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City Of Glass - New York Trilogy #1, City of Glass - 04 (1)

City of Glass - 04 (1)

3

The speech was over. How long it had lasted Quinn could not say. For it was only now, after the words had stopped, that he realized they were sitting in the dark. Apparently, a whole day had gone by. At some point during Stillman's monologue the sun had set in the room, but Quinn had not been aware of it. Now he could feel the darkness and the silence, and his head was humming with them. Several minutes went by. Quinn thought that perhaps it was up to him to say something now, but he could not be sure. He could hear Peter Stillman breathing heavily in his spot across the room. Other than that, there were no sounds. Quinn could not decide what to do. He thought of several possibilities, but then, one by one, dismissed them from his mind. He sat there in his seat, waiting for the next thing to happen.

The sound of stockinged legs moving across the room finally broke the silence. There was the metal click of a lamp switch, and suddenly the room was filled with light. Quinn's eyes automatically turned to its source, and there, standing beside a table lamp to the left of Peter's chair, he saw Virginia Stillman. The young man was gazing straight ahead, as if asleep with his eyes open. Mrs. Stillman bent over, put her arm around Peter's shoulder, and spoke softly into his ear.

“It's time now, Peter,” she said. “Mrs. Saavedra is waiting for you.”

Peter looked up at her and smiled. “I am filled with hope,” he said.

Virginia Stillman kissed her husband tenderly on the cheek. “Say good-bye to Mr. Auster,” she said.

Peter stood up. Or rather, he began the sad, slow adventure of maneuvering his body out of the chair and working his way to his feet. At each stage there were relapses, crumplings, catapults back, accompanied by sudden fits of immobility, grunts, words whose meaning Quinn could not decipher.

At last Peter was upright. He stood in front of his chair with an expression of triumph and looked Quinn in the eyes. Then he smiled, broadly and without self-consciousness.

“Good-bye,” he said.

“Good-bye, Peter,” said Quinn.

Peter gave a little spastic wave of the hand and then slowly turned and walked across the room. He tottered as he went, listing first to the right, then to the left, his legs by turns buckling and locking. At the far end of the room, standing in a lighted doorway, was a middle-aged woman dressed in a white nurse's uniform. Quinn assumed it was Mrs. Saavedra. He followed Peter Stillman with his eyes until the young man disappeared through the door.

Virginia Stillman sat down across from Quinn, in the same chair her husband had just occupied.

“I could have spared you all that,” she said, “but I thought it would be best for you to see it with your own eyes.”

“I understand,” said Quinn.

“No, I don't think you do,” the woman said bitterly. “I don't think anyone can understand.”

Quinn smiled judiciously and then told himself to plunge in. “Whatever I do or do not understand,” he said, “is probably beside the point. You've hired me to do a job, and the sooner I get on with it the better. From what I can gather, the case is urgent. I make no claims about understanding Peter or what you might have suffered. The important thing is that I'm willing to help. I think you should take it for what it's worth.”

He was warming up now. Something told him that he had captured the right tone, and a sudden sense of pleasure surged through him, as though he had just managed to cross some internal border within himself.

“You're right,” said Virginia Stillman. “Of course you're right.”

The woman paused, took a deep breath, and then paused again, as if rehearsing in her mind the things she was about to say. Quinn noticed that her hands were clenched tightly around the arms of the chair.

“I realize,” she went on, “that most of what Peter says is very confusing—especially the first time you hear him. I was standing in the next room listening to what he said to you. You mustn't assume that Peter always tells the truth. On the other hand, it would be wrong to think he lies.”

“You mean that I should believe some of the things he said and not believe others.”

“That's exactly what I mean.”

“Your sexual habits, or lack of them, don't concern me, Mrs. Stillman,” said Quinn. “Even if what Peter said is true, it makes no difference. In my line of work you tend to meet a little of everything, and if you don't learn to suspend judgment, you'll never get anywhere. I'm used to hearing people's secrets, and I'm also used to keeping my mouth shut. If a fact has no direct bearing on a case, I have no use for it.”

Mrs. Stillman blushed. “I just wanted you to know that what Peter said isn't true.”

Quinn shrugged, took out a cigarette, and lit it. “One way or the other,” he said, “it's not important. What I'm interested in are the other things Peter said. I assume they're true, and if they are, I'd like to hear what you have to say about them.”

