A question exists as a syntactical unit of a language to bear a function of asking in communication, i.e. commonly belongs to the spoken language. Question-in-the-Narrative changes the real nature of a question and turns it into a SD. It is asked and answered by the same person (usu. the author).
It becomes alike a parenthetical statement with strong emotional colouring.
e.g. For what is left the poet here? For Greeks a blush - for Greece a tear.
As is seen from these examples the questions asked, unlike rhetorical questions do not contain statements.
Sometimes Question-in-the-Narrative gives an impression of an intimate talk between the writer and the reader.
It is very often used in oratory to serve its purpose of causing the desired reaction to the content of the speech. It gives listeners time to absorb what has been said, and prepares for the next point.
There are three ways of reproducing actual speech:
- repetition of the exact utterance as it was spoken (direct speech);
- conversion of the exact utterance into the relater’s mode of expression (indirect speech);
- representation of the actual utterance by a second person, usually the author, as if it had been spoken (but it has been not), but is only represented in the author’s words (represented speech).
There is also a SD termed represented speech. There are two varieties of it – uttered and unuttered (inner).
Uttered represented speech is the representation of the actual utterance through the author’s language.
It demands that the tense should be switched from present to past and personal pronouns changed from 1st and 2nd to the 3rd person as in indirect speech.
e.g. Could he bring a reference from where he was now? He could. (T. Driser).
The device of Uttered represented speech enables the writer to reshape the utterance according to the normal polite literary usage. The device is used in belle-lettres and newspaper styles.
Unuttered (inner) represented speech is the representation of the thoughts and feelings of the character.
The thoughts and feelings going on in one’s mind and reflecting some previous experience are called inner speech.
Inner represented speech, unlike uttered represented speech, expresses feelings and thoughts of the character which are not materialized in spoken or written language by the character. It abounds in exclamatory words and phrases, elliptical constructions, breaks and other means of conveying feelings and psychological states.
The device is an excellent one to depict a character. It fully discloses the feelings and thoughts of a character and makes the desired impact on the reader.
It is usually introduced by verbs as think, meditate, feel, occur, wonder, ask, tell oneself, understand and the like, as in the following: «Over and over he was asking himself: would he receive him? Would she recognize him? What should he say to her?»
PRACTICAL ASSIGNMENT № 2
Exercise I. From the following examples yon will get a better idea of the functions of various types of repetition, and also of parallelism and chiasmus
1. I wake up and I'm alone and I walk round Warley and I'm alone; and I talk with people and I'm alone and I look at his face when I'm home and it's dead, (J.Br.)
2. Babbitt was virtuous. He advocated, though he did not practice, the prohibition of alcohol; he praised, – though he did not obey, the laws against motor-speeding. (S.L.)
3. «To think better of it,» returned the gallant Blandois, «would be to slight a lady, to slight a lady would be to be deficient in chivalry towards the sex, and chivalry towards the sex is a part of my character.» (D.)
4. Halfway along the righthand side of the dark brown hall was a dark brown door with a dark brown settie beside it. After I had put my hat, my gloves, my muffler and my coat on the settie we three went through the dark brown door into a darkness without any brown in it. (W.G)
5. I might as well face facts; good-bye «Susan, good-bye a big car, good-bye a: big house, good-bye power, good-bye the silly handsome drearns.» (J.Br.)
6. I really don't see anything romantic in proposing. It is very romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite proposal. (O.W.)
7. I wanted to knock over the table and hit him until my arm had no more strength in it, then give him the boot, give him the boot, give him the boot – I drew a deep breath. (J.Br.)
8. Of her father's being groundlessly suspected, she felt sure. Sure. Sure. (D.)
9. Now he understood. He understood many things. One can be a person first. A man first and then a black man or a white man. (P. A.)
10. She stopped, and seemed to catch the distant sound of knocking.
Abandoning the traveller, she hurried towards the parlour; in the passage
she assuredly did hear knocking, angry and impatient knocking, the
knocking of someone who thinks he has knocked too long. (A.B.)
