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City Of Glass - New York Trilogy #1, City of Glass CD 03 parte I (1)

City of Glass CD 03 parte I (1)

Either Stillman knew what he was doing or he didn't. And if he didn't, then Quinn was going nowhere, was wasting his time. How much better it was to believe that all his steps were actually to some purpose. If this interpretation required knowledge on Stillman's part, then Quinn would accept this knowledge as an article of faith, at least for the time being.

There remained the problem of how to occupy his thoughts as he followed the old man. Quinn was used to wandering. His excursions through the city had taught him to understand the connectedness of inner and outer. Using aimless motion as a technique of reversal, on his best days he could bring the outside in and thus usurp the sovereignty of inwardness. By flooding himself with externals, by drowning himself out of himself, he had managed to exert some small degree of control over his fits of despair. Wandering, therefore, was a kind of mindlessness. But following Stillman was not wandering. Stillman could wander, he could stagger like a blindman from one spot to another, but this was a privilege denied to Quinn. For he was obliged now to concentrate on what he was doing, even if it was next to nothing. Time and again his thoughts would begin to drift, and soon thereafter his steps would follow suit. This meant that he was constantly in danger of quickening his pace and crashing into Stillman from behind. To guard against this mishap he devised several different methods of deceleration. The first was to tell himself that he was no longer Daniel Quinn. He was Paul Auster now, and with each step he took he tried to fit more comfortably into the strictures of that transformation. Auster was no more than a name to him, a husk without content. To be Auster meant being a man with no interior, a man with no thoughts. And if there were no thoughts available to him, if his own inner life had been made inaccessible, then there was no place for him to retreat to. As Auster he could not summon up any memories or fears, any dreams or joys, for all these things, as they pertained to Auster, were a blank to him. He consequently had to remain solely on his own surface, looking outward for sustenance. To keep his eyes fixed on Stillman, therefore, was not merely a distraction from the train of his thoughts, it was the only thought he allowed himself to have.

For a day or two this tactic was mildly successful, but eventually even Auster began to droop from the monotony. Quinn realized that he needed something more to keep himself occupied, some little task to accompany him as he went about his work. In the end, it was the red notebook that offered him salvation. Instead of merely jotting down a few casual comments, as he had done the first few days, he decided to record every detail about Stillman he possibly could. Using the pen he had bought from the deaf mute, he set about his task with diligence. Not only did he take note of Stillman's gestures, describe each object he selected or rejected for his bag, and keep an accurate timetable for all events, but he also set down with meticulous care an exact itinerary of Stillman's divagations, noting each street he followed, each turn he made, and each pause that occurred. In addition to keeping him busy, the red notebook slowed Quinn's pace. There was no danger now of overtaking Stillman. The problem, rather, was to keep up with him, to make sure he did not vanish. For walking and writing were not easily compatible activities. If for the past five years Quinn had spent his days doing the one and the other, now he was trying to do them both at the same time. In the beginning he made many mistakes. It was especially difficult to write without looking at the page, and he often discovered that he had written two or even three lines on top of each other, producing a jumbled, illegible palimpsest. To look at the page, however, meant stopping, and this would increase his chances of losing Stillman. After a time, he decided that it was basically a question of position. He experimented with the notebook in front of him at a forty-five-degree angle, but he found his left wrist soon tired. After that, he tried keeping the notebook directly in front of his face, eyes peering over it like some Kilroy come to life, but this proved impractical. Next, he tried propping the notebook on his right arm several inches above his elbow and supporting the back of the notebook with his left palm. But this cramped his writing hand and made writing on the bottom half of the page impossible. Finally, he decided to rest the notebook on his left hip, much as an artist holds his palette. This was an improvement. The carrying no longer caused a strain, and his right hand could hold the pen unencumbered by other duties. Although this method also had its drawbacks, it seemed to be the most comfortable arrangement over the long haul. For Quinn was now able to divide his attention almost equally between Stillman and his writing, glancing now up at the one, now down at the other, seeing the thing and writing about it in the same fluid gesture. With the deaf mute's pen in his right hand and the red notebook on his left hip, Quinn went on following Stillman for another nine days.

