Novel · 348 pages · Paperback · ISBN 978-3-7386-1402-2 · € 14,95
E-Book · ISBN 978-3-7392-5717-4 · € 7,99
Books on Demand, Norderstedt · 2015
British biologist and author of natural history textbooks Bob Morgan rents his girl cousin's house in Catalonia. A quiet place, where he wants to finish his
dissertation on the Eurasian lynx. Immediately the divorced man in his mid-forties makes the acquaintance of two women. Rosemarie, a German, is quite to his liking. Unfortunately, serious
arguments ensue between him and Archie, Rosemarie's stepson, a pubescent boy. On the other hand, he is fascinated by Lucy, a Welsh woman with an indefinable background, who is crazy about card
Spontaneously, Bob buys the manor house from Emilia. But the entry in the land register is hindered by the servant of the previous owner, who lays claim to parts of the property. But the entry in the land register is hindered by the servant of the previous owner, who lays claim to parts of the property.
Archie behaves more and more hostile towards Bob. Nevertheless, one day the boy asks Bob for help when he wants to go fishing. Bob has to take over the tiller of the little boat. They anchor a good distance off the coast. Bob dozes off in the midday heat. Suddenly he wakes up of a strong swaying. Not from the swell – his foot is tied to the side of the boat, while Archie tries to tilt it. Using all his strength, Bob succeeds in overpowering the villain after a hot fight.
After this sturdy encounter Bob recognises, that he is caught in the middle. Rosemarie, who is Archie’s legal guardian, uses the money, being assigned to alimentation and schooling, abusively for herself. For the bright-minded boy, she has found a boarding school, being free of charge and far away from Catalonia, which will permit her to start again enjoying life. Archie, on the contrary, yearns after another guardian. His only wish is to attend the local grammar school and to keep staying with his friends.
Bob travels to England to resolve several problems. His doctoral adviser rejects the dissertation on Lynx lynx criticising it as unscientific horseplay. The publisher gives a similar testy reply. He is afraid, publishing the thesis would compromise the sales of the successful textbooks. Bob suffers another rebuff at the Ministry of the Interior. They tell him quite clearly that there would be no permission to adopt a little girl from the Third World. More delightful is a reunion with his ex-wife Jane. The schoolmistress agrees to spend the summer holidays with Bob in the trendy Catalonia.
Back in Spain, Bob comes to know that Rosemarie has started an affair with another man. Which means for Archie a soon change to the boarding school, a Catholic institute, oppressive and unworldly, as Bob found out through his investigations. For to take one step back from the irresolvable problems, Bob rents a flat in Barcelona.
One Sunday with clear weather and a calm sea, meanwhile Archie is sleeping at his favourite place above the bay of Cape Falconera, Rosemarie’s dead body is floating in the waves. The autopsy confirms death by drowning. But Rosemarie was pregnant. Everyone close to her had a reason to drown her and could not prove an alibi for the time of death. At least the local authorities establish a bathing accident caused by fainting due to early pregnancy.
Bob doubts of Archie’s testimony. Perhaps the boy had not slept, but did see what happened without going to the rescue. But the Briton is as enthusiastic about the clever and unconventional boy in the same way as for the subject of his unsuccessful dissertation, the Lynx. Since he himself was a complete orphan and forced to spend all the school time in a boarding school, he decides to spare Archie a similar destiny. He offers him to become his son.
This novel is based on real incidents which happened in the Balearic island of Ibiza in the seventies. For several reasons the story takes place in the landscape of the Upper Ampurdán in the north of Spanish Catalonia. It means as well an homage to the hospitality of their friendly inhabitants granted during twenty five years.
© Harald V. Bergander · 2002 · 2014
Read the first chapters (available only in German)