11. Obviously – this is a streptococcal infection. Obviously. (W.D.)
12. And a great desire for peace, peace of no matter what kind, swept through her. (A.B.)
13. When he blinks, a parrot-like look appears, the look of some heavily blinking tropical bird. (A. M.)
14. And everywhere were people. People going into gates and coming out of gates. People staggering and falling. People fighting and cursing. (P. A.)
15. Then there was something between them. There was. There was. (Dr.)
16. He ran away from the battle. He was an ordinary human being that didn't want to kill or be killed. So he ran away from the battle. (St.H.)
17. Failure meant poverty, poverty meant squalor, squalor led, in the final stages, to the smells and stagnation of B. Inn Alley. (D. du M.)
18. «Secret Love», «Autumn Leaves», and something whose title he missed. Supper music. Music to cook by. (U.)
19. Living is the art of loving.
Loving is the art of caring.
Caring is the art of sharing.
Sharing is the art of living. (W.H.D.)
20. I came back, shrinking from my father's money, shrinking from my father's memory: mistrustful of being forced on a mercenary wife, mistrustful of my father's intention in thrusting that marriage on me, mistrustful that I was already growing avaricious, mistrustful that I was slackening in gratitude to the dear noble honest friends who had made the only sunlight in my childish life. (D.)
21. If you know anything that is not known to others, if you have any suspicion, if you have any clue at all, and any reason for keeping it in your own breast, think of me, and conquer that reason and let it be known! (D.)
22. I notice that father's is a large hand, but never a heavy one when it touches me, and that father's is a rough voice but never an angry one when it speaks to me. (D.)
23. From the offers of marriage that fell to her Dona Clara, deliberately, chose the one that required her removal to Spain. so to Spain she went. (O.W.)
24. There lives at least one being who can never change – one being who would be content to devote his whole existence to your happiness – who lives but in your eyes – who breathes but in your smile – who bears the heavy burden of life itself only for you. (D.)
25. It is she, in association with whom, saving that she has been for years a main fibre of the roof of his dignity and pride, he has never had a selfish thought. It is she, whom he has loved, admired, honoured and set up for the world to respect. It is she, who, at the core of all the constrained formalities and conventionalities of his life, has been a stock of living tenderness and love. (D.)
Exercise II. Find and analyse cases of detachment, suspense and inversion. Comment on the structure and functions of each:
10. Benny Collan, a respected guy, Benny Collan wants to marry her. An agent could ask for more? (T.C.)
11. Women are not made for attack. Wait they must. (J. C.)
12. Out came the chase – in went the horses – on sprang the boys – in got the travellers. (D.)
13. Then he said: «You think it's so? She was mixed up in this lousy business?» (J.B.)
14. And she saw that Gopher Prairie was merely an enlargement of all the hamlets which they had been passing. Only to the eyes of a Kennicot was it exceptional. (S.L.)
Exercise III. Discuss the semantic centres and structural peculiarities of antithesis:
1. Mrs. Nork had a large home and a small husband. (S.L.)
2. In marriage the upkeep of woman is often the downfall of man. (Ev.)
3. Don't use big words. They mean so little. (O.W.)
4. I like big parties. They're so intimate. At small parties there isn't any privacy. (Sc.F.)
5. There is Mr. Guppy, who was at first as open as the sun at noon, but who suddenly shut up as close as midnight. (D.)
6. Such a scene as there was when Kit came in! Such a confusion of tongues, before the circumstances were related and the proofs disclosed! Such a dead silence when all was told! (D.)
7. Rup wished he could be swift, accurate, compassionate and stern instead of clumsy and vague and sentimental. (I.M.)
8. His coat-sleeves being a great deal too long, and his trousers a great deal too short, he appeared ill at ease in his clothes. (D.)