“Yes, they're true.” Virginia Stillman released her grip on the chair and put her right hand under her chin. Pensive. As if searching for an attitude of unshakable honesty. “Peter has a child's way of telling it. But what he said is true.”

“Tell me something about the father. Anything you think is relevant.”

“Peter's father is a Boston Stillman. I'm sure you've heard of the family. There were several governors back in the nineteenth century, a number of Episcopal bishops, ambassadors, a Harvard president. At the same time, the family made a great deal of money in textiles, shipping, and God knows what else. The details are unimportant. Just so long as you have some idea of the background.

“Peter's father went to Harvard, like everyone else in the family. He studied philosophy and religion and by all accounts was quite brilliant. He wrote his thesis on sixteenth-and seventeenth-century theological interpretations of the New World, and then he took a job in the religion department at Columbia. Not long after that, he married Peter's mother. I don't know much about her. From the photographs I've seen, she was very pretty. But delicate—a little like Peter, with those pale blue eyes and white skin. When Peter was born a few years later, the family was living in a large apartment on Riverside Drive. Stillman's academic career was prospering. He rewrote his dissertation and turned it into a book—it did very well—and was made a full professor when he was thirty-four or thirty-five. Then Peter's mother died. Everything about that death is unclear. Stillman claimed that she had died in her sleep, but the evidence seemed to point to suicide. Something to do with an overdose of pills, but of course nothing could be proved. There was even some talk that he had killed her. But those were just rumors, and nothing ever came of it. The whole affair was kept very quiet.

“Peter was just two at the time, a perfectly normal child. After his wife's death, Stillman apparently had little to do with him. A nurse was hired, and for the next six months or so she took complete care of Peter. Then, out of the blue, Stillman fired her. I forget her name—a Miss Barber, I think—but she testified at the trial. It seems that Stillman just came home one day and told her that he was taking charge of Peter's upbringing. He sent in his resignation to Columbia and told them he was leaving the university to devote himself full-time to his son. Money, of course, was no object, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

“After that, he more or less dropped out of sight. He stayed on in the same apartment, but he hardly ever went out. No one really knows what happened. I think, probably, that he began to believe in some of the far-fetched religious ideas he had written about. It made him crazy, absolutely insane. There's no other way to describe it. He locked Peter in a room in the apartment, covered up the windows, and kept him there for nine years. Try to imagine it, Mr. Auster. Nine years. An entire childhood spent in darkness, isolated from the world, with no human contact except an occasional beating. I live with the results of that experiment, and I can tell you the damage was monstrous. What you saw today was Peter at his best. It's taken thirteen years to get him this far, and I'll be damned if I let anyone hurt him again.”

Mrs. Stillman stopped to catch her breath. Quinn sensed that she was on the verge of a scene and that one more word might put her over the edge. He had to speak now, or the conversation would run away from him.

“How was Peter finally discovered?” he asked.

Some of the tension went out of the woman. She exhaled audibly and looked Quinn in the eyes.

“There was a fire,” she said.

“An accidental fire or one set on purpose?”

“No one knows.”

“What do you think?”

“I think Stillman was in his study. He kept the records of his experiment there, and I think he finally realized that his work had been a failure. I'm not saying that he regretted anything he had done. But even taking it on his own terms, he knew he had failed. I think he reached some point of final disgust with himself that night and decided to burn his papers. But the fire got out of control, and much of the apartment burned. Luckily, Peter's room was at the other end of a long hall, and the firemen got to him in time.”

“And then?”

“It took several months to sort everything out. Stillman's papers had been destroyed, which meant there was no concrete evidence. On the other hand, there was Peter's condition, the room he had been locked up in, those horrible boards across the windows, and eventually the police put the case together. Stillman was finally brought to trial.”

“What happened in court?”

“Stillman was judged insane and he was sent away.”

“And Peter?”

“He also went to a hospital. He stayed there until just two years ago.”

“Is that where you met him?”

“Yes. In the hospital.”

“How?”

“I was his speech therapist. I worked with Peter every day for five years.”

“I don't mean to pry. But how exactly did that lead to marriage?”

“It's complicated.”

“Do you mind telling me about it?”

“Not really. But I don't think you'd understand.”

“There's only one way to find out.”

“Well, to put it simply. It was the best way to get Peter out of the hospital and give him a chance to lead a more normal life.”

“Couldn't you have been made his legal guardian?”

“The procedures were very complicated. And besides, Peter was no longer a minor.”

