Английский язык с Крестным Отцом


Метод чтения Ильи Франка

Книгу подготовил Илья Франк

Mario Puzo

The Godfather

Book 2

Chapter 12

Johnny Fontane waved a casual dismissal to the manservant and said, "See you in


the morning, Billy." The colored butler bowed his way out of the huge dining room-living

room with its view of the Pacific Ocean. It was a friendly-good-bye sort of bow, not a

servant's bow, and given only because Johnny Fontane had company for dinner.

Johnny's company was a girl named Sharon Moore, a New York City Greenwich

Village girl in Hollywood to try for a small part in a movie being produced by an old

flame who had made the big time. She had visited the set while Johnny was acting in

the Woltz movie. Johnny had found her young and fresh and charming and witty, and

had asked her to come to his place for dinner that evening. His invitations to dinner

were always famous and had the force of royalty and of course she said yes.

Sharon Moore obviously expected him to come on very strong because of his

reputation, but Johnny hated the Hollywood "piece of meat" approach. He never slept

with any girl unless there was something about her he really liked. Except, of course,

sometimes when he was very drunk and found himself in bed with a girl he didn't even

remember meeting or seeing before. And now that he was thirty-five years old, divorced

once, estranged (отделен, отдален) from his second wife, with maybe a thousand

pubic scalps dangling from his belt, he simply wasn't that eager. But there, was

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something about Sharon Moore that aroused affection in him and so he had invited her

to dinner.


He never ate much but he knew young pretty girls ambitiously starved themselves for

pretty clothes and were usually big eaters on a date so there was plenty of food on the

table. There was also plenty of liquor; champagne in a bucket, scotch, rye (хлебная

водка), brandy and liqueurs on the sideboard. Johnny served the drinks and the plates

of food already prepared. When they had finished eating he led her into the huge living

room with its glass wall that looked out onto the Pacific. He put a stack of Ella Fitzgerald

records on the hi-fi and settled on the couch with Sharon. He made a little small talk

with her, found out about what she had been like as a kid, whether she had been a

tomboy (девчонка-сорванец) or boy crazy, whether she had been homely or pretty,

lonely or gay. He always found these details touching, it always evoked the tenderness

he needed to make love.

They nestled together on the sofa, very friendly, very comfortable. He kissed her on

the lips, a cool friendly kiss, and when she kept it that way he left it that way. Outside

the huge picture window he could see the dark blue sheet of the Pacific lying flat

beneath the moonlight.

"How come you're not playing any of your records?" Sharon asked him. Her voice was

teasing. Johnny smiled at her. He was amused by her teasing him. "I'm not that

Hollywood," he said.

"Play some for me," she said. "Or sing for me. You know, like the movies. I'll bubble

up and melt all over you just like those girls do on the screen."

Johnny laughed outright. When he had been younger, he had done just such things

and the result had always been stagy (неестественный, театральный), the girls trying

to look sexy and melting, making their eyes swim with desire for an imagined fantasy

camera. He would never dream of singing to a girl now; for one thing, he hadn't sung for

months, he didn't trust his voice. For another thing, amateurs didn't realize how much

professionals depended on technical help to sound as good as they did. He could have

played his records but he felt the same shyness about hearing his youthful passionate

voice as an aging, balding man running to fat feels about showing pictures of himself as

a youth in the full bloom of manhood.

"My voice is out of shape," he said. "And honestly, I'm sick of hearing myself sing."

They both sipped their drinks. "I hear you're great in this picture," she said. "Is it true

you did it for nothing?"

"Just a token payment," Johnny said.

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He got up to give her a refill on her brandy glass, gave her a gold-monogrammed

cigarette and flashed his lighter out to hold the light for her. She puffed on the cigarette

and sipped her drink and he sat down beside her again. His glass had considerably

more brandy in it than hers, he needed it to warm himself, to cheer himself, to charge


himself up. His situation was the reverse of the lover's usual one. He had to get himself

drunk instead of the girl. The girl was usually too willing where he was not. The last two

years had been hell on his ego, and he used this simple way to restore it, sleeping with

a young fresh girl for one night, taking her to dinner a few times, giving her an

expensive present and then brushing her off in the nicest way possible so that her

feelings wouldn't be hurt. And then they could always say they had had a thing with the

great Johnny Fontane. It wasn't true love, but you couldn't knock it if the girl was

beautiful and genuinely nice. He hated the hard, bitchy ones, the ones who screwed for

him and then rushed off to tell their friends that they'd screwed the great Johnny

Fontane, always adding that they'd had better. What amazed him more than anything

else in his career were the complaisant (обходительный, неконфликтный

[k∂m'pleız∂nt]) husbands who almost told him to his face that they forgave their wives

since it was allowed for even the most virtuous matron to be unfaithful with a great

singing and movie star like Johnny Fontane. That really floored (to floor – валить

наземь, сбивать с ног; смущать, поражать) him.

He loved Ella Fitzgerald on records. He loved that kind of clean singing, that kind of

clean phrasing. It was the only thing in life he really understood and he knew he

understood it better than anyone else on earth. Now lying back on the couch, the

brandy warming his throat, he felt a desire to sing, not music, but to phrase with the

records, yet it was something impossible to do in front of a stranger. He put his free

hand in Sharon's lap, sipping his drink from his other hand. Without any slyness but with

the sensualness of a child seeking warmth, his hand in her lap pulled up the silk of her

dress to show milky white thigh above the sheer netted gold of her stockings and as

always, despite all the women, all the years, all the familiarity, Johnny felt the fluid sticky

warmness flooding through his body at that sight. The miracle still happened, and what

would he do when that failed him as his voice had?

He was ready now. He put his drink down on the long inlaid (мозаичный,

инкрустированный) cocktail table and turned his body toward her. He was very sure,

very deliberate, and yet tender. There was nothing sly or lecherously lascivious

(похотливый, сладострастный [l∂’sıvıj∂s]) in his caresses. He kissed her on the lips

while his hands rose to her breasts. His hand fell to her warm thighs, the skin so silky to

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his touch. Her returning kiss was warm but not passionate and he preferred it that way

right now. He hated girls who turned on all of a sudden as if their bodies were motors

galvanized into erotic pumpings by the touching of a hairy switch.

Then he did something he always did, something that had never yet failed to arouse

him. Delicately and as lightly as it was possible to do so and still feel something, he

brushed the tip of his middle finger deep down between her thighs. Some girls never


even felt that initial move toward lovemaking. Some were distracted by it, not sure it was

a physical touch because at the same time he always kissed them deeply on the mouth.

Still others seemed to suck in his finger or gobble it up (жадно есть, заглатывать) with

a pelvic (тазовый) thrust. And of course before he became famous, some girls had

slapped his face. It was his whole technique and usually it served him well enough.

Sharon's reaction was unusual. She accepted it all, the touch, the kiss, then shifted

her mouth off his, shifted her body ever so slightly back along the couch and picked up

her drink. It was a cool but definite refusal. It happened sometimes. Rarely; but it

happened. Johnny picked up his drink and lit a cigarette.

She was saying something very sweetly, very lightly. "It's not that I don't like you,

Johnny, you're much nicer than I thought you'd be. And it's not because I'm not that kind

of a girl. It's just that I have to be turned on to do it with a guy, you know what I mean?"

Johnny Fontane smiled at her. He still liked her. "And I don't turn you on?"

She was a little embarrassed. "Well, you know, when you were so great singing and

all, I was still a little kid. I sort of just missed you, I was the next generation. Honest, it's

not that I'm goody-goody (паинька). If you were a movie star I grew up on, I'd have my

panties off in a second."

He didn't like her quite so much now. She was sweet, she was witty, she was

intelligent. She hadn't fallen all over herself to screw for him or try to hustle (толкать,

пихать; добиваться чего-либо напористыми, не всегда честными действиями) him

because his connections would help her in show biz. She was really a straight kid. But

there was something else he recognized. It had happened a few times before. The girl

who went on a date with her mind all made up not to go to bed with him, no matter how

much she liked him, just so that she could tell her friends, and even more, herself, that

she had turned down a chance to screw for the great Johnny Fontane. It was something

he understood now that he was older and he wasn't angry. He just didn't like her quite

that much and he had really liked her a lot.

And now that he didn't like her quite so much, he relaxed more. He sipped his drink

and watched the Pacific Ocean. She said, "I hope you're not sore, Johnny. I guess I'm

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being square, I guess in Hollywood a girl's supposed to put out just as casually as

kissing a beau (щеголь; здесь: кавалер [b∂u]) good night. I just haven't been around

long enough."

Johnny smiled at her and patted her cheek. His hand fell down to pull her skirt


discreetly over her rounded silken knees. "I'm not sore," he said. "It's nice having an old-

fashioned date." Not telling what he felt: the relief at not having to prove himself a great

lover, not having to live up (быть достойным /чего-либо/, тянуться) to his screened,

godlike image. Not having to listen to the girl trying to react as if he really had lived up to

that image, making more out of a very simple, routine piece of ass than it really was.

They had another drink, shared a few more cool kisses and then she decided to go.

Johnny said politely, "Can I call you for dinner some night?"

She played it frank and honest to the end. "I know you don't want to waste your time

and then get disappointed," she said. "Thanks for a wonderful evening. Someday I'll tell

my children I had supper with the great Johnny Fontane all alone in his apartment."

He smiled at her. "And that you didn't give in (уступить, сдаться)," he said. They both

laughed. "They'll never believe that," she said. And then Johnny, being a little phony

(фальшивый, притворяющийся) in his turn, said, "I'll give it to you in writing, want me

to?" She shook her head. He continued on. "Anybody doubts you, give me a buzz on

the phone, I'll straighten them right out. I'll tell them how I chased you all around the

apartment but you kept your honor. OK?"

He had, finally, been a little too cruel and he felt stricken at the hurt on her young face.

She understood that he was telling her that he hadn't tried too hard. He had taken the

sweetness of her victory away from her. Now she would feel that it had been her lack of

charm or attractiveness that had made her the victor this night. And being the girl she

was, when she told the story of how she resisted the great Johnny Fontane, she would

always have to add with a wry little smile, "Of course, he didn't try very hard." So now

taking pity on her, he said, "If you ever feel real down, give me a ring. OK? I don't have

to shack up (сожительствовать, переспать) every girl I know."

"I will," she said. She went out the door.

He was left with a long evening before him. He could have used what Jack Woltz

called the "meat factory," the stable of willing starlets, but he wanted human

companionship. He wanted to talk like a human being. He thought of his first wife,

Virginia. Now that the work on the picture was finished he would have more time for the

kids. He wanted to become part of their life again. And he worried about Virginia too.

She wasn't equipped to handle the Hollywood sharpies (sharpy – жулик, мошенник;

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энергичный человек) who might come after her just so that they could brag about

having screwed Johnny Fontane's first wife. As far as he knew, nobody could say that

yet. Everybody could say it about his second wife though, he thought wryly. He picked

up the phone.


He recognized her voice immediately and that was not surprising. He had heard it the

first time when he was ten years old and they had been in 4B together. "Hi, Ginny," he

said, "you busy tonight? Can I come over for a little while?"

"All right," she said. "The kids are sleeping though; I don't want to wake them up."

"That's OK," he said. "I just wanted to talk to you."

Her voice hesitated slightly, then carefully controlled not to show any concern, she

asked, "Is it anything serious, anything important?"

"No," Johnny said. "I finished the picture today and I thought maybe I could just see

you and talk to you. Maybe I could take a look at the kids if you're sure they won't wake


"OK," she said. "I'm glad you got that part you wanted."

"Thanks," he said. "I'll see you in about a half hour."

When he got to what had been his home in Beverly Hills, Johnny Fontane sat in the

car for a moment staring at the house. He remembered what his Godfather had said,

that he could make his own life what he wanted. Great chance if you knew what you

wanted. But what did he want?

His first wife was waiting for him at the door. She was pretty, petite (маленького

роста, изящная [p∂'ti:t]) and brunette, a nice Italian girl, the girl next door who would

never fool around with another man and that had been important to him. Did he still

want her, he asked himself, and the answer was no. For one thing, he could no longer

make love to her, their affection had grown too old. And there were some things,

nothing to do with sex, she could never forgive him. But they were no longer enemies.

She made him coffee and served him homemade cookies in the living room. "Stretch

out on the sofa," she said, "you look tired." He took off his jacket and his shoes and

loosened his tie while she sat in the chair opposite him with a grave little smile on her

face. "It's funny," she said.

"What's funny?" he asked her, sipping coffee and spilling some of it on his shirt.

"The great Johnny Fontane stuck (to stick – завязнуть, застрять) without a date," she


"The great Johnny Fontane is lucky if he can even get it up anymore," he said.

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It was unusual for him to be so direct. Ginny asked, "Is there something really the


Johnny grinned at her. "I had a date with a girl in my apartment and she brushed me

off. And you know, I was relieved."

To his surprise he saw a look of anger pass over Ginny's face. "Don't worry about

those little tramps," she said. "She must have thought that was the way to get you

interested in her," And Johnny realized with amusement that Ginny was actually angry

with the girl who had turned him down.

"Ah, what the hell," he said. "I'm tired of that stuff. I have to grow up sometime. And


now that I can't sing anymore I guess I'll have a tough time with dames. I never got in on

my looks, you know."

She said loyally, "You were always better looking than you photographed."

Johnny shook his head. "I'm getting fat and I'm getting bald. Hell, if this picture doesn't

make me big again I better learn how to bake pizzas. Or maybe we'll put you in the

movies, you look great."

She looked thirty-five, A good thirty-five, but thirty-five. And out here in Hollywood that

might as well be a hundred. The young beautiful girls thronged through the city like

lemmings (лемминг, пеструшка /зоол./), lasting one year, some two, Some of them so

beautiful they could make a man's heart almost stop beating until they opened their

mouths, until the greedy hopes for success clouded the loveliness of their eyes.

Ordinary women could never hope to compete with them on a physical level. And you

could talk all you wanted to about charm, about intelligence, about chic, about poise, the

raw beauty of these girls overpowered everything else. Perhaps if there were not so

many of them there might be a chance for an ordinary, nice-looking woman. And since

Johnny Fontane could have all of them, or nearly all of them, Ginny knew that he was

saying all this just to flatter her. He had always been nice that way. He had always been

polite to women even at the height of his fame, paying them compliments, holding lights

for their cigarettes, opening doors. And since all this was usually done for him, it made it

even more impressive to the girls he went out with. And he did it with all girls, even the

one-night stands, I-don't-know-your-name girls.

She smiled at him, a friendly smile. "You already made me, Johnny, remember? For

twelve years. You don't have to give me your line."

He sighed and stretched out on the sofa. "No kidding, Ginny, you look good. I wish I

looked that good."

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She didn't answer him. She could see he was depressed. "Do you think the picture is

OK? Will it do you some good?" she asked.

Johnny nodded. "Yeah. It could bring me all the way back. If I get the Academy thing


and play my cards right, I can make it big again even without the singing. Then maybe I

can give you and the kids more dough (тесто; деньги /сленг/ [d∂u])."

"We have more than enough," Ginny said.

"I wanta see more of the kids too," Johnny said. "I want to settle down a little bit. Why

can't I come every Friday night for dinner here? I swear I'll never miss one Friday, I don't

care how far away I am or how busy I am. And then whenever I can I'll spend weekends

or maybe the kids can spend some part of their vacations with me."

Ginny put an ashtray on his chest. "It's OK with me," she said. "I never got married

because I wanted you to keep being their father." She said this without any kind of

emotion, but Johnny Fontane, staring up at the ceiling, knew she said it as an

atonement (компенсация, возмещение) for those other things, the cruel things she had

once said to him when their marriage had broken up, when his career had started going

down the drain (дренажная канава, водосток, канализация).

"By the way, guess who called me," she said.

Johnny wouldn't play that game, he never did. "Who?" he asked.

Ginny said, "You could take at least one lousy guess." Johnny didn't answer. "Your

Godfather," she said.

Johnny was really surprised. "He never talks to anybody on the phone. What did he

say to you?"

"He told me to help you," Ginny said. "He said you could be as big as you ever were,

that you were on your way back, but that you needed people to believe in you. I asked

him why should I? And he said because you're the father of my children. He's such a

sweet old guy and they tell such horrible stories about him."

Virginia hated phones and she had had all the extensions (удлинение, расширение;

удлинитель, добавочный телефон) taken out except for the one in her bedroom and

one in the kitchen. Now they could hear the kitchen phone ringing. She went to answer

it. When she came back into the living room there was a look of surprise on her face.

"It's for you, Johnny," she said. "It's Tom Hagen. He says it's important."

Johnny went into the kitchen and picked up the phone. "Yeah, Tom," he said.

Tom Hagen's voice was cool. "Johnny, the Godfather wants me to come out and see

you and set some things up that can help you out now that the picture is finished. He

wants me to catch the morning plane. Can you meet it in Los Angeles? I have to fly

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back to New York the same night so you won't have to worry about keeping your night

free for me."

"Sure, Tom," Johnny said. "And don't worry about me losing a night. Stay over and

relax a bit. I'll throw a party and you can meet some movie people." He always made


that offer, he didn't want the folks from his old neighborhood to think he was ashamed of


"Thanks," Hagen said, "but I really have to catch the early morning plane back. OK,

you'll meet the eleven-thirty A.M. out of New York?"

"Sure," Johnny said.

"Stay in your car," Hagen said. "Send one of your people to meet me when I get off

the plane and bring me to you."

"Right," Johnny said.

He went back to the living room and Ginny looked at him inquiringly. "My Godfather

has some plan for me, to help me out," Johnny said. "He got me the part in the movie, I

don't know how. But I wish he'd stay out of the rest of it."

He went back onto the sofa. He felt very tired. Ginny said, "Why don't you sleep in the

guest bedroom tonight instead of going home? You can have breakfast with the kids

and you won't have to drive home so late. I hate to think of you all alone in that house of

yours anyway. Don't you get lonely?"

"I don't stay home much," Johnny said.

She laughed and said, "Then you haven't changed much." She paused and then said,

"Shall I fix up the other bedroom?"

Johnny said, "Why can't I sleep in your bedroom?"

She flushed. "No," she said. She smiled at him and he smiled back. They were still


When Johnny woke up the next morning it was late, he could tell by the sun coming in

through the drawn blinds. It never came in that way unless it was in the afternoon. He

yelled, "Hey, Ginny, do I still rate (заслуживать, удоставиваться) breakfast?" And far

away he heard her voice call, "Just a second."

And it was just a second. She must have had everything ready, hot in the oven, the tray

waiting to be loaded, because as Johnny lit his first cigarette of the day, the door of the

bedroom opened and his two small daughters came in wheeling the breakfast cart

(тележка, тачка; здесь: поднос на колесиках).

They were so beautiful it broke his heart. Their faces were shining and clear, their

eyes alive with curiosity and the eager desire to run to him. They wore their hair braided

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old-fashioned in long pigtails and they wore old-fashioned frocks and white patent-

leather (лакированный) shoes. They stood by the breakfast cart watching him as he

stubbed out his cigarette and waited for him to call and hold his arms wide. Then they


came running to him. He pressed his face between their two fresh fragrant cheeks and

scraped them with his beard so that they shrieked. Ginny appeared in the bedroom door

and wheeled the breakfast cart the rest of the way so that he could eat in bed. She sat

beside him on the edge of the bed, pouring his coffee, buttering his toast. The two

young daughters sat on the bedroom couch watching him. They were too old now for

pillow fights or to be tossed (to toss – бросать, кидать, подбрасывать) around. They

were already smoothing their mussed (to muss – приводить в беспорядок, путать)

hair. Oh, Christ, he thought, pretty soon they'll be all grown up, Hollywood punks will be

out after them.

He shared his toast and bacon with them as he ate, gave them sips of coffee. It was a

habit left over from when he had been singing with the band and rarely ate with them so

they liked to share his food when he had his odd-hour meals like afternoon breakfasts

or morning suppers. The change-around in food delighted them – to eat steak and

french fries (картофель фри, чипсы) at seven in the morning, bacon and eggs in the


Only Ginny and a few of his close friends knew how much he idolized his daughters.

That had been the worst thing about the divorce and leaving home. The one thing he

had fought about, and for, was his position as a father to them. In a very sly way he had

made Ginny understand he would not be pleased by her remarrying, not because he

was jealous of her, but because he was jealous of his position as a father. He had

arranged the money to be paid to her so it would be enormously to her advantage

financially not to remarry. It was understood that she could have lovers as long as they

were not introduced into her home life. But on this score he had absolute faith in her.

She had always been amazingly shy and old-fashioned in sex. The Hollywood gigolos

had batted zero (выбивали ноль = ничего не могли добиться; bat – бита /в

бейсболе/) when they started swarming around her, sniffing for the financial settlement

and the favors they could get from her famous husband.

He had no fear that she expected a reconciliation because he had wanted to sleep

with her the night before. Neither one of them wanted to renew their old marriage. She

understood his hunger for beauty, his irresistible impulse toward young women far more

beautiful than she. It was known that he always slept with his movie co-stars at least

once. His boyish charm was irresistible to them, as their beauty was to him.

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"You'll have to start getting dressed pretty soon," Ginny said. "Tom's plane will be

getting in." She shooed the daughters out of the room.

"Yeah," Johnny said. "By the way, Ginny, you know I'm getting divorced? I'm gonna

be a free man again."