9. There was something eery about the apartment house, an unearthly quiet that was a combination of overcarpeting and underoccupancy. (H.St.)
10. It is safer to be married to the man you can be happy with than to the man you cannot be happy without. (E.)
11. Then came running down stairs a gentleman with whiskers, out of breath. (D.)
12. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. (D.)
13. Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron, and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky tonks, restaurants and whore houses and little crowded groceries and laboratories and flophouses. Its inhabitants are, as the man once said «Whores, pimps, gamblers and sons of bitches», by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said «Saints and angels and martyrs and holy men» and he would have meant the same thing. (J. St.)
Exercise IV. Analyse the given periphrases from the viewpoint of their semantic type, structure, function and originality:
1. Gargantuan soldier named Dahoud picked Ploy by the head and scrutinized this convulsion of dungarees and despair whose feet thrashed a yard above the deck. (Th.P.)
2. His face was red, the back of his neck overflowed his collar and there had recently been published a second edition of his chin. (P.G.W.)
3. His huge leather chairs were kind to the femurs. (R.W.)
4. «But Pickwick, gentlemen, Pickwick, this ruthless destroyer of . this domestic oasis in the desert of Goswell street!» (D.)
5. He would make some money and then he would come back and marry his dream from Blackwood. (Dr.)
6. The villages were full of women who did nothing but fight against dirt and hunger and repair the effects of friction on clothes. (A.B.)
7. The habit of saluting the dawn with a bend of the elbow was a hangover from college fraternity days. (Jn.B.)
8. I took my obedient feet away from him. (W.G.)
9. I got away on my hot adolescent feet as quickly as I could. (W.G.)
10. I am thinking an unmentionable thing about your mother. (I.Sh.)
11. Jean nodded without turning and slid between two vermilion-coloured buses so that two drivers simultaneously used the same qualitative word. (G.)
12. During the previous winter I had become rather seriously ill with one of those carefully named difficulties which are the whispers of approaching age. (J. St.)
13. A child had appeared among the palms, about a hundred yards along the beach. He was a boy of perhaps six years, sturdy and fair, his clothes torn, his face covered with a sticky mess of fruit. His trousers had been lowered for an obvious purpose and had only been pulled back half-way. (W.G.)
14. When I saw him again, there were silver dollars weighting down his eyes. (T.C.)
15. She was still fat after childbirth; the destroyer of her figure sat at the head of the table. (A.B.)
16. I participated in that delayed Teutonic migration known as the Great War. (Sc.F.)
17. «Did you see anything in Mr. Pickwick's manner and conduct towards the opposite sex to induce you to believe all this?» (D.)
18. Bill went with him and they returned with a tray of glasses, siphons and other necessaries of life. (Ch.)
19. It was the American, whom later we were to learn to know and love as the Gin Bottle King, because of a great feast of arms performed at an early hour in the morning with a container of Mr. Gordon's celebrated product as his sole weapon. (H.)
20. Jane set her bathing-suited self to washing the lunch dishes. (Jn.B.)
21. Naturally, I jumped out of the tub, and before I had thought twice, ran out into the living room in my birthday suit. (В.М.)
22. For a single instant, Birch was helpless, his blood curdling in his veins at the imminence of the danger, and his legs refusing their natural and necessary office. (T.C.)
23. The apes gathered around him and he wilted under the scrutiny of the eyes of his little cousins twice removed. (An.C.)
Exercise V. State the type of each syntactical expressive means in the following cases:
1. KEITH (letting go her arms): My God! If the police come 0 find me here – (He dashes to the door. Then stops) (Galsworthy).
2. He notices a slight stain on the window –side rag. He cannot change it with the other rug, they are a different size (Christie).
3. You would get a scaffolding pole entangled, you would... (Jerome).
4. And only one thing really troubled him, sitting there – the melancholy craving in his heart – because the sun was like enchantment on his face and on the clouds and on the golden birch leaves, and the wind's rustle was so gentle, and the yew –tree green so dark, and the sickle of a moon pale in the sky (Galsworthy).
