Chapter 18: Rome & Cologne, Wednesday

The next week, Nancy had to go to Cologne for meetings with Smithson’s German subsidiary. Joe felt relieved. Jack Arland was going, too, which meant he could work late on the translations without having to come home or go back after Angela left. The USIS Library closed at 10 pm.  Continue reading

Chapter 16: Joe reports

Joe looked around the library to see if anyone was interested in him. The librarian was shelving books on the other side of the large room. A college student was sleeping head down on a thick book two tables away. A gray-haired pensioner sat in one of the armchairs with his back to Joe, reading the International Herald Tribune. Continue reading

Chapter 15: Things get complicated

After lunch with Angela, he collected his knapsack and rode down to the USIS Library to work on the Arland papers. He had been excited to deliver his first book translation, but now he felt a different excitement – and a great anxiousness to jump back into the complex mess of papers that had challenged him so hard. Continue reading

Chapter 14: Gruppo del Piave, SpA

Monday morning, Nancy went to work. Joe cleaned up breakfast. Then he laid out his draft of the del Piave book on the dining room table. He put a Beatles record on the phonograph and sat down to correct the draft. The book was much simpler than the letters and articles he had been working on, and he adjusted the style to be less stuffy than the Italian text. Continue reading

Chapter 13: England

“I want to check out that bookstore.” Joe pointed to a store that seemed to occupy most of its block on Piccadilly, its dark wooden façade making a contrasting statement to the pastel stucco and white columns of the rest of the building.

“OK. I’ll meet you there in a half-hour. I want to check on Maria Grazia’s present.” Nancy had ordered a wool suit for her, the finest gift she picked for anyone in the office. Continue reading

Chapter 12: First Flight

“C’mon sleepy-head!” Joe’s mother shook him gently. He struggled from a groggy fog. Light from the Cavalieri Hilton and the street lamps was still coming through the window. Then he remembered why he had taken so long to fall asleep. He leapt from the bed suddenly awake as his mother headed for the kitchen to put out breakfast. Continue reading