Créer mon blog M'identifier

It was all for chess

Le 1 novembre 2016, 10:48 dans Humeurs 0

It was all for chess. At first they played after supper at seven o'clock, with a reasonablehandicap for Jeremiah de Saint-Amour because of his notable superiority, but the handicap wasreduced until at last they played as equals. Later, when Don Galileo Daconte opened the firstoutdoor cinema, Jeremiah de Saint-Amour was one of his most dependable customers, and thegames of chess were limited to the nights when a new film was not being shown. By then he and the Doctor had become such good friends that they would go to see the films together, but neverwith the Doctor's wife, in part because she did not have the patience to follow the complicated plotlines, and in part because it always seemed to her, through sheer intuition, that Jeremiah de Saint-Amour was not a good companion for anyone.

His Sundays were different. He would attend High Mass at the Cathedral and then returnhome to rest and read on the terrace in the patio. He seldom visited a patient on a holy day ofobligation unless it was of extreme urgency, and for many years he had not accepted a socialengagement that was not obligatory. On this Pentecost, in a rare coincidence, two extraordinaryevents had occurred: the death of a friend and the silver anniversary of an eminent pupil. Yetinstead of going straight home as he had intended after certifying the death of Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, he allowed himself to be carried along by curiosity.

As soon as he was in his carriage, he again consulted the posthumous letter and told thecoachman to take him to an obscure location in the old slave quarter. That decision was so foreignto his usual habits that the coachman wanted to make certain there was no mistake. No, nomistake: the address was clear and the man who had written it had more than enough reason toknow it very well. Then Dr. Urbino returned to the first page of the letter and plunged once againinto the flood of unsavoury revelations that might have changed his life, even at his age, if hecould have convinced himself that they were not the ravings of a dying man.

The sky had begun to threaten very early in the day and the weather was cloudy and cool, butthere was no chance of rain before noon. In his effort to find a shorter route, the coachman bravedthe rough cobblestones of the colonial city and had to stop often to keep the horse from beingfrightened by the rowdiness of the religious societies and fraternities coming back from thePentecost liturgy. The streets were full of paper garlands, music, flowers, and girls with colouredparasols and muslin ruffles who watched the celebration from their balconies. In the Plaza of theCathedral, where the statue of The Liberator was almost hidden among the African palm trees andthe globes of the new streetlights, traffic was congested because Mass had ended, and not a seatwas empty in the venerable and noisy Parish Caf? Dr. Urbino's was the only horse-drawn carriage;it was distinguishable from the handful left in the city because the patent-leather roof was alwayskept polished, and it had fittings of bronze that would not be corroded by salt, and wheels andpoles painted red with gilt trimming like gala nights at the Vienna Opera. Furthermore, while themost demanding families were satisfied if their drivers had a clean shirt, he still required hiscoachman to wear livery of faded velvet and a top hat like a circus ringmaster's, which, more thanan anachronism, was thought to show a lack of compassion in the dog days of the Caribbeansummer.

Despite his almost maniacal love for the city and a knowledge of it superior to anyone's, Dr.

Juvenal Urbino had not often had reason as he did that Sunday to venture boldly into the tumult ofthe old slave quarter. The coachman had to make many turns and stop to ask directions severaltimes in order to find the house. As they passed by the marshes, Dr. Urbino recognised theiroppressive weight, their ominous silence, their suffocating gases, which on so many insomniacdawns had risen to his bedroom, blending with the fragrance of jasmine from the patio, and whichhe felt pass by him like a wind out of yesterday that had nothing to do with his life. But thatpestilence so frequently idealised by nostalgia became an unbearable reality when the carriagebegan to lurch through the quagmire of the streets where buzzards fought over the slaughterhouse offal as it was swept along by the receding tide. Unlike the city of the Viceroys where the houseswere made of masonry, here they were built of weathered boards and zinc roofs, and most of themrested on pilings to protect them from the flooding of the open sewers that had been inherited fromthe Spaniards. Everything looked wretched and desolate, but out of the sordid taverns came thethunder of riotous music, the godless drunken celebration of Pentecost by the poor. By the timethey found the house, gangs of ragged children were chasing the carriage and ridiculing thetheatrical finery of the coachman, who had to drive them away with his whip. Dr. Urbino,prepared for a confidential visit, realised too late that there was no innocence more dangerous thanthe innocence of age.

