Enderby slept, though without dreaming, as though the recent materials made available for dreams were far too shocking to be processed into fantasy. He was shaken awake by Miss Boland, who smiled on him and said, for some reason, "Dirty." He said:
"We're there," she said. "Sunny Spain, though it's the middle of the night and it's been raining. The rain in Spain," she giggled.
"What do you mean, dirty? Did I do something I shouldn't? In my sleep, that is?" He wondered what incontinent act might have overtaken him.
"That's what it says. Come on, we're to get out." People were passing down the aisle, some yawning as after a boring sermon. Miss Boland smiled as if she were some relative of the vicar. "Also," she said over her shoulder, "it says nasty and foul." Enderby saw wet-gleaming tarmac under dim lamps. There was something he had to worry about. He said:
"Oh, come on." She was getting her raincoat and overnight satchel from the rack. Enderby had nothing to get. Feeling naked, he said:
"I'll carry that if you like." And then his fear smote him and his hand shook.
"That's sweet of you. Take it then." He could hardly get his hand through the straps of the bag, but she didn't notice: she had arrived in non-sunny, not even moony, Spain. Mr Mercer seemed as nervous as Enderby himself; it was as though he had to introduce Seville like his wife and, perhaps being on the menopause, she might do something embarrassing. This was it, Enderby thought, this was it. He was cold and sober and ready and he would bluff it out to the end. He looked coldly and soberly on Miss Boland and decided that she must, in a manner, help him. He would laugh down the steps with her, linked, as if she were his wife. They were looking for a single desperate fugitive, not a laughing married man. But, as they smiled and Enderby nodded at Miss Kelly, standing at the aircraft exit, he saw that the stairway was very narrow and that he must go down unlinked. Miss Kelly beamed at everybody as if they had all just arrived at her party, which was being held in the cellar. Enderby heard Mr Guthkelch ahead, singing "The Spaniard who blighted my life," doing his job.
"He shall die! He shall die! He shall die tiddly iddly eye tie tie eye tie tie tie!"
In very bad taste, Enderby thought. Stepping out into moist velvet warmth, he saw at the stair-bottom only Mr Mercer with an armful of passports chatting quite amiably, though in the loud and slow English needful when speaking to a foreigner, to a foreigner. It was a uniformed Spaniard in dark glasses. He had both hands in his trousers pockets and seemed to Enderby to be playing the solitaire game known as pocket billards. He looked up at Miss Kelly, blowing up sparks from his cigarette at her like impotent signals of desire. He was not, Enderby was sure, from Interpol.
Miss Boland descended before him. As soon as he had reached damp tarmac, Enderby skipped up to her and took her arm. She seemed surprised but not displeased; she pressed Enderby's arm into her warm side. There seemed, and Enderby's knees liquefied in relief as he saw that there seemed, to be no raincoated men waiting anywhere for him on the passage over the tarmac to the airport building. There seemed to be only very lowly workmen, thin and in blue, leaning against walls, smoking vigorously, and eyeing the tourists with the hungry look of the very poor. The airport itself, despite its being very late at night, was busy. There was an aircraft with Arabic letters on it preparing to take off and there was one called IBERIA taxiing in. There were men in overalls pulling carts around and chugging about in little tractors. Enderby approved of all this bustle, especially the passenger-bustle that was evident in the building they now approached. He saw himself being chased and hiding behind people. But no, he was safe for the time being. Miss Boland said:
"There's no luna. That's what it's called, isn't it? Luna. Better than "moon." Lunar. Lunation. Endo-lunar. I thought the luna would be here to meet me. Never mind."
"You've had plenty on the way," said Enderby in a slightly chiding tone. "You'll get plenty while you're here. On holiday, I mean. But I thought perhaps you'd want to get away from it." A fellow-tourist walking near them gave Enderby a suspicious look. "The luna, I mean," Enderby said.
"You can't get away from it," said Miss Boland. "Not if you've given your whole life to it, as I have." And she squeezed Enderby's arm with hers. She was very warm. "Where did you learn Spanish?" she asked.
