The Chulla Romero y Flores (1958 Novel) by Jorge Icaza – An English Translation

by Jorge Icaza (1906-1978)

Translated from Spanish by Richard Gabela

Chapter I

Several times a day Don Ernesto Morejón Galindo, Chief-Director of the Bureau of Economic Investigation, abandoned his small office to monitor the attendance of the employees in his charge. Don Ernesto was a man of uneven temperament. Completely uneven. When he was in a good mood, he was the kind to brag about being a Don Juan and make racy revelations about himself, much like a mestizo woman from the vegetable market or a newcomer from the province. With graphic and pornographic gestures of a sex addict, he would whisper into the ear of whoever was serving as his confidant at the moment: “What a wild night, my dear cholo. I served myself three young ladies. Two of them turned out to be virgins.… Hee-hee-hee…All for free.” But when it came time to publicly reprimand his henchmen—as he inwardly referred to his subordinates—he swelled with omnipotence and hurled insults left and right. In times like these, when his domineering arrogance exploded, the most grotesque characteristics of his fat face stood out: his cheeks that resembled a pair of pink buttocks, his lips that quivered like mud, the bilious drool between his teeth, the diabolical flame in his pupils.

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