shirt, he showed me his arm neatly chopped to dots very often, and exclaimed:
“Here’s how you don’t have rheumatism… Tattoo. There they did the operation, very delicately.
“But Indians don’t get tattoos,” I objected.
“The Indians, the Indians! There is a great variety of them, and the native tribes that the Arians found when they made their irruption and that they have never managed to overcome are still preserved, do you hear it?, because such savages are … very Aragonese. The unhappy have retired to a marshy plateau, where the mosquitoes of fever guarantee them independence, and there they resist as best they can to be absorbed, first by the worshippers of Brahma or Buddha, and now by the Lutherans. They have their divinities, their beliefs, their ideas, and they do not mix with the victors. If you saw how they treat them! What a wall, between the Klondos and the upper castes! How they have been degraded! The common idea is that the contact of the subjected stains, corrupts, that its shadow impurifies the water. They are only called pigs and carrion. They are not allowed to learn to read, or dress but to rag, or to build a comfortable house, or to drink in a new pot, but first they have to chip it. What else? Washing is forbidden to them!

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