5. I return it, but should you think fit to invest it for the benefit of the little chap (we call him Jolly) who bears our Christian and, by courtesy, our surname, I shall be very glad (Galsworthy).
6. I love my Love, and my Love loves me! (Coleridge).
7. And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor. Shall be lifted – nevermore! (Рое).
8. Down came the storm, and smote again. The vessel in its strength... (Longfellow).
9. I went to Oxford as one goes into exile; she to London (Wells).
10. Well, Judge Thatcher, he took it [the money] and put it out at interest,.. (Twain).
11. Women are not made for attack. Wait they must (Conrad).
12. Gentleness in passion! What could have been more seductive to the scared, starved heart of that girl? (Conrad).
13. A dark gentleman... A very bad manner. In the last degree constrained, reserved, diffident, troubled (Dickens).
14. She narrowed her eyes a trifle at me and said I looked exactly like Celia Briganza's boy. Around the mouth (Salinger).
15. And it was so unlikely that any one would trouble to look there – until – until – well (Dreiser).
16. ...the photograph of Lotta Lindbeck he tore into small bits across and across and across (Ferber).
17. It was Mr. Squeers's custom to... make a sort of report... regarding the relations and friends he had seen, the news he had heard, the letters he had brought down, the bills which had been paid, the accounts which had been unpaid, and so forth (Dickens).
18. His dislike of her grew because he was ashamed of it... Resentment bred shame, and shame in its turn bred more resentment (Huxley).
19. First the front, then the back, then the sides, then the superscription, then the seal, were objects of Newman's admiration (Dickens).
20. I see what you mean. And I want the money. Must have it (Priestley).
Exercise VI. Specify the functions performed by syntactical expressive means in the following examples:
1. ...I've done everything for them.They've eaten my food and drunk my wine. I've run their errands for them. I've made their parties for them. I've turned myself inside out to do them favours. And what have I got out of it? Nothing, nothing, nothing... (Maugham).
2. «The result of an upright, sober and godly life», he laughed. «Plenty of work. Plenty of exercise...» (Maugham).
3. «You have a splendid rank. I don't want you to have any more rank. It might go to your head. Oh, darling, I'm awfully glad you're not conceited. I'd have married you even if you were conceited but it's very restful to have a husband who's not conceited» (Hemingway).
4. «I'm serious, y'know», he declared now, with the same dreary solemnity. «I'm not joking. You get me that job out there as soon as you can. I'm serious» (Priestley).
5. «You are. You are worse than sneaky. You are like snake, A snake with an Italian uniform: with a cape around your neck» (Hemingway).
6. «I wouldn't mind him if he wasn't so conceited and didn't bore me, and bore me, and bore me» (Hemingway).
7. I was very angry. «The whole thing is crazy. Down below they blow up a little bridge. Here they leave a bridge on the main road. Where is everybody? Don't they try and stop them at all?» (Hemingway).
8. «Isn't it a grand country? I love the way it feels under my shoes» (Hemingway).
9. «Never in my life have I faced a sadder duty. It will always be with me» (Dreiser).
10. «But, Jane, you owe everything to Gilbert», said Mrs. Tower indignantly. «You wouldn't exist without him. Without him to design your clothes, you'll be nothing» (Maugham).
11. In her mother's lap afterwards Rosemary cried and cried. «I love him, Mother. I'm desperately in love with him –I never knew I could feel that way about anybody. And he's married and I like her too – it's just helpless. Oh, I love him so!» (Fitzgerald).
12. The voice in the hall rose high with annoyance: «Very well, then, I won't sell you the car at all... I'm under no obligation to you at all... and as for your bothering me about it at lunch time, I won't stand that at all!» (Fitzgerald).
13. «No-! No-! Let her go! Let her go, you fool, you fool-!» cried Ursula at the top of her voice, completely outside herself (Lawrence).