“Wasn't that an enormous self-sacrifice on your part?”

“Not really. I was married once before—disastrously. It's not something I want for myself anymore. At least with Peter there's a purpose to my life.”

“Is it true that Stillman is being released?”

“Tomorrow. He'll be arriving at Grand Central in the evening.”

“And you feel he might come after Peter. Is this just a hunch, or do you have some proof?”

“A little of both. Two years ago, they were going to let Stillman out. But he wrote Peter a letter, and I showed it to the authorities. They decided he wasn't ready to be released, after all.”



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City of Glass - 04 (1)

3

The speech was over. El discurso había terminado. How long it had lasted Quinn could not say. Quinn no sabría decir cuánto tiempo había durado. For it was only now, after the words had stopped, that he realized they were sitting in the dark. Porque fue solo ahora, después de que las palabras se detuvieron, que se dio cuenta de que estaban sentados en la oscuridad. Apparently, a whole day had gone by. Al parecer, había pasado un día entero. At some point during Stillman's monologue the sun had set in the room, but Quinn had not been aware of it. En algún momento durante el monólogo de Stillman, el sol se había puesto en la habitación, pero Quinn no se había dado cuenta. Now he could feel the darkness and the silence, and his head was humming with them. Ahora podía sentir la oscuridad y el silencio, y su cabeza zumbaba con ellos. Several minutes went by. Pasaron varios minutos. Quinn thought that perhaps it was up to him to say something now, but he could not be sure. Quinn pensó que quizás dependiera de él decir algo ahora, pero no estaba seguro. He could hear Peter Stillman breathing heavily in his spot across the room. Podía escuchar a Peter Stillman respirando pesadamente en su lugar al otro lado de la habitación. Other than that, there were no sounds. Aparte de eso, no había ningún sonido. Quinn could not decide what to do. Quinn no podía decidir qué hacer. He thought of several possibilities, but then, one by one, dismissed them from his mind. Pensó en varias posibilidades, pero luego, una por una, las descartó de su mente. He sat there in his seat, waiting for the next thing to happen. Se sentó allí en su asiento, esperando que sucediera lo siguiente.

The sound of stockinged legs moving across the room finally broke the silence. El sonido de piernas enfundadas en medias moviéndose por la habitación finalmente rompió el silencio. There was the metal click of a lamp switch, and suddenly the room was filled with light. Se oyó el clic metálico del interruptor de una lámpara y, de repente, la habitación se llenó de luz. Quinn's eyes automatically turned to its source, and there, standing beside a table lamp to the left of Peter's chair, he saw Virginia Stillman. Los ojos de Quinn se dirigieron automáticamente a su fuente, y allí, de pie junto a una lámpara de mesa a la izquierda de la silla de Peter, vio a Virginia Stillman. The young man was gazing straight ahead, as if asleep with his eyes open. El joven miraba al frente, como dormido con los ojos abiertos. Mrs. Stillman bent over, put her arm around Peter's shoulder, and spoke softly into his ear. La señora Stillman se inclinó, pasó el brazo por los hombros de Peter y le habló en voz baja al oído.

“It's time now, Peter,” she said. “Ya es hora, Peter”, dijo ella. “Mrs. Saavedra is waiting for you.” Saavedra te está esperando”.

Peter looked up at her and smiled. Peter la miró y sonrió. “I am filled with hope,” he said. “Estoy lleno de esperanza”, dijo.

Virginia Stillman kissed her husband tenderly on the cheek. Virginia Stillman besó tiernamente a su marido en la mejilla. “Say good-bye to Mr. Auster,” she said. —Dígale adiós al señor Auster —dijo.

Peter stood up. Pedro se puso de pie. Or rather, he began the sad, slow adventure of maneuvering his body out of the chair and working his way to his feet. O más bien, comenzó la triste y lenta aventura de sacar su cuerpo de la silla y ponerse de pie. At each stage there were relapses, crumplings, catapults back, accompanied by sudden fits of immobility, grunts, words whose meaning Quinn could not decipher. En cada etapa hubo recaídas, derrumbes, catapultas hacia atrás, acompañadas de repentinos ataques de inmovilidad, gruñidos, palabras cuyo significado Quinn no pudo descifrar.

At last Peter was upright. Por fin Peter se puso de pie. He stood in front of his chair with an expression of triumph and looked Quinn in the eyes. Se paró frente a su silla con una expresión de triunfo y miró a Quinn a los ojos. Then he smiled, broadly and without self-consciousness. Luego sonrió, ampliamente y sin timidez.

