Thursday, July 14, 2011

"The Salt Sea."

Benjamin Subercaseaux.

Summary: The Captain of the cargo ship hates stowaways. He has them burned in the ship’s boiler room—alive. Andromilio says that the smoke stack emits black smoke when the normal fuel is used, but when the fire is fed with a stowaway—alive—the smoke turns blue.

China Boy is a stowaway caught in the cargo hold. The narrator tries to keep him in his room with Andromilio’s help. But China Boy leaves the room, is caught and accepts his fate. Infuriated, the narrator sees the blue smoke. The captain’s tasty morsel.

The narrator tries to desert the ship but the captain is there. The narrator turns, furiously, on the captain but is restrained by Andromilio, knocked unconscious and tumbles down the gangplank. Then Andromilio tosses his clothes at the captain and he joins the narrator in leaving the ship.

The setting of the cargo ship and the sea is vividly depicted, matching the mood of the narrator. The reader is there. Pp. 260-258.

Spanish Stories and Tales. Ed. By Harriet de Onís. The Pocket Library, 1956.

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