To get information in Spanish place the arrow of your mouse on the highlighted words without clicking.
Para obtener información en español acerca la flecha de tu ratón a las palabras o frases resaltadas.


Alan Maley

Skorzeny had been waiting
twenty years for the stranger.
Now it was time for his last drink.


San Juan de los Reyes. Dusk was falling. Luis, the barman at the Hotel Mimosa was polishing the glasses. In the village, lights were going on. Down by the harbour, the boats were getting ready to set out for the night’s fishing.

The hotel was quiet.
Hardly anyone came to stay there anyway; only the occasional American tourist group.

And, of course, Mr Skorzeny. He had arrived
out of nowhere five years before and stayed on. He kept to himself. He had his own routine. Every morning he swam before breakfast. Then he disappeared into his room, only emerging at lunch. In the evenings he would sit on the veranda and drink. Sometimes he would be found still asleep in his chair in the morning. No one knew where he came from - but he paid his bills, so no one asked.

Today was different. The stranger had arrived in a white Mercedes
in the late afternoon. He wore a wide-brimmed straw hat. He had asked for Mr Skorzeny. He was the first visitor Skorzeny had had in all his time at the hotel. Now they sat in the twilight at the end of the long veranda. It was funny, Luis thought, that the visitor looked so much like Mr Skorzeny - same blue eyes, same square face, same powerful shoulders. But of course, unlike Mr Skorzeny, he had no beard.

The two men faced each other.
‘So, you’ve come at last,’ Skorzeny said. ‘I’ve been waiting for you for twenty years, do you know that?’
‘I hope you are ready to come quietly?’ said the visitor, ‘I don’t want any trouble.
You’d better give me your passport now.’ As he spoke, he opened his jacket to reveal the pistol in its shoulder holster.
‘My dear fellow. Here it is.’ Mr Skorzeny gave the man his passport. ‘I don’t want any trouble.
It’s almost a relief to see you at last. I’ve been expecting you - or someone like you - ever since I defected all those years ago.’
‘I’m glad to hear it. So, let’s go.
It will take us two hours to reach the capital. We should leave now.’
‘Come, come.
There’s no hurry surely?’ Mr Skorzeny said. ‘I have waited for twenty years. You can wait for half an hour, can’t you. I’d like to enjoy my last drink here. It’s so peaceful in the evening’.

He made a sign to Luis, who brought two Margheritas in ice-cold,
frosted glasses. It was now completely dark and the end of the terrace was only dimly lit by the single bulb over the bar.

Cheers, my dear fellow,’ said Skorzeny, and drained his glass. The stranger drank too. Skorzeny ordered another round of drinks. The stranger got up to look down at the harbour. He did not notice Skorzeny’s skilful work with the drinks. They drank again. Then settled down to talk.

An hour or so later, while Luis
was away at the hotel reception, a man wearing a straw hat rose from the table and made his way quickly to the car park. The other man remained slumped in his chair on the dark veranda. Skorzeny started the Mercedes and drove swiftly away in the direction of the airport. In his pocket was the passport he had taken from the visitor, in the name of Lubelski.

By the time they discovered Lubelski, he would be
clean-shaven and on a plane to... where next, he wondered?

Source: English Digest


dusk was falling: the time of day immediately following sunset was falling (caía el crepúsculo)
: making shine (lustrando)
going on
: (here) turning on (encendiéndose)
: small port (puerto)
to set out: to leave (para partir)
night's fishing: catching fish for a living at night (la pesca nocturna)
hardly anyone came to stay: very few people went to the hotel (casi nadie iba a alojarse)
out of nowhere: from any remote or unknown place (de algún lugar desconcido)
stayed on: went on as a guest (continuaba hospedándose)
swam: past tense of "swim" (nadaba)
only emerging at lunch: come out to have lunch only (saliendo sólo para almorzar)
he would sit: used to sit (se sentaba)
veranda: gallery (balcón terraza)
he would be found still asleep
: he might be found asleep (solía encontrársele todavía dormido)
he paid his bills: he paid punctually (pagaba sus cuentas)
in the late afternoon: when the afternoon was over (al final de la tarde)
wide-brimmed straw hat: a straw hat with a wide brim (sombrero de paja de ala ancha)
in the twilight: when the light from the sky after the sun has gone down and before it gets dark (a la luz del crepúsculo)
same square face (el mismo rostro angular)
same powerful shoulders (los mismos fuertes hombros)
unlike (a diferencia del)
he had no beard (no llevaba barba)

you'd better give me = you had better give me (sería mejor que me traiga)
to reveal: to show (para mostrar)
holster: leather ‘pocket’ worn to carry a handgun (cartuchera, funda para pistola)
it's almost a relief (casi es un alivio)
or someone like you (o alguien como usted)
I defected: I omitted (omití, pasé por alto)
it will take us (nos llevará, nos insumirá)
there's no hurry surely (no hay apuro seguramente)
so peaceful: so quiet (tan pacífico)
frosted glasses: glasses having a roughened coating resembling frost (copas con el borde escarchado)
dimly lit (tenuemente iluminado)
bulb: electric lamp (lamparilla o bombilla eléctrica)
Cheers!!: a friendly remark said before starting to drink an alcoholic beverage (Salud!!)
drained: emptied (vació, dejó vacía)
round: a serving to each of a group, usually alcoholic (vuelta de bebida)
to look down at the harbour (para observar abajo el puerto)
skilful work; a job done with skill (hábil trabajo)
settled down to: devoted their time to (se pusieron a, se dedicaron a)
was away at (se había retirado a)
made his way quickly (se dirigió rápidamente)
car park (parqueo, playa de estacionamiento)
slumped (aplastado)
started: set the engine in motion (encendió, arrancó el motor de)
drove swiftly away (huyó velozmente en el auto)
in the name of (a nombre de)
clean-shaven: closely shaved recently (impecablemente recién afeitado)