Saturday, October 7, 2017

the last book I ever read (The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth, excerpt six)

from The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth:

Frau Demant sat like him, her elbows propped on her lap, her chin in her hands, and her eyes on the rug. She was probably waiting for a comforting word, a bit of charity. He was silent. He relished the blissful feeling that his callous silence was a dreadful revenge for his friend’s death. He thought of the dangerous pretty little husband-killing women who often recurred in the conversations of officers. She most likely belonged to the dangerous tribe of weak murderesses. He had to do his best to escape her power immediately. He girded himself to leave. At that moment, Frau Demant’s changed her position. She took her hands from her chin. He left hand began gently and conscientiously smoothing the silk braid along the sofa’s edge. Her fingers moved along the narrow glossy path leading from her to Lieutenant Trotta, to and fro, regular and gradual. Those fingers stole into his field of vision; he longed for blinders. The white fingers entangled him in a mute conversation that could not possibly be broken off. Smoke a cigarette: a wonderful idea! He pulled out his cigarette case, his matches.

“Give me one!” said Frau Demant.

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