Wanderlino Arruda
Djalma Souto


Haroldo, The Baron of Grão Mogol

Wanderlino Arruda

The story in itself is in all quite common and in keeping with the canons of modern commerce, fruit of those eternal principles, offer and demand. It’s a tale of give and take, naturally involving costs and coins, common to any given commercial transaction. But only a poet can imbue such cut and dried dealings of this nature with romance. Someone, who can somehow see, with poetic eyes, some lingering light… romantic traces of literary philosophy. But mind you, let there rest no doubt, that even in acts of pure bargaining, there is always a way to be found of coloring them with fantasy, quite elementary to those who live within the arts and the written word.
The fact is that the plain and simple truth alone can be interesting enough, my friends. Haroldo Lívio, Brazilian citizen, native of Brasilia de Minas, by birth, to Montes Claros by heart, and now, signs a love-bond to the city of Grão Mogol…signed, sold and delivered. Sold with all the power wielded by currency in today’s modern world of commerce. Haroldo Lívio - it’s prudent to say - has just completed a commercial transaction of great value in the city of Grão Mogol. He bought, paid and took possession of, with register in government office, mediate all clauses, including that of eviction, a 19th century colonial mansion. Haroldo Lívio, or better, dr. Haroldo Lívio de Oliveira, Brazilian lawyer, married to the sociologist Maria do Carmo, is today the legitimate owner, lord and master of an ancient and exciting mansion in the picturesque city of Grão Mogol. A historic old mansion, great, spreading and impressive, possibly built by the hands of slaves, walls made of heavy cut stones, dug with sweat from centuries past. Being a case of love at first sight, Haroldo immediately immersed himself in the noble atmosphere of his new acquisition, absorbing it and was soon feeling himself in the skin of a powerful land baron, owner of a security worthy of a fortress, urban and historic. He liked it and bought it. Brass tacks!
Haroldo’s house, my friends, is not a common house, built of lowly bricks and mortar, as stated in the deed. It is truly a monolithic work of art with walls half a meter thick, sustaining huge, wooden, colonial windows and gigantic double doors furnished with heavy beams and thick iron bolts, fruit of the famed Minas sense of solid security as well as the competence of sweat covered ironsmiths of old. The house of Haroldo, with roof of massive ax-hewn beams of wine colored aroeira wood, has grand rooms with walls lined in parquet and the floors are worthy of the steps of great nobles and commanders-at-arms. The front of the mansion is endowed with superb secular frontispieces, boasting resistant ornate details, and evidencing the force of thoroughly deliberated choices wrought by the architect, owner builder, pride of the art of stonemasonry.
In the back of this noble estate, beyond generous orchards of blushing fruits, we encounter the crystal clear water and fine white sand of a serene river, its bed formed of oval, polished stones and banks carpeted with cool green grass and “capim gordura,” a coveted bovine delicacy. In the distance, but not very far, lies the elegant profile of a secular forest, framing the blue rust of the hills and celestial grey of the horizon, an enchantment to the eyes and a pleasure to the heart.
For all this, for love, for romantic leanings in commercial decision, for poetry, for good taste, for noble humility, and for the humble nobility of healthy consciousness, wielding a self proclaimed badge of authority, I have no doubt, that the lofty title of Baron of Grão Mogol, belongs to Haroldo Lívio, cult and intellectual giant of my province, Minas Gerais.

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