Uit: The Sparsholt Affair
“Oh, yes, him,” Evert said, as the source of the shadow moved slowly into view, a figure in a gleaming singlet, steadily lifting and lowering a pair of hand-weights. He did so with concentration though with no apparent effort—but of course it was hard to tell at this distance, from which he showed, in his square of light, as massive and abstracted, as if shaped from light himself. Peter put his hand on my arm.
“My dear,” he said, “I seem to have found my new model.” At which Evert made a little gasp, and looked at him furiously for a second.
“Well, you’d better get a move on,” I said, since these days new men left as quickly and unnoticed as they came.
“Even you must admire that glorious head, like a Roman gladiator, Freddie,” said Peter, “and those powerful shoulders, do you see the blue veins standing in the upper arms?”
“Not without my telescope,” I said.
I went to fill the kettle from the tap on the landing and found Jill Darrow coming up the stairs; she was late for the meeting at which she might have like to vote herself. I was very glad to see her, but the atmosphere, which had taken on a hint of deviancy, rather changed when she came into the room. She hadn’t had the benefit of ten years in the boys’ boarding school, with all its ingrained depravities; I doubt she’d ever seen a naked man. Charlie said, “Ah, Darrow,” and half stood up, then dropped back into his chair with an informality that might of might now have been flattering. “We want Dax to ask his father,” he said, as she removed her coat, and took in who was there. I set about making the tea.
“Oh, I see,” said Jill. There was a natural uncertainty in Evert’s presence as to what could be said about A. V. Dax.
At the window Evert himself seemed not to know she had come in. He and Peter stood staring up at the room opposite. Their backs were expressive, Peter smaller, hair thick and temperamental, in the patched tweed jacket which always gave off dim chemical odours of the studio; Evert neat and hesitant, a strictly raised boy in an unusually good suit who seemed to gaze at pleasure as at the far bank of a river. “What are you two staring at?” Jill said.
“You mustn’t look,” said Peter, turning and grinning at her. At which she went straight to the window, myself close behind. The gladiator was still in view, though now with his back turned, and doing something with a piece of rope. I was almost relieved to see that the scouts had started their rounds.”
Dichter tegen zijn geliefde
Een oude zilveren kerk in een bos
Is mijn liefde voor jou.
De bomen eromheen
Zijn woorden die ik uit je hart heb gestolen.
Een oude zilveren klok, de laatste glimlach die je gaf,
Hangt boven in mijn kerk.
Hij luidt alleen als je door het bos komt
En ernaast gaat staan.
En dan hoeft hij niet te luiden,
Want jouw stem komt in zijn plaats.
Vertaald door Frans Roumen