Georgina and Romero talked animatedly about neighbours and boundaries and water and rates and rights while I rocked back and forth on my chair and grinned vacuously. The dogs were quiet now as a result of being stuck together, looking bashfully in opposite directions, wishing perhaps that they'd never started the whole wretched business. The wine and the ham came and went, and I nodded off, then opened a heavy-lidded eye as Georgina poked me in the ribs.
'Slap this into his hand as if you mean it.'
She passed me a fat wad of peseta notes of large denomination.
'You're now the happy owner of El Valero and that's the señal -- the deposit.'
It really was no use arguing with Georgina so I did as she said and bought the place. There was a deal of backslapping, handshaking and grinning all round.
'It was a gift at that price,' lamented Romero and his wife. 'We're ruined, really we've given our home away . . . you've bought a paradise for pennies, but what could we do?'
I almost began to offer them more money but Georgina shot me a silencing look, and so, for a little under five million pesetas (25,000 pounds*, more or less), I had bought a farm that I would have hardly dared look at over the fence before. In a matter of minutes I was transformed from an itinerant sheep-shearer and tenant of a tied cottage beneath an airport landing path in Sussex, into the owner of a mountain farm in Andalucía. This would take some getting used to.
*25,000 UK pounds is about US $40,000
Excerpted from Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart Copyright© 2000 by Chris Stewart. Excerpted by permission of Pantheon, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.