His nightly conversations with Virginia Stillman were brief. Although the memory of the kiss was still sharp in Quinn's mind, there had been no further romantic developments. At first, Quinn had expected something to happen. After such a promising start, he felt certain that he would eventually find Mrs. Stillman in his arms. But his employer had rapidly retreated behind the mask of business and not once had referred to that isolated moment of passion. Perhaps Quinn had been misguided in his hopes, momentarily confusing himself with Max Work, a man who never failed to profit from such situations. Or perhaps it was simply that Quinn was beginning to feel his loneliness more keenly. It had been a long time since a warm body had been beside him. For the fact was, he had started lusting after Virginia Stillman the moment he saw her, well before the kiss took place. Nor did her current lack of encouragement prevent him from continuing to imagine her naked. Lascivious pictures marched through Quinn's head each night, and although the chances of their becoming real seemed remote, they remained a pleasant diversion. Much later, long after it was too late, he realized that deep inside he had been nurturing the chivalric hope of solving the case so brilliantly, of removing Peter Stillman from danger so swiftly and irrevocably, that he would win Mrs. Stillman's desire for as long as he wanted it. That, of course, was a mistake. But of all the mistakes Quinn made from beginning to end, it was no worse than any other.

It was the thirteenth day since the case had begun. Quinn returned home that evening out of sorts. He was discouraged, ready to abandon ship. In spite of the games he had been playing with himself, in spite of the stories he had made up to keep himself going, there seemed to be no substance to the case. Stillman was a crazy old man who had forgotten his son. He could be followed to the end of time, and still nothing would happen. Quinn picked up the phone and dialed the Stillman apartment.

“I'm about ready to pack it in,” he said to Virginia Stillman. “From all I've seen, there's no threat to Peter.”

“That's just what he wants us to think,” the woman answered. “You have no idea how clever he is. And how patient.”

“He might be patient, but I'm not. I think you're wasting your money. And I'm wasting my time.”

“Are you sure he hasn't seen you? That could make all the difference.”

“I wouldn't stake my life on it, but yes, I'm sure.”

“What are you saying, then?”

“I'm saying you have nothing to worry about. At least for now. If anything happens later, contact me. I'll come running at the first sign of trouble.”

After a pause Virginia Stillman said, “You could be right.” Then, after another pause, “But just to reassure me a little, I wonder if we could compromise.”

“It depends on what you have in mind.”

“Just this. Give it a few more days. To make absolutely certain.”

“On one condition,” said Quinn. “You've got to let me do it in my own way. No more restraints. I have to be free to talk to him, to question him, to get to the bottom of it once and for all.”

“Wouldn't that be risky?”

“You don't have to worry. I'm not going to tip our hand. He won't even guess who I am or what I'm up to.”

“How will you manage that?”

“That's my problem. I have all kinds of tricks up my sleeve. You just have to trust me.”

“All right, I'll go along. I don't suppose it will hurt.”

“Good. I'll give it a few more days, and then we'll see where we stand.”

“Mr. Auster?”

“Yes?”

“I'm terribly grateful. Peter has been in such good shape these past two weeks, and I know it's because of you. He talks about you all the time. You're like…I don't know…a hero to him.”

“And how does Mrs. Stillman feel?”

“She feels much the same way.”

“That's good to hear. Maybe someday she'll allow me to feel grateful to her.”

“Anything is possible, Mr. Auster. You should remember that.”

“I will. I'd be a fool not to.”

Quinn made a light supper of scrambled eggs and toast, drank a bottle of beer, and then settled down at his desk with the red notebook. He had been writing in it now for many days, filling page after page with his erratic, jostled hand, but he had not yet had the heart to read over what he had written. Now that the end at last seemed in sight, he thought he might hazard a look.

Much of it was hard going, especially in the early parts. And when he did manage to decipher the words, it did not seem to have been worth the trouble. “Picks up pencil in middle of block. Examines, hesitates, puts in bag…. Buys sandwich in deli…. Sits on bench in park and reads through red notebook.” These sentences seemed utterly worthless to him.

