Tuesday, December 09, 2003

A bourbon priest. "You could see from his appearance, the shorts, the T-shirts that bore the names of rock bands or different events in America, he made no effort to look like a priest. The beard could indicate he was a foreign missionary, a look some of them affected. What did he do? He distributed clothes sent by his brother, he heard Confession when he felt like it, listened to people complain of their lives, people mourning the extinction of their families. He did play with the children, took pictures of them and read to them from the books of a Dr. Seuss. But most of the time, Laurent believed, he sat here on his hill with his friend Mr. Walker." -- Elmore Leonard, Pagan Babies.
The above takes place in Rwanda, around the corner from a churchful of corpses. Mr Walker, you may have guessed, comes with a red or black label.
[Pagan Babies, by Elmore Leonard, Viking, 2000. Soon enough you are back to Detroit and a good old-fashioned Elmore Leonard money-chase, with the characters on eccentric orbits around an unpictured moral centre. Bandits remains a better statement of Mr Leonard's foreign policy.]

No comments: