Only Yesterday

By S. Y. Agnon; Barbara Harshav | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOUR
Delays Isaac in Jaffa

1

When Isaac opened his eyes he said to himself, Well, here I am in Jaffa, in this inn where I stayed the day I ascended to the Land of Israel, though its owners have changed, and I too have changed a little, and yet here I am again in this very same inn where I stayed the day I ascended to the Land. This matter, that he had come upon the same inn and so forth, seemed to warrant examination. But since he didn't know what the matter was, he repeated the words, perhaps this way he might comprehend it.

His sleep didn't open his bones, and he still was as tired as when he lay down to sleep, for he had sat eight hours crowded in a cart and all night long he hadn't tasted sleep, and when he got to Jaffa, he had trouble finding an inn, and when he did find an inn he ran around until the day passed and went to Sonya's place and sat with her until after midnight, something he wasn't used to doing in Jerusalem, for if he went to bed late, he caught up with his sleep the next night.

He stayed in bed and started thinking about the events that had happened to him the night before. Everything went well, Isaac said aloud. But his voice wasn't nice. He stretched his hands in front of him and asked, Why did I come down to Jaffa? Isaac knew very well why he had come down to Jaffa, to get things straight with Sonya, so he would be a free man and ready for Shifra. And in that he had succeeded very easily. And even though he should have been glad that he separated from Sonya without any difficulty, his mood was spoiled, for she regarded him as so unimportant, that she separated from him without a murmur.

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