The Quest

The Quest

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The Quest by Pío Baroja

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The Quest

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Translated from the Spanish by Isaac Goldberg.

Book Excerpt

he head of St. John the Baptist. Every figure expressed amiable joviality: the monarch, with the indumentary of a card-pack king and in the posture of a card-player, was smiling; his daughter, a florid-face dame, was smiling; the familiars, encased in their huge helmets, were smiling, and the very head of St. John the Baptist was smiling from its place upon a repoussé platter. Doubtless the artist of these paintings, if he lacked the gift of design and colour, was endowed with that of joviality.

To the right and left of the house door ran the corridor, from whose walls hung another exhibit of black canvases, most of them unframed, in which could be made out absolutely nothing; only in one of them, after very patient scrutiny, one might guess at a red cock pecking at the leaves of a green cabbage.

Upon this corridor opened the bedrooms, in which, until very late in the afternoon, dirty socks and torn slippers were usually seen strewn upon the floor, while on the unmade beds lay collars and cuffs.

Almo

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