Archive for 10 juni, 2008

Tisdagsförströelse 16

Förra veckans citat kom från den smått fantastiska och absurda historien ”Vishnus död” av Manil Suri vilket Jessika (som nyss köpt boken) visste, liksom Marianne. Livet i en trappuppgång ställs på sin spets när en gammal man som har bott i trappan under många år blir sjuk och ingen vill betala ambulanstransporten till sjukhuset. Skildringen av Indien känns riktigt genuin.

Men nu lämnar vi Indien och reser vi någon annanstans. Vad är det här?

‘The pine needle angle could be a lot of work in this area,
agente Pinto.’
‘There’s a pine tree in the back garden,’ he said looking down the side of the house.
We let ourselves in by the front gate and went past a pillar of red bougainvillea to the back of the house. The pine tree was huge and shut out the light to the garden. The floor beneath it was a perfect brown carpet of dried needles.
‘Put your foot on that,’ I said.
Carlos’ foot crunched through a couple of inches of needles.
‘I don’t think you can kill someone on that and leave it …’
‘Bom dia, senhores,’ said a voice behind us. ‘And you are …?’
‘We were admiring your pine tree,’ said Carlos, electing to be the idiot.
‘I’m going to cut it down,’ said the tall, thin, erect man with white brilliantined hair, combed in rails off a high forehead and curling at the collar. ‘It kills the light in the back of the house and makes the maid feel gloomy. You are the
Polícia Judicária, I take it?’
We introduced ourselves and followed him into the house. He wore a lightweight, English checked shirt, grey slacks with turn-ups and brown loafers. He walked with his hands behind his back and stooped a little like a thoughtful priest. The parquet-floored corridor was lined with portraits of ancestors depressed at being cooped up in the dark. His study had more parquet flooring and Arraiolos carpets of some quality and antiquity. His desk was large and made out of walnut and had a brown leather chair behind it which was shiny where he’d buffed it with his back. Four lamps, supported by polished women carved from jet, provided light. The red bougainvillea outside had eclipsed the sunshine. He sat us down at a three-piece suite in a book-lined corner of the room. Only a lawyer would have so many books in the same bindings. An ormolu clock ticked as if each tick was going to be its last.
Dr Oliveira was in no hurry to talk. As we sat down he fitted his dark-skinned face into a pair of bifocals and searched his desk for something he didn’t find. The maid came in and laid out coffee without looking at us. There was a photograph of the dead girl on a shelf squeezed in between some old paperbacks, thrillers, written in English.

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