CHAPTERS 40 - 44
CHAPTER 40 - A
Problem with Lips
- How like a Woman is a Mandolin
- The Great Big Spiky Rustball
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.