by Leonardo Padura Fuentes Translated from Spanish by John King Adios Hemingway reads cleanly and feels simple, but in his dreamy, dogged pursuit of . Buy Adios Hemingway by Leonardo Padura Fuentes from Amazon’s Fiction Books Store. Everyday low prices on a huge range of new releases and classic. A review, and links to other information about and reviews of Adiós Hemingway by Leonardo Padura Fuentes.
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The pleasant breeze coming from the little cove proved to be a blessing in the midst of the summer heat, but Mario Conde had chosen that short stretch of seafront, shaded by some ancient casuarina trees, for reasons connected with neither the sun nor the heat. Sitting on the wall, with his feet dangling down towards the rocks, he enjoyed the sensation of freedom from the tyranny of time, imagining how good it would be to spend the rest of his life in that exact spot, devoting his time just to thinking, reminiscing and watching the calm, peaceful sea.
And if a good idea occurred to him he might even start writing, since in his personal paradise Conde had turned the sea, with its smells and sounds, into the perfect setting for his spirit. There abided, fixed in his imagination like a tenacious shipwrecked sailor, the sweet image of himself living in a wooden house, looking out over the sea, given over to writing in the mornings and to fishing and swimming in the afternoons.
Reality had been battering this dream for some years now with typical fervour, and Conde couldn’t understand why he still clung to the image, which had been so vivid and photographic at first, but from whose rather poor impressionist palette he could now barely make out the lighter patches or faded brightness. So he stopped trying to find an explanation for that afternoon: In fact, everything had begun in that very place, facing the same sea, beneath the same casuarina trees, amongst the same old indelible smells, that day in when he had encountered Ernest Hemingway.
The exact date eluded him as had so many good things in life and he couldn’t be sure if he had still been five or hemingwya he was already six, although at the time his grandfather Rufino was already taking him along to the most varied of places, from cockpits and the bars in the port, to the domino tables and the baseball stadiums – those cherished spots where Conde had learnt some of the most important things a man must know.
Conde thought that he could still remember the creamy taste of the mamey fruit ice cream, and his delight in watching the manoeuvres of a beautiful yacht with a black hull and brown woodwork, from which two huge fishing-rods stuck out skywards, making it look like an amphibious insect.
If his memory was accurate, Conde had watched the yacht as it gently approached the shore, making its way between the flotilla of dilapidated fishing-boats anchored in the cove and dropping its anchor next to the jetty. At that moment a reddish-haired, shirtless man jumped from the yacht onto the concrete quay, caught hold of the rope that another man, hidden beneath a dirty white cap, threw acios him from the vessel.
Pulling on the end of the rope the red-haired man pulled the yacht up to a post and moored it there with a perfect knot. Bemingway his grandfather Rufino pointed something out to him, but Conde’s eyes and memory had already fixed upon the other person – the man wearing the cap – who wore round-framed glasses with green lenses and had a thick, grey beard.
He watched him as he jumped ashore and paused to say something to the man already standing on the quayside. Conde would live with the belief that he had seen how the two men shook hands and, without letting go, spoke for a while – perhaps a minute, perhaps even an hour – he couldn’t remember.
Then the old man with the beard embraced the other and, without casting a glance behind him, went along the quay towards the shore. There was something of Santa Claus in that old, rather dirty-bearded man with his large hands and feet; he walked with assurance, but somehow sadness emanated from him. Or perhaps it was just an unfathomable, magnetic premonition, foretelling the nostalgia lying in wait in a future that the boy could not even imagine. When the man with the grey beard climbed the concrete steps and reached the pavement, Conde saw how he tucked his cap under his arm.
He took a small plastic comb from his shirt pocket and started to smooth down his hair, combing it backwards over and over again, as if this repeated action were essential.
For a moment the man was so close to Conde and his grandfather that Conde caught a whiff of his smell: His grandfather had said this, but Conde had never figured out if he had been referring to the man or the weather, for at that stage in his recollection what he remembered and what he’d been told later became confused, the man walking past him and thunder heard from afar. So Conde usually cut off the reconstruction of his only encounter with Ernest Hemingway at that point.