14. «But I will. I'll say just what you wish and I'll do what you wish and you will never want any other girls, will you? » She looked at me very happily. «I'll do what you want and say what you want and then I'll be a great success, won't I? » (Hemingway).
15. «She's brazen, brazen», burst from Mrs. Davidson. Her anger almost suffocated her (Lawrence).
16. «Oh, all right». Edna wriggled her shoulders. «Don't go on and on about it...» (Priestley).
17. «I wouldn't have a boy. I mean I always wanted girls. I mean girls have got a lot more zip to them. I mean they're a lot zippier. But let's go! » (Lardner).
18. Five minutes of crashing through a thicket of chaparral brought them to open woods, where the three horses were tied to low-hanging branches. One was waiting for John Big Dog, who would never ride by night or day again. This animal the robbers divested of saddle and bridle and set free.
Exercise VII. Classify the expressive devices based upon absence of logically indispensable syntactical units; specify their functions:
1. «...What part of the East was you from, any way?» –«New York State», said Shark Dodson... (O'Henry).
2. «Gar!» said the first man. «Northwestern Mounted Police! That must be a job! A good rifle and a good horse and no closed season on Indians! That's what I call Sport! » (Reed).
3. Then somebody I couldn't see yelled out, so hoarse he couldn't hardly speak, «Where'd he go?» – «Past the house and out back!» says I, and started to run (Reed).
4. «I love Nevada. Why, they don't even have mealtimes here. I never met so many people didn't own a watch» (Miller).
5. Pain and discomfort – that was all the future held. And meanwhile ugliness, sickness, fatigue (Huxley).
6. «What about the gold bracelet she'd been wearing that afternoon, the bracelet he'd never seen before and which she'd slipped off her wrist the moment she realized he was in the room? Had Steve given her that? And if he had...» (Quentin).
7. With these hurried words, Mr. Bob Sawyer pushed the postboy on one side, jerked his friend into the vehicle, slammed the door, put up the steps, wafered the bill on the street-door, locked it, put the key in his pocket, jumped into the dickey, gave the word for starting... (Dickens).
8. This story really doesn't get anywhere at all. The rest of it comes later –sometimes when Piggy asks Dulcie again to dine with him, and she is feeling lonelier than usual, and General Kitchener happens to be looking the other way; andthen – (O'Henry).
9. «Very windy, isn't it?» said Strachan, when the silence had lashed some time.– «Very», said Wimsey. –«But it's not raining», pursued Strachan. – «Not yet», said Wimsey. – «Better than yesterday», said Strachan … - «Tons better. Really you know, you'd think they'd turned on the waterworks yesterday on purpose to spoil my sketching party». –«Oh, well», said Strachan. –«How long have you been on that?» – «About an hour», said Strachan (Sayers).
10. Nothing – nothing! Just the scent of camphor, and dustmotes in a sunbeam through the fanlight over the door. The little old house! Л mausoleum! (Galsworthy).
11. Students would have no need to «walk the hospitals» if they had me. I was a hospital in myself (Jerome).
12. She possessed two false teeth and a sympathetic heart (O'Henry).
13. She had her lunches in the department-store restaurant at a cost of sixty cents for the week; dinners were $1.05. The evening papers – show me a New Yorker without his daily paper! – came to six cents; and two Sunday papers – one for the personal column and the other to read – were ten cents. The total amounts to $4.76. Now, one had to buy clothes, and – (O'Henry).
14. There was a whisper in my family that it was love drove him out, and not love of the wife he married (Steinbeck).
Exercise VIII. Classify the expressive devices based upon the excess of syntactical units; specify the functions performed by them in the following examples:
1. ...the photograph of Lotta Lindbeck he tore into small bits across and across and across (Ferber).
2. He sat, still and silent, until his future landlord accepted his proposals and brought writing materials to complete the business. He sat, still and silent, while the landlord wrote (Dickens).
