…….nd Other Fascinating Stories of Spanish Life (full title)
Okay, I’ll admit I was behind the eight ball here. Was reading The Wanderer (a Hugo Award winner from the 60s) and got pulled into Go for Beginners. Sometimes you need a fast filler to make a deadline.
Hello, Project Gutenberg.
Howdy “Short Stories” section.
This one is a translation from an old book; the stories take place in the mid-1850s but perhaps it’s been Rafatinied from the mid-1900s – no information. (late breaking news – just searched around and yes, 1927. So it was written roughly the same time Captain Blood was becoming popular. It appears as if the 20s-30s had a bit of a throwback period where a lot of in-the-old-style stores came out).
So, five really short stories, all for free. I was drawn to An Andalusian Duel, where two dear friends, Pulpete and Baldeja, well-dressed (and well-described) gentlemen enter a bar, drink in each other’s company, then out hiss the knives and they face off for a duel. After Pulpete requests that he not be hit in the gut (for the disfigurement) and the gut (for the agony), the two go at it in earnest. In the middle of this crashing, stomping, close quarters duel, Dona Gorja enters, the woman this is all about. Nonplussed, she watches for a bit and then coolly explains how she prefers neither of them. Wa-wa-wa. And out she goes. And, pretty much, that’s it for the duel. Arm in arm, the two friends leave. Actually quite funny.
I also enjoyed Captain Veneno’s Proposal of Marriage. In this one, the aforementioned Captain, brave and commanding as a lion, requests the hand of Augustias, a beautiful woman as head-strong as he. And yet he has a fear of children. Because children get sick and die and cause all manner of grief. And so, as part of his proposal, he asks that they live in seclusion where nobody knows them, love passionately and completely, and turn over any children that result to a orphanage. So gasp you may, but the conclusion is a laugh. Given my shared feelings with the good Captain and what I’ve seen happen to my friends, this one rang very true?
But what happened? Hey, you can find out yourself, for free, right HERE. Download it and have a nice short read.
Short stories are wonderful – you can run through them in quick order, a nice break from the longer tales (and series they seem to spool these days).