“Good-bye,” he said. “Adiós”, dijo.

“Good-bye, Peter,” said Quinn. “Adiós, Peter”, dijo Quinn.

Peter gave a little spastic wave of the hand and then slowly turned and walked across the room. Peter hizo un pequeño movimiento espasmódico con la mano y luego se volvió lentamente y caminó por la habitación. He tottered as he went, listing first to the right, then to the left, his legs by turns buckling and locking. Se tambaleó a medida que avanzaba, inclinándose primero hacia la derecha, luego hacia la izquierda, y sus piernas se doblaban y trababan por turnos. At the far end of the room, standing in a lighted doorway, was a middle-aged woman dressed in a white nurse's uniform. En el otro extremo de la habitación, de pie en una puerta iluminada, había una mujer de mediana edad vestida con un uniforme blanco de enfermera. Quinn assumed it was Mrs. Saavedra. Quinn supuso que era la señora Saavedra. He followed Peter Stillman with his eyes until the young man disappeared through the door. Siguió a Peter Stillman con la mirada hasta que el joven desapareció por la puerta.

Virginia Stillman sat down across from Quinn, in the same chair her husband had just occupied. Virginia Stillman se sentó frente a Quinn, en la misma silla que acababa de ocupar su marido.

“I could have spared you all that,” she said, “but I thought it would be best for you to see it with your own eyes.” “Podría haberte ahorrado todo eso”, dijo, “pero pensé que sería mejor que lo vieras con tus propios ojos”.

“I understand,” said Quinn. "Entiendo", dijo Quinn.

“No, I don't think you do,” the woman said bitterly. "No, no creo que lo hagas", dijo la mujer con amargura. “I don't think anyone can understand.” "No creo que nadie pueda entender".

Quinn smiled judiciously and then told himself to plunge in. Quinn sonrió juiciosamente y luego se dijo a sí mismo que debía sumergirse. “Whatever I do or do not understand,” he said, “is probably beside the point. “Lo que sea que entienda o deje de entender”, dijo, “probablemente no viene al caso. You've hired me to do a job, and the sooner I get on with it the better. Me has contratado para hacer un trabajo, y cuanto antes me ponga manos a la obra, mejor. From what I can gather, the case is urgent. Por lo que puedo deducir, el caso es urgente. I make no claims about understanding Peter or what you might have suffered. No pretendo entender a Peter o lo que podrías haber sufrido. The important thing is that I'm willing to help. Lo importante es que estoy dispuesto a ayudar. I think you should take it for what it's worth.” Creo que deberías tomarlo por lo que vale”.

He was warming up now. Estaba calentando ahora. Something told him that he had captured the right tone, and a sudden sense of pleasure surged through him, as though he had just managed to cross some internal border within himself. Algo le dijo que había captado el tono correcto, y una repentina sensación de placer lo atravesó, como si acabara de cruzar alguna frontera interna dentro de sí mismo.

“You're right,” said Virginia Stillman. “Tienes razón”, dijo Virginia Stillman. “Of course you're right.” "Por supuesto que tienes razón".

The woman paused, took a deep breath, and then paused again, as if rehearsing in her mind the things she was about to say. La mujer hizo una pausa, respiró hondo y luego volvió a hacer una pausa, como si estuviera ensayando en su mente las cosas que estaba a punto de decir. Quinn noticed that her hands were clenched tightly around the arms of the chair. Quinn notó que sus manos estaban apretadas con fuerza alrededor de los brazos de la silla.

“I realize,” she went on, “that most of what Peter says is very confusing—especially the first time you hear him. “Me doy cuenta”, continuó, “que la mayor parte de lo que dice Peter es muy confuso, especialmente la primera vez que lo escuchas. I was standing in the next room listening to what he said to you. Estaba de pie en la habitación de al lado escuchando lo que te dijo. You mustn't assume that Peter always tells the truth. No debes asumir que Peter siempre dice la verdad. On the other hand, it would be wrong to think he lies.” Por otro lado, sería un error pensar que miente.

“You mean that I should believe some of the things he said and not believe others.” “Quieres decir que debería creer algunas de las cosas que dijo y no creer otras”.

“That's exactly what I mean.” "Eso es exactamente lo que quiero decir".