The exterior of the unnumbered house was in no way distinguishable from its less fortunateneighbours, except for the window with lace curtains and an imposing front door taken from someold church. The coachman pounded the door knocker, and only when he had made certain that itwas the right house did he help the Doctor out of the carriage. The door opened without a sound,and in the shadowy interior stood a mature woman dressed in black, with a red rose behind her ear.

Despite her age, which was no less than forty, she was still a haughty mulatta with cruel goldeneyes and hair tight to her skull like a helmet of steel wool. Dr. Urbino did not recognise her,although he had seen her several times in the gloom of the chess games in the photographer'sstudio, and he had once written her a prescription for tertian fever. He held out his hand and shetook it between hers, less in greeting than to help him into the house. The parlour had the climateand invisible murmur of a forest glade and was crammed with furniture and exquisite objects, eachin its natural place. Dr. Urbino recalled without bitterness an antiquarian's shop, No .26 rueMontmartre in Paris, on an autumn Monday in the last century. TheIt was all for chess. At first they played after supper at seven o'clock, with a reasonablehandicap for Jeremiah de Saint-Amour because of his notable superiority, but the handicap wasreduced until at last they played as equals. Later, when Don Galileo Daconte opened the firstoutdoor cinema, Jeremiah de Saint-Amour was one of his most dependable customers, and thegames of chess were limited to the nights when a new film was not being shown. By then he and the Doctor had become such good friends that they would go to see the films together, but neverwith the Doctor's wife, in part because she did not have the patience to follow the complicated plotlines, and in part because it always seemed to her, through sheer intuition, that Jeremiah de Saint-Amour was not a good companion for anyone.

His Sundays were different. He would attend High Mass at the Cathedral and then returnhome to rest and read on the terrace in the patio. He seldom visited a patient on a holy day ofobligation unless it was of extreme urgency, and for many years he had not accepted a socialengagement that was not obligatory. On this Pentecost, in a rare coincidence, two extraordinaryevents had occurred: the death of a friend and the silver anniversary of an eminent pupil. Yetinstead of going straight home as he had intended after certifying the death of Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, he allowed himself to be carried along by curiosity.

As soon as he was in his carriage, he again consulted the posthumous letter and told thecoachman to take him to an obscure location in the old slave quarter. That decision was so foreignto his usual habits that the coachman wanted to make certain there was no mistake. No, nomistake: the address was clear and the man who had written it had more than enough reason toknow it very well. Then Dr. Urbino returned to the first page of the letter and plunged once againinto the flood of unsavoury revelations that might have changed his life, even at his age, if hecould have convinced himself that they were not the ravings of a dying man.

The sky had begun to threaten very early in the day and the weather was cloudy and cool, butthere was no chance of rain before noon. In his effort to find a shorter route, the coachman bravedthe rough cobblestones of the colonial city and had to stop often to keep the horse from beingfrightened by the rowdiness of the religious societies and fraternities coming back from thePentecost liturgy. The streets were full of paper garlands, music, flowers, and girls with colouredparasols and muslin ruffles who watched the celebration from their balconies. In the Plaza of theCathedral, where the statue of The Liberator was almost hidden among the African palm trees andthe globes of the new streetlights, traffic was congested because Mass had ended, and not a seatwas empty in the venerable and noisy Parish Caf? Dr. Urbino's was the only horse-drawn carriage;it was distinguishable from the handful left in the city because the patent-leather roof was alwayskept polished, and it had fittings of bronze that would not be corroded by salt, and wheels andpoles painted red with gilt trimming like gala nights at the Vienna Opera. Furthermore, while themost demanding families were satisfied if their drivers had a clean shirt, he still required hiscoachman to wear livery of faded velvet and a top hat like a circus ringmaster's, which, more thanan anachronism, was thought to show a lack of compassion in the dog days of the Caribbeansummer.

