I'll always have a clear memory of it because it happened so simply and without fuss. Irene was knitting in her bedroom, it was eight at night, and I suddenly decided to put the water up for mate. I went down the corridor as far as the oak door, which was ajar, then turned into the hall toward the kitchen, when I heard something in the library or the dining room. The sound came through muted and indistinct, a chair being knocked over onto the carpet or the muffled buzzing of a conversation. At the same time, or a second later, I heard it at the end of the passage which led from those two rooms toward the door. I hurled myself against the door before it was too late and shut it, leaned on it with the weight of my body; luckily, the key was on our side; moreover, I ran the great bolt into place, just to be safe.
I went down to the kitchen, heated the kettle, and when I got back with the tray of mate, I told Irene:
"I had to shut the door to the passage. They’ve taken over the back part."
She let her knitting fall and looked at me with her tired, serious eyes.
"In that case," she said, picking up her knitting again, "we'll have to live on this side."
I sipped at the mate very carefully, but she took her time starting her work again. I remember it was a gray vest she was knitting. I liked that vest.
Excerpt from Julio Cortázar's "House Taken Over", 1944.