Conde imagined turning the remark over in his mind as he watched the writer walking over to a shiny black Chrysler parked on the other side of the street, and from the car window, without taking off his green-lensed glasses, he seemed to wave goodbye to him and his grandfather, although perhaps he extended his farewell much further than them, to the cove with the yacht and the red-haired man whom he had hugged, or to the Spanish watchtower constructed to defy the passage of time, or perhaps even at the furthest part of the Gulf Stream But the boy had already caught the farewell gesture in mid-air and, before the car moved off, he returned it with his hand and voice.
The Watchtower wasn’t a clean bar, let alone well-lit, but there was rum, silence and few drunkards, and from his table Conde could carry on watching the sea and the worn stones of the colonial tower to which the place owed its grand-sounding name.
Unhurriedly, the barman walked over to their table, placed the drinks on it, and collected the empty glasses, picking them up between his dirty-nailed fingers, and looked at Manolo. The barman glared at him and moved away. He had already looked at Mario with loathing when he had asked him if they served a ‘Papa Hemingway’ there, the daiquiri the writer used to drink, made of two measures of rum, lemon juice, a few drops of maraschino and a lot of finelycrushed ice, but no sugar at all.
I know you so well, I expected you to be here. I don’t know how many times you’ve told me that story about the day you saw Hemingway. Did he really wave goodbye to you, or is that something you made up? I just don’t want to get involved in this After all, there’s not much point to it anyway.
It’s almost forty years since Conde finished his drink, feeling sorry for himself. Eight years out of the police force is a long time and he would never have imagined it would be so easy to return to the fold. Recently, as he supposedly spent time writing, or at least trying to write, he had found himself spending much of the day buying old books all over the city in order to supply the bookstall of a dealer friend of his from whom he received 50 per cent of the profits.
Although the business was not that profitable, Conde liked the job for its peculiar advantages; he enjoyed the personal stories concealed behind the decision to get rid of a library that might have been built up over three or four generations, and he liked the time lapse between purchase and sale, during which he could read anything he liked as it passed through his hands.
The essential drawback of the business operation, however, was evident when Conde suffered small cuts to his skin when he handled good old books damaged, at times irreparably, by carelessness and ignorance or when, instead of taking certain tempting volumes to his friend’s bookstall, he decided to keep them in his own bookcase, an incurable symptom of the terrible infirmity of bibliophilia.
That summer storm had also lashed the district where Adlos lived. Unlike hurricanes, these ferocious downpours, gales and flashes of lightning could arrive with no prior warning at any time in the afternoon to perform a swift, macabre dance over parts of the island.
It tore some of the tiles from the roof, cut off the electricity, demolished part of the fence around the courtyard and brought down an ancient, dying mango padurw which had certainly been there before the building of the house back in Among the tree’s exposed roots there had emerged some bones, which the experts had quickly identified adils belonging to a man, Caucasian, about sixty years old, with the first signs of arthritis and an old, badly-healed fracture of the patella.
He seemed to have been killed thirty or forty years ago, probably the late ’50s, by two shots, almost certainly from a rifle.
Adios Hemingway : NPR
He had received one of the shots in the chest, seemingly through the right side, which, in addition to paddura through several of his vital organs, had severed his sternum and his vertebral column.
The other bullet seemed to have entered his body through his abdomen, since it had fractured a rib in the dorsal area. Two shots fired from a powerful weapon, apparently at close hmingway, causing the death of a man who, now, was nothing more than a bag of crumbling bones. Then, going crosseyed, ‘because a sonofabitch will always be a sonofabitch, however much he goes to confession and attends church.
Once a cop, always a cop. With the information I’ve got, I can’t even start to -‘. It was forty years ago, Conde. As things stand, just you, the dead man, Hemingway and I don’t think anyone else Look, as far as I’m concerned it couldn’t be clearer. Hemingway had a filthy temper. One day someone fucked him around too much and he let him have two shots. Then he buried him. Nobody had any interest in the dead man at the time. Then Hemingway shot himself in the head and that was an end to elonardo story.
I hfmingway you up because I knew it would interest you and I want to leave an interval before closing the case.
When I close it and the hemihgway gets out, the story of a dead man buried lepnardo Hemingway’s house is going to make headlines halfway around the world And if it wasn’t him, who did kill him? Look, Conde, I’m up to here with work,’ he said as he brought his hand up to his eyebrows.
Do you think I’ve got padrua to investigate Hemingway’s life, someone who killed himself a thousand years ago, to find out if he’s guilty or innocent?