Despite his almost maniacal love for the city and a knowledge of it superior to anyone's, Dr.

Juvenal Urbino had not often had reason as he did that Sunday to venture boldly into the tumult ofthe old slave quarter. The coachman had to make many turns and stop to ask directions severaltimes in order to find the house. As they passed by the marshes, Dr. Urbino recognised theiroppressive weight, their ominous silence, their suffocating gases, which on so many insomniacdawns had risen to his bedroom, blending with the fragrance of jasmine from the patio, and whichhe felt pass by him like a wind out of yesterday that had nothing to do with his life. But thatpestilence so frequently idealised by nostalgia became an unbearable reality when the carriagebegan to lurch through the quagmire of the streets where buzzards fought over the slaughterhouse offal as it was swept along by the receding tide. Unlike the city of the Viceroys where the houseswere made of masonry, here they were built of weathered boards and zinc roofs, and most of themrested on pilings to protect them from the flooding of the open sewers that had been inherited fromthe Spaniards. Everything looked wretched and desolate, but out of the sordid taverns came thethunder of riotous music, the godless drunken celebration of Pentecost by the poor. By the timethey found the house, gangs of ragged children were chasing the carriage and ridiculing thetheatrical finery of the coachman, who had to drive them away with his whip. Dr. Urbino,prepared for a confidential visit, realised too late that there was no innocence more dangerous thanthe innocence of age.

The exterior of the unnumbered house was in no way distinguishable from its less fortunateneighbours, except for the window with lace curtains and an imposing front door taken from someold church. The coachman pounded the door knocker, and only when he had made certain that itwas the right house did he help the Doctor out of the carriage. The door opened without a sound,and in the shadowy interior stood a mature woman dressed in black, with a red rose behind her ear.

Despite her age, which was no less than forty, she was still a haughty mulatta with cruel goldeneyes and hair tight to her skull like a helmet of steel wool. Dr. Urbino did not recognise her,although he had seen her several times in the gloom of the chess games in the photographer'sstudio, and he had once written her a prescription for tertian fever. He held out his hand and shetook it between hers, less in greeting than to help him into the house. The parlour had the climateand invisible murmur of a forest glade and was crammed with furniture and exquisite objects, eachin its natural place. Dr. Urbino recalled without bitterness an antiquarian's shop, No .26 rueMontmartre in Paris, on an autumn Monday in the last century. The woman sat down across fromhim and spoke in accented Spanish.

questioned Dick Little

Le 19 juillet 2016, 06:26 dans Humeurs 0

"Well, I've kept away from the offices, where all the writs have been served by the way, and I've written a formal protest to the Postmaster-General against the use of the telephone for language that is entirely unfit for even the smoking-room of a woman's club. Now they write; but as I don't read the letters, it doesn't matter so much."

"The editor is in a passion, I suppose?"

"No; he's in a nursing-home. He's a master of diplomacy," replied Dare wearily. "I'd do the same, only I can't afford the fees. It's the general-manager who telephones. I'm going to put him in my next novel, curse him!"

"In addition to a writ," Dare proceeded, "each publisher has written me a letter, 'without prejudice' and with considerable heat."

"What about?" enquired Dick Little, thoroughly interested in the curious situation that had arisen out of Dare's unfortunate story.

"The man who crosses and recrosses his legs says that he is the only publisher in the world with that characteristic, and that I accuse him of unclean morals, as if a publisher had any morals, clean or otherwise. He of the nervous cough objects to the adjective 'deceitful,' and is having his books examined by an accountant He who salivates into the fireplace from impossible angles, is producing the testimony of three specialists to prove that he has chronic bronchitis, and that it is neither infectious nor contagious, and so on." Dare's voice trailed off drearily.

