lunedì 4 luglio 2011

Red Harvest - Dashiell Hammett

I first heard of Personville called Poisonville by a red-haired mucker named Hickey Dewey in the Big Ship in Butte. He also called his shirt a shoit. I didn't think anything of what he had done to the city's name. Later I heard men of what he had done to the city's name. Later I heard men who could manage their r's give it the same pronunciation. I still didn't see anything in it but the meaningless sort of humor that used to make richardsnary thieves' word for dictionary. A few years later I went to Personville and learned better.
Using one of the phones in the station, I called the Herald, asked for Donald Wilsson, and told him I had arrived.
"Will you come out to my house at ten this evening?" He had a pleasantly crisp voice. "It's 2101 Mountain Boulevard. Take a Broadway car, get off at Laurel Avenue, and walk two blocks west."
I promised to do that. Then I rode up the Great Western Hotel, dumped my bags, and went out to look at the city.
The city wasn0t pretty. Most of its builders had gone in for gaudiness. Maybe they had been succesful at first. Since them the smelters whose brick stacks stuck up tall against a gloomy mountain to the south had yellow-smoked everything into uniform dinginess. The result was an ugly city of forty thousand people, set in an ugly notch between two ugly mountains that had been all dirtied up by mining. Spread over this was a grimy sky that looked as if it had come out of the smelters' stacks.
The first policeman I saw needed a shave. The second had a cople of buttons off his shabby uniform. The thord stood in the center of the city's main intersection - Brodaway andUnions Street - directing traffic, with a cigar in one corner of his mouth. After that I stopped chechinkg them up.

Red Harcest - Dashiell Hammett

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