"I never did. I don't know any Spanish. Italian, yes, a bit. But not Spanish. They're similar, though."
"You're very mysterious," said Miss Boland mysteriously. "You intrigue me rather. There seems to be a lot you're holding back. Why, you haven't even brought a raincoat. But I suppose that's your business, not mine. And no overnight bag of your own. You give me the impression of a man who had to get away in a hurry."
"Oh, I had to," palpitated Enderby. "What I mean is, I'm a man of impulse. I think of a thing and then I do it." She squeezed his arm again and said:
"You can call me Miranda if you like."
"A very poetical name," said Enderby in duty. He couldn't quite remember who wrote that poem. A big Catholic winy man in a cloak. "The fleas that tease in the high Pyrenees," he quoted. And then: "Never more, Miranda, never more. Only the something whore."
"And something something something at the door." They had now entered the airport building. It was small, dark, and smelt faintly of men's urinals, specifically foreign ones, a garlic-scented effluent. There was a big photograph of General Franco, dressed as a civilian, a bald man with jowls and parvenu lifted eyebrows. There were also yellowing notices, probably forbidding things.
Mr Mercer was already there, having perhaps been given a lift in one of those tractors. All the cruise members clustered round him, as for protection. Enderby saw that his arm was still in Miss Boland's. He disengaged it by saying he had to post a letter.
"Mysterious again," she said. "You're no sooner here than you have to post a mysterious letter. Signed with a mysterious name."
"What?" squawked Enderby.
"I'm sorry. I couldn't help seeing it. You left it on the seat. Do forgive me. It was with those brochures and things, and I picked them up to look at them and there was your letter. But it's no good my pretending that I don't know your first name now, is it? Or nickname it must be."
"It must be. I've never seen the name Puerco before." She pronounced it Pure co. "And then, since it looked foreign, I looked it up in my Spanish dictionary, and, lo and behold, there it was. Meaning 'dirty'."
"Actually," Enderby improvised in delirium, "it's an old border name. Welsh border, I mean. My family came from near Shrewsbury. That's a coincidence, that is, the Spanish business, I mean. Look, I've got to post this letter. I'll be back." As soon as he had clumsily pushed his way through the crowd that was round woolly-capped Mr Mercer, he realised he had behaved foolishly in being willing to leave her if only for five minutes. She wouldn't believe that story about Puerco being an old border name; she'd look it up again in her Spanish dictionary and she'd find more than dirty and filthy and so on. She was bound to. He hesitated at a door that led on to a dismal wet garden, beyond it a kind of restaurant all made of big dirty windows. He would have to get that dictionary away from her, tear out the dangerous page or lose the whole book. Or should he now, with his five-pound notes and anthology of exotic pourboires, get out there into the great rainy windy peninsula, lose himself in cork-woods, later became dried up like a raisin tramping the hot white country roads? He thought not. A lean poor man was standing by the door, opposing cigarette-sparks to the dull damp night. It was possible, thought Enderby, that Spanish John's hispaniolising of his mother's maiden name represented a historical phase of the word, long superseded. But if, of course, it was the same as Italian and-Enderby said to this man:
"Amigo." The man responded with a benison of sparks. Enderby said: "In espa~nol. L'animal. What's the espa~nol for it?" He snorted and snuffed the air all around at chest-level as though rooting for truffles. Then he saw that a man in smart uniform, just behind him, was watching with some interest. The lean poor man said:
"Entiendo. Un puerco."
That was it then, Enderby thought grimly. He stood wavering, letter in hand. The thin poor man seemed to be awaiting further charades from Enderby. The uniformed man frowned, very puzzled. The thin poor one whinnied and said, "Un caballo." Enderby said, "S'i," then tripped over the uniformed man's left boot as he went in again, letter unposted.
"My goodness, you were quick," said Miss Boland.
"It's the language," Enderby said. "I don't know the language, as I said. Perhaps if I could borrow your little dictionary -"
"Right," Mr Mercer was now saying. "Everybody please stand round there where the baggage is." They'd got it out pretty quickly, Enderby thought distractedly: no spirit of ma~nana here. "As you know, they have customs here same as everywhere else -"
"Old Spanish customs," cried Mr Guthkelch.