She watched him getting dressed. He always kept fresh clothes at her house ever

since they had come to their new arrangement after the wedding of Don Corleone's

daughter. "Christmas is only two weeks away," she said. "Shall I plan on you being


It was the first time he had even thought about the holidays. When his voice was in


shape, holidays were lucrative singing dates but even then Christmas was sacred. If he

missed this one, it would be the second one. Last year he had been courting his second

wife in Spain, trying to get her to marry him.

"Yeah," he said. "Christmas Eve and Christmas." He didn't mention New Year's Eve.

That would be one of the wild nights he needed every once in a while, to get drunk with

his friends, and he didn't want a wife along then. He didn't feel guilty about it.

She helped him put on his jacket and brushed it off. He was always fastidiously

(fastidious [f∂s’tıdıj∂s] – привередливо, разборчиво, изощренно) neat. She could see

him frowning because the shirt he had put on was not laundered (to launder ['lo:nd∂] –

стирать и гладить /белье/) to his taste, the cuff links (запонки; cuff – манжета), a pair

he had not worn for some time, were a little too loud for the way he liked to dress now.

She laughed softly and said, "Tom won't notice the difference."

The three women of the family walked him to the door and out on the driveway to his

car. The two little girls held his hands, one on each side. His wife walked a little behind

him. She was getting pleasure out of how happy he looked. When he reached his car he

turned around and swung each girl in turn high up in the air and kissed her on the way

down. Then he kissed his wife and got into the car. He never liked drawn-out good-byes.

Arrangements had been made by his PR (public relations – связь с

общественностью) man and aide. At his house a chauffeured car was waiting, a rented

car. In it were the PR man and another member of his entourage. Johnny parked his car

and hopped in and they were on their way to the airport. He waited inside the car while

the PR man went out to meet Tom Hagen's plane. When Tom got into the car they

shook hands and drove back to his house.

Finally he and Tom were alone in the living room. There was a coolness between

them. Johnny had never forgiven Hagen for acting as a barrier to his getting in touch

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with the Don when the Don was angry with him, in those bad days before Connie's


wedding. Hagen never made excuses for his actions. He could not. It was part of his job

to act as a lightning rod for resentments which people were too awed to feel toward the

Don himself though he had earned them.

"Your Godfather sent me out here to give you a hand (помочь) on some things,"

Hagen said. "I wanted to get it out of the way before Christmas."

Johnny Fontane shrugged. "The picture is finished. The director was a square guy

and treated me right. My scenes are too important to be left on the cutting-room floor

just for Woltz to pay me off. He can't ruin a ten-million-dollar picture. So now everything

depends on how good people think I am in the movie."

Hagen said cautiously, "Is winning this Academy Award so terribly important to an

actor's career, or is it just the usual publicity crap that really doesn't mean anything one

way or the other?" He paused and added hastily, "Except of course the glory, everybody

likes glory."

Johnny Fontane grinned at him. "Except my Godfather. And you. No, Tom, it's not a

lot of crap. An Academy Award can make an actor for ten years. He can get his pick

(выбор; лучшая, отборная часть /чего-либо/) of roles. The public goes to see him. It's

not everything, but for an actor it's the most important thing in the business. I'm counting

on winning it. Not because I'm such a great actor but because I'm known primarily as a

singer and the part is foolproof («защищенный от дурака» = элементарный в

обращении; надежный /без риска неудачи/). And I'm pretty good too, no kidding."

Tom Hagen shrugged and said, "Your Godfather tells me that the way things stand

now, you don't have a chance of winning the award."

Johnny Fontane was angry. "What the hell are you talking about? The picture hasn't

even been cut yet, much less shown. And the Don isn't even in the movie business.

Why the hell did you fly the three thousand miles just to tell me that shit?" He was so

shaken he was almost in tears.

Hagen said worriedly, "Johnny, I don't know a damn thing about all this movie stuff.

Remember, I'm just a messenger boy for the Don. But we have discussed this whole

business of yours many times. He worries about you, about your future. He feels you

still need his help and he wants to settle your problem once and for all. That's why I'm

here now, to get things rolling. But you have to start growing up, Johnny. You have to

stop thinking about yourself as a singer or an actor. You've got to start thinking about

yourself as a prime mover (первичный двигатель; буксир, тягач), as a guy with


Мультиязыковой проект Ильи Франка www.franklang.ru

Johnny Fontane laughed and filled his glass. "If I don't win that Oscar I'll have as


much muscle as one of my daughters. My voice is gone; if I had that back I could make

some moves. Oh, hell. How does my Godfather know I won't win it? OK, I believe he

knows. He's never been wrong."

Hagen lit a thin cigar. "We got the word that Jack Woltz won't spend studio money to

support your candidacy. In fact he's sent the word out to everybody who votes that he

does not want you to win. But holding back the money for ads (ad – сокр. от

advertisment – реклама) and all that may do it. He's also arranging to have one other

guy get as much of the opposition votes as he can swing. He's using all sorts of bribes-

jobs, money, broads, everything. And he's trying to do it without hurting the picture or

hurting it as little as possible."

Johnny Fontane shrugged. He filled his glass with whiskey and downed it. "Then I'm


Hagen was watching him with his mouth curled up with distaste. "Drinking won't help

your voice," he said.

"Fuck you," Johnny said.

Hagen's face suddenly became smoothly impassive. Then he said, "OK, I'll keep this

purely business."

Johnny Fontane put his drink down and went over to stand in front of Hagen. "I'm

sorry I said that, Tom," he said. "Christ, I'm sorry. I'm taking it out on you because I

wanta kill that bastard Jack Woltz and I'm afraid to tell off (отчитывать, бранить,

разносить) my Godfather. So I get sore at you." There were tears in his eyes. He threw

the empty whiskey glass against the wall but so weakly that the heavy shot glass did not

even shatter and rolled along the floor back to him so that he looked down at it in baffled

(озадаченный, сбитый с толку) fury. Then he laughed. "Jesus Christ," he said.

He walked over to the other side of the room and sat opposite Hagen. "You know, I had

everything my own way for a long time. Then I divorced Ginny and everything started

going sour. I lost my voice. My records stopped selling. I didn't get any more movie work.

And then my Godfather got sore at me and wouldn't talk to me on the phone or see me

when I came into New York. You were always the guy barring the path and I blamed

you, but I knew you wouldn't do it without orders from the Don. But you can't get sore at

him. It's like getting sore at God. So I curse you. But you've been right all along the line.

And to show you I mean my apology I'm taking your advice. No more booze until I get

my voice back. OK?"

Мультиязыковой проект Ильи Франка www.franklang.ru

The apology was sincere. Hagen forgot his anger. There must be something to this

thirty-five-year-old boy or the Don would not be so fond of him. He said, "Forget it,


Johnny." He was embarrassed at the depth of Johnny's feeling and embarrassed by the

suspicion that it might have been inspired by fear, fear that he might turn the Don

against him. And of course the Don could never be turned by anyone for any reason.

His affection was mutable only by himself.

"Things aren't so bad," he told Johnny. "The Don says he can cancel out everything

Woltz does against you. That you will almost certainly win the Award. But he feels that

won't solve your problem. He wants to know if you have the brains and balls to become

a producer on your own, make your own movies from top to bottom."

"How the hell is he going to get me the Award?" Johnny asked incredulously.

Hagen said sharply, "How do you find it so easy to believe that Woltz can finagle

(добиваться чего-либо нечестными или обходными путями, жульничать [fı'neıgl]) it

and your Godfather can't? Now since it's necessary to get your faith for the other part of

our deal I must tell you this. Just keep it to yourself. Your Godfather is a much more

powerful man than Jack Woltz. And he is much more powerful in areas far more critical.

How can he swing the Award? He controls, or controls the people who control, all the

labor unions in the industry, all the people or nearly all the people who vote. Of course

you have to be good, you have to be in contention (конкуренция; спор) on your own

merits. And your Godfather has more brains than Jack Woltz. He doesn't go up to these

people and put a gun to their heads and say, 'Vote for Johnny Fontane or you are out of

a job.' He doesn't strong-man where strong-arm doesn't work or leaves too many hard

feelings. He'll make those people vote for you because they want to. But they won't

want to unless he takes an interest. Now just take my word for it that he can get you the

Award. And that if he doesn't do it, you won't get it."

"OK," Johnny said. "I believe you. And I have the balls and brains to be a producer but

I don't have the money. No bank would finance me. It takes millions to support a movie."

Hagen said dryly, "When you get the Award, start making plans to produce three of

your own movies. Hire the best people in the business, the best technicians, the best

stars, whoever you need. Plan on three to five movies."

"You're crazy," Johnny said. "That many movies could mean twenty million bucks."

"When you need the money," Hagen said, "get in touch with me. I'll give you the name

of the bank out here in California to ask for financing. Don't worry, they finance movies

all the time. Just ask them for the money in the ordinary way, with the proper

Мультиязыковой проект Ильи Франка www.franklang.ru

justifications, like a regular business deal. They will approve. But first you have to see

me and tell me the figures and the plans. OK?"

Johnny was silent for a long time. Then he said quietly, "Is there anything else?"


Hagen smiled. "You mean, do you have to do any favors in return for a loan of twenty

million dollars? Sure you will." He waited for Johnny to say something. "Nothing you

wouldn't do anyway if the Don asked you to do it for him."

Johnny said, "The Don has to ask me himself if it's something serious, you know what

I mean? I won't take your word or Sonny's for it."

Hagen was surprised by this good sense. Fontane had some brains after all. He had

sense to know that the Don was too fond of him, and too smart, to ask him to do

something foolishly dangerous, whereas Sonny might. He said to Johnny, "Let me

reassure you on one thing. Your Godfather has given me and Sonny strict instructions

not to involve you in any way in anything that might get you bad publicity through our

fault. And he will never do that himself. I guarantee you that any favor he asks of you,

you will offer to do before he requests it. OK?"

Johnny smiled. "OK," he said.

Hagen said, "Also he has faith in you. He thinks you have brains and so he figures the

bank will make money on the investment, which means he will make money on it. So it's

really a business deal, never forget that. Don't go screwing around with the money. You

may be his favorite godson but twenty million bucks is a lot of dough. He has to stick his

neck out to make sure you get it."

"Tell him not to worry," Johnny said. "If a guy like Jack Woltz can be a big movie

genius, anybody can."

"That's what your Godfather figures," Hagen said. "Can you have me driven back to

the airport? I've said all I have to say. When you do start signing contracts for

everything, hire your own lawyers, I won't be in on it. But I'd like to see everything

before you sign, if that's OK with you. Also, you'll never have any labor troubles. That

will cut costs on your pictures to some extent, so when the accountants lump (lump –

глыба, кусок; to lump – смешивать, валить в одну кучу) some of that in, disregard

those figures."

Johnny said cautiously, "Do I have to get your OK on anything else, scripts, stars, any

of that?"

Hagen shook his head. "No," he said. "It may happen that the Don would object to

something but he'll object to you direct if he does. But I can't imagine what that would be.

Мультиязыковой проект Ильи Франка www.franklang.ru


Movies don't affect him at all, in any way, so he has no interest. And he doesn't believe

in meddling, that I can tell you from experience."

"Good," Johnny said. "I'll drive you to the airport myself. And thank the Godfather for

me. I'd call him up and thank him but he never comes to the phone. Why is that, by the


Hagen shrugged. "He hardly ever talks on the phone. He doesn't want his voice

recorded, even saying something perfectly innocent. He's afraid that they can splice

(соединять внахлест, сращивать /концы чего-либо/ /строит./; склеивать встык

/ленту, пленку/) the words together so that it sounds as if he says something else. I

think that's what it is. Anyway his only worry is that someday he'll be framed (to frame –

фабриковать, подставлять, ложно обвинять) by the authorities. So he doesn't want to

give them an edge (дать им себя подцепить, дать им карты в руки; edge – кромка,


They got into Johnny's car and drove to the airport. Hagen was thinking that Johnny

was a better guy than he figured. He'd already learned something, just his driving him

personally to the airport proved that. The personal courtesy, something the Don himself

always believed in. And the apology. That had been sincere. He had known Johnny a

long time and he knew the apology would never be made out of fear. Johnny had

always had guts. That's why he had always been in trouble, with his movie bosses and

with his women. He was also one of the few people who was not afraid of the Don.

Fontane and Michael were maybe the only two men Hagen knew of whom this could be

said. So the apology was sincere, he would accept it as such. He and Johnny would

have to see a lot of each other in the next few years. And Johnny would have to pass

the next test, which would prove how smart he was. He would have to do something for

the Don that the Don would never ask him to do or insist that he do as part of the

agreement. Hagen wondered if Johnny Fontane was smart enough to figure out that

part of the bargain.

After Johnny dropped Hagen off at the airport (Hagen insisted that Johnny not hang

around for his plane with him) he drove back to Ginny's house. She was surprised to

see him. But he wanted to stay at her place so that he would have time to think things

out, to make his plans. He knew that what Hagen had told him was extremely important,

that his whole life was being changed. He had once been a big star but now at the

young age of thirty-five he was washed up. He didn't kid himself about that. Even if he

won the Award as best actor, what the hell could it mean at the most? Nothing, if his

Мультиязыковой проект Ильи Франка www.franklang.ru


voice didn't come back. He'd be just second-rate, with no real power, no real juice. Even

that girl turning him down, she had been nice and smart and acting sort of hip (также

hep – знающий толк в чем-то, секущий; классный, стильный /сленг/), but would she

have been so cool if he had really been at the top? Now with the Don backing him with

dough he could be as big as anybody in Hollywood. He could be a king. Johnny smiled.

Hell. He could even be a Don.

It would be nice living with Ginny again for a few weeks, maybe longer. He'd take the

kids out every day, maybe have a few friends over. He'd stop drinking and smoking,

really take care of himself. Maybe his voice would get strong again. If that happened

and with the Don's money, he'd be unbeatable. He'd really be as close to an oldtime

king or emperor as it was possible to be in America. And it wouldn't depend on his voice

holding up or how long the public cared about him as an actor. It would be an empire

rooted in money and the most special, the most coveted kind of power.

Ginny had the guest bedroom made up for him. It was understood that he would not

share her room, that they would not live as man and wife. They could never have that

relationship again. And though the outside world of gossip columnists (корреспондент,

обозреватель /ведущий постоянную рубрику/) and movie fans gave the blame for the

failure of their marriage solely to him, yet in a curious way, between the two of them,

they both knew that she was even more to blame for their divorce.

When Johnny Fontane became the most popular singer and movie musical comedy

star in motion pictures, it had never occurred to him to desert his wife and children. He

was too Italian, still too old-style. Naturally he had been unfaithful. That had been

impossible to avoid in his business and the temptations to which he was continually

exposed. And despite being a skinny, delicate-looking guy, he had the wiry horniness

(horny – сексуально возбужденный, сексульно озабоченный) of many small-boned

Latin types. And women delighted him in their surprises. He loved going out with a

demure (спокойный, сдержанный, трезвый, рассудительный, притворно

застенчивый [dı'mju∂]) sweet-faced virginal-looking girl and then uncapping her breasts

to find them so unexpectedly slopingly (sloping – косой, покатый) full and rich, lewdly

(lewd – похотливый; распутный) heavy in contrast to the cameo face. He loved to find

sexual shyness and timidity in the sexy-looking girls who were all fake (поддельный,

фальшивый) motion like a shifty basketball player, vamping (to vamp – завлекать,

соблазнять) as if they had slept with a hundred guys, and then when he got them alone

having to battle for hours to get in and do the job and finding out they were virgins.

Мультиязыковой проект Ильи Франка www.franklang.ru


And all these Hollywood guys laughed at his fondness for virgins. They called it an old

guinea taste, square, and look how long it took to make a virgin give you a blow job

(феллация) with all the aggravation and then they usually turned out to be a lousy

piece of ass. But Johnny knew that it was how you handled a young girl. You had to

come on to her the right way and then what could be greater than a girl who was tasting

her first dick and loving it? Ab, it was so great breaking them in. It was so great having

them wrap their legs around you. Their thighs were all different shapes, their asses

were different, their skins were all different colors and shades of white and brown and

tan and when he had slept with that young colored girl in Detroit, a good girl, not a

hustler, the young daughter of a jazz singer on the same nightclub bill with him, she had

been one of the sweetest things he had ever had. Her lips had really tasted like warm

honey with pepper mixed in it, her dark brown skin was rich, creamy, and she had been

as sweet as God had ever made any woman and she had been a virgin.

And the other guys were always talking about blow jobs, this and other variations, and

he really didn't enjoy that stuff so much. He never liked a girl that much after they tried it

that way, it just didn't satisfy him right. He and his second wife had finally not got along,

because she preferred the old sixty-nine too much to a point where she didn't want

anything else and he had to fight to stick it in. She began making fun of him and calling

him a square and the word got around that he made love like a kid. Maybe that was why

that girl last night had turned him down. Well, the hell with it, she wouldn't be too great

in the sack (гамак; койка) anyway. You could tell (можно различить, распознать) a girl

who really liked to fuck and they were always the best. Especially the ones who hadn't

been at it too long. What he really hated were the ones who had started screwing at

twelve and were all fucked out by the time they were twenty and just going through the

motions and some of them were the prettiest of all and could fake you out.

Ginny brought coffee and cake into his bedroom and put it on the long table in the

sitting room part. He told her simply that Hagen was helping him put together the money

credit for a producing package and she was excited about that. He would be important

again. But she had no idea of how powerful Don Corleone really was so she didn't

understand the significance of Hagen coming from New York. He told her Hagen was

also helping with legal details.

When they had finished the coffee he told her he was going to work that night, and

make phone calls and plans for the future. "Half of all this will be in the kids' names," he

told her. She gave him a grateful smile and kissed him good night before she left his


Мультиязыковой проект Ильи Франка www.franklang.ru

There was a glass dish full of his favorite monogrammed cigarettes, a humidor


(коробка для хранения сигар с увлажнителем) with pencil-thin black Cuban cigars on

his writing desk. Johnny tilted back (откинулся) and started making calls. His brain was

really whirring (to whirr – жужжать, шуметь) along. He called the author of the book,

the best-selling novel, on which his new film was based. The author was a guy his own

age who had come up the hard way and was now a celebrity in the literary world. He

had come out to Hollywood expecting to be treated like a wheel (что с ним будут

обращаться как с королем) and, like most authors, had been treated like shit. Johnny

had seen the humiliation of the author one night at the Brown Derby. The writer had

been fixed up with a well-known bosomy starlet for a date on the town and a sure

shack-up later. But while they were at dinner the starlet had deserted the famous author

because a ratty-looking movie comic had waggled (to waggle – помахивать,

покачивать) his finger at her. That had given the writer the right slant (наклон, склон;

быстрый взгляд; точка зрения, подход, мнение) on just who was who in the

Hollywood pecking (to peck – клевать /клювом/) order. It didn't matter that his book

had made him world famous. A starlet would prefer the crummiest (crummy –

крошащийся, рыхлый; никудышный, несчастный; to crum – раскрошить), the rattiest,

the phoniest movie wheel.

Now Johnny called the author at his New York home to thank him for the great part he

had written in his book for him. He flattered the shit out of the guy. Then casually he

asked him how he was doing on his next novel and what it was all about. He lit a cigar

while the author told him about a specially interesting chapter and then finally said,

"Gee, I'd like to read it when you're finished. How about sending me a copy? Maybe I

can get you a good deal for it, better than you got with Woltz."

The eagerness in the author's voice told him that he had guessed right. Woltz had

chiseled (надул: «обработал зубилом»: chisel [t∫ızl]) the guy, given him peanuts

(бесценок, «смешные деньги»; peanut – арахис, земляной орех) for the book.

Johnny mentioned that he might be in New York right after the holidays and would the

author want to come and have dinner with some of his friends. "I know a few good-

looking broads," Johnny said jokingly. The author laughed and said OK.

Next Johnny called up the director and cameraman on the film he had just finished to

thank them for having helped him in the film. He told them confidentially that he knew

Woltz had been against him and he doubly appreciated their help and that if there was

ever anything he could do for them they should just call.

Мультиязыковой проект Ильи Франка www.franklang.ru

Then he made the hardest call of all, the one to Jack Woltz. He thanked him for the


part in the picture and told him how happy he would be to work for him anytime. He did

this merely to throw Woltz off the track. He had always been very square, very straight.

In a few days Woltz would find out about his maneuvering and be astounded by the

treachery of this call, which was exactly what Johnny Fontane wanted him to feel.

After that he sat at the desk and puffed at his cigar. There was whiskey on a side

table but he had made some sort of promise to himself and Hagen that he wouldn't

drink. He shouldn't even be smoking. It was foolish; whatever was wrong with his voice

probably wouldn't be helped by knocking off drinking and smoking. Not too much, but

what the hell, it might help and he wanted all the percentages with him, now that he had

a fighting chance.

Now with the house quiet, his divorced wife sleeping, his beloved daughters sleeping,

he could think back to that terrible time in his life when he had deserted them. Deserted

them for a whore tramp of a bitch who was his second wife. But even now he smiled at

the thought of her, she was such a lovely broad in so many ways and, besides, the only

thing that saved his life was the day that he had made up his mind never to hate a

woman or, more specifically, the day he had decided he could not afford to hate his first

wife and his daughters, his girl friends, his second wife, and the girl friends after that,

right up to Sharon Moore brushing him off so that she could brag about refusing to

screw for the great Johnny Fontane.

He had traveled with the band singing and then he had become a radio star and a star

of the movie stage shows and then he had finally made it in the movies. And in all that

time he had lived the way he wanted to, screwed the women he wanted to, but he had

never let it affect his personal life. Then he had fallen for his soon to be second wife,

Margot Ashton; he had gone absolutely crazy for her. His career had gone to hell, his

voice had gone to hell, his family life had gone to hell. And there had come the day

when he was left without anything.

The thing was, he had always been generous and fair. He had given his first wife

everything he owned when he divorced her. He had made sure his two daughters would

get a piece of everything he made, every record, every movie, every club date. And

when he had been rich and famous he had refused his first wife nothing. He had helped

out all her brothers and sisters, her father and mother, the girl friends she had gone to

school with and their families. He had never been a stuck-up (высокомерный,

заносчивый, самодовольный) celebrity. He had sung at the weddings of his wife's two

Мультиязыковой проект Ильи Франка www.franklang.ru

younger sisters, something he hated to do. He had never refused her anything except

the complete surrender of his own personality.

And then when he had touched bottom, when he could no longer get movie work,


when he could no longer sing, when his second wife had betrayed him, he had gone to

spend a few days with Ginny and his daughters. He had more or less flung himself on

her mercy (сдался ей на милость) one night because he felt so lousy. That day he had

heard one of his recordings and he had sounded so terrible that he accused the sound

technicians of sabotaging the record. Until finally he had become convinced that that

was what his voice really sounded like. He had smashed the master record and refused

to sing anymore. He was so ashamed that he had not sung a note except with Nino at

Connie Corleone's wedding.

He had never forgotten the look on Ginny's face when she found out about all his

misfortunes. It had passed over her face only for a second but that was enough for him

never to forget it. It was a look of savage and joyful satisfaction. It was a look that could

only make him believe that she had contemptuously hated him all these years. She

quickly recovered and offered him cool but polite sympathy. He had pretended to accept

it. During the next few days he had gone to see three of the girls he had liked the most

over the years, girls he had remained friends with and sometimes still slept with in a

comradely way, girls that he had done everything in his power to help, girls to whom he

had given the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts or job opportunities.

On their faces he had caught that same fleeting (to fleet – быстро двигаться,

проходить; скользить по поверхности) look of savage satisfaction.

It was during that time that he knew he had to make a decision. He could become like

a great many other men in Hollywood, successful producers, writers, directors, actors,

who preyed (to prey – охотиться; prey – добыча) on beautiful women with lustful

hatred. He could use power and monetary favors grudgingly, always alert for treason,

always believing that women would betray and desert him, adversaries to be bested

(противники, над которыми нужно взять верх, которых надо перехитрить). Or he

could refuse to hate women and continue to believe in them.

He knew he could not afford not to love them, that something of his spirit would die if

he did not continue to love women no matter how treacherous and unfaithful they were.

It didn't matter that the women he loved most in the world were secretly glad to see him

crushed, humiliated, by a wayward (своенравный, капризный, несговорчивый) fortune;

it did not matter that in the most awful way, not sexually, they had been unfaithful to him.

He had no choice. He had to accept them. And so he made love to all of them, gave

Мультиязыковой проект Ильи Франка www.franklang.ru

them presents, hid the hurt their enjoyment of his misfortunes gave him. He forgave

them knowing he was being paid back for having lived in the utmost freedom from


women and in the fullest flush (внезапный прилив; буйный рост, расцвет; изобилие)

of their flavor. But now he never felt guilty about being untrue to them. He never felt

guilty about how he treated Ginny, insisting on remaining the sole father of his children,

yet never even considering remarrying her, and letting her know that too. That was one

thing he had salvaged (to salvage [‘sжlvıdG] – спасать имущество /при

кораблекрушении, пожаре/) out of his fall from the top. He had grown a thick skin

about the hurts he gave women.

He was tired and ready for bed but one note of memory stuck with him: singing with

Nino Valenti. And suddenly he knew what would please Don Corleone more than

anything else. He picked up the phone and told the operator to get him New York. He

called Sonny Corleone and asked him for Nino Valenti's number. Then he called Nino.

Nino sounded a little drunk as usual.

"Hey, Nino, how'd you like to come out here and work for me," Johnny said. "I need a

guy I can trust."

Nino, kidding around, said, "Gee, I don't know, Johnny, I got a good job on the truck,

boffing (boff – зад /сленг/; to boff – хлопнуть, шлепнуть; трахнуть, перепихнуться

/мягкое выражение/) housewives along my route, picking up a clear hundred-fifty every

week. What you got to offer?"

"I can start you at five hundred and get you blind dates with movie stars, how's that?"

Johnny said. "And maybe I'll let you sing at my parties."

"Yeah, OK, let me think about it." Nino said. "Let me talk it over with my lawyer and

my accountant and my helper on the truck."

"Hey, no kidding around, Nino," Johnny said. "I need you out here. I want you to fly

out tomorrow morning and sign a personal contract for five hundred a week for a year.

Then if you steal one of my broads and I fire you, you pick up at least a year's salary.


There was a long pause. Nino's voice was sober. "Hey, Johnny, you kidding?"

Johnny said, "I'm serious, kid. Go to my agent's office in New York. They'll have your

plane ticket and some cash. I'm gonna call them first thing in the morning. So you go up

there in the afternoon. OK? Then I'll have somebody meet you at the plane and bring

you out to the house."

Again there was a long pause and then Nino's voice, very subdued (приглушенный,

смягченный), uncertain, said, "OK, Johnny." He didn't sound drunk anymore.

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Johnny hung up the phone and got ready for bed. He felt better than any time since

he had smashed that master record.

Chapter 13

Johnny Fontane sat in the huge recording studio and figured costs on a yellow pad.


Musicians were filing in, all of them friends he had known since he was a kid singer with

the bands. The conductor, top man in the business of pop accompaniment and a man

who had been kind to him when things went sour, was giving each musician bundles of

music and verbal instructions. His name was Eddie Neils. He had taken on this

recording as a favor to Johnny, though his schedule (расписание, график [‘∫edju:l]) was


Nino Valenti was sitting at a piano fooling around nervously with the keys. He was

also sipping from a huge glass of rye. Johnny didn't mind that. He knew Nino sang just

as well drunk as sober and what they were doing today wouldn't require any real

musicianship on Nino's part.

Eddie Neils had made special arrangements of some old Italian and Sicilian songs,

and a special job on the duel-duet song that Nino and Johnny had sung at Connie

Corleone's wedding. Johnny was making the record primarily because he knew that the

Don loved such songs and it would be a perfect Christmas gift for him. He also had a

hunch (горб; предчувствие) that the record would sell in the high numbers, not a

million, of course. And he had figured out that helping Nino was how the Don wanted his

payoff. Nino was, after all, another one of the Don's godchildren.

Johnny put his clipboard and yellow pad on the folding chair beside him and got up to

stand beside the piano. He said, "Hey, paisan (земляк –сицилийск.)," and Nino

glanced up and tried to smile. He looked a little sick. Johnny leaned over and rubbed his

shoulder blades. "Relax, kid," he said. "Do a good job today and I'll fix you up with the

best and most famous piece of ass in Hollywood."

Nino took a gulp of whiskey. "Who's that, Lassie?"

Johnny laughed. "No, Deanna Dunn. I guarantee the goods (the goods – требуемые

качества; именно то, что нужно)."

Nino was impressed but couldn't help saying with pseudo-hopefulness, "You can't get

me Lassie?"

The orchestra swung into the opening song of the medley (смесь; попурри). Johnny

Fontane listened intently. Eddie Neils would play all the songs through in their special

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arrangements. Then would come the first take (выручка) for the record. As Johnny

listened he made mental notes on exactly how he would handle each phrase, how he

would come into each song. He knew his voice wouldn't last long, but Nino would be


doing most of the singing, Johnny would be singing under him. Except of course in the

duet-duel song. He would have to save himself for that.

He pulled Nino to his feet and they both stood by their microphones. Nino flubbed (to

flub – сделать неудачно, совершить промах) the opening, flubbed it again. His face

was beginning to get red with embarrassment. Johnny kidded him, "Hey, you stalling (to

stall – ставить в стойло; застревать; останавливать, задерживать) for overtime?"

"I don't feel natural without my mandolin," Nino said.

Johnny thought that over for a moment. "Hold that glass of booze in your hand," he

said. It seemed to do the trick. Nino kept drinking from the glass as he sang but he was

doing fine. Johnny sang easily, not straining, his voice merely dancing around Nino's

main melody. There was no emotional satisfaction in this kind of singing but he was

amazed at his own technical skill. Ten years of vocalizing had taught him something.

When they came to the duet-duel song that ended the record, Johnny let his voice go

and when they finished his vocal chords ached. The musicians had been carried away

by the last song, a rare thing for these calloused (callous ['kжl∂s] – огрубелый:

«мозолистый») veterans. They hammered down their instruments and stamped their

feet in approval as applause. The drummer gave them a ruffle (дробь барабана) of


With stops and conferences they worked nearly four hours before they quit. Eddie

Neils came over to Johnny and said quietly, "You sounded pretty good, kid. Maybe

you're ready to do a record. I have a new song that's perfect for you."

Johnny shook his head. "Come on, Eddie, don't kid me. Besides in a couple of hours

I'll be too hoarse to even talk. Do you think we'll have to fix up much of the stuff we did


Eddie said thoughtfully, "Nino will have to come into the studio tomorrow. He made

some mistakes. But he's much better than I thought he would be. As for your stuff, I'll

have the sound engineers fix anything I don't like. OK?"

"OK," Johnny said. "When can I hear the pressing (запись /на пластинку,


"Tomorrow night," Eddie Neils said. "Your place?"

"Yeah," Johnny said. "Thanks, Eddie. See you tomorrow." He took Nino by the arm

and walked out of the studio. They went to his house instead of Ginny's.

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By this time it was late afternoon. Nino was still more than half-drunk. Johnny told him

to get under the shower and then take a snooze (короткий сон /днем/). They had to be

at a big party at eleven that night.

When Nino woke up, Johnny briefed him. "This party is a movie star Lonely Hearts

Club," he said. "These broads tonight are dames you've seen in the movies as glamour

(чары; романтический ореол, очарование; эффектный ['glжm∂]) queens millions of

guys would give their right arms to screw. And the only reason they'll be at the party

tonight is to find somebody to shack them up. Do you know why? Because they are

hungry for it, they are just a little old. And just like every dame, they want it with a little

bit of class."

"What's the matter with your voice?" Nino asked.

Johnny had been speaking almost in a whisper. "Every time after I sing a little bit that

happens. I won't be able to sing for a month now. But I'll get over the hoarseness in a

couple of days."

Nino said thoughtfully, "Tough, huh?"

Johnny shrugged. "Listen, Nino, don't get too drunk tonight. You have to show these

Hollywood broads that my paisan buddy ain't weak in the poop (корма). You gotta come

across. Remember, some of these dames are very powerful in movies, they can get you

work. It doesn't hurt to be charming after you knock off a piece (кое-что урвешь)."

Nino was already pouring himself a drink. "I'm always charming," he said. He drained

the glass. Grinning, he asked, "No kidding, can you really get me close to Deanna


"Don't be so anxious," Johnny said. "It's not going to be like you think."

The Hollywood Movie Star Lonely Hearts Club (so called by the young juvenile leads

whose attendance was mandatory (обязательный, принудительный)) met every

Friday night at the palatial, studio-owned home of Roy McElroy, press agent or rather

public relations counsel for the Woltz International Film Corporation. Actually, though it

was McElroy's open house party, the idea had come from the practical brain of Jack

Woltz himself. Some of his money-making movie stars were getting older now. Without

the help of special lights and genius makeup men they looked their age. They were

having problems. They had also become, to some extent, desensitized (стали

бесчувственны, чувства их атрофировались, притупились) physically and mentally.

They could no longer "fall in love." They could no longer assume the role of hunted

women. They had been made too imperious; by money, by fame, by their former beauty.

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Woltz gave his parties so that it would be easier for them to pick up lovers, one-night

stands, who, if they had the stuff (если окажутся способны, если есть в них этот


талант), could graduate into full-time bed partners and so work their way upward. Since

the action sometimes degenerated into brawls (brawl – шумная ссора, скандал) or

sexual excess that led to trouble with the police, Woltz decided to hold the parties in the

house of the public relations counselor, who would be right there to fix things up, pay off

newsmen and police officers and keep everything quiet.

For certain virile young male actors on the studio payroll who had not yet achieved

stardom (положение ‘звезды’) or featured roles (feature – полнометражный фильм),

attendance at the Friday night parties was not always pleasant duty. This was explained

by the fact that a new film yet to be released by the studio would be shown at the party.

In fact that was the excuse for the party itself. People would say, "Let's go over to see

what the new picture so and so made is like." And so it was put in a professional context.

Young female starlets were forbidden to attend the Friday night parties. Or rather

discouraged. Most of them took the hint.

Screenings (screening – демонстрация фильма; screen – ширма; экран) of the new

movies took place at midnight and Johnny and Nino arrived at eleven. Roy McElroy

proved to be, at first sight, an enormously likable man, well-groomed (хорошо

ухоженный /о лошади/; холеный), beautifully dressed. He greeted Johnny Fontane

with a surprised cry of delight. "What the hell are you doing here?" he said with genuine


Johnny shook his hand. "I'm showing my country cousin the sights. Meet Nino."

McElroy shook hands with Nino and gazed at him appraisingly. "They'll eat him up

alive," he said to Johnny. He led them to the rear patio.

The rear patio was really a series of huge rooms whose glass doors had been opened

to a garden and pool. There were almost a hundred people milling around (двигались

кругом, кружили; to mill – молоть; mill – мельница), all with drinks in their hands. The

patio lighting was artfully arranged to flatter feminine faces and skin. These were

women Nino had seen on the darkened movie screens when he had been a teenager.

They had played their part in his erotic dreams of adolescence. But seeing them now in

the flesh was like seeing them in some horrible makeup. Nothing could hide the

tiredness of their spirit and their flesh; time had eroded (to erode – разъедать,

разрушать) their godhead. They posed and moved as charmingly as he remembered

but they were like wax fruit, they could not lubricate his glands («смазать» его железы,

гланды). Nino took two drinks, wandered to a table where he could stand next to a nest

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of bottles. Johnny moved with him. They drank together until behind them came the

magic voice of Deanna Dunn.


Nino, like millions of other men, had that voice imprinted on his brain forever. Deanna

Dunn had won two Academy Awards, had been in the biggest movie grosser (фильм,

приносящий огромный доход) made in Hollywood. On the screen she had a feline

(кошачий ['fi:laın]) feminine charm that made her irresistible to all men. But the words

she was saying had never been heard on the silver screen. "Johnny, you bastard, I had

to go to my psychiatrist again because you gave me a one-night stand. How come you

never came back for seconds?"

Johnny kissed her on her proffered (to proffer – предлагать) cheek. "You wore me

out for a month," he said. "I want you to meet my cousin Nino. A nice strong Italian boy.

Maybe he can keep up with you (держаться наравне; составить компанию)."

Deanna Dunn turned to give Nino a cool look. "Does he like to watch previews?"

Johnny laughed. "I don't think he's ever had the chance. Why don't you break him in?"

Nino had to take a big drink when he was alone with Deanna Dunn. He was trying to

be nonchalant (беспечный, беззаботный ['non∫∂l∂nt]) but it was hard. Deanna Dunn

had the upturned nose, the clean-cut classical features of the Anglo-Saxon beauty. And

he knew her so well. He had seen her alone in a bedroom, heart-broken, weeping over

her dead flier husband who had left her with fatherless children. He had seen her angry,

hurt, humiliated, yet with a shining dignity when a caddish (грубый, вульгарный) Clark

Gable had taken advantage of her, then left her for a sexpot (сексуально

привлекательная женщина, «секс-бомба»). (Deanna Dunn never played sexpots in

the movies.) He had seen her flushed with requited (to requite – отплачивать,

вознаграждать) love, writhing in the embrace of the man she adored and he had seen

her die beautifully at least a half dozen times. He had seen her and heard her and

dreamed about her and yet he was not prepared for the first thing she said to him alone.

"Johnny is one of the few men with balls in this town," she said. "The rest are all fags

(fag – младший ученик, оказывающий услуги старшим товращам /в английских

школах/) and sick morons (moron [‘mo:ron] – слабоумный, идиот) who couldn't get it

up with a broad if you pumped a truckload of Spanish fly into their scrotums (scrotum

[‘skr∂ut∂m] – мошонка)." She took Nino by the hand and led him into a corner of the

room, out of traffic and out of competition.

Then still coolly charming, she asked him about himself. He saw through her. He saw

that she was playing the role of the rich society girl who is being kind to the stableboy or

the chauffeur, but who in the movie would either discourage his amatory interest (if the

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part were played by Spencer Tracy), or throw up everything in her mad desire for him (if

the part were played by Clark Gable). But it didn't matter. He found himself telling her

about how he and Johnny had grown up together in New York, about how he and

Johnny had sung together on little club dates. He found her marvelously sympathetic

and interested. Once she asked casually, "Do you know how Johnny made that bastard

Jack Woltz give him the part?" Nino froze and shook his head. She didn't pursue it.

The time had come to see the preview of a new Woltz movie. Deanna Dunn led Nino,

her warm hand imprisoning his, to an interior room of the mansion that had no windows

but was furnished with about fifty small two-person couches scattered around in such a

way as to give each one a little island of semiprivacy.

Nino saw there was a small table beside the couch and on the table were an ice bowl,

glasses and bottles of liquor plus a tray of cigarettes. He gave Deanna Dunn a cigarette,

lit it and then mixed them both drinks. They didn't speak to each other. After a few

minutes the lights went out.

He had been expecting something outrageous (возмутительный). After all, he had

heard the legends of Hollywood depravity (развращенность). But he was not quite

prepared for Deanna Dunn's voracious plummet (жадный натиск, «ныряние»;

voracious [v∂’reı∫∂s] – прожорливый; жадный, ненасытный; plummet – свинцовый

отвес, гирька отвеса; to plummet – нырять, погружаться) on his sexual organ without

even a courteous and friendly word of preparation. He kept sipping his drink and

watching the movie, but not tasting, not seeing. He was excited in a way he had never

been before but part of it was because this woman servicing him in the dark had been

the object of his adolescent dreams.

Yet in a way his masculinity was insulted. So when the world-famous Deanna Dunn

was sated (насыщена, пресыщена) and had tidied him up, he very coolly fixed her a

fresh drink in the darkness and lit her a fresh cigarette and said in the most relaxed

voice imaginable, "This looks like a pretty good movie."

He felt her stiffen beside him on the couch. Could it be she was waiting for some sort

of compliment? Nino poured his glass full from the nearest bottle his hand touched in

the darkness. The hell with that. She'd treated him like a god damn male whore. For

some reason now he felt a cold anger at all these women. They watched the picture for

another fifteen minutes. He leaned away from her so their bodies did not touch.

Finally she said in a low harsh whisper, "Don't be such a snotty (сопливый) punk, you

liked it. You were as big as a house."

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Nino sipped his drink and said in his natural off-hand manner (бесцеремонная,


развязная манера), "That's the way it always is. You should see it when I get excited."

She laughed a little and kept quiet for the rest of the picture. Finally it was over and

the lights went on. Nino took a look around. He could see there had been a ball here in

the darkness though oddly enough he hadn't heard a thing. But some of the dames had

that hard, shiny, bright-eyed look of women who had just been worked over real good.

They sauntered out of the projection room. Deanna Dunn left him immediately to go

over and talk to an older man Nino recognized as a famous featured player, only now,

seeing the guy in person, he realized that he was a fag. He sipped his drink thoughtfully.

Johnny Fontane came up beside him and said, "Hi, old buddy, having a good time?"

Nino grinned. "I don't know. It's different. Now when I go back to the old neighborhood

I can say Deanna Dunn had me."

Johnny laughed. "She can be better than that if she invites you home with her. Did


Nino shook his head. "I got too interested in the movie," he said. But this time Johnny

didn't laugh.

"Get serious, kid," he said. "A dame like that can do you a lot of good. And you used

to boff anything. Man, sometimes I still get nightmares when I remember those ugly

broads you used to bang (трахал; to bang – стукнуть, хлопнуть)."

Nino waved his glass drunkenly and said very loud, "Yeah, they were ugly but they

were women." Deanna Dunn, in the corner, turned her head to look at them. Nino

waved his glass at her in greeting.

Johnny Fontane sighed. "OK, you're just a guinea peasant."

"And I ain't gonna change," Nino said with his charmingly drunken smile.

Johnny understood him perfectly. He knew Nino was not as drunk as he pretended.

He knew that Nino was only pretending so that he could say things which he felt were

too rude to say to his new Hollywood padrone when sober. He put his arm around

Nino's neck and said affectionately, "You wise guy bum (задница; лодырь), you know

you got an ironclad (покрытый броней; жесткий, твердый) contract for a year and you

can say and do anything you want and I can't fire you."

"You can't fire me?" Nino said with drunken cunning.

"No," Johnny said.

"Then fuck you," Nino said.

