PUBLISHERS OF LITERARY FICTION SINCE 1983
Translator: Margaret Jull Costa
But the best part was the late afternoon swim, when the sun was going down and was huge and kept getting redder and redder, and the sea was first green, then a darker green, then blue, then indigo, and then almost black. And the water was so warm, and there were shoals of tiny fishes swimming in and out amongst the reddish seaweed.
And it was fun diving down and pinching the women on their legs to make them squeal. And then Papa and Uncle Arturo and Aunt Josefina's husband would lift us up onto their shoulders and let us dive into the water from there. And then two of them would pick one of us up and hurl us through the air, saying: "In he goes, squirming like a cat!" and the women, their bottoms bulging in their antediluvian costumes, would say: "Stop messing around with the kids." And then the men would say to us: "Come on, let's give them a fright" and we would chase Mama and our aunts and the other ladies and they would scuttle screaming out of the water and up the beach until we caught them and dragged them back, captive, to the shore, and there they would sit on the sand, terrified, and Aunt Honorina, close to tears, would say to her husband: "No, please, Arturín, no." And we kids would kill ourselves laughing when she called Uncle Arturo "Arturín", and for at least an hour afterwards, until we got tired, we would all call him "Arturín". But then we would join hands (the women's hands would be shaking) and run into the water together and plunge in, not the ladies though, they would sit down where the water was only about two inches deep, laughing like a lot of broody hens. And stupid Albertito would always open his mouth and gulp down lots of water and sand and then vomit it up and be left with a bitter burning sensation inside.