It was all a question of method. If the object was to understand Stillman, to get to know him well enough to be able to anticipate what he would do next, Quinn had failed. He had started with a limited set of facts: Stillman's background and profession, the imprisonment of his son, his arrest and hospitalization, a book of bizarre scholarship written while he was supposedly still sane, and above all Virginia Stillman's certainty that he would now try to harm his son. But the facts of the past seemed to have no bearing on the facts of the present. Quinn was deeply disillusioned. He had always imagined that the key to good detective work was a close observation of details. The more accurate the scrutiny, the more successful the results. The implication was that human behavior could be understood, that beneath the infinite facade of gestures, tics, and silences, there was finally a coherence, an order, a source of motivation. But after struggling to take in all these surface effects, Quinn felt no closer to Stillman than when he first started following him. He had lived Stillman's life, walked at his pace, seen what he had seen, and the only thing he felt now was the man's impenetrability. Instead of narrowing the distance that lay between him and Stillman, he had seen the old man slip away from him, even as he remained before his eyes.



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City of Glass CD 03 parte I (1) City of Glass CD 03 частина I (1)

Either Stillman knew what he was doing or he didn't. O Stillman sabía lo que estaba haciendo o no. Стілман або знав, що робить, або ні. And if he didn't, then Quinn was going nowhere, was wasting his time. А якщо ні, то Квінн нікуди не йшов, витрачав час. How much better it was to believe that all his steps were actually to some purpose. If this interpretation required knowledge on Stillman's part, then Quinn would accept this knowledge as an article of faith, at least for the time being. If this interpretation required knowledge on Stillman's part, then Quinn would accept this knowledge as an article of faith, at least for the time being.

There remained the problem of how to occupy his thoughts as he followed the old man. Quedaba el problema de cómo ocupar sus pensamientos mientras seguía al anciano. Quinn was used to wandering. Quinn estaba acostumbrado a deambular. His excursions through the city had taught him to understand the connectedness of inner and outer. Sus excursiones por la ciudad le habían enseñado a comprender la conexión entre el interior y el exterior. Using aimless motion as a technique of reversal, on his best days he could bring the outside in and thus usurp the sovereignty of inwardness. Usando el movimiento sin rumbo como técnica de inversión, en sus mejores días podía traer el exterior hacia adentro y así usurpar la soberanía de la interioridad. By flooding himself with externals, by drowning himself out of himself, he had managed to exert some small degree of control over his fits of despair. Al inundarse de exterioridades, al ahogarse fuera de sí mismo, se las había arreglado para ejercer un pequeño grado de control sobre sus accesos de desesperación. Wandering, therefore, was a kind of mindlessness. Deambular, por lo tanto, era una especie de insensatez. But following Stillman was not wandering. Pero seguir a Stillman no era deambular. Stillman could wander, he could stagger like a blindman from one spot to another, but this was a privilege denied to Quinn. Stillman podía deambular, podía tambalearse como un ciego de un lugar a otro, pero esto era un privilegio negado a Quinn. For he was obliged now to concentrate on what he was doing, even if it was next to nothing. Porque ahora estaba obligado a concentrarse en lo que estaba haciendo, aunque fuera casi nada. Time and again his thoughts would begin to drift, and soon thereafter his steps would follow suit. Una y otra vez sus pensamientos comenzaban a desviarse, y poco después sus pasos seguían su ejemplo. This meant that he was constantly in danger of quickening his pace and crashing into Stillman from behind. Esto significaba que estaba constantemente en peligro de acelerar el paso y chocar contra Stillman por detrás. To guard against this mishap he devised several different methods of deceleration. Para protegerse contra este percance, ideó varios métodos diferentes de desaceleración. The first was to tell himself that he was no longer Daniel Quinn. La primera fue decirse a sí mismo que ya no era Daniel Quinn. He was Paul Auster now, and with each step he took he tried to fit more comfortably into the strictures of that transformation. Ahora era Paul Auster, y con cada paso que daba intentaba encajar más cómodamente en las restricciones de esa transformación. Auster was no more than a name to him, a husk without content. Auster no era más que un nombre para él, una cáscara sin contenido. To be Auster meant being a man with no interior, a man with no thoughts. Ser Auster significaba ser un hombre sin interior, un hombre sin pensamientos. And if there were no thoughts available to him, if his own inner life had been made inaccessible, then there was no place for him to retreat to. Y si no había pensamientos disponibles para él, si su propia vida interior se había vuelto inaccesible, entonces no había ningún lugar al que pudiera retirarse. As Auster he could not summon up any memories or fears, any dreams or joys, for all these things, as they pertained to Auster, were a blank to him. Como Auster, no podía evocar ningún recuerdo o miedo, ningún sueño o alegría, porque todas estas cosas, en lo que respecta a Auster, estaban en blanco para él. He consequently had to remain solely on his own surface, looking outward for sustenance. En consecuencia, tuvo que permanecer únicamente en su propia superficie, mirando hacia afuera en busca de sustento. To keep his eyes fixed on Stillman, therefore, was not merely a distraction from the train of his thoughts, it was the only thought he allowed himself to have. Por lo tanto, mantener los ojos fijos en Stillman no era simplemente una distracción del hilo de sus pensamientos, era el único pensamiento que se permitía tener.

