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Jeopardy Is My Job von Marlowe, Stephen (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 10.12.2014
  • Verlag: Bastei Lübbe
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Jeopardy Is My Job

Drum looks for a missing American in a sea of degenerate expats. An American has vanished in Spain, and it's his father, not his wife, who wants him found. When Chester Drum arrives in Iberia, legs aching from the three-thousand-mile flight, he finds Andrea Hartshorn not panicked, not mourning, but hosting the party of the year. World-weary expatriates mill about the villa, guzzling her liquor and dancing, without a thought for their missing countryman. Andrea is far from sober, but finally Drum gets her to open up. Of course she wants her husband back. But more than that, she wants her daughter. Robbie was last seen going south to Fuengirola, to confront a crippled bullfighter named Ruy Fuentes, who had been courting the Hartshorns' toreador-mad daughter. Drum sets out to find the missing Hartshorns, and learns that in Spain, a bull's horn is not the only romantic way to die. Review Quote: "Very few writers of the tough private-eye story can tell it more accurately than Mr. Marlowe, or with such taut understatement of violence and sex." - The New York Times Book Review - "Often brash and violent ... with an impish sense of humor." - The Independent - "Drum sleuths to his own beat; he is a strong private investigator, who hooks the audience in each tale, short or long." - Harriet Klausner Book Reviews - "Langton's sparkling prose and inimitable wit offer a delectable feast for the discriminating reader." - Publishers Weekly - "Like Jane Austen and Barbara Pym, Langton is blessed with the comic Spirit - a rare gift of genius to be cherished." - St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Biographical note: Stephen Marlowe (1928-2008) was the author of more than fifty novels, including nearly two dozen featuring globe-trotting private eye Chester Drum. Born Milton Lesser, Marlowe was raised in Brooklyn and attended the College of William and Mary. After several years writing science fiction under his given name, he legally adopted his pen name, and began focusing on Chester Drum, the Washington-based detective who first appeared in The Second Longest Night (1955). Although a private detective akin to Raymond Chandler's characters, Drum was distinguished by his jet-setting lifestyle, which carried him to various exotic locales from Mecca to South America. These espionage-tinged stories won Marlowe acclaim, and he produced more than one a year before ending the series in 1968. After spending the 1970s writing suspense novels like The Summit (1970) and The Cawthorn Journals (1975), Marlowe turned to scholarly historical fiction. He lived much of his life abroad, in Switzerland, Spain, and France, and died in Virginia in 2008.

Produktinformationen

    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: none
    Seitenzahl: 140
    Erscheinungsdatum: 10.12.2014
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783958591912
    Verlag: Bastei Lübbe
    Größe: 1729kBytes
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Jeopardy Is My Job

chapter two

It takes an expert to tell the work of a superb matador from the work of a merely adequate one who knows his limitations and is in there to punch his time clock and collect his pesetas, but you don't have to be an afficionado with a seat in the sun and a Hemingway beard and a wineskin slung over your shoulder to separate the men from the boys when it comes to the dangerous skill of charging at a tangent into the path of a galloping bull and planting a pair of barbed spikes called banderillas in the ridge of muscle behind its huge head.

Ruy Fuentes was a banderillero. I first saw him plying his deadly trade the next afternoon in the bull ring at Fuengirola. His job, like that of the picador who sat astride a padded and blindfolded nag and wore armor from the waist down, was to weaken the bull, and particularly the ridge of muscle on the bull's neck, for the sword of the matador. Ruy Fuentes wore an Andalucian costume-dark gray suit with cutaway jacket, frilly shirt and narrow-legged trousers, cowboy boots and a broad-brimmed, flat-crowned black hat.

Four times that hot June afternoon I saw him work. He would stand across the ring from twelve-hundred pounds of enraged bull, shout, beckon imperiously and sprint across the sand with a ribboned banderilla held in each hand as daintily as a fairy holds her wand. The bull would snort, and paw, and gallop to meet him, head down, curving horns gleaming in the sunlight. There was a point in the ring where animal and slim gray figure seemed destined to meet. Then Fuentes' arms went up and the bull's head went even lower, and then for an instant they hung together, the bull ready to toss its head and gore with those savage horns, the man ready to plant his banderillas. If he did it right, and each time Fuentes did it exactly right, there was a split-second when Fuentes hung poised, high on his toes, arms up-stretched, between the bull's horns. Then his arms blurred down, the bull bellowed, Fuentes ran clear and the two banderillas, their ribbons fluttering, their barbed hooks trickling blood, hung an inch apart in the center of the ridge of muscle on the bull's neck.

There were four matadors and four fighting bulls to dispose of. Two of the matadors were proficient and two were butchers, and Ruy Fuentes, a contemptuous look on his grave, handsome face because he knew the glory belonged to the matadors and he would win no ears or tail or zapata for his work, stole the show. Each time he came out the crowd would sigh to silence as he rushed headlong to meet his destiny between the bull's horns, and each time they would respond to his work with shouts of "Olé!" and even "Torero!" though young Ruy Fuentes' bullfighting days already were behind him. He never acknowledged the acclaim with so much as a bow. He just stalked off, a solitary figure in the sun, as the trumpet sounded for the matador.

At twenty-two he was a has-been, a torero who'd been trampled and had to settle for a secondary role in the fiesta brava. But at twenty-two he had more pride and dignity than you'd expect under those or any circumstances. I found myself hoping he wouldn't be involved in Robbie Hartshorn's disappearance even though that would mean my one and only lead had petered out.

Long late-afternoon shadows were dark under the iron-pipe and wooden slat scaffolding of Fuengirola's makeshift bull ring when I went below the grandstand and watched a yellow jeep haul the carcass of the final bull out with two urchins dressed in rags riding proudly on its bloody flank and trying to remove the banderillas. A knot of people had gathered around the four matadors whose teeth gleamed in wide smiles. Aficionados mirrored those smiles. They said a word or two, they laughed nervously, their hands reached out to touch the matadors, their heads nodded like corks bobbing on water whenever the matadors deigned to answer them.

Ruy Fuentes stood off to one side, alon

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