. . . but they have no interest in real combat, when the great masters struggle against that something, that something that terrifies us all, that something that cows us and spurs us on, amid blood and mortal wounds and stench.

10 April 2010

The Professor's Crater

Haas’s lawyer is not a happy woman:

If it had been up to her, everyone around her, the shadowy figures on the edges of the photograph, would have disappeared instantly, and so would the room, the prison, jailers and jailed, the hundred-year-old walls of the Santa Teresa penitentiary, and all that was left would be a crater, and in the crater there would be only silence and the vague presence of the lawyer and Haas, chained in the depths. Page 591.

A couple of pages later, we revisit the crater in interesting fashion in the dreams of the comically pretentious and ineffective Professor Kessler:

On his way back to the hotel, in one of the city council’s official cars, Kessler thought how nice and hospitable these people really were, just as he had believed Mexicans to be. That night, tired, he dreamed of a crater and a man pacing around it. That man is probably me, he said to himself in the dream, but it didn’t strike him as important and the image was lost.

Page 594.

Of course as nearly as we can tell, nothing that really is important strikes Professor Kessler as being important. During his “investigation” this is the guy whose mind wanders to the question of how they got the scrap metal up into the hills of Cerro Estrella while he is having a shot of bacanora. Page 599.

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