For a day or two this tactic was mildly successful, but eventually even Auster began to droop from the monotony. Durante uno o dos días, esta táctica tuvo un éxito moderado, pero al final, incluso Auster empezó a desfallecer por la monotonía. Quinn realized that he needed something more to keep himself occupied, some little task to accompany him as he went about his work. Quinn se dio cuenta de que necesitaba algo más para mantenerse ocupado, alguna pequeña tarea que lo acompañara mientras realizaba su trabajo. In the end, it was the red notebook that offered him salvation. Al final, fue el cuaderno rojo el que le ofreció la salvación. Instead of merely jotting down a few casual comments, as he had done the first few days, he decided to record every detail about Stillman he possibly could. En lugar de simplemente anotar algunos comentarios casuales, como había hecho los primeros días, decidió registrar todos los detalles sobre Stillman que pudo. Using the pen he had bought from the deaf mute, he set about his task with diligence. Usando la pluma que le había comprado al sordomudo, se dedicó a su tarea con diligencia. Not only did he take note of Stillman's gestures, describe each object he selected or rejected for his bag, and keep an accurate timetable for all events, but he also set down with meticulous care an exact itinerary of Stillman's divagations, noting each street he followed, each turn he made, and each pause that occurred. No solo tomaba nota de los gestos de Stillman, describía cada objeto que seleccionaba o rechazaba para su bolso y mantenía un cronograma exacto de todos los eventos, sino que también trazaba con meticuloso cuidado un itinerario exacto de las divagaciones de Stillman, anotando cada calle que seguía. , cada giro que hizo, y cada pausa que ocurrió. In addition to keeping him busy, the red notebook slowed Quinn's pace. Además de mantenerlo ocupado, el cuaderno rojo ralentizaba el ritmo de Quinn. There was no danger now of overtaking Stillman. Ya no había peligro de adelantar a Stillman. The problem, rather, was to keep up with him, to make sure he did not vanish. El problema, más bien, era mantenerse al día con él, asegurarse de que no desapareciera. For walking and writing were not easily compatible activities. Porque caminar y escribir no eran actividades fácilmente compatibles. If for the past five years Quinn had spent his days doing the one and the other, now he was trying to do them both at the same time. Si durante los últimos cinco años Quinn había pasado sus días haciendo lo uno y lo otro, ahora estaba tratando de hacer los dos al mismo tiempo. In the beginning he made many mistakes. Al principio cometió muchos errores. It was especially difficult to write without looking at the page, and he often discovered that he had written two or even three lines on top of each other, producing a jumbled, illegible palimpsest. Era especialmente difícil escribir sin mirar la página y, a menudo, descubría que había escrito dos o incluso tres líneas una encima de la otra, produciendo un palimpsesto desordenado e ilegible. To look at the page, however, meant stopping, and this would increase his chances of losing Stillman. Sin embargo, mirar la página significaba detenerse, y esto aumentaría sus posibilidades de perder a Stillman. After a time, he decided that it was basically a question of position. Después de un tiempo, decidió que era básicamente una cuestión de posición. He experimented with the notebook in front of him at a forty-five-degree angle, but he found his left wrist soon tired. Experimentó con el cuaderno frente a él en un ángulo de cuarenta y cinco grados, pero pronto descubrió que su muñeca izquierda se cansaba. After that, he tried keeping the notebook directly in front of his face, eyes peering over it like some Kilroy come to life, but this proved impractical. Después de eso, trató de mantener el cuaderno directamente frente a su cara, con los ojos mirándolo como un Kilroy que cobra vida, pero resultó poco práctico. Next, he tried propping the notebook on his right arm several inches above his elbow and supporting the back of the notebook with his left palm. A continuación, trató de apoyar el cuaderno en su brazo derecho varias pulgadas por encima de su codo y sostener la parte posterior del cuaderno con la palma de la mano izquierda. But this cramped his writing hand and made writing on the bottom half of the page impossible. Pero esto le acalambraba la mano que escribía y hacía imposible escribir en la mitad inferior de la página. Finally, he decided to rest the notebook on his left hip, much as an artist holds his palette. Finalmente, decidió apoyar el cuaderno en su cadera izquierda, como un artista sostiene su paleta. This was an improvement. Esto fue una mejora. The carrying no longer caused a strain, and his right hand could hold the pen unencumbered by other duties. El transporte ya no causaba tensión, y su mano derecha podía sostener la pluma sin el estorbo de otros deberes. Although this method also had its drawbacks, it seemed to be the most comfortable arrangement over the long haul. Aunque este método también tenía sus inconvenientes, parecía ser el arreglo más cómodo a largo plazo. For Quinn was now able to divide his attention almost equally between Stillman and his writing, glancing now up at the one, now down at the other, seeing the thing and writing about it in the same fluid gesture. Porque Quinn ahora podía dividir su atención casi por igual entre Stillman y su escritura, ahora mirando hacia arriba a uno, ahora hacia abajo al otro, viendo la cosa y escribiendo sobre ella en el mismo gesto fluido. With the deaf mute's pen in his right hand and the red notebook on his left hip, Quinn went on following Stillman for another nine days. Con la pluma del sordomudo en la mano derecha y el cuaderno rojo en la cadera izquierda, Quinn siguió a Stillman durante otros nueve días.