For a moment Johnny was surprised into anger. He saw the careless grin on Nino's

face. But in the past few years he must have gotten smarter, or his own descent from

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stardom had made him more sensitive. In that moment he understood Nino, why his

boyhood singing partner had never become successful, why he was trying to destroy


any chance of success now. That Nino was reacting away from all the prices of success,

that in some way he felt insulted by everything that was being done for him.

Johnny took Nino by the arm and led him out of the house. Nino could barely walk

now. Johnny was talking to him soothingly. "OK, kid, you just sing for me, I wanta make

dough on you. I won't try to run your life. You do whatever you wanta do. OK, paisan?

All you gotta do is sing for me and earn me money now that I can't sing anymore. You

got that, old buddy?"

Nino straightened up. "I'll sing for you, Johnny," he said, his voice slurring (to slur –

произносить невнятно; slur – /расплывшееся/ пятно) so that he could barely be

understood. "I'm a better singer than you now. I was always a better singer than you,

You know that?"

Johnny stood there thinking; so that was it. He knew that when his voice was healthy

Nino simply wasn't in the same league with him, never had been in those years they

had sung together as kids. He saw Nino was waiting for an answer, weaving drunkenly

in the California moonlight. "Fuck you," he said gently, and they both laughed together

like the old days when they had both been equally young.

When Johnny Fontane got word about the shooting of Don Corleone he not only

worried about his Godfather, but also wondered whether the financing for his movie was

still alive. He had wanted to go to New York to pay his respects to his Godfather in the

hospital but he had been told not to get any bad publicity, that was the last thing Don

Corleone would want. So he waited. A week later a messenger came from Tom Hagen.

The financing was still on but for only one picture at a time.

Meanwhile Johnny let Nino go his own way in Hollywood and California, and Nino was

doing all right with the young starlets. Sometimes Johnny called him up for a night out

together but never leaned on him (to lean on – опираться, полагаться; to lean –

наклоняться; прислоняться). When they talked about the Don getting shot, Nino said

to Johnny, "You know, once I asked the Don for a job in his organization and he

wouldn't give it to me. I was tired of driving a truck and I wanted to make a lot of dough.

You know what he told me? He says every man has only one destiny and that my

destiny was to be an artist. Meaning that I couldn't be a racket guy."

Johnny thought that one over. The Godfather must be just about the smartest guy in

the world. He'd known immediately that Nino could never make a racket guy, would only

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get himself in trouble or get killed. Get killed with just one of his wisecracks (удачная


острота, саркастическое замечание). But how did the Don know that he would be an

artist? Because, goddamn it, he figured that someday I'd help Nino. And how did he

figure that? Because he would drop the word to me and I would try to show my gratitude.

Of course he never asked me to do it. He just let me know it would make him happy if I

did it. Johnny Fontane sighed. Now the Godfather was hurt, in trouble, and he could

kiss the Academy Award good-bye with Woltz working against him and no help on his

side. Only the Don had the personal contacts that could apply pressure and the

Corleone Family had other things to think about. Johnny had offered to help, Hagen had

given him a curt no.

Johnny was busy getting his own picture going. The author of the book he had starred

in had finished his new novel and came west on Johnny's invitation, to talk it over

without agents or studios getting into the act. The second book was perfect for what

Johnny wanted. He wouldn't have to sing, it had a good gutsy (отважный; сочный,

полнокровный, сильный) story with plenty of dames and sex and it had a part that

Johnny instantly recognized as tailor-made for Nino. The character talked like Nino,

acted like him, even looked like him. It was uncanny. All Nino would have to do would

be to get up on the screen and be himself.

Johnny worked fast. He found that he knew a lot more about production than he thought

he did, but he hired an executive producer, a man who knew his stuff but had trouble

finding work because of the blacklist. Johnny didn't take advantage but gave the man a

fair contract. "I expect you to save me more dough this way," he told the man frankly.

So he was surprised when the executive producer came to him and told him the union

rep (= representative – представитель) had to be taken care of to the tune (за сумму;

tune – мелодия) of fifty thousand dollars. There were a lot of problems dealing with

overtime and hiring and the fifty thousand dollars would be well spent. Johnny debated

whether the executive producer was hustling him and then said, "Send the union guy to


The union guy was Billy Goff. Johnny said to him, "I thought the union stuff was fixed

by my friends. I was told not to worry about it. At all."

Goff said, "Who told you that?"

Johnny said, "You know goddamn well who told me. I won't say his name but if he

tells me something that's it."

Goff said, "Things have changed. Your friend is in trouble and his word don't go this

far west anymore."

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Johnny shrugged. "See me in a couple of days. OK?"


Goff smiled. "Sure, Johnny," he said. "But calling in New York ain't going to help you."

But calling New York did help. Johnny spoke to Hagen at his office. Hagen told him

bluntly not to pay. "Your Godfather will be sore as hell if you pay that bastard a dime

(монета в 10 центов)," he told Johnny. "It will make the Don lose respect and right now

he can't afford that."

"Can I talk to the Don?" Johnny asked. "Will you talk to him? I gotta get the picture


"Nobody can talk to the Don right now," Hagen said. "He's too sick. I'll talk to Sonny

about fixing things up. But I'll make the decision on this. Don't pay that smart bastard a

dime. If anything changes, I'll let you know."

Annoyed, Johnny hung up. Union trouble could add a fortune to making the film and

screw up the works generally. For a moment he debated slipping Goff the fifty grand on

the quiet. After all, the Don telling him something and Hagen telling him something and

giving him orders were two different things. But he decided to wait for a few days.

By waiting he saved fifty thousand dollars. Two nights later, Goff was found shot to

death in his home in Glendale. There was no more talk of union trouble. Johnny was a

little shaken by the killing. It was the first time the long arm of the Don had struck such a

lethal blow so close to him.

As the weeks went by and he became busier and busier with getting the script

(сценарий) ready, casting the movie and working out production details, Johnny

Fontane forgot about his voice, his not being able to sing. Yet when the Academy

Award nominations came out and he found himself one of the candidates, he was

depressed because he was not asked to sing one of the songs nominated for the Oscar

at the ceremony that would be televised nationally. But he shrugged it off and kept

working. He had no hope of winning the Academy Award now that his Godfather was no

longer able to put pressure on, but getting the nomination had some value.

The record he and Nino had cut, the one of Italian songs, was selling much better

than anything he had cut lately, but he knew that it was Nino's success more than his.

He resigned himself to never being able to again sing professionally.

Once a week he had dinner with Ginny and the kids. No matter how hectic

(лихорадочный, возбужденный: «чахоточный»; здесь: суетливый, оживленный)

things got he never skipped that duty. But he didn't sleep with Ginny. Meanwhile his

second wife had finagled a Mexican divorce and so he was a bachelor (холостяк

['bжt∫∂l∂]) again. Oddly enough he was not that frantic to bang starlets who would have

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been easy meat. He was too snobbish really. He was hurt that none of the young stars,

the actresses who were still on top, ever gave him a tumble (не проявляли к нему

интереса; to tumble – валиться вниз; понять что-либо /сленг/). But it was good to

work hard. Most nights he would go home alone, put his old records on the player, have

a drink and hum along with them for a few bars (несколько тактов). He had been good,

damn good. He hadn't realized how good he was. Even aside from the special voice,

which could have happened to anybody, he was good. He had been a real artist and

never knew it, and never knew how much he loved it. He'd ruined his voice with booze

and tobacco and broads just when he really knew what it was all about.

Sometimes Nino came over for a drink and listened with him and Johnny would say to

him scornfully, "You guinea bastard, you never sang like that in your life." And Nino

would give him that curiously charming smile and shake his head and say, "No, and I

never will," in a sympathetic voice, as if he knew what Johnny was thinking.

Finally, a week before shooting the new picture, the Academy Award night rolled

around. Johnny invited Nino to come along but Nino refused. Johnny said, "Buddy, I

never asked you a favor, right? Do me a favor tonight and come with me. You're the

only guy who'll really feel sorry for me if I don't win."

For one moment Nino looked startled. Then he said, "Sure, old buddy, I can make it."

He paused for a moment and said, "If you don't win, forget it. Just get as drunk as you

can get and I'll take care of you. Hell, I won't even drink myself tonight. How about that

for being a buddy (ну как, разве я не настоящий друг)?"

"Man," Johnny Fontane said, "that's some buddy."

The Academy Award night came and Nino kept his promise. He came to Johnny's

house dead sober and they left for the presentation theater together. Nino wondered

why Johnny hadn't invited any of his girls or his ex-wives to the Award dinner.

Especially Ginny. Didn't he think Ginny would root for (поддерживать, ободрять) him?

Nino wished he could have just one drink, it looked like a long bad night.

Nino Valenti found the whole Academy Award affair a bore until the winner of the best

male actor was announced. When he heard the words "Johnny Fontane," he found

himself jumping into the air and applauding. Johnny reached out a hand for him to

shake and Nino shook it. He knew his buddy needed human contact with someone he

trusted and Nino felt an enormous sadness that Johnny didn't have anyone better than

himself to touch in his moment of glory.

What followed was an absolute nightmare. Jack Woltz's picture had swept all the

major awards and so the studio's party was swamped (to swamp [swomp] – заливать,

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затоплять; swamp – болото, топь) with newspaper people and all the on-the-make

(старающийся улучшить свое положение /обычно за счет других/; ищущий


любовного приключения) hustlers, male and female. Nino kept his promise to remain

sober, and he tried to watch over Johnny. But the women of the party kept pulling

Johnny Fontane into bedrooms for a little chat and Johnny kept getting drunker and


Meanwhile the woman who had won the award for the best actress was suffering the

same fate but loving it more and handling it better. Nino turned her down (отверг), the

only man at the party to do so.

Finally somebody had a great idea. The public mating (совокупление; to mate –

сочетаться /браком/; спариваться /о птицах/) of the two winners, everybody else at

the party to be spectators in the stands. The actress was stripped down and the other

women started to undress Johnny Fontane. It was then that Nino, the only sober person

there, grabbed the half-clothed Johnny and slung (to sling – швырять; вешать через

плечо) him over his shoulder and fought his way out of the house and to their car. As

he drove Johnny home, Nino thought that if that was success, he didn't want it.

Book 3

Chapter 14

The Don was a real man at the age of twelve. Short, dark, slender, living in the

strange Moorish-looking (выглядящий по-мавритански, напоминающий что-то

мавританское) village of Corleone in Sicily, he had been born Vito Andolini, but when

strange men came to kill the son of the man they had murdered, his mother sent the

young boy to America to stay with friends. And in the new land he changed his name to

Corleone to preserve some tie with his native village. It was one of the few gestures of

sentiment he was ever to make.

In Sicily at the turn of the century the Mafia was the second government, far more

powerful than the official one in Rome. Vito Corleone's father became involved in a feud

(наследственная вражда, междоусобица; кровная месть [fju:d]) with another villager

who took his case to the Mafia. The father refused to knuckle under (покориться) and in

a public quarrel killed the local Mafia chief. A week later he himself was found dead, his

body torn apart by lupara blasts. A month after the funeral Mafia gunmen came inquiring

after the young boy, Vito. They had decided that he was too close to manhood, that he

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might try to avenge the death of his father in the years to come. The twelve-year-old

Vito was hidden by relatives and shipped to America. There he was boarded with the

Abbandandos, whose son Genco was later to become Consigliori to his Don.

Young Vito went to work in the Abbandando grocery store on Ninth Avenue in New

York's Hell's Kitchen. At the age of eighteen Vito married an Italian girl freshly arrived

from Sicily, a girl of only sixteen but a skilled cook, a good housewife. They settled

down in a tenement (многоквартирный дом, сдаваемый в аренду ['tenım∂nt]) on

Tenth Avenue, near 35th Street, only a few blocks from where Vito worked, and two

years later were blessed with their first child, Santino, called by all his friends Sonny

because of his devotion to his father.

In the neighborhood lived a man called Fanucci. He was a heavy-set, fierce-looking

Italian who wore expensive light-colored suits and a cream-colored fedora. This man

was reputed to be of the "Black Hand," an offshoot (ответвление, боковая ветвь) of

the Mafia which extorted money from families and storekeepers by threat of physical

violence. However, since most of the inhabitants of the neighborhood were violent

themselves, Fanucci's threats of bodily harm were effective only with elderly couples


without male children to defend them. Some of the storekeepers paid him trifling sums

as a matter of convenience. However, Fanucci was also a scavenger (уборщик мусора;

животное или птица, питающееся падалью ['skжvındG∂]) on fellow criminals, people

who illegally sold Italian lottery or ran gambling games in their homes. The Abbandando

grocery gave him a small tribute, this despite the protests of young Genco, who told his

father he would settle the Fanucci hash (заставит его замолчать, разделается с ним;

hash – блюдо из мелко нарезанного мяса и овощей; мешанина, путаница). His

father forbade him. Vito Corleone observed all this without feeling in any way involved.

One day Fanucci was set upon by three young men who cut his throat from ear to ear,

not deeply enough to kill him, but enough to frighten him and make him bleed a great

deal. Vito saw Fanucci fleeing from his punishers, the circular slash flowing red. What

he never forgot was Fanucci holding the cream-colored fedora under his chin to catch

the dripping blood as he ran. As if he did not want his suit soiled or did not want to leave

a shameful trail of carmine.

But this attack proved a blessing in disguise for Fanucci. The three young men were not

murderers, merely tough young boys determined to teach him a lesson and stop him

from scavenging. Fanucci proved himself a murderer. A few weeks later the knife-

wielder was shot to death and the families of the other two young men paid an

indemnity (возмещение, компенсация) to Fanucci to make him forswear his

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vengeance (отказаться от мести). After that the tributes became higher and Fanucci

became a partner in the neighborhood gambling games. As for Vito Corleone, it was

none of his affair. He forgot about it immediately.


During World War I, when imported olive oil became scarce, Fanucci acquired a part-

interest in the Abbandando grocery store by supplying it not only with oil, but imported

Italian salami, hams and cheeses. He then moved a nephew into the store and Vito

Corleone found himself out of a job.

By this time, the second child, Frederico, had arrived and Vito Corleone had four

mouths to feed. Up to this time he had been a quiet, very contained young man who

kept his thoughts to himself. The son of the grocery store owner, young Genco

Abbandando, was his closest friend, and to the surprise of both of them, Vito

reproached his friend for his father's deed. Genco, flushed with shame, vowed to Vito

that he would not have to worry about food. That he, Genco, would steal food from the

grocery to supply his friend's needs. This offer though was sternly refused by Vito as too

shameful, a son stealing from his father.

The young Vito, however, felt a cold anger for the dreaded Fanucci. He never showed

this anger in any way but bided his time (выжидал благоприятного случая). He

worked in the railroad for a few months and then, when the war ended, work became

slow and he could earn only a few days' pay a month. Also, most of the foremen were

Irish and American and abused the workmen in the foulest language, which Vito always

bore stone-faced as if he did not comprehend, though he understood English very well

despite his accent.

One evening as Vito was having supper with his family there was a knock on the

window that led to the open air shaft (шахта; проход) that separated them from the next

building. When Vito pulled aside the curtain he saw to his astonishment one of the

young men in the neighborhood, Peter Clemenza, leaning out from a window on the

other side of the air shaft. He was extending a white-sheeted bundle.

"Hey, paisan," Clemenza said. "Hold these for me until I ask for them. Hurry up."

Automatically Vito reached over the empty space of the air shaft and took the bundle.

Clemenza's face was strained and urgent. He was in some sort of trouble and Vito's

helping action was instinctive. But when he untied the bundle in his kitchen, there were

five oily guns staining the white cloth. He put them in his bedroom closet and waited. He

learned that Clemenza had been taken away by the police. They must have been

knocking on his door when he handed the guns over the air shaft.

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Vito never said a word to anyone and of course his terrified wife dared not open her

lips even in gossip for fear her own husband would be sent to prison. Two days later

Peter Clemenza reappeared in the neighborhood and asked Vito casually, "Do you

have my goods still?"

Vito nodded. He was in the habit of talking little.


Clemenza came up to his tenement flat and was given a glass of wine while Vito dug

the bundle out of his bedroom closet.

Clemenza drank his wine, his heavy good-natured face alertly watching Vito. "Did you

look inside?"

Vito, his face impassive, shook his head. "I'm not interested in things that don't

concern me," he said.

They drank wine together the rest of the evening. They found each other congenial.

Clemenza was a storyteller; Vito Corleone was a listener to storytellers. They became

casual friends.

A few days later Clemenza asked the wife of Vito Corleone if she would like a fine rug

for her living room floor. He took Vito with him to help carry the rug. Clemenza led Vito

to an apartment house with two marble pillars and a white marble stoop (крыльцо со

ступенями; открытая веранда). He used a key to open the door and they were inside

a plush apartment. Clemenza grunted, "Go on the other side of the room and help me

roll it up."

The rug was a rich red wool. Vito Corleone was astonished by Clemenza's generosity.

Together they rolled the rug into a pile and Clemenza took one end while Vito took the

other. They lifted it and started carrying it toward the door.

At that moment the apartment bell rang. Clemenza immediately dropped the rug and

strode to the window. He pulled the drape aside slightly and what he saw made him

draw a gun from inside his jacket. It was only at that moment the astonished Vito

Corleone realized that they were stealing the rug from some stranger's apartment.

The apartment bell rang again. Vito went up alongside Clemenza so that he too could

see what was happening. At the door was a uniformed policeman. As they watched, the

policeman gave the doorbell a final push, then shrugged and walked away down the

marble steps and down the street.

Clemenza grunted in a satisfied way and said, "Come on, let's go." He picked up his

end of the rug and Vito picked up the other end. The policeman had barely turned the

comer before they were edging out the heavy oaken door and into the street with the

rug between them. Thirty minutes later they were cutting the rug to fit the living room of

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Vito Corleone's apartment. They had enough left over for the bedroom. Clemenza was

an expert workman and from the pockets of his wide, ill-fitting jacket (even then he liked

to wear loose clothes though he was not so fat), he had the necessary carpet-cutting


Time went on, things did not improve. The Corleone family could not eat the beautiful

rug. Very well, there was no work, his wife and children must starve. Vito took some

parcels of food from his friend Genco while he thought things out. Finally he was

approached by Clemenza and Tessio, another young tough of the neighborhood. They

were men who thought well of him, the way he carried himself, and they knew he was

desperate. They proposed to him that he become one of their gang which specialized in

hijacking (to hijack – грабить) trucks of silk dresses after those trucks were loaded up at

the factory on 31st Street. There was no risk. The truck drivers were sensible

workingmen who at the sight of a gun flopped (быстренько спрыгнули; to flop –

шлепнуться, плюхнуться) on the sidewalk like angels while the hijackers drove the

truck away to be unloaded at a friend's warehouse. Some of the merchandise would be

sold to an Italian wholesaler (оптовый торговец), part of the loot (добыча,

награбленное) would be sold door-to-door in the Italian neighborhoods – Arthur

Avenue in the Bronx, Mulberry Street, and the Chelsea district in Manhattan – all to poor

Italian families looking for a bargain, whose daughters could never be able to afford

such fine apparel (наряд, одеяние [∂‘pжr∂l]). Clemenza and Tessio needed Vito to

drive since they knew he chauffeured the Abbandando grocery store delivery truck. In

1919, skilled automobile drivers were at a premium (в большом почете, в большом


Against his better judgment, Vito Corleone accepted their offer. The clinching

(решающий; clinch – зажим, скоба; заклепка; to clinch – прибивать гвоздем, загибая

его шляпку, заклепывать; окончательно решать, договариваться) argument was

that he would clear (получить чистую прибыль) at least a thousand dollars for his

share of the job. But his young companions struck him as rash, the planning of the job

haphazard (наудачу; случайно), the distribution of the loot foolhardy (рискованный,

безрассудный). Their whole approach was too careless for his taste. But he thought

them of good, sound character. Peter Clemenza, already burly, inspired a certain trust,

and the lean saturnine (мрачный, угрюмый ['sжt∂:naın]) Tessio inspired confidence.

The job itself went off without a hitch (зацепка, заминка). Vito Corleone felt no fear,

much to his astonishment, when his two comrades flashed guns and made the driver

get out of the silk truck. He was also impressed with the coolness of Clemenza and

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Tessio. They didn't get excited but joked with the driver, told him if he was a good lad


they'd send his wife a few dresses. Because Vito thought it stupid to peddle (торговать

вразнос) dresses himself and so gave his whole share of stock to the fence (забор,

ограда; укрыватель или скупщик краденого /сленг/), he made only seven hundred

dollars. But this was a considerable sum of money in 1919.

The next day on the street, Vito Corleone was stopped by the cream-suited, white-

fedoraed Fanucci. Fanucci was a brutal-looking man and he had done nothing to

disguise the circular scar that stretched in a white semicircle from ear to ear, looping

(loop – петля; to loop – делать петлю) under his chin. He had heavy black brows and

coarse features which, when he smiled, were in some odd way amiable.

He spoke with a very thick Sicilian accent. "Ah, young fellow," he said to Vito. "People

tell me you're rich. You and your two friends. But don't you think you've treated me a

little shabbily (shabby – протертый, потрепанный; низкий, подлый)? After all, this is

my neighborhood and you should let me wet my beak (клюв)." He used the Sicilian

phrase of the Mafia, "Fari vagnari a pizzu." Pizzu means the beak of any small bird such

as a canary. The phrase itself was a demand for part of the loot.