“Your sexual habits, or lack of them, don't concern me, Mrs. Stillman,” said Quinn. —Sus hábitos sexuales, o la falta de ellos, no me preocupan, señora Stillman —dijo Quinn—. “Even if what Peter said is true, it makes no difference. “Incluso si lo que dijo Peter es cierto, no hace ninguna diferencia. In my line of work you tend to meet a little of everything, and if you don't learn to suspend judgment, you'll never get anywhere. En mi línea de trabajo tiendes a encontrar un poco de todo, y si no aprendes a suspender el juicio, nunca llegarás a ninguna parte. I'm used to hearing people's secrets, and I'm also used to keeping my mouth shut. Estoy acostumbrado a escuchar los secretos de la gente, y también estoy acostumbrado a mantener la boca cerrada. If a fact has no direct bearing on a case, I have no use for it.” Si un hecho no tiene una relación directa con un caso, no tengo ningún uso para él”.

Mrs. Stillman blushed. La señora Stillman se sonrojó. “I just wanted you to know that what Peter said isn't true.” "Solo quería que supieras que lo que dijo Peter no es cierto".

Quinn shrugged, took out a cigarette, and lit it. Quinn se encogió de hombros, sacó un cigarrillo y lo encendió. “One way or the other,” he said, “it's not important. “De una forma u otra”, dijo, “no es importante. What I'm interested in are the other things Peter said. Lo que me interesa son las otras cosas que dijo Peter. I assume they're true, and if they are, I'd like to hear what you have to say about them.” Asumo que son ciertas, y si lo son, me gustaría escuchar lo que tienes que decir sobre ellas”.

“Yes, they're true.” Virginia Stillman released her grip on the chair and put her right hand under her chin. "Sí, son ciertas". Virginia Stillman se soltó de la silla y se puso la mano derecha bajo la barbilla. Pensive. Pensativo. As if searching for an attitude of unshakable honesty. Como si buscara una actitud de honestidad inquebrantable. “Peter has a child's way of telling it. “Peter tiene una manera infantil de contarlo. But what he said is true.” Pero lo que dijo es cierto”.

“Tell me something about the father. “Dime algo sobre el padre. Anything you think is relevant.” Cualquier cosa que creas que es relevante.

“Peter's father is a Boston Stillman. “El padre de Peter es un Boston Stillman. I'm sure you've heard of the family. Estoy seguro de que has oído hablar de la familia. There were several governors back in the nineteenth century, a number of Episcopal bishops, ambassadors, a Harvard president. Hubo varios gobernadores en el siglo XIX, varios obispos episcopales, embajadores, un presidente de Harvard. At the same time, the family made a great deal of money in textiles, shipping, and God knows what else. Al mismo tiempo, la familia hizo una gran cantidad de dinero en textiles, envíos y Dios sabe qué más. The details are unimportant. Los detalles no son importantes. Just so long as you have some idea of the background. Siempre y cuando tengas alguna idea del fondo.

“Peter's father went to Harvard, like everyone else in the family. “El padre de Peter fue a Harvard, como todos los demás miembros de la familia. He studied philosophy and religion and by all accounts was quite brilliant. Estudió filosofía y religión y, según todos los informes, era bastante brillante. He wrote his thesis on sixteenth-and seventeenth-century theological interpretations of the New World, and then he took a job in the religion department at Columbia. Escribió su tesis sobre las interpretaciones teológicas del Nuevo Mundo en los siglos XVI y XVII, y luego tomó un trabajo en el departamento de religión de Columbia. Not long after that, he married Peter's mother. No mucho después de eso, se casó con la madre de Peter. I don't know much about her. No sé mucho sobre ella. From the photographs I've seen, she was very pretty. Por las fotografías que he visto, era muy bonita. But delicate—a little like Peter, with those pale blue eyes and white skin. Pero delicada, un poco como Peter, con esos ojos azul pálido y piel blanca. When Peter was born a few years later, the family was living in a large apartment on Riverside Drive. Cuando Peter nació unos años más tarde, la familia vivía en un apartamento grande en Riverside Drive. Stillman's academic career was prospering. La carrera académica de Stillman estaba prosperando. He rewrote his dissertation and turned it into a book—it did very well—and was made a full professor when he was thirty-four or thirty-five. Reescribió su disertación y la convirtió en un libro —le fue muy bien— y fue nombrado profesor titular cuando tenía treinta y cuatro o treinta y cinco años. Then Peter's mother died. Entonces la madre de Peter murió. Everything about that death is unclear. Todo sobre esa muerte no está claro. Stillman claimed that she had died in her sleep, but the evidence seemed to point to suicide. Stillman afirmó que había muerto mientras dormía, pero la evidencia parecía apuntar a un suicidio. Something to do with an overdose of pills, but of course nothing could be proved. Algo relacionado con una sobredosis de pastillas, pero por supuesto no se pudo probar nada. There was even some talk that he had killed her. Incluso se habló de que él la había matado. But those were just rumors, and nothing ever came of it. Pero esos eran solo rumores, y nunca salió nada de eso. The whole affair was kept very quiet. Todo el asunto se mantuvo en silencio.

