Luiza (lew-EE-sah), the blonde, beautiful wife of Jorge. During Jorge’s prolonged absence, she has an affair with her cousin Bazilio. When she discovers that her maid has stolen some of their love notes and letters, she wants to escape to Paris with him. She refuses at first to accept money from Bazilio to pay off Juliana. To keep Juliana from revealing her secret, Luiza grants Juliana her every wish, even to the point of doing her work for her. Luiza’s love for Bazilio turns to hate, and she longs for Jorge’s return. The strains of hiding her affair and dealing with Juliana’s constant demands break her health. In desperation, she writes to Bazilio to send her money so she can extricate herself from the intolerable situation. Before she receives a reply from him, however, Jorge returns. After Luiza recovers from a long illness precipitated by Juliana’s death, Jorge confronts her with Bazilio’s reply to her letter, causing her sudden relapse and death from brain fever.
Jorge (HOHR-heh), Luiza’s devoted and rather conventional husband, a government mining engineer. He has accepted an extended assignment in the Alentejo, a mining region in southern Portugal. After his return, Juliana’s behavior infuriates him, and he wants Luiza to fire her. He is consumed with jealousy when he intercepts Bazilio’s letter to Luiza and realizes that she might have been unfaithful to him. He nurses her back to health from one fever, only to cause her final collapse by demanding an explanation for the contents of Bazilio’s letter.
Bazilio de Brito
Bazilio de Brito (bah-
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