"- But only a few of you will have to open your bags -"
"As long as nobody has to drop 'em," cried Mr Guthkelch, perhaps going too far.
"- It's a sample, you see, what you might call a sample check-up."
"I don't suppose," said Miss Boland to Enderby, "that you"ve got anything so bourgeois as luggage, have you? I suppose you'll be sleeping in your shirt or in the altogether." Her eyes glistened when she said that, as though excited by it. Enderby was disgusted; he said:
"You'll soon see whether I've got anything or not. I'm no different from anybody else." The man who had looked at him suspiciously on the way across the tarmac now did the same thing again. "In the sense, that is," expanded Enderby, "of personal possessions and the like."
"This is a bit like an identification parade, isn't it?" giggled Miss Boland. "Very thrilling." They were all there near the pile of luggage, and an official with a peaked cap did a caged-tiger walk up and down in front of this squad of pleasure-seekers, hands folded behind his back. Enderby saw who it was: that man out there who had frowned at his pig-snorting. The man now halted and faced them. He had jowls not unlike those of his Caudillo and even allomorphs of those eyebrows; perhaps a lowly relative for whom the regime had had to find a job. He sternly pointed at people. He pointed at Enderby. Enderby at once looked round for the man with the overweight luggage. He found him and said: "Where is it?"
"What? That? Why can't you show him your own?"
"Reasons," Enderby said. Things nobody must see."
"Thought there was a catch in it. Right liberty, I call it. Anyway, I've got nothing to fear." And he showed where the supernumerary bag was. Enderby lugged it to the customs-counter. The official was already delicately rooting in a pair of very clean white cotton gloves. He was perfunctory about most passengers' luggage; with Enderby's supposed he was thorough. At the bottom of the bag he found, under that man's Bermuda shorts, the three garish paperbacks that had looked quite harmless in the London air terminal. Here, in a repressed and repressive Catholic country that discharged its extramarital lust in bullfights, they suddenly seemed to flare into the promise of outrageous obscenity. Miss Boland, though not of the luggage-opening elect, was nevertheless by Enderby's side. She saw; "Dirty," she said, grinning. The official held up the three books very nearly to the level of the portrait of the Caudillo, as if for his curse. Mr Guthkelch said: "Who'll start the bidding?" The covers blared three allotropes of mindless generic blonde, in shock and undress. The official pronounced: "Pornogr`aficos." Everybody nodded, pleased that they could understand Spanish. And then, straight at Enderby, he snorted and gave back Enderby's own mime of snout-truffling, adding: "Puerco."
"I see, I see," said Miss Boland, quietly gratified, pressing into Enderby's flank. "So that's how you pronounce it. And it means "pig" too. Stupid of me, I should have seen that. They know you here then. You are a dark horse. Pig, I mean, a dark pig."
From one of the upheld books two flat square little packets dropped out. They fell on to the exposure of somebody's sensible white underwear. All the men at once knew what they were, but one elderly woman, evidently sheltered from the world, said: "Sort of rings. What are they for then?" The man who could best tell her was heard groaning: those objects were obviously ferial, not marital, equipment. The official wiped one cotton-gloved hand against another, made an extravagant gesture of disgust and dismissal, and turned his back on the lot of them. "Ipocritico" murmured Enderby. The official did not hear, or else the Spanish was different from the Italian.
"It pays to be straight," the overweight man was whining. "I've learned my lesson, that I have." His wife looked out, dissociated from him but there would be hell tonight in a foreign bedroom, into wet dark Seville, Don Juan's town. "Let me down, you have," he said unreasonably to Enderby. Everybody else frowned, puzzled, not quick on the uptake. Even Miss Boland. Miss Boland took Enderby's arm, saying: "Come on, Piggy -" A very liberalising influence the moon, Enderby bitterly thought. Mr Mercer called them, in a fatigued voice, to the waiting bus.