Then there was what he said and the way he said it, how he expressed himself, how he moved, that force that he seemed to emit. Many people felt attracted by all of that. On the other hand there were others who felt a significant repulsion towards him, as if what they heard disturbed them internally. And the fact is that what Demian said varied depending who was listening to him, as if he were following something that exists but is not perceptible with the physical senses. That is how one could understand how Demian could say something that appeared innocuous and inoffensive, without meaning to hurt anyone, and one would notice how the other participant in the conversation would immediately react, as if something suddenly disturbed him or even offended him.

"What did you say to him?" I asked him on one occasion when someone reacted violently.

"I don't know," he answered, "sometimes it's not entirely conscious on my part."

There were a group of people that, the way I saw it, one could define as conceited, full of themselves, powerful people that on first contact, immediately felt threatened by Demian. It was quite an experience to see something like that. It was like a pulse, lasting a few seconds. The other person, stupefied, desperately offended by the quick defeat, retreated to his cave. Some of them engaged in thoughts of revenge in that darkness. That last remark is important, not only in itself but also because it represents a key that might explain in some significant way my presence in this Cause.

On the other hand, humble people did not feel at all threatened. On the contrary, they treated him as a friend. He had good friends among the shoe-shining guild. He used to say that in that profession one could find exceptionally wise people.


Jimmy entered the room impetuously.

"It's incredible, it's incredible," he said.

"What's happening?" I asked him.

"It's incredible that Demian found himů so soon."

"That he found who, Jimmy? Explain yourself."

"There's another one like him! There's another one!

I made a face as if I did not understand anything.

"Another one like him, but his opposite, given to evil."

Evil. I felt a great aversion towards the evil that appeared so intrinsic in every man, in me myself. I remained silent. That is what sooner or later needed to appear. I knew that one day it would have to be confronted.

Jimmy looked at me.

"Imagine someone like your friend Demian, someone with those powers that you know so well, but dedicated to the devil. Imagine him exercising his mastery in a class of adolescents, of immature people, distorting their strengths and converting them into something else," he said.

That is exactly the image that I had in my mind. The thought hurt me so much that I looked at him with indifference.

"It doesn't matter. We'll kill him and that's it," I was really hurt.

Jimmy acted as if he had not heard me and went on talking about the consequences that someone like that could have on the world.

"It doesn't matter," I insisted. We'll kill him.