ONE Sunday, as he was coming out of church Bolivar stumbled and fell. He had difficulty in rising; they carried him home. For several days he remained in bed, feeling very weak. He looked at himself in a glass and was startled by his appearance; his cheeks were hollow, he was emaciated, his hair had turned white. He was only forty-six years old. Was he to die before he had secured the happiness of his people? He had a sudden foreboding of it.
Several times he asked for Marshal Sucre. He was told that Sucre was on a journey, very far away. Realizing that something was being kept from him, he besought Manuela to tell him the whole truth. He learned that Sucre had just been assassinated.
Bolivar had not even the strength to weep; he remained motionless, stricken down by grief.
The scoundrels, the bandits, they had killed the cleanest, the most honest, the most admirable of men!