Friday, February 23, 2007

Heart of the Matter - post II

There is a bit in Star Wars when Obi-Wan Kenobi tells a young Luke Skywalker in a short monologue what the history of the rebellion and clone wars was all about and it sets things up nicely. There is a similar moment in this book where an Indian fortune teller explains to Wilson (and the reader) how the story will roughly unfold over the next hundred or so pages. Letting the reader in on the story is a device that some writers use so it will be interesting to see how Greene makes it work.

Bullet points between pages 52 – 140

* The desire of Scobie’s wife to depart for South Africa starts to cast a long shadow over his daily life and he starts to dread the subject coming up with his wife when he gets home

* Wilson eventually gives into the fortune teller waiting outside his rooms and allows his palm to be read and he is told that he will catch his man and sail away with the woman he loves

* Any doubts you might have had about the woman he loves are dispelled when he declares his love for Scobie’s wife Louise and doubts that the man he catches might be Scobie start to melt away as he in linked with a corrupt Syrian who has lent him the money to pay for Louise’s passage

* The Syrian, Yusef, keeps hinting to Scobie that Wilson is a secret agent sent to try and get to the root of the illicit trade in industrial diamonds and has a show down with Scobie after some victims of convoy torpedoing are buried

* Wilson accuses Scobie of sending Louise away because he knew that she loved Wilson but Scobie denies this but then gets a glimpse into the venom the man is storing up for the policeman as he asks him where he got the money for to pay her passage

* Things end with Scobie helping a young teacher who has lost her husband in the sea crossing and has only just started to come to life again after being saved and helped by doctors

Things are hotting up not just between Scobie and Wilson but also between Scobie and the young widow…

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