Download PDF by Graham Greene: The Heart of the Matter: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

By Graham Greene

With a brand new advent by way of James WoodScobie, a police officer serving in a wartime west-African nation, is distrusted — being scrupulously sincere and proof against bribery. yet then he falls in love, and in so doing, he's compelled to betray every little thing he believes in, with drastic and tragic results.

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In those days he had thought his wife beautiful. A white skin had not then reminded him of an albino. Poor Louise. ’ He smiled. ’ He watched her go out of the dark office like fifteen wasted years. 3 Scobie had been out-manoeuvred in the interminable war over housing. During his last leave he had lost his bungalow in Cape Station, the main European quarter, to a senior sanitary inspector called Fellowes, and had found himself relegated to a square two-storeyed house built originally for a Syrian trader on the flats below - a piece of reclaimed swamp which would return to swamp as soon as the nuns set in.

Sick at heart, knowing what he would find, he moved his fingers down until they touched her lids. She was crying. He felt an enormous tiredness, bracing himself to comfort her. ’ It was how he always began. Comfort, like the act of sex, developed a routine. ’ It was how she always answered. He blamed himself for being heartless because the idea occurred to him that it was two o’clock: this might go on for hours, and at six the day’s work began. He moved the hair away from her forehead and said, ‘The rains will soon be here.

He looked without interest in obedience to a stranger’s direction, and it seemed to him that no particular interest attached to the squat grey-haired man walking alone up Bond Street. He couldn’t tell that this was one of those occasions a man never forgets: a small cicatrice had been made on the memory, a wound that would ache whenever certain things combined - the taste of gin at mid-day, the smell of flowers under a balcony, the clang of corrugated iron, an ugly bird flopping from perch to perch.

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