MUTUM OPERATION – COMPANHIA DUARTE
I left the racket on the table for the next player, who would have the right to take my place, going to meet him.
He told me that he had gone there, in college, to meet Elias and some other friends and that, from there, they would do some graffiti and put up posters there in Santa Tereza and in the Forest. As I knew that I should be in college, I had thought to ask myself if I didn’t want to go with them too. I said yes and we left college together with Elias, Márcio, Vera and Margarida. We agreed that, if by any chance we were stopped by a police patrol or barrier, we would have to be careful not to show that we were in a group. Each one would have to manage on his own so as not to complicate the others.
When we were starting to cross the Viaduto de Santa Tereza the trolleybus we were on, which made the Santo Antônio / Floresta line, was stopped at a police barrier reinforced by a Radio Patrol. Before the cops got on the trolleybus, I pulled Alice onto my seat and we hugged like we were boyfriends. The police began to ask all passengers for documents, bringing down some who did not bring them with them. When asked what we were doing there, I replied that I was returning from college and going home with my girlfriend, who was going to sleep there. They examined our documents, one of them made a joke about boyfriends who slept together and left us alone. When the trolleybus started walking again, following its path, down there, inside the Arrudas River, a package of material containing propagating against the government floated. Alice had barely managed to throw everything out the window, which would have left her in very serious trouble.
That night the PM arrested a person who was on the trolleybus and had his face exposed in one of those famous “Wanted” posters. When he was recognized, he diverted the police’s attention to himself, making the police pay less attention to us, which helped us a lot that night, at the Viaduto de Santa Tereza.
On another occasion, I was in the apartment on a Sunday morning, when the doorbell rang, and when I opened the door, there was Alice, all smiling. He told me he needed a little favor. He needed me to pick up an order with Elias, in college, and call as soon as he had it with me, so he could come and get it. “I can’t go there, personally, because they are watching me, you know,” he said.
The other day I took a package with Elias and took it home with me, where I called the number Alice had given me. She told me that she would pick him up the next day.
It was only later that I learned that the package I had received from Elias, kept for one night with me at my house and delivered, the other day, to Alice, contained money. A lot of money. That had been obtained in a bank robbery, in Sabará, in the Metropolitan Region, by a group of which Alice was part. Until then, I knew that Alice participated in student actions against the Government, but I had never imagined her taking up arms.
When I learned that Alice was known by the code name of Duarte’s war, she was already married and had stopped participating in the operations of her group. Now I found her again in Mutum. Ironically, he was now walking quietly through the narrow streets of our small town, without the military that crossed with him even imagining that he had before him Duarte, one of the “men” most wanted as a terrorist and dangerous bank robber, as it was described in the official repression bulletins.
The last time I saw Alice, before meeting her in Mutum, she was driving a beetle and had offered me a ride from the chacrinha, to take me home, in the Forest.
The chacrinha was in front of the Hotel Normandy building, on the corner of Avenida Afonso Pena and Rua dos Tamoios, and was a meeting point for Mutum’s staff and some friends who lived in Belo Horizonte, to make conversation while watching people. who passed by and gossiped. But the chacrinha also discussed, and a lot, politics. That is why, from time to time, there were some people who were part of subversive groups.
That night I took Alice’s ride. On the way, while we were talking, I told her that I didn’t know she had a car and she answered me smiling “And I really don’t”. And he added, “We borrowed this one today, so we can take a trip tomorrow, to raise a little money in a bank nearby”. So this beetle is stolen? I asked. She laughed and said, “We borrowed it there in Nova Lima, but we are going to leave it later, entirely. It was in the garage and the owner is traveling ”.
For the rest of the way, until I stopped on my street, I kept telling Alice everything that came to my mind to let her know that it had been a highly irresponsible act to give me a ride. That she was putting me at risk without knowing I was in a stolen car. That if we were stopped by the police we would be lost, etc and such. She heard everything quietly, with a serious face. When I came down she told me only that she had no intention of complicating me and that it would not be repeated. She just wanted to give me a ride and she did.
After that day I had neither seen nor spoken to Alice in Belo Horizonte.
(To be continued next week)