3. Supposing his head had been held under water for a while. Supposing the first blow had been truer. Supposing he had been shot. Supposing he had been strangled. Supposing this way, that way, the other way. Supposing anything but getting unchained from the one idea for that was inexorably impossible (Dickens).
4. You know how brilliant he is, what he should be doing. And it hurts me. It hurts me every day of my life (Deeping).
5. The whitewashed room was pure while as of old, the methodical book-keeping was in peaceful progress as of old, and some distant howler was hanging against a cell door as of old (Dickens).
6. He ran away from the battle. He was an ordinary human being that didn't want to kill or be killed, so he ran away from the battle (Heym).
7. Failure meant poverty, poverty meant squalor, squalor led, in the final stages, to the smells and stagnation of B. Inn Alley (du Maurier).
8. And the coach, and the coachman, and the horses, rattled, and jangled, and whipped, and cursed, and swore, and tumbled on together, till they came to Golden Square (Dickens).
9. I wake up and I'm alone, and I walk round Warley and I'm alone, and I talk with people and I'm alone and I look at his face when I'm home and it's dead... (Braine).
10. Bella soaped his face and rubbed his face, and soaped his hands and rubbed his hands, and splashed him, and rinsed him and towered him, until he was as red as beet-root (Dickens).
Exercise IX. Comment on the stylistically relevant syntactical peculiarities in the following abstracts from «Mac-American» by J. Reed:
1. ...Mac looked at me withsome distaste. «I'm not a religious man». He spat. «But I don't go around knocking God. There's too much risk in it». – «Risk of what?» – «Why, when you die – you know...» Now he was disgusted and angry.
2. «When I came down to Burlington to work in the lumber mill, I was only a kid about sixteen. My brother had been working there already a year, and he took me up to board at the same house as him. He was four years older than me –a big guy, too; but a little soft... Always kept bulling around about how wrong it was to fight, and that kind of stuff. Never would hit me – even when he got hot at me because he said I was smaller».
3. «It was a bad fight. He was out to kill me. I tried to kill him, too. A big, red cloud came over me, and I went raging, tearing mad. See this ear?» Mac indicated the stump of the member alluded lo. «He did that. I got him in one eye, though, so he never saw again. We soon quit using fists; we scratched. And choked, and bit, and kicked. They say my brother let out a roar like a bull every few minutes, but I just opened my mouth and screamed all the time...».
Exercise X. Analyze the functions performed by syntactical expressive devices in the following abstracts; state the type of stylistic coloring imparted to the narration by these devices:
1. The sidewalks ran like Spring ice going out, grinding and hurried and packed close from bank to bank. Ferret-faced slim men, white-faced slim women, gleam of white shirtfronts, silk hats, nodding flowery broad hats, silver veils over dark hair, hard little somber hats with a dab of vermilion, satin slippers, petticoat-edges, patent-leathers, rouge and enamel and patches. Voluptuous exciting perfumes. Whiffs of cigarette smoke caught up to gold radiance, bluely. Cafe and restaurant music scarcely heard, rhythmical. Lights, sound, swift feverish pleasure... First the flood came slowly, then full tide – furs richer than in Russia, silks than the Orient, jewels than Paris, faces and eyes and bodies the desire of the world – then the rapid ebb, and the street-walkers (Reed).
2. I wandered down the feverish street, checkered with light and shade, crowned with necklaces and pendants and lavaliers and sunbursts of light, littered with rags and papers, torn up for subway construction, patrolled by the pickets of womankind. One tall, thin girl who walked ahead of me I watched. Her face was deadly pale, and her lips like blood. Three times I saw her speak to men – three times edge into their paths, and with a hawklike tilt of her head murmur to them from the corner of her mouth (Reed).