His nightly conversations with Virginia Stillman were brief. Sus conversaciones nocturnas con Virginia Stillman eran breves. Although the memory of the kiss was still sharp in Quinn's mind, there had been no further romantic developments. Aunque el recuerdo del beso todavía estaba vivo en la mente de Quinn, no había habido más desarrollos románticos. At first, Quinn had expected something to happen. Al principio, Quinn esperaba que sucediera algo. After such a promising start, he felt certain that he would eventually find Mrs. Stillman in his arms. Después de un comienzo tan prometedor, estaba seguro de que eventualmente encontraría a la Sra. Stillman en sus brazos. But his employer had rapidly retreated behind the mask of business and not once had referred to that isolated moment of passion. Pero su empleador se había escondido rápidamente detrás de la máscara de los negocios y ni una sola vez se había referido a ese momento aislado de pasión. Perhaps Quinn had been misguided in his hopes, momentarily confusing himself with Max Work, a man who never failed to profit from such situations. Quizá Quinn se había equivocado en sus esperanzas, confundiéndose momentáneamente con Max Work, un hombre que nunca dejaba de sacar provecho de tales situaciones. Or perhaps it was simply that Quinn was beginning to feel his loneliness more keenly. O tal vez era simplemente que Quinn comenzaba a sentir su soledad con más intensidad. It had been a long time since a warm body had been beside him. Había pasado mucho tiempo desde que un cuerpo cálido había estado a su lado. For the fact was, he had started lusting after Virginia Stillman the moment he saw her, well before the kiss took place. Porque el hecho era que había comenzado a sentir lujuria por Virginia Stillman en el momento en que la vio, mucho antes de que se produjera el beso. Nor did her current lack of encouragement prevent him from continuing to imagine her naked. Tampoco su desánimo actual le impidió seguir imaginándola desnuda. Lascivious pictures marched through Quinn's head each night, and although the chances of their becoming real seemed remote, they remained a pleasant diversion. Imágenes lascivas pasaban por la cabeza de Quinn cada noche y, aunque las posibilidades de que se hicieran reales parecían remotas, seguían siendo una diversión agradable. Much later, long after it was too late, he realized that deep inside he had been nurturing the chivalric hope of solving the case so brilliantly, of removing Peter Stillman from danger so swiftly and irrevocably, that he would win Mrs. Stillman's desire for as long as he wanted it. Mucho más tarde, mucho después de que fuera demasiado tarde, se dio cuenta de que en el fondo había estado alimentando la esperanza caballeresca de resolver el caso de manera tan brillante, de sacar a Peter Stillman del peligro de manera tan rápida e irrevocable, que ganaría el deseo de la Sra. Stillman de tener lo mejor. mientras él lo quisiera. That, of course, was a mistake. Eso, por supuesto, fue un error. But of all the mistakes Quinn made from beginning to end, it was no worse than any other. Pero de todos los errores que cometió Quinn de principio a fin, no fue peor que cualquier otro.

