People in my books: Ignacio. Peru & Spain, a novel.
Marie-Carmen’s father said she quite simply fell in love with the first handsome young man that walked in the door. And there was some truth in that. Not that he minded. Better by far that she fall in love – and marry – a young man who was in the right place at the right time, than leave things to chance. As it was his life was too full of chances. Every step he took, every corner he turned, was another risk, another inch to where he shouldn’t be.
Ignacio was the new chief of police at Lima Police Headquarters, young for the post, strong, highly intelligent, sharp, fundamentally honest – and ruthless when he needed to be. We was a good man, would be good to Marie-Carmen, loved her too. What more could a father ask?
Ignacio saw through it all at an early stage. The wealthy businessman he found as his father-in-law was already well-known and linked to a great many dark dealings. But that was OK, for it was the case with the vast majority of wealthy people at that time, Ignacio included. He was a multi-millionaire in his own right and didn’t care to question where his money – all inherited – had originated. He adored Marie-Carmen. Ten years older than she, she was like a fluttering bird his his arms, a porcelaine, white, silken beauty, untouched by another man.
He badly wanted to create a new world for his country, for her, for all of them.
He also knew, from an early stage, that it would probably all go wrong. Unless he was exceptionally lucky, outstandingly smart, unless he could outwit and outrun the sharpest of the sharp, they would come to grief. Perhaps the mistake that he made … if it was a mistake … was that, although he was strong, both mentally and physically, he was not as strong as he thought.
Extract from “Saying Nothing”, a novel set in Spain, by Catherine Broughton:-
Marie-Carmen tipped forwards slightly on the back seat as the taxi driver swore under his breath and halted at the San Pedro junction. It was most unusual these days to see a donkey and cart on the road, and this donkey and cart trundled along slowly slap bang in the centre of the road. The driver’s head, even from behind, looked proudly defiant. In front of it was a tractor. Both looked totally incongruous on the paved and palm-lined streets. Farms in the hills were common enough, and to see farm workers here on the coast took the local people back to the old days, and some old folk stood and watched, nodding to themselves as they remembered the times fifty years ago.
“It ought to be forbidden!” spat the taxi driver.
“He has to go somewhere,” said Marie-Carmen reasonably, remembering that she was to speak in English only.
“Well, he should go some other time – not at peak traffic time!”
The driver was bordering on rude but Marie-Carmen was aware that the rudeness was not directed at her. Of course, she reflected, he wastes his time sitting behind a donkey. She had never worked. Her mother had never worked. In fact, it was slightly shocking to think of her mother working! Both Ignacio and her father had always been involved in politics and the police.
She watched silently as the taxi driver waited for his moment to overtake. He revved the engine up, impatient, slipped into first, second, then back into neutral with another little expletive under his breath. The man with the donkey seemed not to notice, or, if he did, he didn’t care. The sun beat down onto the top of the tattered straw hat he wore, and he sat hunched forward over the reins, making little clicking sounds with his tongue.
Looking out of the rear window, Marie-Carmen saw that a line of cars was building up behind them, with another line moving in, hooting now, from the right which led up to Estepona. In the other direction, traffic was moving swiftly and it was impossible to overtake.
The driver growled that they would be late in Malaga.
“No importa,” she replied – ‘it doesn’t matter’.
To her left people sat drinking at a pavement cafe, watching with mild interest the fracas that was building up at the junction. A couple of drivers leaned out of their car windows to shout at the man with the donkey. She longed for a cold juice.
In Peru, they often – almost always – carried cold water in an “eski” in the boot. Prisca used to put it there. Of course, there were not the bars and cafes where one could stop so easily and more often than not tap water couldn’t be drunk anyway. She remembered her mother was always dubious about eating or drinking anywhere other than at home, though standards had improved, of course, and in recent years there was a really attractive place on the paseo where they would often stop for a coffee.
Marie-Carmen gazed absent-mindedly out of the taxi window, her eyes scanning lightly the brown mountains against the blue sky; there were little white farmhouses dotted in the hills, just visible beyond the buildings of San Pedro. Tall palms waved lightly in the sea breeze and she noted vaguely that there were no seagulls – she had disliked intensely the squawking, screeching cries of the seagulls in Brighton. When was that? Months ago now, a day trip while they were staying in London.
In some ways she’d have liked to go somewhere rather more sophisticated than the south of Spain. New York, Manhattan would have been great! They had friends in Manhattan. Wow, the Americans know how to do it! Paris, perhaps, or London, Vienna, but Ignacio was right, they could mingle in here with no trouble; they were not discernible in these crowds.
Beyond the bar, a man came out of a small side street where she could see the police station.
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