Love letter from Gertrudes Rosa da Conceição, prisoner, to António José Ferreira, salesman, also prisoner.
Gertrudes Rosa da Conceição was accused of commiting adultery with António José Ferreira, a salesman that worked for her husband, Francisco Ferreira, a grocer. She used to receive her lover in her room while her husband was away on business and this was witnessed by her servants. Even after the lovers were both in prison, they continued to exchange letters, in which there were signs of an arrangement to kill the husband. In fact, Gertrudes' brother, known as the «sailor», did hurt his brother-in-law with a dagger, but, in spite of the serious wounds, Francisco Ferreira survived. Gertrudes ended up acquitted from this accusation, for there was not enough evidence against her.
I've received yours, I understand all that you say.
It surprises me that you say I was happy yesterday, it seems joy is over for me. All I can tell you is that, never in my life, have I seen or heard what I have seen and heard here. Last night sixteen women came downstairs, all of them so lost that it was a pity. We can't sleep at all. I've spent the entire night like this. About your advice to ask for mercy: to the Devil that I will ask for it! If he is a man who lacks religion, how can he pity us, if he has done this to take revenge on you...Because Tomás told him what you had told Tomás, at the shop, about me, for he lived with the suspicion that I talked with my relatives. Francisco das Muralhas do Carmo was here yesterday and he told me he was a very mean man, that no one seems to realize it and that it was obvious this was all his mischievousness, but that he is so stubborn that he wants nothing but to send me to the convent. And he says that he will give me everything there, and that here he wants to give me nothing. I already said I don't want to go to the convent. His brother has just been here: he told me he has sent his daughter there, she is no longer at home with him. And he told me to go to the convent, for it was better for me, because otherwise I would risk being sentenced. I answered him that now I had come to open my eyes, I was no longer afraid, because here there was a woman who was estrangeded from her husband, as she had escaped from him nine months ago, and she was arrested and was sentenced to five years in Castro Marinho, and I was counting on a similar sentence and that was his revenge on me. Therefore, I don't want to ask him, because I don't want him to say that I am an accomplice. Despite being very disheartened, I don't let it show to his acquaintances, because I always complain a lot about him. He told his brother that I rebuked him in the letters I wrote him, and that, instead of asking for mercy, that then he would forgive me, I annoyed him still. I am counting on God and yourself. All I ask you is not to slander me, because you know my situation, that I am worse than you, because you are a man and I am a woman. Because you say you are lost due to your love for me, and that's not so, because if you are due to your love for me, I am due to my love for you. Therefore, let us both be contented with our luck, and leave the rest in God's hands. I wish there was someone to take his life, only that way would we be free.
Farewell, until we meet again, I don't know when.
Please forgive the dirty paper, there was a drunk woman who splashed it all.
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye. Do not forget me, because I will not forget you either.
You see, even the other day coffee in the silver teapot, even that became public!»