As was his habit, Vito Corleone did not answer. He understood the implication (намек,

подтекст; to implicate – вовлекать, впутывать; заключать в себе, подразумевать)

immediately and was waiting for a definite demand.

Fanucci smiled at him, showing gold teeth and stretching his noose-like scar tight

around his face. He mopped his face with a handkerchief and unbuttoned his jacket for

a moment as if to cool himself but really to show the gun he carried stuck in the

waistband of his comfortably wide trousers. Then he sighed and said, "Give me five

hundred dollars and I'll forget the insult. After all, young people don't know the

courtesies due a man like myself."

Vito Corleone smiled at him and even as a young man still unblooded (еще не

запятнанный кровью), there was something so chilling in his smile that Fanucci

hesitated a moment before going on. "Otherwise the police will come to see you, your

wife and children will be shamed and destitute (останется без средств; destitute –

лишенный средств /к существованию/). Of course if my information as to your gains is

incorrect I'll dip (погружать /в жидкость/, окунать) my beak just a little. But no less than

three hundred dollars. And don't try to deceive me."

For the first time Vito Corleone spoke. His voice was reasonable, showed no anger. It

was courteous, as befitted a young man speaking to an older man of Fanucci's

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eminence (высота; высокое положение). He said softly, "My two friends have my

share of the money, I'll have to speak to them."


Fanucci was reassured. "You can tell your two friends that I expect them to let me wet

my beak in the same manner. Don't be afraid to tell them," he added reassuringly.

"Clemenza and I know each other well, he understands these things. Let yourself be

guided by him. He has more experience in these matters."

Vito Corleone shrugged. He tried to look a little embarrassed. "Of course," he said.

"You understand this is all new to me. Thank you for speaking to me as a godfather."

Fanucci was impressed. "You're a good fellow," he said. He took Vito's hand and

clasped it in both of his hairy ones. "You have respect," he said. "A fine thing in the

young. Next time speak to me first, eh? Perhaps I can help you in your plans."

In later years Vito Corleone understood that what had made him act in such a perfect,

tactical way with Fanucci was the death of his own hot-tempered father who had been

killed by the Mafia in Sicily. But at that time all he felt was an icy rage that this man

planned to rob him of the money he had risked his life and freedom to earn. He had not

been afraid. Indeed he thought, at that moment, that Fanucci was a crazy fool. From

what he had seen of Clemenza, that burly Sicilian would sooner give up his life than a

penny of his loot. After all, Clemenza had been ready to kill a policeman merely to steal

a rug. And the slender Tessio had the deadly air of a viper (гадюка ['vaıp∂]).

But later that night, in Clemenza's tenement apartment across the air shaft, Vito

Corleone received another lesson in the education he had just begun. Clemenza cursed,

Tessio scowled (to scowl [skaul] – хмуриться, смотреть сердито), but then both men

started talking about whether Fanucci would be satisfied with two hundred dollars.

Tessio thought he might.

Clemenza was positive. "No, that scarface bastard must have found out what we

made from the wholesaler who bought the dresses. Fanucci won't take a dime less than

three hundred dollars. We'll have to pay."

Vito was astonished but was careful not to show his astonishment. "Why do we have

to pay him? What can he do to the three of us? We're stronger than him. We have guns.

Why do we have to hand over the money we earned?"

Clemenza explained patiently. "Fanucci has friends, real brutes. He has connections

with the police. He'd like us to tell him our plans because he could set us up for the cops

and earn their gratitude. Then they would owe him a favor. That’s how he operates. And

he has a license from Maranzalla himself to work this neighborhood." Maranzalla was a

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gangster often in the newspapers, reputed to be the leader of a criminal ring

specializing in extortion, gambling and armed robbery.

Clemenza served wine that he had made himself. His wife, after putting a plate of


salami, olives and a loaf of Italian bread on the table, went down to sit with her women

cronies in front of the building, carrying her chair with her. She was a young Italian girl

only a few years in the country and did not yet understand English.

Vito Corleone sat with his two friends and drank wine. He had never used his

intelligence before as he was using it now. He was surprised at how clearly he could

think. He recalled everything he knew about Fanucci. He remembered the day the man

had had his throat cut and had run down the street holding his fedora under his chin to

catch the dripping blood. He remembered the murder of the man who had wielded the

knife and the other two having their sentences removed by paying an indemnity. And

suddenly he was sure that Fanucci had no great connections, could not possibly have.

Not a man who informed to the police. Not a man who allowed his vengeance to be

bought off. A real Mafioso chief would have had the other two men killed also. No.

Fanucci had got lucky and killed one man but had known he could not kill the other two

after they were alerted. And so he had allowed himself to be paid. It was the personal

brutal force of the man that allowed him to levy tribute (взимать налог: levy [‘levı]) on

the shopkeepers, the gambling games that ran in the tenement apartments. But Vito

Corleone knew of at least one gambling game that had never paid Fanucci tributes and

nothing had ever happened to the man running it.

And so it was Fanucci alone. Or Fanucci with some gunmen hired for special jobs on

a strictly cash basis. Which left Vito Corleone with another decision. The course his own

life must take.

It was from this experience came his oft-repeated belief that every man has but one

destiny. On that night he could have paid Fanucci the tribute and have become again a

grocery clerk with perhaps his own grocery store in the years to come. But destiny had

decided that he was to become a Don and had brought Fanucci to him to set him on his

destined path.

When they finished the bottle of wine, Vito said cautiously to Clemenza and Tessio, "If

you like, why not give me two hundred dollars each to pay to Fanucci? I guarantee he

will accept that amount from me. Then leave everything in my hands. I'll settle this

problem to your satisfaction."

At once Clemenza's eyes gleamed with suspicion. Vito said to him coldly, "I never lie

to people I have accepted as my friends. Speak to Fanucci yourself tomorrow. Let him

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ask you for the money. But don't pay him. And don't in any way quarrel with him. Tell

him you have to get the money and will give it to me to give him. Let him understand

that you are willing to pay what he asks. Don't bargain. I'll quarrel over the price with


him. There's no point making him angry with us if he's as dangerous a man as you say

he is."

They left it at that. The next day Clemenza spoke with Fanucci to make sure that Vito

was not making up the story. Then Clemenza came to Vito's apartment and gave him

the two hundred dollars. He peered (to peer – вглядываться, всматриваться) at Vito

Corleone and said, "Fanucci told me nothing below three hundred dollars, how will you

make him take less?"

Vito Corleone said reasonably, "Surely that's no concern of yours (не твоя забота).

Just remember that I've done you a service."

Tessio came later. Tessio was more reserved than Clemenza, sharper, more clever

but with less force. He sensed something amiss, something not quite right. He was a

little worried. He said to Vito Corleone, "Watch yourself with that bastard of a Black

Hand, he's tricky as a priest. Do you want me to be here when you hand him the money,

as a witness?"

Vito Corleone shook his head. He didn't even bother to answer. He merely said to

Tessio, "Tell Fanucci I'll pay him the money here in my house at nine o'clock tonight. I'll

have to give him a glass of wine and talk, reason with him to take the lesser sum. "

Tessio shook his head. "You won't have much luck. Fanucci never retreats."

"I'll reason with him," Vito Corleone said. It was to become a famous phrase in the

years to come. It was to become the warning rattle (предупреждающий треск) before a

deadly strike. When he became a Don and asked opponents to sit down and reason

with him, they understood it was the last chance to resolve an affair without bloodshed

and murder.

Vito Corleone told his wife to take the two children, Sonny and Fredo, down into the

street after supper and on no account to let them come up to the house until he gave

her permission. She was to sit on guard at the tenement door. He had some private

business with Fanucci that could not be interrupted. He saw the look of fear on her face

and was angry. He said to her quietly, "Do you think you've married a fool?" She didn't

answer. She did not answer because she was frightened, not of Fanucci now, but of her

husband. He was changing visibly before her eyes, hour by hour, into a man who

radiated some dangerous force. He had always been quiet, speaking little, but always

gentle, always reasonable, which was extraordinary in a young Sicilian male. What she

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was seeing was the shedding (to shed – ронять, терять, сбрасывать /одежду, кожу/)

of his protective coloration of a harmless nobody now that he was ready to start on his

destiny (судьба). He had started late, he was twenty-five years old, but he was to start

with a flourish.

Vito Corleone had decided to murder Fanucci. By doing so he would have an extra

seven hundred dollars in his bankroll (roll – свиток, сверток; /сленг/ пачка денег). The

three hundred dollars he himself would have to pay the Black Hand terrorist and the two

hundred dollars from Tessio and the two hundred dollars from Clemenza. If he did not

kill Fanucci, he would have to pay the man seven hundred dollars cold cash. Fanucci

alive was not worth seven hundred dollars to him. He would not pay seven hundred

dollars to keep Fanucci alive. If Fanucci needed seven hundred dollars for an operation

to save his life, he would not give Fanucci seven hundred dollars for the surgeon. He

owed Fanucci no personal debt of gratitude, they were not blood relatives, he did not

love Fanucci. Whyfore, then, should he give Fanucci seven hundred dollars?

And it followed inevitably, that since Fanucci wished to take seven hundred dollars

from him by force, why should he not kill Fanucci? Surely the world could do without

such a person.

There were of course some practical reasons. Fanucci might indeed have powerful

friends who would seek vengeance. Fanucci himself was a dangerous man, not so

easily killed. There were the police and the electric chair. But Vito Corleone had lived

under a sentence of death since the murder of his father. As a boy of twelve he had fled

his executioners and crossed the ocean into a strange land, taking a strange name. And

years of quiet observation had convinced him that he had more intelligence and more

courage than other men, though he had never had the opportunity to use that

intelligence and courage.

And yet he hesitated before taking the first step toward his destiny. He even packed

the seven hundred dollars in a single fold of bills and put the money in a convenient side

pocket of his trousers. But he put the money in the left side of his trousers. In the right-

hand pocket he put the gun Clemenza had given him to use in the hijacking of the silk


Fanucci came promptly at nine in the evening. Vito Corleone set out a jug of

homemade wine that Clemenza had given him.

Fanucci put his white fedora on the table beside the jug of wine. He unloosened his

broad multiflowered tie, its tomato stains camouflaged by the bright patterns. The

summer night was hot, the gaslight feeble (слабый, хилый). It was very quiet in the

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apartment. But Vito Corleone was icy. To show his good faith he handed over the roll of

bills and watched carefully as Fanucci, after counting it, took out a wide leather wallet

and stuffed the money inside. Fanucci sipped his glass of wine and said, "You still owe

me two hundred dollars." His heavy-browed face was expressionless.

Vito Corleone said in his cool reasonable voice, "I'm a little short, I've been out of work.

Let me owe you the money for a few weeks."

This was a permissible (позволительный) gambit. Fanucci had the bulk (объем;

большие размеры; основная масса) of the money and would wait. He might even be

persuaded to take nothing more or to wait a little longer. He chuckled over his wine and

said, "Ah, you're a sharp young fellow. How is it I've never noticed you before? You're

too quiet a chap for your own interest. I could find some work for you to do that would

be very profitable."

Vito Corleone showed his interest with a polite nod and filled up the man's glass from

the purple jug. But Fanucci thought better of what he was going to say and rose from his

chair and shook Vito's hand. "Good night, young fellow," he said. "No hard feelings (без

обиды), eh? If I can ever do you a service let me know. You've done a good job for

yourself tonight."

Vito let Fanucci go down the stairs and out the building. The street was thronged with

witnesses to show that he had left the Corleone home safely. Vito watched from the

window. He saw Fanucci turn the comer toward 11th Avenue and knew he was headed

toward his apartment, probably to put away his loot before coming out on the streets

again. Perhaps to put away his gun. Vito Corleone left his apartment and ran up the

stairs to the roof. He traveled over the square block of roofs and descended down the

steps of an empty loft (чердак; верхний этаж /торгового помещения, склада/)

building fire escape that left him in the back yard. He kicked the back door open and

went through the front door. Across the street was Fanucci's tenement apartment house.

The village of tenements extended only as far west as Tenth Avenue. Eleventh

Avenue was mostly warehouses and lofts rented by firms who shipped by New York

Central Railroad and wanted access to the freight (фрахт, груз) yards (that

honeycombed (honeycomb – медовые соты; to honeycomb – изрешетить,

продырявить) the area from Eleventh Avenue to the Hudson River. Fanucci's

apartment house was one of the few left standing in this wilderness and was occupied

mostly by bachelor trainmen, yard workers, and the cheapest prostitutes. These people

did not sit in the street and gossip like honest Italians, they sat in beer taverns guzzling

(to guzzle – жадно глотать; пропивать) their pay. So Vito Corleone found it an easy

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matter to slip across the deserted Eleventh Avenue and into the vestibule of Fanucci's

apartment house. There he drew the gun he had never fired and waited for Fanucci.

He watched through the glass door of the vestibule, knowing Fanucci would come

down from Tenth Avenue. Clemenza had showed him the safety on the gun and he had

triggered it empty. But as a young boy in Sicily at the early age of nine, he had often

gone hunting with his father, had often fired the heavy shotgun called the lupara. It was

his skill with the lupara even as a small boy that had brought the sentence of death

upon him by his father's murderers.

Now waiting in the darkened hallway, he saw the white blob (капля; маленький

шарик /земли, глины/) of Fanucci crossing the street toward the doorway. Vito stepped

back, shoulders pressed against the inner door that led to the stairs. He held his gun out

to fire. His extended hand was only two paces from the outside door. The door swung in.

Fanucci, white, broad, smelly, filled the square of light. Vito Corleone fired.

The opened door let some of the sound escape into the street, the rest of the gun's

explosion shook the building. Fanucci was holding on to the sides of the door, trying to

stand erect, trying to reach for his gun. The force of his struggle had torn the buttons off

his jacket and made it swing loose. His gun was exposed but so was a spidery vein

(вена; жилка [veın]) of red on the white shirtfront of his stomach. Very carefully, as if he

were plunging a needle into a vein, Vito Corleone fired his second bullet into that red


Fanucci fell to his knees, propping the door open. He let out a terrible groan. the

groan of a man in great physical distress that was almost comical. He kept giving these

groans; Vito remembered hearing at least three of them before he put the gun against

Fanucci's sweaty, suety (сальный; suet [sjuıt] – почечное или нутряное сало) cheek

and fired into his brain. No more than five seconds had passed when Fanucci slumped

(to slump – резко падать, тяжело опускаться) into death, jamming (to jam – зажимать;

впихивать) the door open with his body.

Very carefully Vito took the wide wallet out of the dead man's jacket pocket and put it

inside his shirt. Then he walked across the street into the loft building, through that into

the yard and climbed the fire escape to the roof. From there he surveyed the street.

Fanucci's body was still lying in the doorway but there was no sign of any other person.

Two windows had gone up in the tenement and he could see dark heads poked out but

since he could not see their features they had certainly not seen his. And such men

would not give information to the police. Fanucci might lie there until dawn or until a

patrolman making the rounds stumbled on his body. No person in that house would

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deliberately (сознательно, осознанно; нарочно = по собственной воле) expose


himself to police suspicion or questioning. They would lock their doors and pretend they

had heard nothing.

He could take his time. He traveled over the rooftops to his own roof door and down to

his own flat. He unlocked the door, went inside and then locked the door behind him. He

rifled (to rifle – обыскивать в целях грабежа) the dead man's wallet. Besides the seven

hundred dollars he had given Fanucci there were only some singles and a five-dollar


Tucked (to tuck – делать складки /на платье/; подгибать; засовывать, прятать;

tuck – складка) inside the flap (клапан, заслонка, /боковое/ отделение) was an old

five-dollar gold piece, probably a luck token (знак, примета; здесь: талисман). If

Fanucci was a rich gangster, he certainly did not carry his wealth with him. This

confirmed some of Vito's suspicions.

He knew he had to get rid of the wallet and the gun (knowing enough even then that

he must leave the gold piece in the wallet). He went up on the roof again and traveled

over a few ledges (ledge – планка, рейка). He threw the wallet down one air shaft and

then he emptied the gun of bullets and smashed its barrel against the roof ledge. The

barrel wouldn't break. He reversed it in his hand and smashed the butt against the side

of a chimney. The butt split into two halves. He smashed it again and the pistol broke

into barrel and handle, two separate pieces. He used a separate air shaft for each. They

made no sound when they struck the earth five stories below, but sank into the soft hill

of garbage that had accumulated there. In the morning more garbage would be thrown

out of the windows and, with luck, would cover everything. Vito returned to his


He was trembling a little but was absolutely under control. He changed his clothes and

fearful that some blood might have splattered on them, he threw them into a metal tub

his wife used for washing. He took lye (щёлок) and heavy brown laundry soap to soak

the clothes and scrubbed them with the metal wash board beneath the sink. Then he

scoured (to scour – отчищать, оттирать) tub and sink with lye and soap. He found a

bundle of newly washed clothes in the corner of the bedroom and mingled his own

clothes with these. Then he put on a fresh shirt and trousers and went down to join his

wife and children and neighbors in front of the tenement.

All these precautions proved to be unnecessary. The police, after discovering the

dead body at dawn, never questioned Vito Corleone. Indeed he was astonished that

they never learned about Fanucci's visit to his home on the night he was shot to death.

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He had counted on that for an alibi, Fanucci leaving the tenement alive. He only learned

later that the police had been delighted with the murder of Fanucci and not too anxious

to pursue his killers. They had assumed it was another gang execution, and had

questioned hoodlums with records in the rackets and a history of strong-arm. Since Vito

had never been in trouble he never came into the picture.

But if he had outwitted the police, his partners were another matter. Pete Clemenza

and Tessio avoided him for the next week, for the next two weeks, then they came to

call on him one evening. They came with obvious respect. Vito Corleone greeted them

with impassive courtesy and served them wine.

Clemenza spoke first. He said softly, "Nobody is collecting from the store owners on

Ninth Avenue. Nobody is collecting from the card games and gambling in the


Vito Corleone gazed at both men steadily but did not reply. Tessio spoke. "We could

take over Fanucci's customers. They would pay us."

Vito Corleone shrugged. "Why come to me? I have no interest in such things."

Clemenza laughed. Even in his youth, before growing his enormous belly, he had a fat

man's laugh. He said now to Vito Corleone, "How about that gun I gave you for the truck

job? Since you won't need it any more you can give it back to me."

Very slowly and deliberately Vito Corleone took a wad of bills out of his side pocket

and peeled off five tens. "Here, I'll pay you. I threw the gun away after the truck job." He

smiled at the two men.

At that time Vito Corleone did not know the effect of this smile. It was chilling because

it attempted no menace. He smiled as if it was some private joke only he himself could

appreciate. But since he smiled in that fashion only in affairs that were lethal, and since

the joke was not really private and since his eyes did not smile, and since his outward

character was usually so reasonable and quiet, the sudden unmasking of his true self

was frightening.

Clemenza shook his head. "I don't want the money," he said. Vito pocketed the bills.

He waited. They all understood each other. They knew he had killed Fanucci and

though they never spoke about it to anyone the whole neighborhood, within a few

weeks, also knew. Vito Corleone was treated as a "man of respect" by everyone. But he

made no attempt to take over the Fanucci rackets and tributes.

What followed then was inevitable. One night Vito's wife brought a neighbor, a widow,

to the flat. The woman was Italian and of unimpeachable (безупречный,

безукоризненный; to impeach – брать под сомнение, бросать тень; порицать)

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character. She worked hard to keep a home for her fatherless children. Her sixteen-

year-old son brought home his pay envelope sealed, to hand over to her in the old-


country style; her seventeen-year-old daughter, a dressmaker, did the same. The whole

family sewed buttons on cards at night at slave labor piece rates. The woman's name

was Signora Colombo.

Vito Corleone's wife said, "The Signora has a favor to ask of you. She is having some


Vito Corleone expected to be asked for money, which he was ready to give. But it

seemed that Mrs. Colombo owned a dog which her youngest son adored. The landlord

had received complaints on the dog barking at night and had told Mrs. Colombo to get

rid of it. She had pretended to do so. The landlord had found out that she had deceived

him and had ordered her to vacate her apartment. She had promised this time to truly

get rid of the dog and she had done so. But the landlord was so angry that he would not

revoke (отменить, взять назад) his order. She had to get out or the police would be

summoned (to summon [‘sΛm∂n] – требовать исполнения) to put her out. And her

poor little boy had cried so when they had given the dog away to relatives who lived in

Long Island. All for nothing (ни за что ни про что), they would lose their home.

Vito Corleone asked her gently, "Why do you ask me to help you?"

Mrs. Colombo nodded toward his wife. "She told me to ask you."

He was surprised. His wife had never questioned him about the clothes he had

washed the night he had murdered Fanucci. Had never asked him where all the money

came from when he was not working. Even now her face was impassive. Vito said to

Mrs Colombo, "I can give you some money to help you move, is that what you want?"

The woman shook her head, she was in tears. "All my friends are here, all the girls I

grew up with in Italy. How can I move to another neighborhood with strangers? I want

you to speak to the landlord to let me stay."

Vito nodded. "It's done then. You won't have to move. I'll speak to him tomorrow


His wife gave him a smile which he did not acknowledge, but he felt pleased. Mrs.

Colombo looked a little uncertain. "You're sure he'll say yes, the landlord?" she asked.

