Thursday, July 6, 2017

the last book I ever read (Evita, First Lady: A Biography of Eva Perón, excerpt ten)

from Evita, First Lady: A Biography of Eva Perón by John Barnes:

She was sinking fast. A second bulletin at 6.10 pm reported her condition as serious. At 7 o’clock it was announced that she had lapsed into unconsciousness fifteen minutes earlier. At 8.25, the crowds keeping a hushed but tearful vigil across the street from the residence saw a dim light snapped out in a second floor room. Inside the darkened chamber, President Perón walked away from the bedside of his wife. To waiting family and Cabinet Ministers he said, simply: ‘Evita is dead.’ At her death, the once beautiful woman weighed a gaunt 80 pounds. On that cold July night, for the second time in his life, Juan Perón was looking down at a wife dead of cancer.

All through the night Argentine radio stations interrupted their programmes of religious music with the news that ‘the Sub-Secretariat of Information fulfills the very sad duty of announcing that at 8.25 o’clock Señora Eva Perón, the spiritual leader of the nation, passed away.’ Churches throughout the country tolled a slow, mournful death-knell. The Cabinet met to declare all official activities suspended for two days, with 30 days of official mourning. Outside the Olivos residence, a man with a crepe-draped Argentine flag perched himself in the fork of a tree and announced dramatically that he would stay there for ever. (Rain soon forced him down.)

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