"And what do you propose to do?" questioned Dick Little.

"Do?" enquired the other, listlessly throwing himself into a chair and lighting a cigarette. "Do? Why, nothing. That's why I want the morphia. I'm the imperfect, not the present tense. I'm done."

Natalie was planning to visit

Le 18 juillet 2016, 10:10 dans Humeurs 0

 Her desk was there. She answered letters, typed manuscripts, and with the Italian woman managed the household. Byron worked Pretty renew 傳銷 at the long library table, reading up on Constantine, checking facts, and drawing maps of the emperor's military campaigns. Whenever he raised his eyes he saw the smooth face bent over the desk, the shapely bones highlighted by sunshine, or on dark days by a lamp. There was also the ever-present view of her long pretty legs in a sheen of silk. Natalie dressed in dun wool, and was all business with him; she used almost no paint once Slote left, combed her hair back in a heavy bun, and talked to Byron with offhand dryness.

Still, his infatuation took quick root and grew rankly. She was the first American girl he had spoken to in months; and they were thrown together for many hours every day, just the two of them in the book-lined room. This was reason enough for him to feel attracted to her. But she impressed him, too. Natalie Jastrow talked to her famous uncle as to a mental equal. Her range of Pretty renew 呃人 knowledge and ideas humiliated Byron, and yet there was nothing bookish about her. Girls in his experience were lightweights, fools for a smile and a bit of flattery. They had doted on him at college, and in Florence too. Byron was something of an Adonis, indolent and not hotly interested; and unlike Warren, he had absorbed some of his father's straitlaced ideas. He thought Natalie was a dark jewel of intellect and loveliness, blazing away all unnoticed here in the Italian back hills. As for her indifference to him, it seemed in order. He had no thought of trying to break it down. He did things he had never done before.

 He stole a little pale blue handkerchief of hers and sat at night in his hotel room in town, sniffing it. Once he ate half a cake she had left on her desk, because it bore the mark of her teeth. when she missed the cake, he calmly lied about it. Altogether he was in a bad way. Natalie Jastrow seemed to sense nothing of this. Byron had a hard shell of inscrutability, grown in boyhood to protect his laziness and school failures from his exacting father. They chatted a lot, of course, and sometimes drove out in the hills for a picnic lunch, when she would slightly warm to him over a bottle of wine, treating him more like a younger brother. He soon got at the main facts of her romance. She had gone to the Sorbonne for graduate work in sociology. Pretty renew 呃人 Jastrow had written about her to Slote, a former pupil. A fulminating love affair had ensued, and Natalie had stormily quit Paris, and lived for a while with her parents inFlorida.

Then she had come back to Europe to work for her uncle; also, Byron surmised, to be near Slote for another try. The Rhodes Scholar had now received orders to Warsaw, and Natalie was planning to visit him there in July while Jastrow took his summer holiday in the Greek islands. On one of their picnics, as he poured the last of the wine into her glass, Byron ventured a direct probe. 'Natalie, do you like your job?" She sat on a blanket, hugging her legs in a heavy checked skirt, looking out over a valley of brown wintry vineyards. With an arch questioning look, cocking her head, she said, 'Oh, it's a job. Why?" "It seems to me you're wasting away here." "Well, I'll tell you, Byron. You do peculiar things when you're in love." His response to this was a dull unfocussed expression. She went on: 'That's one thing. Besides, frankly, I think Aaron's rather wonderful. Don't you? Horribly crotchety and self-preoccupied and all that, but this Constantine book is good. My father is a warm, clever, good-hearted man, but he's the president of his temple and he manufactures sweaters. Aaron's a famous author, and he's my uncle. I suppose I bask in his glory. What's wrong with that? And I certainly enjoy typing the new pages, just watching the way his mind works. It's an excellent mind, and his style is admirable.

Voir la suite ≫