Facing Don Apolinar Moscote, still without raising his voice, he gave a detailed account of how they had founded the village, of how they had distributed the land, opened the roads, introduced the improvements that necessity required without having bothered the government and without anyone having bothered them. "We are so peaceful that none of us has died even of a natural death," he said. "You can see that we still don't have any cemetery." No once was uVisitación did not recognize him when she opened the door she thought he had come with the idea of selling something, unaware that nothing could be sold in a town that was sinking irrevocably into the quick-sand of forgetfulness. He was a decrepit man. Although his voice was also broken by uncertainty and his hands seemed to doubt the existence of things, it was evident that he came from the world where men could still sleep and remember. José Arcadio Buendía found him sitting in the living room fanning himself with a patched black hat as he read with compassionate attention the signs pasted to the walls. He greeted him with a broad show of affection, afraid that he had known him at another time and that he did not remember him now. But the visitor was aware his falseness, He felt himself forgotten, not with the irremediable forgetfulness of the heart, but with a different kind of forgetfulness, which was more cruel and irrevocable and which he knew very well because it was the forgetfulness of death. Then he understood. He opened the suitcase crammed with indecipherable objects and from among then he took out a little case with many flasks. He gave José Arcadio Buendía a drink of a gentle color and the light went on in his memory. His eyes became moist from weeping even before he noticed himself in an absurd living room where objects were labeled and before he was ashamed of the solemn nonsense written on the walls, and even before he recognized the newcomer with a dazzling glow of joy. It was Melquíades.