—It surprises me that you enjoyed the book I lent you. It seems it would
rankle the very verve of your nature, being set up at such odds with your present
—And what predicament is it causes you to speak with such ire?
—You know damn well what impetus spurs my anger! A thousand efforts of trust
I have heaved on you, and a thousand golden flashes of duplicity have been my
only reward. But for now, I speak only of the book, for it is in my nature not
to speak earnestly of that which truly troubles me. I trust, by a simple deduction,
I can assume it is the same with you?
—If it is the book that concerns you, I will admit it was only the description
of landscapes that bade me speak so highly of it. I can assure you that I felt
so unacquainted with the plot that I can scarcely speak on its behalf. And more
troubling is your truculent nature at my having been amused by "the hills
across the valley of Ebro" being so "long and white." And I can
assure you, the true verve of my nature compels me to speak earnestly. Perhaps
if only you would do the same, you would save yourself such humiliating belligerencies.
—We shall see to whom the favors of salvation are granted and the means
may, in fact, be surprising. For I can assure you, there is no such vision as
lucid as "long and white hills."