“Peter was just two at the time, a perfectly normal child. “Peter tenía solo dos años en ese momento, un niño perfectamente normal. After his wife's death, Stillman apparently had little to do with him. Después de la muerte de su esposa, Stillman aparentemente tuvo poco que ver con él. A nurse was hired, and for the next six months or so she took complete care of Peter. Se contrató a una enfermera, y durante los siguientes seis meses más o menos se ocupó completamente de Peter. Then, out of the blue, Stillman fired her. Entonces, de la nada, Stillman la despidió. I forget her name—a Miss Barber, I think—but she testified at the trial. No recuerdo su nombre, una señorita Barber, creo, pero testificó en el juicio. It seems that Stillman just came home one day and told her that he was taking charge of Peter's upbringing. Parece que Stillman llegó a casa un día y le dijo que se estaba haciendo cargo de la crianza de Peter. He sent in his resignation to Columbia and told them he was leaving the university to devote himself full-time to his son. Envió su renuncia a Columbia y les dijo que dejaba la universidad para dedicarse a tiempo completo a su hijo. Money, of course, was no object, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. El dinero, por supuesto, no era un problema, y nadie podía hacer nada al respecto.

“After that, he more or less dropped out of sight. “Después de eso, más o menos se perdió de vista. He stayed on in the same apartment, but he hardly ever went out. Se quedó en el mismo apartamento, pero casi nunca salía. No one really knows what happened. Nadie sabe realmente lo que pasó. I think, probably, that he began to believe in some of the far-fetched religious ideas he had written about. Creo que, probablemente, empezó a creer en algunas de las ideas religiosas descabelladas sobre las que había escrito. It made him crazy, absolutely insane. Lo volvía loco, absolutamente loco. There's no other way to describe it. No hay otra manera de describirlo. He locked Peter in a room in the apartment, covered up the windows, and kept him there for nine years. Encerró a Peter en una habitación del apartamento, tapó las ventanas y lo mantuvo allí durante nueve años. Try to imagine it, Mr. Auster. Intente imaginárselo, Sr. Auster. Nine years. Nueve años. An entire childhood spent in darkness, isolated from the world, with no human contact except an occasional beating. Toda una infancia pasada en la oscuridad, aislada del mundo, sin contacto humano excepto una paliza ocasional. I live with the results of that experiment, and I can tell you the damage was monstrous. Vivo con los resultados de ese experimento, y puedo decirles que el daño fue monstruoso. What you saw today was Peter at his best. Lo que viste hoy fue Peter en su mejor momento. It's taken thirteen years to get him this far, and I'll be damned if I let anyone hurt him again.” Me tomó trece años llegar hasta aquí, y que me aspen si dejo que alguien lo lastime de nuevo.

Mrs. Stillman stopped to catch her breath. La señora Stillman se detuvo para recuperar el aliento. Quinn sensed that she was on the verge of a scene and that one more word might put her over the edge. Quinn sintió que estaba al borde de una escena y que una palabra más podría ponerla al límite. He had to speak now, or the conversation would run away from him. Tenía que hablar ahora, o la conversación se le escaparía.

“How was Peter finally discovered?” he asked. "¿Cómo fue finalmente descubierto Peter?" preguntó.

Some of the tension went out of the woman. Parte de la tensión desapareció de la mujer. She exhaled audibly and looked Quinn in the eyes. Exhaló audiblemente y miró a Quinn a los ojos.

“There was a fire,” she said. “Hubo un incendio”, dijo.

“An accidental fire or one set on purpose?” "¿Un incendio accidental o uno provocado a propósito?"

“No one knows.”

“What do you think?” "¿Qué opinas?"

