Our Friend Manso

By Benito Pérez Galdós; Robert Russell | Go to book overview

XLVII
SHE WOULDN'T GIVE ME A MINUTE'S PEACE

A THOUSAND BLESSINGS on my affectionate neighbor, who had doubtless set herself the task of making my life pleasant and reconciling me to the human race. O Law of Compensation, thou art unknown to those who eke out an arid life on the steppes of studious effort! But, ah, those who have even once set foot upon the fresh meadows of reality! Down with metaphysics, and on with the story!

I was a bit weary one morning when . . . ting-a-ling. It was Ruperto, who looked blacker than usury to me.

"My mistress . . . please go there now. . ."

"Something for me to do. What's the matter? I'll go immediately."

I found Lica very alarmed because for the long space of three days I had not gone to her house. It was indeed an unusual thing. I made excuses about my work and she called me down for being ungrateful and unappreciative.

"Well, here's why I've sent for you today, dear. You must go with Don Pedro . . ."

"And who is Don Pedro?"

"Oh, you're so out of things. He's Regustiana's father, such a nice gentleman . . . You've got to get him a ticket so he can see the Natural History Museum."

"He and his whole family are a Natural History Museum!"

"Don't be so dreary. He's a good fellow. Go with him to see Madrid, the good man hasn't seen anything. One of the boys must be given a situation . . ."

"We'll situate them all . . . right in the street."

"Tiresome! She's a very good wet nurse . . . Máximo, you chose well. There's no one like you!"

-245-

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