ROMANCE [NOOK Book]

ROMANCE

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Overview

PART FIRST -- THE QUARRY AND THE BEACH


ROMANCE




CHAPTER ONE

To yesterday and to to-day I say my polite "vaya usted con Dios." What
are these days to me? But that far-off day of my romance, when from
between the blue and white bales in Don Ramon's darkened storeroom, at
Kingston, I saw the door open before the figure of an old man with the
tired, long, white face, that day I am not likely to forget. I remember
the chilly smell of the typical West Indian store, the indescribable
smell of damp gloom, of locos, of pimento, of olive oil, of new sugar,
of new rum; the glassy double sheen of Ramon's great spectacles, the
piercing eyes in the mahogany face, while the tap, tap, tap of a cane
on the flags went on behind the inner door; the click of the latch; the
stream of light. The door, petulantly thrust inwards, struck against
some barrels. I remember the rattling of the bolts on that door, and the
tall figure that appeared there, snuffbox in hand. In that land of white
clothes, that precise, ancient, Castilian in black was something to
remember. The black cane that had made the tap, tap, tap dangled by a
silken cord from the hand whose delicate blue-veined, wrinkled wrist ran
back into a foam of lawn ruffles. The other hand paused in the act of
conveying a pinch of snuff to the nostrils of the hooked nose that had,
on the skin stretched tight over the bridge, the polish of old ivory;
the elbow pressing the black cocked-hat against the side; the legs,
one bent, the other bowing a little back--this was the attitude of
Seraphina's father.

Having imperiously thrust the door of the inner room open, he remained
immovable, with no intention of entering, and called in a harsh,
aged voice: "Señor Ramon! Señor Ramon!" and then twice:
"Sera-phina--Seraphina!" turning his head back.

Then for the first time I saw Seraphina, looking over her father's
shoulder. I remember her face on that day; her eyes were gray--the gray
of black, not of blue. For a moment they looked me straight in the face,
reflectively, unconcerned, and then travelled to the spectacles of old
Ramon.

This glance--remember I was young on that day--had been enough to set
me wondering what they were thinking of me; what they could have seen of
me.

"But there he is--your Señor Ramon," she said to her father, as if she
were chiding him for a petulance in calling; "your sight is not very
good, my poor little father--there he is, your Ramon."

The warm reflection of the light behind her, gilding the curve of her
face from ear to chin, lost itself in the shadows of black lace falling
from dark hair that was not quite black. She spoke as if the words clung
to her lips; as if she had to put them forth delicately for fear of
damaging the frail things. She raised her long hand to a white flower
that clung above her ear like the pen of a clerk, and disappeared. Ramon
hurried with a stiffness of immense respect towards the ancient grandee.
The door swung to.

I remained alone. The blue bales and the white, and the great red oil
jars loomed in the dim light filtering through the jalousies out of the
blinding sunlight of Jamaica. A moment after, the door opened once more
and a young man came out to me; tall, slim, with very bright, very large
black eyes aglow in an absolute pallor of face. That was Carlos Riego.

Well, that is my yesterday of romance, for the many things that have
passed between those times and now have become dim or have gone out
of my mind. And my day before yesterday was the day on which I, at
twenty-two, stood looking at myself in the tall glass, the day on which
I left my home in Kent and went, as chance willed it, out to sea with
Carlos Riego.

That day my cousin Rooksby had become engaged to my sister Veronica, and
I had a fit of jealous misery. I was rawboned, with fair hair, I had a
good skin, tanned by the weather, good teeth, and brown eyes. I had not
had a very happy life, and I had lived shut in on myself, thinking
of the wide world beyond my reach, that seemed to hold out infinite
possibilities of romance, of adventure, of love, perhaps, and stores of
gold. In the family my mother counted; my father did not. She was the
daughter of a Scottish earl who had ruined himself again and again. He
had been an inventor, a projector, and my mother had been a poor beauty,
brought up on the farm we still lived on--the last rag of land that had
remained to her father. Then she had married a good man in his way; a
good enough catch; moderately well off, very amiable, easily influenced,
a dilettante, and a bit of a dreamer, too.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940012363091
  • Publisher: SAP
  • Publication date: 4/17/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 411 KB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    Romance lovers

    Love this book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Sounds good

    Dont know f its a good book or not because have nt read it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Ggh

    Gbbn

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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