It was the thirteenth day since the case had begun. Era el decimotercer día desde que comenzó el caso. Quinn returned home that evening out of sorts. Quinn regresó a casa esa noche de mal humor. He was discouraged, ready to abandon ship. Estaba desanimado, dispuesto a abandonar el barco. In spite of the games he had been playing with himself, in spite of the stories he had made up to keep himself going, there seemed to be no substance to the case. A pesar de los juegos que había estado jugando consigo mismo, a pesar de las historias que había inventado para mantenerse, el caso parecía no tener sustancia. Stillman was a crazy old man who had forgotten his son. Stillman era un viejo loco que había olvidado a su hijo. He could be followed to the end of time, and still nothing would happen. Quinn picked up the phone and dialed the Stillman apartment. Quinn descolgó el teléfono y marcó el número del apartamento de Stillman.

“I'm about ready to pack it in,” he said to Virginia Stillman. “Estoy a punto de empacarlo”, le dijo a Virginia Stillman. “From all I've seen, there's no threat to Peter.” “Por lo que he visto, no hay amenaza para Peter”.

“That's just what he wants us to think,” the woman answered. “Eso es justo lo que quiere que pensemos”, respondió la mujer. “You have no idea how clever he is. “No tienes idea de lo inteligente que es. And how patient.” Y qué paciente.

“He might be patient, but I'm not. Puede que él sea paciente, pero yo no. I think you're wasting your money. Creo que estás desperdiciando tu dinero. And I'm wasting my time.” Y estoy perdiendo el tiempo.

“Are you sure he hasn't seen you? ¿Estás seguro de que no te ha visto? That could make all the difference.” Eso podría marcar la diferencia”.

“I wouldn't stake my life on it, but yes, I'm sure.”

“What are you saying, then?” "¿Qué estás diciendo, entonces?"

“I'm saying you have nothing to worry about. “Estoy diciendo que no tienes nada de qué preocuparte. At least for now. Por ahora. If anything happens later, contact me. Si pasa algo más tarde, contáctame. I'll come running at the first sign of trouble.” Vendré corriendo a la primera señal de problemas.

After a pause Virginia Stillman said, “You could be right.” Then, after another pause, “But just to reassure me a little, I wonder if we could compromise.” Después de una pausa, Virginia Stillman dijo: “Podrías tener razón”. Luego, después de otra pausa, "Pero solo para tranquilizarme un poco, me pregunto si podríamos comprometernos".

“It depends on what you have in mind.” "Depende de lo que tengas en mente".

“Just this. "Sólo esta. Give it a few more days. Dale unos días más. To make absolutely certain.” Para estar absolutamente seguro.

“On one condition,” said Quinn. "Con una condición", dijo Quinn. “You've got to let me do it in my own way. Tienes que dejarme hacerlo a mi manera. No more restraints. No más restricciones. I have to be free to talk to him, to question him, to get to the bottom of it once and for all.” Tengo que ser libre para hablar con él, para interrogarlo, para llegar al fondo de una vez por todas”.

“Wouldn't that be risky?” "¿No sería eso arriesgado?"

“You don't have to worry. “No tienes que preocuparte. I'm not going to tip our hand. No voy a darnos la mano. He won't even guess who I am or what I'm up to.” Ni siquiera adivinará quién soy o qué estoy haciendo”.

“How will you manage that?” "¿Cómo manejarás eso?"

“That's my problem. "Ese es mi problema. I have all kinds of tricks up my sleeve. Tengo todo tipo de trucos bajo la manga. You just have to trust me.”

“All right, I'll go along. “Está bien, iré contigo. I don't suppose it will hurt.” Supongo que no dolerá.

“Good. "Bueno. I'll give it a few more days, and then we'll see where we stand.” Le daré unos días más y luego veremos cuál es nuestra posición”.

“Mr. "Señor. Auster?” ¿Austero?

“Yes?”

“I'm terribly grateful. “Estoy terriblemente agradecida. Peter has been in such good shape these past two weeks, and I know it's because of you. Peter ha estado en muy buena forma estas últimas dos semanas, y sé que es gracias a ti. He talks about you all the time. Habla de ti todo el tiempo. You're like…I don't know…a hero to him.” Eres como... no sé... un héroe para él.

