|Gertrudes Rosa da Conceição
|António José Ferreira
Love letter from Gertrudes Rosa da Conceição, prisoner, to António José Ferreira, salesman, also in jail.
The author, who is in jail, informs her lover about the conditions she is in and about how her process is going.
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 greatly esteem your health, and I hope it comes together with happiness, as I wish for you.
I should have written earlier, but I haven't been able to, because, after I got up, I got a cold. I've been very [...] and with cough, but I make an effort to keep living, so I won't please the devil [my husband]. I'm now going to tell you about my misfortunes. I've already notified him to give me 1440 each day, for my food. He asked on defendant's faith to start the process against my papers. My jurist's accusatory libel was presented at the hearing yesterday. I still haven't pointed witnesses, apart from a requirement I have addressed the superintendent, in which I pointed 8 witnesses, whom he says he will beat up on the streets because they say many bad things about him. I have now made a requirement for the solicitor to go there and call the judge and other prisoners, for her to hand in his letter, which is in her possession, in which he offers her 4 coins of gold for her to tell the law official that I write to you. She didn't want to give it to me because it was given to her thanks to the commitment of our jailer. I know you have been here to talk to João, but the jailer said that, if he had known it was you, he wouldn't have allowed it, but only because he is obliged to the devil. I am not sad for being in jail, since, for me, it's pretty much the same being in jail or at his house. What's hard for me is what we see here, because we see things that I've never seen before, nor did I expect to see, but we'd rather see it than do it: we keep being as we are. I've received 1440, althought I haven't received your letter. When you wish to write, if possible, you can give it to João from our room because he is very competent. He doesn't send them unless they are sewn to a package, because it's safer than sending the boy here, since he is very trickster, he says unthinkable things. I'm quite afraid of him. So, goodbye, see you. From the one who is and will be.»