By Richard Hughes
Richard Hughes's celebrated brief novel is a masterpiece of targeted narrative. Its dreamlike motion starts off one of the decayed plantation homes and overwhelming common abundance of overdue nineteenth-century Jamaica, ahead of relocating out onto the excessive seas, as Hughes tells the tale of a bunch of kids thrown upon the mercy of a workforce of down-at-the-heel pirates. A story of seduction and betrayal, of lodging and manipulation, of peculiar humor and unexpected violence, this vintage of twentieth-century literature is mainly a rare reckoning with the key purposes and otherworldly realities of youth.
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Additional info for A High Wind in Jamaica
Though he usually defers to no one, something in Hyams’ demeanor demands it. “Yessir,” he says, finally standing at attention. The officer sips from one of the cups. The other he offers to Abrams, who accepts it with a nod. The younger man is shocked and then pleased to discover a fine, strong coffee dosed liberally with Kentucky mash. It is a far cry from the poor substitutes of peanut husk, boiled pea, dried apple, okra seed, potato peel, and other seed-tick brews he has been forced to swallow in the past weeks.
Hyams breaks into a grin. ” He claps his hand on Abrams’ shoulder, this time affectionately. ” And with that, Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Myers Hyams wanders off, leaving his subordinate to stand awkwardly alone, a strange woman’s greetings in his dirty hands. 54 8 A brams quickly drops to the earth, his legs crossed beneath him. Ever so carefully, he breaks the waxen seal. He does not wish to admit that his hands are trembling. In unfolding the letter, he is met by the powdered scent of femininity, a dainty gust of rosehips and lavender talc, which forces from him a small groan of pleasure.
He 30 LANDSMAN eats alone, sheltered by trees or wagons. When others beg for a plateful, he asks what they have to offer in return. He has been unimpressed thus far; if anything arouses his interest, he simply waits to sit with them at cards. Before the night is through, whatever he aimed to own is his, and no food has been spared. The men of the Third Louisiana begin to speak about him. “Slicker’n pelican shit, that one,” they say, looking over their shoulders. ” Abrams has proven that he will fight beside these men in arms, but he makes no pretense: he will not fight by them in spirit.
A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes