Uit: Devil’s Island (Vertaald door David MacDuff en Magnus Magnusson)
„As for Baddi, he gave meaning to all the struggles of this world: that clever and handsome lad of promise, that blessed scion of the family, the granny’s boy of the prayers which the queen of the Old House repeated to herself aloud as she did the dishes at the sink or in silence as she brooded over the cards and the future of strangers – the boy with the bright eyes and the smile, always helpful and generous to everything which drew breath.
Now he was expected home.
The Americans were lucky to have enjoyed his presence all these years, thought Karolína, that steely woman who had not allowed her feelings free rein for decades. Nowadays she talked of her Baddi with such tearful longing that even Tommi was moved and began to imagine that everything would be bright and beautiful when the angel came home. But Tommi had always been much more attached to Danni; they had so much in common, he and the younger brother whom few missed and whose memory meant no more to the family than a raven landing on a gable-head and cawing.
Tommi came to think, when he looked back, that Baddi had not been such a bad lot after all – that was just exaggeration and a lack of understanding of young people. Boys would be boys, wouldn’t they? Before Baddi left he had become a bit of a burden to Tommi to be sure, because of the fines and damages he had had to pa; for all kinds of minor mischief Baddi had got involved in, but youngsters grew out of that sort of thing. Tommi was far more worried about the boys when they began to tinker with brennivín and steal bottles and get drunk and go into sheds and shacks with girls who screamed and bawled and came rushing out with fire and frenzy in their eyes, but who always allowed themselves to be lured into the sheds again. But why should Tommi worry about that? They were young and enjoying themselves.”
Einar Kárason (Reykjavík, 24 november 1955)