Data de entrada: 12 de jun. de 2022


That he didn’t reach the river was due to the appearance of two bulky figures coming through a cut between the warehouses. One was a dark-cloaked priest who had been to a ship to give the last rites to a dying sailor The man accompanying him was the dead man’s friend who was seeing the priest safely back into the town. But to the three brothers their shapes indicated two burly sailors or night-watchmen, and both types could do some dirty fighting on their own, so with a heave they threw the limp body among a tangle of river refuse, broken spars, boxes, and decaying fruit and vegetable, and minutes later the priest and the sailor passed within six feet of it and went on their way.

They were all in the kitchen, Bill Waggett, Gran and Janie—Janie still had her outdoor things on; Collum Leary and Kathleen and with them now was their son Pat; Paddy Connor, Ruth, Jimmy; and lastly Lizzie; and it was Lizzie who, looking at young Pat Leary said, ‘Talk sense, lad. ’Tis three o’clock on Sunday afternoon an’ he left the house round six last night. Who would be playin’ cards all that time I ask you?’

‘It’s true, Lizzie. ’Tis true. I’ve heard of games goin’ on for twenty-four hours. They win an’ lose, win an’ lose.’

‘He would never stay all this time; something’s happened him.’

Nobody contradicted her now but they all turned and looked at Janie who, with fingers pressed tightly against her lower lip, said, ‘You should have gone down and told the polis.’

‘What should we tell the polis, lass?’ Paddy Connor now asked her quietly. That me son was out gamin’ last night an’ hasn’t come back? All right, they’ll say, let’s find him an’ push him along the line. Where was he gamin’? I don’t know, says I. Lass—’ his voice was still gentle—’we’ve thought of everything.’

Grannie Waggett, who was the only one seated, now turned in her chair and, her pale eyes sweeping the company, she said, ‘If you want my advice the lot of you, you’ll stop frashin’. It’s as Pat there says, he’s got into a game. He’s gamin’ mad, always has been. It affects some folks like that, like a poison in their blood. Some blokes take to drink, others to whorin’. . .’

Gabriele Bruno

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