Shared anguish and desperation

A dear character from a book.
After giving it a lot of thought about what character from a book I haven’t been able to stop thinking about, and going over a list of my favorite characters, I’d say that the one that totally “came to live” in front my eyes and became part of my everyday thoughts was Ricardo Jordan, the main character of a play called La barca sin pescador (The boat without fisherman), written by the Spanish author Alejandro Casona.
The story is about a stockbroker who is having some trouble with his business and makes a deal with the devil for him to make his successful career go back on track. In return, Ricardo has to kill a man.
The tricks of the devil make Jordan believe that the scream he has just heard from the coast nearby is from a woman crying out for her husband, a fisherman who has just died at the very moment Ricardo signed the deal.
Ricardo can’t stand what has just happened and spends the rest of the story trying to make it up for what he has done to the woman.
As the time passes, he becomes a new man and somehow he realizes that he wasn’t to blame for the fisherman’s death, but the contract’s still due, and the time to give up his soul in return for his renewed wealth is getting closer.
Anguish and desperation appear, but he keeps on thinking about a solution for his dilemma until the very last second, when the devil is right there, wearing his black fancy clothes, the same as he did the first time he met Ricardo. It’s time to go… or at least it seams.
As the devil thinks Ricardo can’t deliver his part of the contract anymore, he burns the document, but things don’t go the way he has expected, as Ricardo, just in time, and while the contract is going to ashes, tells the devil that he’s not going anywhere, because the deal said that he had to kill someone, and someone has died. “Me”, Ricardo says. “I’m not longer the same man you met and dealt with. So, as far as everybody’s concerned, I’ve killed a man”.
Of course, by the time I reached this point, I’d held my breath so many times, and felt sorry and sad for Ricardo’s faith so many times, that I just kept thinking about how he could get out of the deal and remain alive. That’s why I felt so relief when at the end of the story everything worked just fine for him.


Author: The Traveling Book Club by Nora Vasconcelos

I'm a born writer and a journalist who loves books so much that can't live without them.

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