"Signor Roberto?" Vito said in a surprised voice. "Of course he will. He's a good-

hearted fellow. Once I explain how things are with you he'll take pity on your

misfortunes. Now don't let it trouble you any more. Don't get so upset. Guard your

health, for the sake of your children."

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The landlord, Mr. Roberto, came to the neighborhood every day to check on the row

of five tenements that he owned. He was a padrone, a man who sold Italian laborers

just off the boat to the big corporations. With his profits he had bought the tenements

one by one. An educated man from the North of Italy, he felt only contempt for these

illiterate (неграмотные, бескультурные) Southerners from Sicily and Naples, who

swarmed (to swarm – кишеть, роиться; swarm – рой, стая) like vermin (паразиты

['v∂:mın]) through his buildings, who threw garbage down the air shafts, who let

cockroaches (тараканы) and rats eat away his walls without lifting a hand to preserve

his property. He was not a bad man, he was a good husband and father, but constant

worry about his investments, about the money he earned, about the inevitable expenses

that came with being a man of property had worn his nerves to a frazzle (потертые или

обтрепанные края платья) so that he was in a constant state of irritation. When Vito

Corleone stopped him on the street to ask for a word, Mr. Roberto was brusque

(отрывистый, резкий, бесцеремонный [brusk]). Not rude, since anyone of these

Southerners might stick a knife into you if rubbed the wrong way, though this young

man looked like a quiet fellow.

"Signor Roberto," said Vito Corleone, "the friend of my wife, a poor widow with no man

to protect her, tells me that for some reason she has been ordered to move from her

apartment in your building. She is in despair. She has no money, she has no friends

except those that live here. I told her that I would speak to you, that you are a

reasonable man who acted out of some misunderstanding. She has gotten rid of the

animal that caused all the trouble and so why shouldn't she stay? As one Italian to

another, I ask you the favor."

Signor Roberto studied the young man in front of him. He saw a man of medium

stature but strongly built, a peasant but not a bandit, though he so laughably dared to

call himself an Italian. Roberto shrugged. "I have already rented the apartment to

another family for higher rent," he said. "I cannot disappoint them for the sake of your


Vito Corleone nodded in agreeable understanding. "How much more a month?" he


"Five dollars," Mr. Roberto said. This was a lie. The railway flat, four dark rooms,

rented for twelve dollars a month to the widow and he had not been able to get more

than that from the new tenant.

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Vito Corleone took a roll of bills out of his pocket and peeled off three tens. "Here is

the six months' increase in advance. You needn't speak to her about it, she's a proud


woman. See me again in another six months. But of course you'll let her keep her dog."

"Like hell," Mr. Roberto said. "And who the hell are you to give me orders. Watch your

manners or you'll be out on your Sicilian ass in the street there."

Vito Corleone raised his hands in surprise. "I'm asking you a favor, only that. One

never knows when one might need a friend, isn't that true? Here, take this money as a

sign of my goodwill and make your own decision. I wouldn't dare to quarrel with it." He

thrust the money into Mr. Roberto's hand. "Do me this little favor, just take the money

and think things over. Tomorrow morning if you want to give me the money back by all

means (любым способом, во что бы то ни стало; /здесь/ конечно же, пожалуйста,

ради Бога) do so. If you want the woman out of your house, how can I stop you? It's

your property, after all. If you don't want the dog in there, I can understand. I dislike

animals myself." He patted Mr. Roberto on the shoulder. "Do me this service, eh? I

won't forget it. Ask your friends in the neighborhood about me, they'll tell you I'm a man

who believes in showing his gratitude."

But of course Mr. Roberto had already begun to understand. That evening he made

inquiries about Vito Corleone. He did not wait until the next morning. He knocked on the

Corleone door that very night, apologizing for the lateness of the hour and accepted a

glass of wine from Signora Corleone. He assured Vito Corleone that it had all been a

dreadful misunderstanding, that of course Signora Colombo could remain in the flat, of

course she could keep her dog. Who were those miserable tenants to complain about

noise from a poor animal when they paid such a low rent? At the finish he threw the

thirty dollars Vito Corleone had given him on the table and said in the most sincere

fashion, "Your good heart in helping this poor widow has shamed me and I wish to show

that I, too, have some Christian charity (милосердие). Her rent will remain what it was."

All concerned played this comedy prettily. Vito poured wine, called for cakes, wrung

Mr. Roberto's hand and praised his warm heart. Mr. Roberto sighed and said that

having made the acquaintance of such a man as Vito Corleone restored his faith in

human nature. Finally they tore themselves away from each other. Mr. Roberto, his

bones turned to jelly with fear at his narrow escape, caught the streetcar to his home in

the Bronx and took to his bed. He did not reappear in his tenements for three days.

Vito Corleone was now a "man of respect" in the neighborhood. He was reputed to be

a member of the Mafia of Sicily. One day a man who ran card games in a furnished

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room came to him and voluntarily paid him twenty dollars each week for his "friendship."

He had only to visit the game once or twice a week to let the players understand they

were under his protection.

Store owners who had problems with young hoodlums asked him to intercede

(вмешаться). He did so and was properly rewarded. Soon he had the enormous

income for that time and place of one hundred dollars a week. Since Clemenza and

Tessio were his friends, his allies, he had to give them each part of the money, but this

he did without being asked. Finally he decided to go into the olive oil importing business

with his boyhood chum (приятель, закадычный друг), Genco Abbandando. Genco

would handle the business, the importing of the olive oil from Italy, the buying at the

proper price, the storing in his father's warehouse. Genco had the experience for this

part of the business. Clemenza and Tessio would be the salesmen. They would go to

every Italian grocery store in Manhattan, then Brooklyn, then the Bronx, to persuade

store owners to stock Genco Pura olive oil. (With typical modesty, Vito Corleone refused

to name the brand (головня; клеймо; /здесь/ фабричная марка) after himself.) Vito of

course would be the head of the firm since he was supplying most of the capital. He

also would be called in on special cases, where store owners resisted the sales talks of

Clemenza and Tessio. Then Vito Corleone would use his own formidable powers of


For the next few years Vito Corleone lived that completely satisfying life of a small

businessman wholly devoted to building up his commercial enterprise in a dynamic,

expanding economy. He was a devoted father and husband but so busy he could spare

his family little of his time. As Genco Pura olive oil grew to become the bestselling

imported Italian oil in America, his organization mushroomed (быстро росла;

mushroom – гриб). Like any good salesman he came to understand the benefits of

undercutting his rivals in price, barring them from distribution outlets by persuading


owners to stock less of their brands. Like any good businessman he aimed at holding a

monopoly by forcing his rivals to abandon the field or by merging (to merge –

сливаться) with his own company. However, since he had started off relatively helpless,

economically, since he did not believe in advertising, relying on word of mouth and

since if truth be told, his olive oil was no better than his competitors', he could not use

the common strangleholds (stranglehold – удушение, мертвая хватка) of legitimate

businessmen. He had to rely on the force of his own personality and his reputation as a

"man of respect."

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Even as a young man, Vito Corleone became known as a "man of reasonableness."

He never uttered a threat. He always used logic that proved to be irresistible. He always

made certain that the other fellow got his share of profit. Nobody lost. He did this, of

course, by obvious means. Like many businessmen of genius he learned that free

competition was wasteful, monopoly efficient. And so he simply set about (начал,

приступил) achieving that efficient monopoly. There were some oil wholesalers in

Brooklyn, men of fiery temper, headstrong, not amenable (поддающийся, податливый,

сговорчивый [∂'mi:n∂bl]) to reason, who refused to see, to recognize, the vision of Vito

Corleone, even after he had explained everything to them with the utmost patience and

detail. With these men Vito Corleone threw up his hands in despair and sent Tessio to

Brooklyn to set up a headquarters and solve the problem. Warehouses were burned,

truckloads of olive-green oil were dumped to form lakes in the cobbled (cobble –

булыжник) waterfront (порт, район порта) streets. One rash man, an arrogant

Milanese with more faith in the police than a saint has in Christ, actually went to the

authorities with a complaint against his fellow Italians, breaking the ten-century-old law

of omerta. But before the matter could progress any further the wholesaler disappeared,

never to be seen again, leaving behind, deserted, his devoted wife and three children,

who, God be thanked, were fully grown and capable of taking over his business and

coming to terms (договорившись, заключив соглашение; terms – условия

соглашения, договор) with the Genco Pura Oil Company.

But great men are not born great, they grow great, and so it was with Vito Corleone.

When prohibition (запрещение; запрещение продажи спиртных напитков (1920–33)

[pr∂uı’bı∫∂n]; to prohibit [pr∂’hıbıt] – запрещать, препятствовать) came to pass and

alcohol forbidden to be sold, Vito Corleone made the final step from a quite ordinary,

somewhat ruthless businessman to a great Don in the world of criminal enterprise. It did

not happen in a day, it did not happen in a year, but by the end of the Prohibition period

and the start of the Great Depression, Vito Corleone had become the Godfather, the

Don, Don Corleone.

It started casually enough. By this time the Genco Pura Oil Company had a fleet of six

delivery trucks. Through Clemenza, Vito Corleone was approached by a group of Italian

bootleggers (торговец контрабандными или самогонными спиртными напитками;

bootleg – голенище) who smuggled alcohol and whiskey in from Canada. They needed

trucks and deliverymen to distribute their produce over New York City. They needed

deliverymen who were reliable, discreet and of a certain determination and force. They

were willing to pay Vito Corleone for his trucks and for his men. The fee was so

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enormous that Vito Corleone cut back drastically (радикально; drastic –

сильнодействующий /о лекарстве/) on his oil business to use the trucks almost


exclusively for the service of the bootlegger-smugglers. This despite the fact that these

gentlemen had accompanied their offer with a silky threat. But even then Vito Corleone

was so mature a man that he did not take insult at a threat or become angry and refuse

a profitable offer because of it. He evaluated the threat, found it lacking in conviction,

and lowered his opinion of his new partners because they had been so stupid to use

threats where none were needed. This was useful information to be pondered at its

proper time.

Again he prospered. But, more important, he acquired knowledge and contacts and

experience. And he piled up (складывал в кучу, накапливал; pile – куча, груда, кипа)

good deeds as a banker piles up securities (ценные бумаги). For in the following years

it became clear that Vito Corleone was not only a man of talent but, in his way, a genius.

He made himself the protector of the Italian families who set themselves up as small

speakeasies (speakeasy – бар, где незаконно торгуют спиртными напитками) in

their homes, selling whiskey at fifteen cents a glass to bachelor laborers. He became

godfather to Mrs. Colombo's youngest son when the lad made his confirmation and

gave a handsome present of a twenty-dollar gold piece. Meanwhile, since it was

inevitable that some of his trucks be stopped by the police, Genco Abbandando hired a

fine lawyer with many contacts in the Police Department and the judiciary (судебное

право; судебное ведомство [dGu:'dı∫ı∂rı]). A system of payoffs was set up and soon

the Corleone organization had a sizable "sheet," the list of officials entitled (to entitle –

давать право [ın'taıtl]) to a monthly sum. When the lawyer tried to keep this list down,

apologizing for the expense, Vito Corleone reassured him. "No, no," he said. "Get

everyone on it even if they can't help us right now. I believe in friendship and I am

willing to show my friendship first."

As time went by the Corleone empire became larger, more trucks were added, the

"sheet" grew longer. Also the men working directly for Tessio and Clemenza grew in

number. The whole thing was becoming unwieldy (неуправляемый)). Finally Vito

Corleone worked out a system of organization. He gave Clemenza and Tessio each the

title of Caporegime, or captain, and the men who worked beneath them the rank of

soldier. He named Genco Abbandando his counselor, or Consigliori. He put layers of

insulation (слои изоляции) between himself and any operational act. When he gave an

order it was to Genco or to one of the caporegimes alone. Rarely did he have a witness

to any order he gave any particular one of them. Then he split Tessio's group and made

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it responsible for Brooklyn. He also split Tessio off from Clemenza and made it clear


over the years that he did not want the two men to associate even socially except when

absolutely necessary. He explained this to the more intelligent Tessio, who caught his

drift (медленное течение; направление; /здесь/ намерение) immediately, though Vito

explained it as a security measure against the law. Tessio understood that Vito did not

want his two caporegimes to have any opportunity to conspire against him and he also

understood there was no ill will involved, merely a tactical precaution. In return Vito

gave Tessio a free hand in Brooklyn while he kept Clemenza's Bronx fief (феодальное

поместье, лен [fi:f]) very much under his thumb. Clemenza was the braver, more

reckless (дерзкий, отчаянный, reckless of danger – пренебрегающий опасностью),

the crueler man despite his outward jollity (веселость; jolly – веселый, радостный),

and needed a tighter rein (повод, поводья).

The Great Depression increased the power of Vito Corleone. And indeed it was about

that time he came to be called Don Corleone. Everywhere in the city, honest men

begged for honest work in vain. Proud men demeaned (to demean – унижать)

themselves and their families to accept official charity from contemptuous officialdom

(от презирающих их властей). But the men of Don Corleone walked the streets with

their heads held high, their pockets stuffed with silver and paper money. With no fear of

losing their jobs. And even Don Corleone, that most modest of men, could not help

feeling a sense of pride. He was taking care of his world, his people. He had not failed

those who depended on him and gave him the sweat of their brows, risked their

freedom and their lives in his service. And when an employee of his was arrested and

sent to prison by some mischance, that unfortunate man's family received a living

allowance (пожизненное содержание); and not a miserly, beggarly, begrudging (to

begrudge – скупиться) pittance (скудное вспомоществование, жалование) but the

same amount the man earned when free.

This of course was not pure Christian charity. Not his best friends would have called

Don Corleone a saint from heaven. There was some self-interest in this generosity. An

employee sent to prison knew he had only to keep his mouth shut and his wife and

children would be cared for. He knew that if he did not inform to the police a warm

welcome would be his when he left prison. There would be a party waiting in his home,

the best of food, homemade ravioli, wine, pastries, with all his friends and relatives

gathered to rejoice in his freedom. And sometime during the night the Consigliori,

Genco Abbandando, or perhaps even the Don himself, would drop by to pay his

respects to such a stalwart (стойкий приверженец, верный последователь ['sto:w∂t]),

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take a glass of wine in his honor, and leave a handsome present of money so that he

could enjoy a week or two of leisure with his family before returning to his daily toil

(тяжелый труд). Such was the infinite sympathy and understanding of Don Corleone.

It was at this time that the Don got the idea that he ran his world far better than his

enemies ran the greater world which continually obstructed his path. And this feeling

was nurtured by the poor people of the neighborhood who constantly came to him for

help. To get on the home relief (облегчение; освобождение /от уплаты/), to get a

young boy a job or out of jail, to borrow a small sum of money desperately needed, to

intervene with landlords who against all reason demanded rent from jobless tenants.


Don Vito Corleone helped them all. Not only that, he helped them with goodwill, with

encouraging words to take the bitter sting out of the charity he gave them. It was only

natural then that when these Italians were puzzled and confused on who to vote for to

represent them in the state legislature, in the city offices, in the Congress, they should

ask the advice of their friend Don Corleone, their Godfather. And so he became a

political power to be consulted by practical party chiefs. He consolidated this power with

a far-seeing statesmanlike intelligence; by helping brilliant boys from poor Italian

farnilies through college, boys who would later become lawyers, assistant district

attorneys, and even judges. He planned for the future of his empire with all the foresight

of a great national leader.

The repeal (отмена) of Prohibition dealt this empire a crippling blow but again he had

taken his precautions. In 1933 he sent emissaries to the man who controlled all the

gambling activities of Manhattan, the crap games on the docks, the shylocking that went

with it as hot dogs go with baseball games, the bookmaking on sports and horses, the

illicit gambling houses that ran poker games, the policy or numbers racket of Harlem.

This man's name was Salvatore Maranzano and he was one of the acknowledged

pezzonovante, .90 calibers, or big shots of the New York underworld. The Corleone

emissaries proposed to Maranzano an equal partnership beneficial to both parties. Vito

Corleone with his organization, his police and political contacts, could give the

Maranzano operations a stout umbrella and the new strength to expand into Brooklyn

and the Bronx. But Maranzano was a short-sighted man and spurned (to spurn –

отвергать с презрением) the Corleone offer with contempt. The great Al Capone was

Maranzano's friend and he had his own organization, his own men, plus a huge war

chest (ящик; казна). He would not brook (терпеть, выносить) this upstart (выскочка)

whose reputation was more that of a Parliamentary debator than a true Mafioso.

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Maranzano's refusal touched off (его отказ вызвал, привел к) the great war of 1933

which was to change the whole structure of the underworld in New York City.

At first glance it seemed an uneven match. Salvatore Maranzano had a powerful

organization with strong enforcers. He had a friendship with Capone in Chicago and

could call on help in that quarter. He also had a good relationship with the Tattaglia


Family, which controlled prostitution in the city and what there was of the thin drug traffic

at that time. He also had political contacts with powerful business leaders who used his

enforcers to terrorize the Jewish unionists in the garment center and the Italian

anarchist syndicates in the building trades.

Against this, Don Corleone could throw two small but superbly organized regimes led

by Clemenza and Tessio. His political and police contacts were negated by the

business leaders who would support Maranzano. But in his favor was the enemy's lack

of intelligence about his organization. The underworld did not know the true strength of

his soldiers and even were deceived that Tessio in Brooklyn was a separate and

independent operation.

And yet despite all this, it was an unequal battle until Vito Corleone evened out the

odds (сравнял счет) with one master stroke.

Maranzano sent a call to Capone for his two best gunmen to come to New York to

eliminate the upstart. The Corleone Family had friends and intelligence in Chicago who

relayed the news that the two gunmen were arriving by train. Vito Corleone dispatched

Luca Brasi to take care of them with instructions that would liberate the strange man's

most savage instincts.

Brasi and his people, four of them, received the Chicago hoods at the railroad station.

One of Brasi's men procured and drove a taxicab for the purpose and the station porter

carrying the bags led the Capone men to this cab. When they got in; Brasi and another

of his men crowded in after them, guns ready, and made the two Chicago boys lie on

the floor. The cab drove to a warehouse near the docks that Brasi had prepared for


The two Capone men were bound hand and foot and small bath towels were stuffed

into their mouths to keep them from crying out.

Then Brasi took an ax (топор) from its place against the wall and started hacking at

one of the Capone men. He chopped the man's feet off, then the legs at the knees, then

the thighs where they joined the torso. Brasi was an extremely powerful man but it took

him many swings to accomplish his purpose. By that time of course the victim had given

up the ghost and the floor of the warehouse was slippery with the hacked fragments of

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his flesh and the gouting (gout – сгусток крови) of his blood. When Brasi turned to his

second victim he found further effort unnecessary. The second Capone gunman out of

sheer terror had, impossibly, swallowed the bath towel in his mouth and suffocated. The

bath towel was found in the man's stomach when the police performed their autopsy to

determine the cause of death.

A few days later in Chicago the Capones received a message from Vito Corleone. It

was to this effect: "You know now how I deal with enemies. Why does a Neapolitan

interfere in a quarrel between two Sicilians? If you wish me to consider you as a friend I

owe you a service which I will pay on demand. A man like yourself must know how

much more profitable it is to have a friend who, instead of calling on you for help, takes

care of his own affairs and stands ever ready to help you in some future time of trouble.

If you do not wish my friendship, so be it. But then I must tell you that the climate in this

city is damp; unhealthy for Neapolitans, and you are advised never to visit it."

The arrogance of this letter was a calculated one. The Don held the Capones in small

esteem as stupid, obvious cutthroats. His intelligence informed him that Capone had

forfeited (to forfeit [‘fo:fıt] – расплатиться, потерять право /на что-то/; forfeit –

расплата /за проступок/; конфискация) all political influence because of his public

arrogance and the flaunting (to flaunt – гордо развеваться /о знаменах/; выставлять

напоказ, щеголять) of his criminal wealth. The Don knew, in fact was positive, that

without political influence, without the camouflage of society, Capone's world, and

others like it, could be easily destroyed. He knew Capone was on the path to

destruction. He also knew that Capone's influence did not extend beyond the

boundaries of Chicago, terrible and all-pervading as that influence there might be.

The tactic was successful. Not so much because of its ferocity (жестокость) but

because of the chilling swiftness, the quickness of the Don's reaction. If his intelligence

was so good, any further moves would be fraught (полный, чреватый) with danger. It

was better, far wiser, to accept the offer of friendship with its implied payoff (с

предполагаемой, подразумеваемой компенсацией; to imply – заключать в себе;

предполагать, подразумевать). The Capones sent back word that they would not


The odds were now equal. And Vito Corleone had earned an enormous amount of

"respect" throughout the United States underworld with his humiliation of the Capones.

For six months he out-generaled Maranzano. He raided the crap games under that

man's protection, located his biggest policy banker (держатель игорного дома) in

Harlem and had him relieved of a day's play not only in money but in records. He

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engaged his enemies on all fronts. Even in the garment centers he sent Clemenza and

his men to fight on the side of the unionists against the enforcers on the payroll of

Maranzano and the owners of the dress firms. And on all fronts his superior intelligence

and organization made him the victor. Clemenza's jolly ferocity, which Corleone

employed judiciously (рассудительно), also helped turn the tide of battle. And then Don

Corleone sent the held-back reserve of the Tessio regime after Maranzano himself.

