Calm, calm. Enderby reflected that it was morning and he was up and there was nothing to prevent his engaging Seville in the doing of what had to be done. First, a question of pesetas. Unshaven, dirty-shirted, otherwise respectable, he asked the day-porter of the hotel, yawning to his duty, where sterling might be changed. He asked in Italian, which, thanks to the Roman Empire, the porter clearly understood. Enderby had some idea that it was forbidden by the British government, treacherously in league with foreign bankers (even Franco's fiscal thugs), to present naked pounds in any Continental place of official monetary transaction. They found you had more pound-notes on you than you ought, by law, to have, and then, by various uncompassionate channels, they reported you to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, an insincerely smiling man Enderby had once seen with a woman in Piggy's Sty. In Italy that time, on his brief and dummy honeymoon, it had been traveller's cheques, which were all right. The porter, in mime and basic Romance, told Enderby that there was a barber round the corner who gave a very good rate of exchange. Enderby felt a little ice cube of pleasure, soon to be pounced on and demolished by the hot water he was in. He needed a shave, anyway. A barber of Seville, eh? "Figaro?" he asked, momentarily forgetting his actual, and other people's proleptic, trouble. Not Figaro, said the unliterary and literal porter. He was called Pepe.
This barber breathed hard on Enderby as he shaved him, a sour young man smelling of very fresh garlic. He seemed not unwilling to change fifty pounds of Enderby's money, and Enderby wondered if the suspiciously clean pesetas he got were genuine. The world was terrible really, full of cheating and shadiness, as much in low as in high places. He tested his pesetas in a dirty eating-den full of loud dialogue (the participants as far away from each other as possible: one man tooth-picking at the door, another hidden in the kitchen, for instance). Enderby asked for ovos which turned out to be huevos, and for prosciutto, not cognate with jam'on. He was learning essential words: he would not starve. He changed a big note with no trouble, receiving back a fistful of small dirty rags. Then, on the counter, he saw a copy of a newspaper called Diario Pueblo.
How often had he, on the day of publication of a volume of his verse (or the day before, if publication day had been Monday), gone to the quality papers as to a condemned cell, his stomach sick and his legs pure angelica. Usually there was no review, poetry being left to accumulate in literary editors' offices until there was enough of it for one expert to do a single clean sweep in a grudging brief article, everybody-Enderby, poetesses, poetasters, Sir George Goodby-all fluffed up together. But once, surprisingly, there had been a prompt solus of condemnation, all for Enderby, in a very reputable paper. Since then, the smell of newsprint had always made him feel slightly giddy. The fear he felt now was strong enough, since it was to do with his appearance in a context of action, but it was mitigated somewhat by the fact of the newspaper's foreignness. It seemed a very badly put together newspaper, with a lot of news items boxed in thick black, as though they were all obituaries. "Scusa" he said to the curled dark youth who took his money. And then he looked for news of himself.
He did not have far to look. It was on the front page. There was, thank God, no photograph, but there were frightful succinct words, as though from some sensational foreign novel. Chocante. Horroroso. Come, that was going too far. Delante del Primer Ministro Brit'anico. They had to bring that in, make it political. Banquete para celebrar something or other. And then Yod Crewsy, cuadrillero de los Fixers. Was he dead, then? What was "dead"-morto? No, Enderby concluded from both his Spanish pseudonym and his eggs, now repeating violently, it must be muerto. References to a rev'olver, very clear that, and to a tiro and-what the hell was this?-an escopetazo. And then it said: El victima, en grave estado, fu'e conducido al some hospital or other, English name of it all messed up. Not muerto yet, then. Enderby was horrified at feeling cheated. All this upset for just en grave estado. Still, that might be pretty bad. Then it said something about Scotland Yard buscando something something un camarero. He knew what that was: Spanish John had once or twice been hailed by that title facetiously by men and women who had been to the Costa del Sol. John had always responded readily, gleaming in complaisant dentition, all of gold. And now it was he, Enderby, who was the camarero. He was wanted, the paper said, to ayudar the polic'ia in their investigaci'on. Well, he'd already helped, hadn't he? He'd sent them the name of the true attempted matador, or whatever it was. And now the newspaper gave Enderby's own abandoned other name, or a version of it. Hagg. That was hardly fair to that barely imaginable sweet woman.
Un camarero quien se llama Hagg. He now felt somewhat better, the eggs settling down, the reality of the thing confirmed, no bad dream. So he went out now, nodding politely to various walnut-skinned early-morning coffee-suckers, and looked on the calle for a general outfitter's shop. The cathedral bell banged once at him, as to announce that the fight was on. So he went and bought himself a drip-dry green camisa, a pair of cheap grey pantalones, and a very light americana or jacket of fawn Moygashel. Also a tie or corbata of rather mouth-watering lime. He changed into these in a dark breadcrumby cubbyhole at the rear of the shop. He also bought a black Basque beret (ah, that took him back, back to the old gusty seaside days when he had fed the ungrateful gulls every perishing morning; happy days, before the horrible outside world's impinging, pressing, overpowering). Also a little overnight bag to put his Hogg clothes in. Hagg, indeed. He couldn't help laughing. Also a razor and blades. And a kind of superstructure of plain anti-sun lenses to clip on to his spectacles. Then he sat outside a caf'e and drank Spanish gin and tonic while a shoeblack blacked his shoes. He counted what money he had left in sterling and pesetas. Not a lot, really, though the shoeblack seemed to think so: his hands performing busily away, he gave money-counting Enderby close attention, as if he were a conductor. And then Enderby saw her, Miss Boland, walking down the calle with arms full of little toys and dolls bought from street-vendors.
Of course, she had as much right to be here as he had, if not more. And so had various other members of the tour who were walking down this main street (the hotel just around the corner), probably newly released from breakfast. There was even Mr Guthkelch over there on the pavement opposite, full of gummy fun though inaudible because of the traffic. Enderby stood up, one foot still on the cleaner's box, and shyly waved at her with both arms. She recognised him, despite his new smartness, and looked grim. She seemed fifteen years older than last night, also very thin, as though wasting away. Her summer dress was suitable for the warm southern autumn, but very dowdy-a blue flowery sack with a string defining her waist. Having given Enderby a filthy look, she was prepared to walk on, but Enderby cried:
"It was inspiration, that's what it was, inspiration. Can't you see that? That hadn't happened to me for years. And I came round to your room, but the door was locked, and I -"
"Don't shout," she hissed. "Don't shout at me. For that matter, don't speak to me. Do you understand? I don't want to see you again. Ever. I want to make that clear, here and now. I don't know you and I don't want to know you." She prepared to move on. Enderby put pesetas on the table, leaving their apportionment to waiter and shoeblack, and then grabbed her arm. He said:
"I know precisely how you must feel." He found he had left his overnight bag on the table, so he went back to get it. "How you must feel," he panted, "but just think," panting to keep up with her long strides. "It was you who brought the gift back. You. The excitement. I didn't dare lose that poem. It meant so much. It was you. The poem was you." He marvelled at himself. "I knew you'd understand." She shook her body impatiently, as to shake him, Enderby, away, and a small clockwork goose, with articulated neck, fell from her arm to the pavement. Enderby picked it up and the beak came off. He panted worse than ever. He said: "In my bag. Put those things in my bag. See, I bought this bag this morning. I got up early and bought things, including this bag. But I'll take my things out, if you like, and you can use the bag for putting your things in."
She began to cry, still walking down the calle. A swarthy man saw her tears and looked with distaste on Enderby. "Oh, you're horrible," she said.
"I'll buy you another goose," promised Enderby. "Though it wasn't my fault it broke," he added, justly. "Look, give me those dolls and things and they can all go in my bag."
She wanted to dry her eyes but couldn't, her arms being full of toys. Who were they for? Perhaps a maternal lust had welled up in her suddenly, thought Enderby with fear. Perhaps she was looking ahead. Perhaps any man would do. He had read of such matters. She was buying playthings for children yet unborn. Enderby said eagerly:
"I wanted to read you the poem, but I couldn't get in." Then he saw that that particular poem, with its tabloid history, would not have done. He was slow in learning about women. Only a love poem could placate her. Had he anything in stock? "See," he said, "look. There's a horse and carriage thing." A coche was creaking along, drawn by a glossy sugar-fed mare. "We'll go for a drive in that, and you can tell me how horrible I am."
"Oh, leave me alone, go away." But she wanted to wipe her cheeks. The coachman, a lined, knowing, very old man, had stopped in response to Enderby's eager look.
"Get in," Enderby said, pushing her. A small tin tortoise prepared to dive from her arm. Enderby saved it and made it nest in his bag, along with the goose. Life was terrible, really. "Go on, get in," he said, more roughly. And then: "I've told you I'm sorry. But you can't get in the way of a poem. Nobody can." So then, sniffing, she got in. "The way of a poem," Enderby said, "passes all human understanding." The cathedral bell clanged a sort of amen. And so they were trotted off gently, and she was able to dry her eyes.
"It could have waited," she said. She began to look plumper again; she was becoming near-mollified. They turned right down a narrow street of pleasant yellow houses with balconies, empty, at this hour, of coy serenaded se~noritas.
"A kind of sprung rhythm," said Enderby. He now thanked God, or Dios as He was here, that some crude lines from an apprentice poem came wriggling back. "Listen." He gave her them in counterpoint to the jaunty bouncing crupper with its blue-ribboned tail:
"I sought scent, and found it in your hair;
Looked for light, and it lodged in your eyes;
So for sound: it held your breath dear;
And I met movement in your ways."
"I see what you mean." She was quick to forgive, a bit too quick. She was thinking of her holiday; Enderby was primarily for holiday use. And on holiday my dear I met this poet. Really? A poet, just imagine. "But even so."
"That time will come again, often." Oh no, it bloody well wouldn't. The ghost of Juan was in the sunlit streets, approving his proposed desertion. "Whereas the time for paying homage-to your beauty, that is -"
"Oh, you are a pig, aren't you?" She came up close to him. "A dirty pig, a puerco puerco. Piggy -"
"Don't call me that."
"Hog, then. Hoggy." Enderby sweated. "Perhaps," she said, "we could get off soon and have a drink. I'm terribly thirsty."
"It's the crying that does it. A big thirst-maker is crying." He remembered his stepmother jeering at him when she'd clouted his earhole and made him howl: Go on, cry more and you'll pee less. "A loss of liquid, you see. It needs replacing."