CHAPTERS 40 - 44

CHAPTER 40 - A Problem with Lips
CHAPTER 41 - Snails
CHAPTER 42 - How like a Woman is a Mandolin
CHAPTER 43 - The Great Big Spiky Rustball
CHAPTER 44 - Theft

A Problem with Lips

As Pelagia is walking out of the door and Antonio is returning from work, she kisses him on the cheek without really thinking about it. When they both realize what they had done, they stop, but neither of them dares look back. He calls her name and tries to show some affection, but she simply says that she thought he was her father and that she always kisses him on the cheek when he comes in. He again tries to chat with her, but she asks him to stop teasing and threatens not to speak with him again. He throws himself on his knees for forgiveness as she finds herself in an uncomfortable situation where the other people are watching. She finally says that the kiss was a mistake and apologizes. He then says he has something to show her inside, but as she walks towards the door, he kisses her as she did before and takes off down the street. Pelagia just stands there amazed, trying not to laugh or smile.


When the doctor sees Antonio creeping up behind Lemoni to give her a surprise as Psipsina leaps onto his work, he asks Lemoni if there are still any snails next to the fence where they had found Psipsina. They agree to go before dark when they are easy to catch as they are having a shortage of food due to the British blockade. In the evening, Dr. Iannis, Pelagia, Antonio and Lemoni meet to catch snails. They become distracted and soon, they divide into two groups with Dr. Iannis and Lemoni in one group, and Antonio and Pelagia in the other. At one point Dr. Iannis is on his own, appreciating his surroundings when he hears a sudden crack and a moan from Pelagia. He follows the moaning and finds his daughter bleeding an on all fours. She explains that she had been scratched by a thorn and that her hair had gotten tangled on some briars. He feels relieved as he thought it may have been more serious while Antonio takes some blood saying he will treasure it forever. She threatens to murder him, but he teases her saying that she must first get untangled. He carefully helps her and as he finishes, he takes advantage of their position to kiss her. She protests and he apologizes. She suddenly begins to cry for no apparent reason and says that she can't stand it anymore. He begins to kiss her again and soon they are both kissing as the snails are left to escape. They return home at dusk with very few snails left.

How like a Woman is a Mandolin

In this chapter, Antonio gives a description of how lovely mandolins are and how similar they are to woman, referring to Pelagia. He expresses his love for both Pelagia and his mandolin, which he calls Antonia as a way of giving it a more live nature. He wonders how someone so marvelous as Pelagia can be made of flesh and how mandolins can be made out of wood. He expresses how he feels he and Pelagia are like brother and sister before Greek and invader and remarks how similar a mandolin is to a woman in both the anatomical and sexual aspect. After this, Antonio confesses how he sometimes confuses Antonia with Pelagia while asleep, waking up sexually aroused. He goes on to describe Pelagia in terms of chords and how each note denotes the different ways in which Pelagia shows her affection. She is saddened by the war, and even the force with which he strokes the strings can denote different feelings. He imagines telling her about the March he's composing for her and how he tells her about music and how she may not understand what he's saying but that at the end it doesn't really matter. He confesses how Pelagia feels moved by him, although she feels offended being moved by the enemy. She then asks him how he can make such beautiful music when all around them there's misery and death. She questions his superiors and criticizes the reasons behind the war which Antonio is supposed to defend. Pelagia feels sad as he is so blinded by love and finds herself hating him because she loves him, which makes him feel diminished and dishonorable.

The Great Big Spiky Rustball

Pelagia confesses her repulsion towards snails which she believes may affect his relationship with Antonio, as he loves them but she doesn't know how to prepare them. She goes to Drosoula for help and she explains the basics, but when Kokolios' wife tells her that everything Drosoula has said is nonsense, she doesn't know what to do. She thinks too meticulously about how she should prepare them and ends up feeling sorry for the snails. Her thoughts are interrupted by Lemoni crying out that she has seen a great big spiky rustball which Carlo and Corelli decide is a mine. They all go down to the beach to inspect the mine and decide they should blow it up for safety, even though it is about twenty years old and all the explosive should have already decayed. Carlo goes away and returns with some explosives and an escort of troops as well as an engineer, while Kokolios and Stamatis dig a hole from which Corelli will be able to detonate it. He is annoyed however at losing his total control over the situation as the engineer starts criticizing the location of the hole saying that he will be killed. Corelli reminds him of the hierarchy of command, where he is superior to the engineer. He responds by saying that he is more experienced with explosives. Corelli dismisses him and gets into the hole as everyone goes to the top of the cliff to watch the spectacle from a safe distance. He detonates the explosives and metal and sand are launched into the air. A piece of metal cleanly decapitates the engineer while the captain remains unharmed on the beach. He is put on a charge by General Gandin for being responsible for the death of the engineer, as well as for reckless use of his own initiative. The charge is put into his file, but is quickly and quietly erased when Gandin's secretary receives a few gifts from Corelli. That evening, everyone arrives at the doctor's home where their cuts and bruises are treated.


Kokolios wakes up in the middle of the night to the sound of his chicken's crying out. Suspecting the pine marten is to blame he goes to out to get rid of it only to find himself face to face with two Italian soldiers. Despite the fact that they are armed with rifles, he confronts them and eventually forces them to plead for mercy. He beats them up and drags them to the doctor's house where Iannis receives them. Kokolios tells Corelli that his men are nothing but chicken thieves. Dr. Iannis tells his neighbor to calm down a little and then decides to tease him by reminding him of his communist ideology and that according to communist theory, all property is theft, so Kokolios too is a thief. He finds himself in a difficult situation and responds that only the property of the rich is theft. Corelli suddenly reappears with a revolver, which everyone thinks he intends to use to shoot Kokolios. However, he points the gun at one of his men and proceeds to torture them both. Kokolios suddenly realizes he is half-naked and runs out of the house. The captain then drags both culprits out of the house and then returns. In rage, he shouts that they are all hungry and then exclaims "The dishonor!" before going into his room and slamming the door. Some days later, Pelagia notices that her goat is missing and realizes that it has been stolen by the two Italians. When Corelli tries to comfort her, she insults him and dismisses the offer he makes to get her a new goat.