By this time Maranzano had dispatched emissaries suing for (to sue for – просить о

чем-либо) a peace. Vito Corleone refused to see them, put them off on one pretext or

another. The Maranzano soldiers were deserting their leader, not wishing to die in a

losing cause. Bookmakers and shylocks were paying the Corleone organization their

protection money. The war was all but over (почти окончена).

And then finally on New Year's Eve of 1933 Tessio got inside the defenses of

Maranzano himself. The Maranzano lieutenants were anxious for a deal and agreed to

lead their chief to the slaughter. They told him that a meeting had been arranged in a

Brooklyn restaurant with Corleone and they accompanied Maranzano as his


They left him sitting at a checkered (checker – шашка; checkerboard – шахматный

стол) table, morosely munching (мрачно жуя; morose [m∂’r∂us] – мрачный) a piece of

bread, and fled the restaurant as Tessio and four of his men entered. The execution

was swift and sure. Maranzano, his mouth full of half-chewed bread, was riddled with

bullets. The war was over.

The Maranzano empire was incorporated into the Corleone operation. Don Corleone

set up a system of tribute, allowing all incumbents (incumbent – пользующийся

бенефицием священник; /здесь/ букмекер, пользующийся своим доходным местом)

to remain in their bookmaking and policy number spots. As a bonus he had a foothold

(точка опоры) in the unions of the garment center which in later years was to prove

extremely important. And now that he had settled his business affairs the Don found

trouble at home.

Santino Corleone, Sonny, was sixteen years old and grown to an astonishing six feet

with broad shoulders and a heavy face that was sensual but by no means effeminate.

But where Fredo was a quiet boy, and Michael, of course, a toddler (ребенок,

начинающий ходить; to toddle – ковылять; учиться ходить), Santino was constantly

in trouble. He got into fights, did badly in school and, finally, Clemenza, who was the

boy's godfather and had a duty to speak, came to Don Corleone one evening and

informed him that his son had taken part in an armed robbery, a stupid affair which

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could have gone very badly. Sonny was obviously the ringleader, the two other boys in

the robbery his followers.

It was one of the very few times that Vito Corleone lost his temper. Tom Hagen had

been living in his home for three years and he asked Clemenza if the orphan boy had

been involved. Clemenza shook his head. Don Corleone had a car sent to bring Santino

to his offices in the Genco Pura Olive Oil Company.

For the first time, the Don met defeat. Alone with his son, he gave full vent to his rage,

cursing the hulking (громадный, неуклюжий, неповоротливый; hulk – большое

неповоротливое судно) Sonny in Sicilian dialect, a language so much more satisfying

than any other for expressing rage. He ended up with a question. "What gave you the

right to commit such an act? What made you wish to commit such an act?"

Sonny stood there, angry, refusing to answer. The Don said with contempt, "And so

stupid. What did you earn for that night's work? Fifty dollars each? Twenty dollars? You

risked your life for twenty dollars, eh?"

As if he had not heard these last words, Sonny said defiantly (с вызовом), "I saw you

kill Fanucci."

The Don said, "Ahhh" and sank back in his chair. He waited.

Sonny said, "When Fanucci left the building, Mama said I could go up the house. I

saw you go up the roof and I followed you. I saw everything you did. I stayed up there

and I saw you throw away the wallet and the gun."

The Don sighed. "Well, then I can't talk to you about how you should behave. Don't

you want to finish school, don't you want to be a lawyer? Lawyers can steal more

money with a briefcase than a thousand men with guns and masks."

Sonny grinned at him and said slyly, "I want to enter the family business." When he

saw that the Don's face remained impassive, that he did not laugh at the joke, he added

hastily, "I can learn how to sell olive oil."

Still the Don did not answer. Finally he shrugged. "Every man has one destiny," he

said. He did not add that the witnessing of Fanucci's murder had decided that of his son.

He merely turned away and added quietly, "Come in tomorrow morning at nine o'clock.

Genco will show you what to do."

But Genco Abbandando, with that shrewd insight that a Consigliori must have,

realized the true wish of the Don and used Sonny mostly as a bodyguard for his father,

a position in which he could also learn the subtleties (subtlety – тонкость,

изощренность, хитрость; subtle – тонкий, нежный; утонченный) of being a Don. And

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it brought out a professorial instinct in the Don himself, who often gave lectures on how

to succeed for the benefit of his eldest son.

Besides his oft-repeated theory that a man has but one destiny, the Don constantly

reproved Sonny for that young man's outbursts of temper. The Don considered a use of

threats the most foolish kind of exposure (выставление /на солнце, под дождь/;

подвергание /риску/; to expose – выставлять, подвергать действию /дождя, солнца/;

подвергать риску); the unleashing (to unleash – спускать с привязи) of anger without

forethought as the most dangerous indulgence (потворство своим слабостям

[ın'dΛldG∂ns]; to indulge – позволять себе удовольствие, давать себе волю). No one

had ever heard the Don utter a naked threat, no one had ever seen him in an

uncontrollable rage. It was unthinkable. And so he tried to teach Sonny his own

disciplines. He claimed that there was no greater natural advantage in life than having

an enemy overestimate your faults, unless it was to have a friend underestimate your


The caporegime, Clemenza, took Sonny in hand and taught him how to shoot and to

wield a garrot (владеть гарротой /шнуром для удушения/). Sonny had no taste for the

Italian rope, he was too Americanized. He preferred the simple, direct, impersonal

Anglo-Saxon gun, which saddened Clemenza. But Sonny became a constant and

welcome companion to his father, driving his car, helping him in little details. For the

next two years he seemed like the usual son entering his father's business, not too

bright, not too eager, content to hold down (удержать, не потерять) a soft job.

Meanwhile his boyhood chum and semiadopted brother Tom Hagen was going to

college. Fredo was still in high school; Michael, the youngest brother, was in grammar

school, and baby sister Connie was a toddling girl of four. The family had long since

moved to an apartment house in the Bronx. Don Corleone was considering buying a

house in Long Island, but he wanted to fit this in with other plans he was formulating.

Vito Corleone was a man with vision. All the great cities of America were being torn by

underworld strife (борьба, раздор). Guerrilla wars by the dozen flared up, ambitious

hoodlums trying to carve themselves a bit of empire; men like Corleone himself were

trying to keep their borders and rackets secure. Don Corleone saw that the newspapers

and government agencies were using these killings to get stricter and stricter laws, to

use harsher police methods. He foresaw that public indignation might even lead to a

suspension of democratic procedures which could be fatal to him and his people. His

own empire, internally, was secure. He decided to bring peace to all the warring factions

in New York City and then in the nation.

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He had no illusions about the dangerousness of his mission. He spent the first year

meeting with different chiefs of gangs in New York, laying the groundwork, sounding


them out (to sound – зондировать, измерять глубину /лотом/; испытать), proposing

spheres of influence that would be honored by a loosely bound confederated council.

But there were too many factions, too many special interests that conflicted. Agreement

was impossible. Like other great rulers and lawgivers in history Don Corleone decided

that order and peace were impossible until the number of reigning states had been

reduced to a manageable number.

There were five or six "Families" too powerful to eliminate. But the rest, the

neighborhood Black Hand terrorists, the free-lance shylocks, the strong-arm

bookmakers operating without the proper, that is to say paid, protection of the legal

authorities, would have to go. And so he mounted what was in effect a colonial war

against these people and threw all the resources of the Corleone organization against


The pacification of the New York area took three years and had some unexpected

rewards. At first it took the form of bad luck. A group of mad-dog Irish stickup (налет,

ограбление) artists the Don had marked for extermination (уничтожение) almost

carried the day (to carry the day – одержать победу) with sheer Emerald Isle йlan (с

чисто ирландским напором, стремительностью: йlan [eı’lα:ŋ] /франц./; Emerald Isle

= Ireland). By chance, and with suicidal bravery, one of these Irish gunmen pierced the

Don's protective cordon and put a shot into his chest. The assassin was immediately

riddled with bullets but the damage was done.

However this gave Santino Corleone his chance. With his father out of action, Sonny

took command of a troop, his own regime, with the rank of caporegime, and like a

young, untrumpeted (trumpet [‘trΛmpıt] – труба; to trumpet – трубить, возвещать,

восхвалять) Napoleon, showed a genius for city warfare. He also showed a merciless

ruthlessness, the lack of which had been Don Corleone's only fault as a conqueror.

From 1935 to 1937 Sonny Corleone made a reputation as the most cunning and

relentless executioner the underworld had yet known. Yet for sheer terror even he was

eclipsed by the awesome man named Luca Brasi.

It was Brasi who went after the rest of the Irish gunmen and single-handedly wiped

them out. It was Brasi, operating alone when one of the six powerful families tried to

interfere and become the protector of the independents, who assassinated the head of

the family as a warning. Shortly after, the Don recovered from his wound and made

peace with that particular family.

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By 1937 peace and harmony reigned in New York City except for minor incidents,

minor misunderstandings which were, of course, sometimes fatal.

As the rulers of ancient cities always kept an anxious eye on the barbarian tribes

roving around their walls, so Don Corleone kept an eye on the affairs of the world

outside his world. He noted the coming of Hitler, the fall of Spain, Germany's strong-


arming of Britain at Munich. Unblinkered (незашоренный, неослепленный; blinkers –

наглазники, шоры) by that outside world, he saw clearly the coming global war and he

understood the implications. His own world would be more impregnable

(непрницаемый, неприступный) than before. Not only that, fortunes could be made in

time of war by alert, foresighted folk. But to do so peace must reign in his domain while

war raged in the world outside.

Don Corleone carried his message through the United States. He conferred with

compatriots in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami,

and Boston. He was the underworld apostle of peace and, by 1939, more successful

than any Pope, he had achieved a working agreement amongst the most powerful

underworld organizations in the country. Like the Constitution of the United States this

agreement respected fully the internal authority of each member in his state or city. The

agreement covered only spheres of influence and an agreement to enforce peace in the


And so when World War II broke out in 1939, when the United States joined the

conflict in 1941, the world of Don Vito Corleone was at peace, in order, fully prepared to

reap the golden harvest on equal terms with all the other industries of a booming

America. The Corleone Family had a hand in supplying black-market OPA food stamps,

gasoline stamps, even travel priorities. It could help get war contracts and then help get

black-market materials for those garment center clothing firms who were not given

enough raw material because they did not have government contracts. He could even

get all the young men in his organization, those eligible (могущий быть избранным

['elıdG∂bl]) for Army draft (набор, призыв), excused from fighting in the foreign war. He

did this with the aid of doctors who advised what drugs had to be taken before physical

examination, or by placing the men in draft-exempt (exempt [ıg’zempt] –

освобожденный /от чего-либо/) positions in the war industries.

And so the Don could take pride in his rule. His world was safe for those who had

sworn loyalty to him; other men who believed in law and order were dying by the

millions. The only fly in the ointment (мазь, /здесь/ мирро /для помазания/) was that

his own son, Michael Corleone, refused to be helped, insisted on volunteering to serve

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his own country. And to the Don's astonishment, so did a few of his other young men in

the organization. One of the men, trying to explain this to his caporegime, said, "This

country has been good to me." Upon this story being relayed to the Don he said angrily

to the caporegime, "I have been good to him." It might have gone badly for these people

but, as he had excused his son Michael, so must he excuse other young men who so

misunderstood their duty to their Don and to themselves.

At the end of World War II Don Corleone knew that again his world would have to

change its ways, that it would have to fit itself more snugly (snug – плотно лежащий,

прилегающий) into the ways of the other, larger world. He believed he could do this

with no loss of profit.

There was reason for this belief in his own experience. What had put him on the right

track were two personal affairs. Early in his career the then-young Nazorine, only a

baker's helper planning to get married, had come to him for assistance. He and his

future bride, a good Italian girl, had saved their money and had paid the enormous sum

of three hundred dollars to a wholesaler of furniture recommended to them. This

wholesaler had let them pick out everything they wanted to furnish their tenement

apartment. A fine sturdy (сильный, крепкий, здоровый) bedroom set with two bureaus

and lamps. Also the living room set of heavy stuffed sofa and stuffed armchairs, all

covered with rich gold-threaded fabric. Nazorine and his fiancйe (невеста /франц./

[fı'α:nseı]) had spent a happy day picking out what they wanted from the huge

warehouse crowded with furniture. The wholesaler took their money, their three hundred

dollars wrung from the sweat of their blood, and pocketed it and promised the furniture

to be delivered within the week to the already rented flat.

The very next week however, the firm had gone into bankruptcy. The great warehouse

stocked with furniture had been sealed shut and attached for payment of creditors. The

wholesaler had disappeared to give other creditors time to unleash their anger on the

empty air. Nazorine, one of these, went to his lawyer, who told him nothing could be

done until the case was settled in court and all creditors satisfied. This might take three

years and Nazorine would be lucky to get back ten cents on the dollar.

Vito Corleone listened to this story with amused disbelief. It was not possible that the

law could allow such thievery. The wholesaler owned his own palatial home, an estate

in Long Island, a luxurious automobile, and was sending his children to college. How

could he keep the three hundred dollars of the poor baker Nazorine and not give him

the furniture he had paid for? But, to make sure, Vito Corleone had Genco Abbandando

check it out with the lawyers who represented the Genco Pura company.

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They verified the story of Nazorine. The wholesaler had all his personal wealth in his

wife's name. His furniture business was incorporated and he was not personally liable

(ответственный). True, he had shown bad faith (вероломство) by taking the money of

Nazorine when he knew he was going to file (подать как-либо документ) bankruptcy

but this was a common practice. Under law there was nothing to be done.

Of course the matter was easily adjusted. Don Corleone sent his Consigliori, Genco

Abbandando, to speak to the wholesaler, and as was to be expected, that wide-awake

businessman caught the drift immediately and arranged for Nazorine to get his furniture.

But it was an interesting lesson for the young Vito Corleone.

The second incident had more far-reaching repercussions (repercussion – отдача

/после удара/; отзвук, эхо). In 1939, Don Corleone had decided to move his family out

of the city. Like any other parent he wanted his children to go to better schools and mix

with better companions. For his own personal reasons he wanted the anonymity of

surburban life where his reputation was not known. He bought the mall property in Long

Beach, which at that time had only four newly built houses but with plenty of room for

more. Sonny was formally engaged to Sandra and would soon marry, one of the houses

would be for him. One of the houses was for the Don. Another was for Genco

Abbandando and his family. The other was kept vacant at the time.

A week after the mall was occupied, a group of three workmen came in all innocence

with their truck. They claimed to be furnace (печь, топка ['f∂:nıs]) inspectors for the

town of Long Beach. One of the Don's young bodyguards let the men in and led them to

the furnace in the basement. The Don, his wife and Sonny were in the garden taking

their ease and enjoying the salty sea air.

Much to the Don's annoyance he was summoned into the house by his bodyguard.

The three workmen, all big burly fellows, were grouped around the furnace. They had

taken it apart, it was strewn around the cement basement floor. Their leader, an

authoritative man, said to the Don in a gruff (грубый, сердитый) voice, "Your furnace is

in lousy shape. If you want us to fix it and put it together again, it'll cost you one hundred

fifty dollars for labor and parts and then we'll pass you for county inspection." He took

out a red paper label. "We stamp this seal on it, see, then nobody from the county

bothers you again."

The Don was amused. It had been a boring, quiet week in which he had had to

neglect his business to take care of such family details moving to a new house entailed

(to entail – влечь за собой). In more broken English than his usual slight accent he

asked, "If I don't pay you, what happens to my furnace?"

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The leader of the three men shrugged. "We just leave the furnace the way it is now."

He gestured at the metal parts strewn over the floor.

The Don said meekly, "Wait, I'll get you your money." Then he went out into the

garden and said to Sonny, "Listen, there's some men working on the furnace, I don't

understand what they want. Go in and take care of the matter." It was not simply a joke;

he was considering making his son his underboss. This was one of the tests a business

executive had to pass.

Sonny's solution did not altogether please his father. It was too direct, too lacking in

Sicilian subtleness. He was the Club (дубинка), not the Rapier. For as soon as Sonny

heard the leader's demand he held the three men at gunpoint and had them thoroughly

bastinadoed (приказал как следует отколотить; bastinado [bжstı’neıd∂u]– палочные

удары) by the bodyguards. Then he made them put the furnace together again and tidy

up the basement. He searched them and found that they actually were employed by a

house-improvement firm with headquarters in Suffolk County. He learned the name of

the man who owned the firm. Then he kicked the three men to their truck. "Don't let me

see you in Long Beach again," he told them. "I'll have your balls hanging from your


It was typical of the young Santino, before he became older and crueler, that he

extended his protection to the community he lived in. Sonny paid a personal call to the

home-improvement firm owner and told him not to send any of his men into the Long

Beach area ever again. As soon as the Corleone Family set up their usual business

liaison with the local police force they were informed of all such complaints and all

crimes by professional criminals. In less than a year Long Beach became the most

crime-free town of its size in the United States. Professional stickup artists and strong-

arms received one warning not to ply (усердно работать, заниматься чем-либо; ply –

сгиб, складка; уклон, склонность) their trade in the town. They were allowed one

offense (обида, оскорбление; проступок, нарушение; преступление). When they

committed a second they simply disappeared. The flimflam (трюк, мошенническая

проделка) home-improvement gyp (мошенничество; плут) artists, the door-to-door

con men (жулики /сленг/) were politely warned that they were not welcome in Long

Beach. Those confident con men who disregarded the warning were beaten within an

inch of their lives (чуть не до смерти; within an inch of = closely, near to). Resident

young punks who had no respect for law and proper authority were advised in the most

fatherly fashion to run away from home. Long Beach became a model city.

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What impressed the Don was the legal validity (действительность, законность

[v∂'lıdıtı]; valid [‘vжlıd] – действительный, имеющий силу) of these sales swindles

(swindle – надувательство). Clearly there was a place for a man of his talents in that

other world which had been closed to him as an honest youth. He took appropriate

steps to enter that world.

And so he lived happily on the mall in Long Beach, consolidating and enlarging his


empire, until after the war was over, the Turk Sollozzo broke the peace and plunged the

Don's world into its own war, and brought him to his hospital bed.

Book 4

Chapter 15

In the New Hampshire village, every foreign phenomenon was properly noticed by

housewives peering from windows, storekeepers lounging (to lounge – сидеть

развалясь, праздно проводить время) behind their doors. And so when the black

automobile bearing New York license plates stopped in front of the Adams' home, every

citizen knew about it in a matter of minutes.

Kay Adams, really a small-town girl despite her college education, was also peering

from her bedroom window. She had been studying for her exams and preparing to go

downstairs for lunch when she spotted the car coming up the street, and for some

reason she was not surprised when it rolled to a halt (/автомобиль/ остановился) in

front of her lawn. Two men got out, big burly men who looked like gangsters in the

movies to her eyes, and she flew down the stairs to be the first at the door. She was

sure they came from Michael or his family and she didn't want them talking to her father

and mother without any introduction. It wasn't that she was ashamed of any of Mike's

friends, she thought; it was just that her mother and father were old-fashioned New

England Yankees and wouldn't understand her even knowing such people.

She got to the door just as the bell rang and she called to her mother, "I'll get it." She

opened the door and the two big men stood there. One reached inside his breast pocket

like a gangster reaching for a gun and the move so surprised Kay that she let out a little

gasp but the man had taken out a small leather case which he flapped open to show an

identification card. "I'm Detective John Phillips from the New York Police Department,"

he said. He motioned to the other man, a dark-complexioned man with very thick, very

black eyebrows. "This is my partner, Detective Siriani. Are you Miss Kay Adams?"

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Kay nodded. Phillips said, "May we come in and talk to you for a few minutes. It's

about Michael Corleone."

She stood aside to let them in. At that moment her father appeared in the small side

hall that led to his study. "Kay, what is it?" he asked.

Her father was a gray-haired, slender, distinguished-looking man who not only was

the pastor of the town Baptist church but had a reputation in religious circles as a

scholar. Kay really didn't know her father well, he puzzled her, but she knew he loved


her even if he gave the impression he found her uninteresting as a person. Though they

had never been close, she trusted him. So she said simply, "These men are detectives

frorn New York. They want to ask me questions about a boy I know."

Mr. Adams didn't seem surprised. "Why don't we go into my study?" he said.

Detective Phillips said gently, "We'd rather talk to your daughter alone, Mr. Adams."

Mr. Adams said courteously, "That depends on Kay, I think. My dear, would you rather

speak to these gentlemen alone or would you prefer to have me present? Or perhaps

your mother?"

Kay shook her head. "I'll talk to them alone."

Mr. Adams said to Phillips, "You can use my study. Will you stay for lunch?" The two

men shook their heads. Kay led them into the study.

They rested uncomfortably on the edge of the couch as she sat in her father's big

leather chair. Detective Phillips opened the conversation by saying, "Miss Adams, have

you seen or heard from Michael Corleone at any time in the last three weeks?" The one

question was enough to warn her. Three weeks ago she had read the Boston

newspapers with their headlines about the killing of a New York police captain and a

narcotics smuggler named Virgil Sollozzo. The newspaper had said it was part of the

gang war involving the Corleone Farnily.

Kay shook her head. "No, the last time I saw him he was going to see his father in the

hospital. That was perhaps a month ago."

The other detective said in a harsh voice, "We know all about that meeting. Have you

seen or heard from him since then?"

"No," Kay said.