3. We sat against the wall, watching the flush of faces, the whiteness of slim shoulders, hearing the too loud laughter, smelling cigarette smoke and the odor that is like the taste of too much champagne. Two orchestras brayed, drummed and banged alternately. A dance for the guests – then professional dancers and singers, hitching spasmodically, bawling flatly meaningless words to swift rhythm. Then the lights went out, all except the spot on the performers, and in the drunken dark we kissed hotly. Flash! Lights on again, burst of hard hilarity, whirl of shouting words, words, words, rush of partners to the dance floor, orchestra crashing syncopated breathless idiocy, bodies swaying and jerking in wild unison (Reed).
Exercise XI.While reading the following story by E. Hemingway, note how all its elements are related to the whole structure and the message.
OLD MAN AT THE BRIDGE
An old man with steel rimmed spectacles and very dusty clothes sat by the side of the road. There was a pontoon bridge across the river and carts, trucks, and men, women and children were crossing it. The mule-drawn carts staggered up the steep bank from the bridge with soldiers helping push against the spokes of the wheels. The trucks ground up and away heading out of it all and the peasants plodded along in the ankle deep dust. But the old man sat there without moving. He was too tired to go any farther.
It was my business to cross the bridge, explore the bridgehead beyond and find out to what point the enemy had advanced. I did this and returned over the bridge. There were not so many carts now and very few people on foot, but the old man was still there.
«Where do you come from?» I asked him.
«From San Carlos,» he said, and smiled.
That was his native town and so it gave him pleasure to mention it and he smiled.
«I was taking care of animals,» he explained.
«Oh,» I said, not quite understanding.
«Yes,» he said, «I stayed, you see, taking care of animals. I was the last one to leave the town of San Carlos.»
He did not look like a shepherd nor a herdsman and I looked at his black dusty clothes and his gray dusty face and his steel rimmed spectacles and said, «What animals were they?»
«Various animals,» he said, and shook his head. «I had to leave them.»
I was watching the bridge and the African looking country of the Ebro Delta and wondering how long it would be before we would see the enemy, and listening all the while for the first noises that would signal that ever mysterious event called contact, and the old man still sat there.
«What animals were they?» I asked.
«There were three animals altogether,» he explained. «There were two goats and a cat and then there were four pairs of pigeons.»
«And you had to leave them?» I asked.
«Yes. Because of the artillery. The captain told me to go because of the artillery.»
«And you have no family?» I asked, watching the far end of the bridge where a few last carts were hurrying down the slope of the bank.
«No,» he said, «only the animals I stated. The cat, of course, will be all right. A cat can look out for itself, but I cannot think what will become of the others.»
«What politics have you?» Tasked.
«I am without politics,» he said. «I am seventy-six years old. I have come twelve kilometers now and I think now I can go no further.»
«This is not a good place to stop,» I said. «If you can make it, there are trucks up the road where it forks for Tortosa.»
«I will wait a while,» he said, «and then I will go. Where do the trucks go?»
«Towards Barcelona,» I told him.
«I know no one in that direction,» he said, «but thank you very much. Thank you again very much.»
He looked at me very blankly and tiredly, then said, having to share his worry with someone, «The cat will be all right, I am sure. There is no need to be unquiet about the cat. But the others. Now what do you think about the others? «
«Why they'll probably come through it all right.»
«You think so?»
«Why not,» I said, watching the far bank where now there were no carts.
«But what will they do under the artillery when I was told to leave because of the artillery?»
«Did you leave the dove cage unlocked?» I asked.
«Then they'll fly.»
«Yes, certainly they'll fly. But the others. It's better not to think about the others,» he said.
«If you are rested I would go,» I urged. «Get up and try to walk now.»
«Thank you», he said and got to his feet, swayed from side to side and then sat down backwards in the dust.
«I was taking care of animals,» he said dully, but no longer to me. «I was only taking care of animals.»
There was nothing to do about him. It was Easter Sunday and the Fascists were advancing toward the Ebro. It was a gray overcast day with a low ceiling so their planes were not up. That and the fact that cats know how to look after themselves was all the good luck that old man would ever have.
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