“And how does Mrs. Stillman feel?” ¿Y cómo se siente la señora Stillman?

“She feels much the same way.” “Ella se siente de la misma manera”.

“That's good to hear. "Eso es bueno escuchar. Maybe someday she'll allow me to feel grateful to her.” Tal vez algún día me permita sentirme agradecido con ella”.

“Anything is possible, Mr. Auster. Todo es posible, señor Auster. You should remember that.” Deberías recordar eso.

“I will. "Voy a. I'd be a fool not to.” Sería un tonto si no lo hiciera.

Quinn made a light supper of scrambled eggs and toast, drank a bottle of beer, and then settled down at his desk with the red notebook. Quinn preparó una cena ligera con huevos revueltos y tostadas, bebió una botella de cerveza y luego se acomodó en su escritorio con el cuaderno rojo. He had been writing in it now for many days, filling page after page with his erratic, jostled hand, but he had not yet had the heart to read over what he had written. Llevaba muchos días escribiendo en él, llenando página tras página con su mano errática y agitada, pero aún no había tenido el corazón para releer lo que había escrito. Now that the end at last seemed in sight, he thought he might hazard a look. Ahora que el final por fin parecía a la vista, pensó que podría arriesgarse a echar un vistazo.

Much of it was hard going, especially in the early parts. Gran parte fue difícil, especialmente en las primeras partes. And when he did manage to decipher the words, it did not seem to have been worth the trouble. Y cuando logró descifrar las palabras, no pareció haber valido la pena. “Picks up pencil in middle of block. “Recoge un lápiz en medio del bloque. Examines, hesitates, puts in bag…. Examina, duda, mete en bolsa…. Buys sandwich in deli…. Compra un sándwich en una charcutería…. Sits on bench in park and reads through red notebook.” These sentences seemed utterly worthless to him. Se sienta en un banco en el parque y lee a través de un cuaderno rojo”. Estas frases le parecían absolutamente inútiles.

It was all a question of method. Todo era una cuestión de método. If the object was to understand Stillman, to get to know him well enough to be able to anticipate what he would do next, Quinn had failed. Si el objetivo era entender a Stillman, llegar a conocerlo lo suficientemente bien como para poder anticipar lo que haría a continuación, Quinn había fallado. He had started with a limited set of facts: Stillman's background and profession, the imprisonment of his son, his arrest and hospitalization, a book of bizarre scholarship written while he was supposedly still sane, and above all Virginia Stillman's certainty that he would now try to harm his son. Había comenzado con un conjunto limitado de hechos: los antecedentes y la profesión de Stillman, el encarcelamiento de su hijo, su arresto y hospitalización, un extraño libro de erudición escrito mientras supuestamente aún estaba cuerdo y, sobre todo, la certeza de Virginia Stillman de que ahora intentaría hacer daño a su hijo. But the facts of the past seemed to have no bearing on the facts of the present. Pero los hechos del pasado parecían no tener relación con los hechos del presente. Quinn was deeply disillusioned. Quinn estaba profundamente desilusionado. He had always imagined that the key to good detective work was a close observation of details. Siempre había imaginado que la clave para un buen trabajo de detective era una observación minuciosa de los detalles. The more accurate the scrutiny, the more successful the results. Cuanto más preciso sea el escrutinio, más exitosos serán los resultados. The implication was that human behavior could be understood, that beneath the infinite facade of gestures, tics, and silences, there was finally a coherence, an order, a source of motivation. La implicación era que se podía entender el comportamiento humano, que bajo la fachada infinita de gestos, tics y silencios había finalmente una coherencia, un orden, una fuente de motivación. But after struggling to take in all these surface effects, Quinn felt no closer to Stillman than when he first started following him. Pero después de esforzarse por asimilar todos estos efectos superficiales, Quinn no se sentía más cerca de Stillman que cuando empezó a seguirlo. He had lived Stillman's life, walked at his pace, seen what he had seen, and the only thing he felt now was the man's impenetrability. Había vivido la vida de Stillman, caminado a su ritmo, visto lo que había visto, y lo único que sentía ahora era la impenetrabilidad del hombre. Instead of narrowing the distance that lay between him and Stillman, he had seen the old man slip away from him, even as he remained before his eyes. En lugar de acortar la distancia que lo separaba de Stillman, había visto cómo el anciano se alejaba de él, mientras permanecía ante sus ojos.

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