KILLING A MOUSE ON SUNDAY by Emeric Pressburger


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Manuel Artiguez was a great Loyalist hero in the Spanish Civil War. At 56, his health and ego broken, he lives as an exile in France, close to the Spanish border and has carried off small raids in Pamplona 3 and 4 times a year in the 20-odd years that have passed since the War. Crippled by fear and hatred, Artiguez decides that he will not return again to Pamplona unless his aging mother Pilar calls for him. In Pamplona, 100,000 pesetas are offered for the capture of the one-time Loyalist hero and Vinolas, captain of the Pamplona police, has been obsessed for 15 years with the idea of the personal glory he will achieve when he has captured Artiguez. When it becomes apparent that Pilar is close to death in the Santa Cruz hospital in Pamplona, Vinolas sets a tight trap for the expected Artiguez. The only man who is willing to take the responsibility for warning Artiguez about the trap is a young priest from Pamplona, Father Francisco. On his way to a weekend pilgrimage to Lourdes, Father Francisco seeks out Artiguez, and, in the core of the novel, we watch and feel the development of this strange and fateful relationship between the young priest and the violently anti-clerical heathen, Artiguez. This is an exciting and fast-moving story, narrated alternately by four of the main characters involved. Although not entirely successful in terms of characterization, this is an interesting technique and makes for good reading.

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World