“I think Stillman was in his study. Creo que Stillman estaba en su estudio. He kept the records of his experiment there, and I think he finally realized that his work had been a failure. Guardó los registros de su experimento allí, y creo que finalmente se dio cuenta de que su trabajo había sido un fracaso. I'm not saying that he regretted anything he had done. No digo que se arrepintiera de nada de lo que había hecho. But even taking it on his own terms, he knew he had failed. Pero incluso tomándolo en sus propios términos, sabía que había fallado. I think he reached some point of final disgust with himself that night and decided to burn his papers. Creo que esa noche llegó a un punto de disgusto final consigo mismo y decidió quemar sus papeles. But the fire got out of control, and much of the apartment burned. Pero el fuego se salió de control y gran parte del apartamento se quemó. Luckily, Peter's room was at the other end of a long hall, and the firemen got to him in time.” Por suerte, la habitación de Peter estaba al otro extremo de un largo pasillo y los bomberos llegaron a tiempo.

“And then?” "¿Y luego?"

“It took several months to sort everything out. “Tomó varios meses arreglar todo. Stillman's papers had been destroyed, which meant there was no concrete evidence. Los papeles de Stillman habían sido destruidos, lo que significaba que no había pruebas concretas. On the other hand, there was Peter's condition, the room he had been locked up in, those horrible boards across the windows, and eventually the police put the case together. Por otro lado, estaba la condición de Peter, la habitación en la que lo habían encerrado, esas tablas horribles en las ventanas y, finalmente, la policía armó el caso. Stillman was finally brought to trial.” Stillman finalmente fue llevado a juicio”.

“What happened in court?” “¿Qué pasó en la corte?”

“Stillman was judged insane and he was sent away.” “Stillman fue juzgado loco y fue expulsado”.

“And Peter?” ¿Y Pedro?

“He also went to a hospital. “Él también fue a un hospital. He stayed there until just two years ago.” Se quedó allí hasta hace apenas dos años”.

“Is that where you met him?” "¿Fue ahí donde lo conociste?"

“Yes. "Sí. In the hospital.” En el hospital."

“How?” "¿Cómo?"

“I was his speech therapist. “Yo era su logopeda. I worked with Peter every day for five years.” Trabajé con Peter todos los días durante cinco años”.

“I don't mean to pry. No quiero entrometerme. But how exactly did that lead to marriage?” Pero, ¿cómo exactamente eso condujo al matrimonio?

“It's complicated.” "Es complicado."

“Do you mind telling me about it?” "¿Te importaría contarme sobre eso?"

“Not really. "Realmente no. But I don't think you'd understand.” Pero no creo que lo entiendas.

“There's only one way to find out.” "Solo hay una manera de averiguarlo".

“Well, to put it simply. “Bueno, para decirlo simplemente. It was the best way to get Peter out of the hospital and give him a chance to lead a more normal life.” Era la mejor manera de sacar a Peter del hospital y darle la oportunidad de llevar una vida más normal”.

“Couldn't you have been made his legal guardian?” "¿No podrías haberte convertido en su tutor legal?"

“The procedures were very complicated. “Los trámites eran muy complicados. And besides, Peter was no longer a minor.” Y además, Peter ya no era menor de edad.

“Wasn't that an enormous self-sacrifice on your part?” "¿No fue eso un enorme auto-sacrificio de tu parte?"

“Not really. "Realmente no. I was married once before—disastrously. Estuve casado una vez antes, desastrosamente. It's not something I want for myself anymore. Ya no es algo que quiero para mí. At least with Peter there's a purpose to my life.” Al menos con Peter hay un propósito para mi vida”.

“Is it true that Stillman is being released?” “¿Es cierto que Stillman está siendo liberado?”

“Tomorrow. "Mañana. He'll be arriving at Grand Central in the evening.” Llegará a Grand Central por la tarde.

“And you feel he might come after Peter. Y crees que podría ir tras Peter. Is this just a hunch, or do you have some proof?” ¿Es solo una corazonada o tienes alguna prueba?

“A little of both. "Un poco de ambos. Two years ago, they were going to let Stillman out. Hace dos años, iban a dejar salir a Stillman. But he wrote Peter a letter, and I showed it to the authorities. Pero le escribió una carta a Peter y se la mostré a las autoridades. They decided he wasn't ready to be released, after all.” Después de todo, decidieron que no estaba listo para ser liberado”.

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