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The narrator says that for years, nobody could talk about anything but the murder of Santiago Nasar. Most people felt at the time that they couldn't intervene too much because it was a matter of honor. Placida Linero never forgave herself for mixing up the bad omen of birds with the good omen of trees in her son's dream, and telling her son, before his death, that his dream boded good health.

Twelve days after the crime, the investigating magistrate arrives. Everything the narrator knows about his character has been derived from the margins of the pages of the brief that the narrator salvaged twenty years later in the Palace of Justice.

What alarms the magistrate most is that there is not a clue that Santiago Nasar has taken Angela Vicario's virginity. Angela herself never specified how or where, but insisted that he was the perpetrator. The narrator's personal viewpoint is that Santiago Nasar died without understanding his death.

Cristo recalls that as Santiago and Cristo Bedoya walked through town on that fateful day, people were staring at them. A man named Yamil Shaium, stood in the door of his shop so that when Santiago passed by, he could warn him of the planned murder. Yamil called Cristo Bedoya to see if Santiago had already been warned. Cristo left Santiago to go talk to Yamil, and Santiago continued on his way home to change clothes in order to have breakfast with the narrator's sister.

As soon as Yamil related the Vicarios' plan to Cristo, Cristo ran to try and find Santiago. Frantic, he checked Santiago's house on the off chance that he was already home. Santiago wasn't there, and Cristo took the gun out of Santiago's night table and stuck it in his belt, not realizing it wasn't loaded.

The people coming back from the docks began to take up positions around the square to witness the crime. Cristo Bedoya went into the social club and ran into Colonel Lazaro Aponte, and he told the Colonel what was going on. The Colonel did not believe him at first because he had taken away the knives, but then realized they had gotten other knives. But because he was slow in leaving the club, the crime had been committed by the time he arrived. Cristo ran to his own house, thinking that maybe Santiago went to breakfast without changing his clothes.