„You talk too much,” she snapped angrily. „The
Nagual told me never to let you talk. You twist everything.”
She jumped to her feet and stomped on the floor, like a spoiled child. I became aware at that moment that the room had a different floor. I remembered it to be a dirt floor, made from the dark soil of the area. The new floor was reddish pink. I momentarily put off a confrontation with her and walked around the room. I could not imagine how I could have missed noticing the floor when I first entered. It was magnificent. At first I thought that it was red clay that had been laid like cement, when it was soft and moist, but then I saw that there were no cracks in it. Clay would have dried, curled up, cracked, and clumps would have formed. I bent down and gently ran my fingers over it. It was as hard as bricks. The clay had been fired. I became aware then that the floor was made of very large flat slabs of clay put together over a bed of soft clay that served as a matrix. The slabs made a most intricate and fascinating design, but a thoroughly unobtrusive one, unless one paid deliberate attention to it. The skill with which the slabs had been placed in position indicated to me a very well-conceived plan. I wanted to know how such big slabs had been fired without being warped. I turned around to ask dona Soledad. I quickly desisted. She would not have known what I was talking about. I paced over the floor again. The clay was a bit rough, almost like sandstone. It made a perfect slide-proof surface.
„Did Pablito put down this floor?” I asked.
She did not answer.
„It’s a superb piece of work,” I said. „You should be very proud of him.”
I had no doubt that Pablito had done it. No one else could have had the imagination and the capacity to conceive of it. I figured that he must have made it during the time I had been away. But on second thought I realized that I had never entered dona Soledad’s room since it had been built, six or seven years before.
„Pablito! Pablito! Bah!” she exclaimed in an angry, raspy voice. „What makes you think he’s the only one who can make things?”
We exchanged a long, sustained look, and all of a sudden I knew that it was she who had made the floor, and that don Juan had put her up to it.
We stood quietly, looking at each other for some time. I felt it would have been thoroughly superfluous to ask if I was correct.
„I made it myself,” she finally said in a dry tone. „The Nagual told me how.”
Carlos Castaneda: The Second Ring of Power