In the Time of the Butterflies

Why was Patrica so worried about Nelson?

chapter 8

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Patricia  is woken up by Minerva, Manolo, Leandro, and Nelson, who report that Fidel Castro and Ernesto "Che" Guevara have ousted Batista in Cuba. That night, Raul Ernesto, Patria's next son, is conceived.

Patria is afraid for her sisters and for her son Nelson, who is "always tagging along behind his Tio Manolo and his new Tio Leandro, men of the world who had gone to the university and who impressed him more than his country father." She sends him to Santo Tomas de Aquino, a seminary in the capital, with the help of Padre de Jesus Lopez. When Nelson begins to talk about joining the liberators, Patria goes to Padre de Jesus Lopez for help, but he tells her he, too, is lost, and cannot show her the way.