This short chapter ends the first of the novel's four major sections. The celebration that began on the preceding day concludes with a procession, including both horse and bull, and the statue of the Virgin is carried back to the church. For the first time in his life, old Francisco leaves the village before the ceremony is over. He drives his wagon out to his cornfield, reversing the direction of his journey in the opening chapter, and he sees that the snare he had set for a blue jay has been sprung and is empty; the river rose and triggered it. As he begins to hoe, he can picture the dancers perfectly. He lovingly murmurs Abel's name and is aware of his profound solitude.
censer a gold or precious metal container for burning incense; swung on a chain.
Abelito "little Abel," an intimate nickname.