Detective Phillips said in a polite voice, "If you do have contact with him we'd like you

to let us know. It's very important we get to talk to Michael Corleone. I must warn you

that if you do have contact with him you may be getting involved in a very dangerous

situation. If you help him in any way, you may get yourself in very serious trouble."

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Kay sat up very straight in the chair. "Why shouldn't I help him?" she asked. "We're

going to be married, married people help each other."

It was Detective Siriani who answered her. "If you help, you may be an accessory

(добавочный, вспомогательный; /здесь/ соучастник [∂k'ses∂ri]) to murder. We're

looking for your boy friend because he killed a police captain in New York plus an


informer the police officer was contacting. We know Michael Corleone is the person who

did the shooting."

Kay laughed. Her laughter was so unaffected, so incredulous, that the officers were

impressed. "Mike wouldn't do anything like that," she said. "He never had anything to do

with his family. When we went to his sister's wedding it was obvious that he was treated

as an outsider, almost as much as I was. If he's hiding now it's just so that he won't get

any publicity, so his name won't be dragged through all this. Mike is not a gangster. I

know him better than you or anybody else can know him. He is too nice a man to do

anything as despicable (презренный [‘despık∂bl]) as murder. He is the most law-

abiding (законопослушный) person I know, and I've never known him to lie."

Detective Phillips asked gently, "How long have you known him?"

"Over a year," Kay said and was surprised when the two men smiled.

"I think there are a few things you should know," Detective Phillips said. "On the night

he left you, he went to the hospital. When he came out he got into an argument with a

police captain who had come to the hospital on official business. He assaulted that

police officer but got the worst of it. In fact he got a broken jaw and lost some teeth. His

friends took him out to the Corleone Family houses at Long Beach. The following night

the police captain he had the fight with was gunned down and Michael Corleone

disappeared. Vanished. We have our contacts, our informers. They all point the finger at

Michael Corleone but we have no evidence for a court of law. The waiter who witnessed

the shooting doesn't recognize a picture of Mike but he may recognize him in person.

And we have Sollozzo's driver, who refuses to talk, but we might make him talk if we

have Michael Corleone in our hands. So we have all our people looking for him, the FBI

is looking for him, everybody is looking for him. So far, no luck, so we thought you might

be able to give us a lead (подсказать что-то, направить нас по верному следу)."

Kay said coldly, "I don't believe a word of it." But she felt a bit sick knowing the part

about Mike getting his jaw broken must be true. Not that that would make Mike commit


"Will you let us know if Mike contacts you?" Phillips asked.

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Kay shook her head. The other detective, Siriani, said roughly, "We know you two

have been shacking up together. We have the hotel records and witnesses. If we let


that information slip to the newspapers your father and mother would feel pretty lousy.

Real respectable people like them wouldn't think much of a daughter shacking up with a

gangster. If you don't come clean right now I'll call your old man in here and give it to

him straight."

Kay looked at him with astonishment. Then she got up and went to the door of the

study and opened it. She could see her father standing at the living-room window,

sucking at his pipe. She called out, "Dad, can you join us?" He turned, smiled at her,

and walked to the study. When he came through the door he put his arm around his

daughter's waist and faced the detectives and said, "Yes, gentlemen?"

When they didn't answer, Kay said coolly to Detective Siriani, "Give it to him straight,


Siriani flushed. "Mr. Adams, I'm telling you this for your daughter's good. She is mixed

up with a hoodlum we have reason to believe committed a murder on a police officer.

I'm just telling her she can get into serious trouble unless she cooperates with us. But

she doesn't seem to realize how serious this whole matter is. Maybe you can talk to


"That is quite incredible," Mr. Adams said politely.

Siriani jutted his jaw. "Your daughter and Michael Corleone have been going out

together for over a year. They have stayed overnight in hotels together registered as

man and wife. Michael Corleone is wanted for questioning in the murder of a police

officer. Your daughter refuses to give us any information that may help us. Those are

the facts. You can call them incredible but I can back everything up."

"I don't doubt your word, sir," Mr. Adams said gently. "What I find incredible is that my

daughter could be in serious trouble. Unless you're suggesting that she is a" – here his

face became one of scholarly doubt – "a 'moll (любовница гангстера [mol]),' I believe

it's called."

Kay looked at her father in astonishment. She knew he was being playful in his

donnish (педантичный, высокомерный, чванный) way and she was surprised that he

could take the whole affair so lightly.

Mr. Adams said firmly, "However, rest assured that if the young man shows his face

here I shall immediately report his presence to the authorities. As will my daughter. Now,

if you will forgive us, our lunch is growing cold."

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He ushered the men out of the house with every courtesy and closed the door on their

backs gently but firmly. He took Kay by the arm and led her toward the kitchen far in the

rear of the house, "Come, my dear, your mother is waiting lunch for us."

By the time they reached the kitchen, Kay was weeping silently, out of relief from

strain, at her father's unquestioning affection. In the kitchen her mother took no notice of

her weeping, and Kay realized that her father must have told her about the two

detectives. She sat down at her place and her mother served her silently. When all

three were at the table her father said grace (молитва /перед едой/) with bowed head.

Mrs. Adams was a short stout woman always neatly dressed, hair always set. Kay

had never seen her in disarray (беспорядок /в одежде/; смятение [dıs∂'reı]). Her

mother too had always been a little disinterested in her, holding her at arm's length. And

she did so now. "Kay, stop being so dramatic. I'm sure it's all a great deal of fuss about

nothing at all. After all, the boy was a Dartmouth boy, he couldn't possibly be mixed up

in anything so sordid (грязный, низкий, подлый)."

Kay looked up in surprise. "How did you know Mike went to Dartmouth?"

Her mother said complacently (complacent [k∂m'pleısnt] – благодушный), "You

young people are so mysterious, you think you're so clever. We've known about him all

along, but of course we couldn't bring it up until you did."

"But how did you know?" Kay asked. She still couldn't face her father now that he

knew about her and Mike sleeping together. So she didn't see the smile on his face

when he said, "We opened your mail, of course."

Kay was horrified and angry. Now she could face him. What he had done was more

shameful than her own sin. She could never believe it of him. "Father, you didn't, you

couldn't have."

Mr. Adams smiled at her. "I debated which was the greater sin, opening your mail, or

going in ignorance of some hazard my only child might be incurring (to incur [ın'k∂:] –

подвергаться /чему-либо/; навлечь на себя). The choice was simple, and virtuous."

Mrs. Adams said between mouthfuls of boiled chicken, "After all, my dear, you are

terribly innocent for your age. We had to be aware. And you never spoke about him."

For the first time Kay was grateful that Michael was never affectionate in his letters.

She was grateful that her parents hadn't seen some of her letters. "I never told you

about him because I thought you'd be horrified about his family."

"We were," Mr. Adams said cheerfully. "By the way, has Michael gotten in touch with


Kay shook her head. "I don't believe he's guilty of anything."

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She saw her parents exchange a glance over the table. Then Mr. Adams said gently,

"If he's not guilty and he's vanished, then perhaps something else happened to him."

At first Kay didn't understand. Then she got up from the table and ran to her room.

Three days later Kay Adams got out of a taxi in front of the Corleone mall in Long

Beach. She had phoned, she was expected. Tom Hagen met her at the door and she

was disappointed that it was him. She knew he would tell her nothing.

In the living room he gave her a drink. She had seen a couple of other men lounging

around the house but not Sonny. She asked Tom Hagen directly, "Do you know where

Mike is? Do you know where I can get in touch with him?"

Hagen said smoothly, "We know he's all right but we don't know where he is right now.

When he heard about that captain being shot he was afraid they'd accuse him. So he

just decided to disappear. He told me he'd get in touch in a few months."

The story was not only false but meant to be seen through, he was giving her that much.

"Did that captain really break his jaw?" Kay asked.

"I'm afraid that's true," Tom said. "But Mike was never a vindictive (мстительный

[vın’dıktıv]) man. I'm sure that had nothing to do with what happened."

Kay opened her purse and took out a letter. "Will you deliver this to him if he gets in

touch with you?"

Hagen shook his head. "If I accepted that letter and you told a court of law I accepted

that letter, it might be interpreted as my having knowledge of his whereabouts

(местонахождение). Why don't you just wait a bit? I'm sure Mike will get in touch."

She finished her drink and got up to leave. Hagen escorted her to the hall but as he

opened the door, a woman came in from outside. A short, stout woman dressed in black.

Kay recognized her as Michael's mother. She held out her hand and said, "How are you,

Mrs. Corleone?"

The woman's small black eyes darted at her for a moment, then the wrinkled, leathery,

olive-skinned face broke into a small curt smile of greeting that was yet in some curious

way truly friendly. "Ah, you Mikey's little girl," Mrs. Corleone said. She had a heavy

Italian accent, Kay could barely understand her. "You eat something?" Kay said no,

meaning she didn't want anything to eat, but Mrs. Corleone turned furiously on Tom

Hagen and berated (to berate – ругать, бранить) him in Italian ending with, "You don't

even give this poor girl coffee, you disgrazia." She took Kay by the hand, the old

woman's hand surprisingly warm and alive, and led her into the kitchen. "You have

coffee and eat something, then somebody drive you home. A nice girl like you, I don't

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want you to take the train." She made Kay sit down and bustled (to bustle – торопиться,

суетиться) around the kitchen, tearing off her coat and hat and draping them over a

chair. In a few seconds there was bread and cheese and salami on the table and coffee

perking (to perk – вскидывать голову; подаваться вперед; /здесь/ возвышаться,

быть установленым наверху) on the stove.

Kay said timidly, "I came to ask about Mike, I haven't heard from him. Mr. Hagen said

nobody knows where he is, that he'll turn up in a little while."

Hagen spoke quickly, "That's all we can tell her now, Ma."

Mrs. Corleone gave him a look of withering contempt (с «уничтожающим»

презрением; to wither [‘wıр∂] – вянуть; иссушать). "Now you gonna tell me what to do?

My husband don't tell me what to do, God have mercy on him." She crossed herself.

"Is Mr. Corleone all right?" Kay asked.

"Fine," Mrs. Corleone said. "Fine. He's getting old, he's getting foolish to let something

like that happen." She tapped her head disrespectfully. She poured the coffee and

forced Kay to eat some bread and cheese.

After they drank their coffee Mrs. Corleone took one of Kay's hands in her two brown

ones. She said quietly, "Mikey no gonna write you, you no gonna hear from Mikey. He

hide two – three years. Maybe more, maybe much more. You go home to your family

and find a nice young fellow and get married."

Kay took the letter out of her purse. "Will you send this to him?"

The old lady took the letter and patted Kay on the cheek. "Sure, sure," she said.

Hagen started to protest and she screamed at him in Italian. Then she led Kay to the

door. There she kissed her on the cheek very quickly and said, "You forget about Mikey,

he no the man for you anymore."

There was a car waiting for her with two men up front. They drove her all the way to

her hotel in New York never saying a word. Neither did Kay. She was trying to get used

to the fact that the young man she had loved was a cold-blooded murderer. And that

she had been told by the most unimpeachable source: his mother.

Chapter 16

Carlo Rizzi was punk sore at the world. Once married into the Corleone Family, he'd

been shunted aside (to shunt – переводить на запасный путь; /здесь/ откладывать в

сторону, оставить не у дел) with a small bookmaker's business on the Upper East

Side of Manhattan. He'd counted on one of the houses in the mall on Long Beach, he

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knew the Don could move retainer families out when he pleased and he had been sure

it would happen and he would be on the inside of everything. But the Don wasn't

treating him right. The "Great Don," he thought with scorn. An old Moustache Pete

who'd been caught out on the street by gunmen like any dumb small-time (мелкий,

незначительный, второсортный) hood. He hoped the old bastard croaked (to croak –

каркать; /разг./ умереть). Sonny had been his friend once and if Sonny became the

head of the Family maybe he'd get a break, get on the inside.

He watched his wife pour his coffee. Christ, what a mess she turned out to be. Five

months of marriage and she was already spreading, besides blowing up. Real guinea

broads all these Italians in the East.

He reached out and felt Connie's soft spreading buttocks. She smiled at him and he

said contemptuously, "You got more ham than a hog." It pleased him to see the hurt

look on her face, the tears springing into her eyes. She might be a daughter of the Great

Don but she was his wife, she was his property now and he could treat her as he

pleased. It made him feel powerful that one of the Corleones was his doormat (половик

для вытирания ног).

He had started her off just right. She had tried to keep that purse full of money

presents for herself and he had given her a nice black eye and taken the money from

her. Never told her what he'd done with it, either. That might have really caused some

trouble. Even now he felt just the slightest twinge of remorse (угрызения совести;

twinge – приступ боли). Christ, he'd blown nearly fifteen grand on the track (играя на

скачках) and show girl bimbos (bimbo – глупая красотка легкого поведения).

He could feel Connie watching his back and so he flexed his muscles as he reached

for the plate of sweet buns on the other side of the table. He'd just polished off ham and

eggs but he was a big man and needed a big breakfast. He was pleased with the

picture he knew he presented to his wife. Not the usual greasy dark guinzo husband

(guinzo – итальяшка) but crew-cut blond, huge golden-haired forearms and broad

shoulders and thin waist. And he knew he was physically stronger than any of those so

called hard guys that worked for the family. Guys like Clemenza, Tessio, Rocco

Lampone, and that guy Paulie that somebody had knocked off. He wondered what the

story was about that. Then for some reason he thought about Sonny. Man to man he

could take Sonny, he thought, even though Sonny was a little bigger and a little heavier.

But what scared him was Sonny's rep, though he himself had never seen Sonny

anything but good-natured and kidding around. Yeah, Sonny was his buddy. Maybe with

the old Don gone, things would open up.

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He dawdled (to dawdle – тратить, тянуть время, бездельничать) over his coffee. He

hated this apartment. He was used to the bigger living quarters of the West and in a

little while he would have to go crosstown to his "book" to run the noontime action. It

was a Sunday, the heaviest action of the week what with baseball going already and the

tail end of basketball and the night trotters (trotter – рысак) starting up. Gradually he

became aware of Connie bustling around behind him and he turned his head to watch


She was getting dressed up in the real New York City guinzo style that he hated. A

silk flowered-pattern dress with belt, showy bracelet and earrings, flouncy (flounce –

оборка) sleeves. She looked twenty years older. "Where the hell are you going?" he


She answered him coldly, "To see my father out in Long Beach. He still can't get out

of bed and he needs company."

Carlo was curious. "Is Sonny still running the show?"

Connie gave him a bland look. "What show?"

He was furious. "You lousy little guinea bitch, don't talk to me like that or I'll beat that

kid right out of your belly." She looked frightened and this enraged him even more. He

sprang from his chair and slapped her across the face, the blow leaving a red welt

(след, рубец /от удара/). With quick precision he slapped her three more times. He

saw her upper lip split bloody and puff up. That stopped him. He didn't want to leave a

mark. She ran into the bedroom and slammed the door and he heard the key turning in

the lock. He laughed and returned to his coffee.

He smoked until it was time for him to dress. He knocked on the door and said, "Open

it up before I kick it in." There was no answer. "Come on, I gotta get dressed," he said in

a loud voice. He could hear her getting up off the bed and coming toward the door, then

the key turned in the lock. When he entered she had her back to him, walking back

toward the bed, lying down on it with her face turned away to the wall.

He dressed quickly and then saw she was in her slip. He wanted her to go visit her

father, he hoped she would bring back information. "What's the matter, a few slaps take

all the energy out of you?" She was a lazy slut.

"I don't wanna go." Her voice was tearful, the words mumbled. He reached out

impatiently and pulled her around to face him. And then he saw why she didn't want to

go and thought maybe it was just at well.

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He must have slapped her harder than he figured. Her left cheek was blown up, the

cut upper lip ballooned grotesquely puffy and white beneath her nose. "OK," he said,

"but I won't be home until late. Sunday is my busy day."

He left the apartment and found a parking ticket on his car, a fifteen-dollar green one.

He put it in the glove compartment with the stack of others. He was in a good humor.


Slapping the spoiled little bitch around always made him feel good. It dissolved some of

the frustration (досада, расстройство /планов/, разочарование) he felt at being

treated so badly by the Corleones.

The first time he had marked her up, he'd been a little worried. She had gone right out

to Long Beach to complain to her mother and father and to show her black eye. He had

really sweated it out. But when she came back she had been surprisingly meek, the

dutiful little Italian wife. He had made it a point to be the perfect husband over the next

few weeks, treating her well in every way, being lovey and nice with her, banging her

every day, morning and night. Finally she had told him what had happened since she

thought he would never act that way again.

She had found her parents coolly unsympathetic and curiously amused. Her mother

had had a little sympathy and had even asked her father to speak to Carlo Rizzi. Her

father had refused. "She is my daughter," he had said, "but now she belongs to her

husband. He knows his duties. Even the King of Italy didn't dare to meddle with the

relationship of husband and wife. Go home and learn how to behave so that he will not

beat you."

Connie had said angrily to her father, "Did you ever hit your wife?" She was his

favorite and could speak to him so impudently. He had answered, "She never gave me

reason to beat her." And her mother had nodded and smiled.

She told them how her husband had taken the wedding present money and never told

her what he did with it. Her father had shrugged and said, "I would have done the same

if my wife had been as presumptuous (самонадеянный, дерзкий, нахальный

[prı’zΛmptju∂s]) as you."

And so she had returned home, a little bewildered, a little frightened. She had always

been her father's favorite and she could not understand his coldness now.

But the Don had not been so unsympathetic as he pretended. He made inquiries and

found out what Carlo Rizzi had done with the wedding present money. He had men

assigned to Carlo Rizzi's bookmaking operation who would report to Hagen everything

Rizzi did on the job. But the Don could not interfere. How expect a man to discharge his

husbandly duties to a wife whose family he feared? It was an impossible situation and

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he dared not meddle. Then when Connie became pregnant he was convinced of the

wisdom of his decision and felt he never could interfere though Connie complained to

her mother about a few more beatings and the mother finally became concerned


enough to mention it to the Don. Connie even hinted that she might want a divorce. For

the first time in her life the Don was angry with her. "He is the father of your child. What

can a child come to in this world if he has no father?" he said to Connie.

Learning all this, Carlo Rizzi grew confident. He was perfectly safe. In fact he bragged

(to brag – похваляться, хвастаться) to his two "writers" on the book, Sally Rags and

Coach, about how he bounced his wife around when she got snotty and saw their looks

of respect that he had the guts (имеет смелость, не боится; gut – кишка) to

manhandle (тащить, передвигать вручную; грубо обращаться, избивать) the

daughter of the great Don Corleone.

But Rizzi would not have felt so safe if he had known that when Sonny Corleone

learned of the beatings he had flown into a murderous rage and had been restrained

only by the sternest and most imperious command of the Don himself, a command that

even Sonny dared not disobey. Which was why Sonny avoided Rizzi, not trusting

himself to control his temper.

So feeling perfectly safe on this beautiful Sunday morning, Carlo Rizzi sped crosstown

on 96th Street to the East Side. He did not see Sonny's car coming the opposite way

toward his house.

Sonny Corleone had left the protection of the mall and spent the night with Lucy

Mancini in town. Now on the way home he was traveling with four bodyguards, two in

front and two behind. He didn't need guards right beside him, he could take care of a

single direct assault. The other men traveled in their own cars and had apartments on

either side of Lucy's apartment. It was safe to visit her as long as he didn't do it too often.

But now that he was in town he figured he would pick up his sister Connie and take her

out to Long Beach. He knew Carlo would be working at his book and the cheap bastard

wouldn't get her a car. So he'd give his sister a lift out.

He waited for the two men in front to go into the building and then followed them. He

saw the two men in back pull up behind his car and get out to watch the streets. He kept

his own eyes open. It was a million-to-one shot that the opposition even knew he was in

town but he was always careful. He had learned that in the 1930's war.

He never used elevators. They were death traps. He climbed the eight flights to

Connie's apartment, going fast. He knocked on her door. He had seen Carlo's car go by

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and knew she would be alone. There was no answer. He knocked again and then he

heard his sister's voice, frightened, timid, asking, "Who is it?"

The fright in the voice stunned him. His kid sister had always been fresh and snotty,

tough as anybody in the family. What the hell had happened to her? He said, "It's

Sonny." The bolt inside slid back and the door opened and Connie was in his arms

sobbing. He was so surprised he just stood there. He pushed her away from him and

saw her swollen face and he understood what had happened.


He pulled away from her to run down the stairs and go after her husband. Rage flamed

up in him, contorting his own face. Connie saw the rage and clung to him, not letting him

go, making him come into the apartment. She was weeping out of terror now. She knew

her older brother's temper and feared it. She had never complained to him about Carlo

for that reason. Now she made him come into the apartment with her.

"It was my fault," she said. "I started a fight with him and I tried to hit him so he hit me.

He really didn't try to hit me that hard. I walked into it."

Sonny's heavy Cupid face was under control. "You going to see the old man today?"

She didn't answer, so he added, "I thought you were, so I dropped over to give you a

lift. I was in the city anyway."

She shook her head. "I don't want them to see me this way. I'll come next week."

"OK," Sonny said. He picked up her kitchen phone and dialed a number. "I'm getting a

doctor to come over here and take a look at you and fix you up. In your condition you

have to be careful. How many months before you have the kid?"

"Two months," Connie said. "Sonny, please don't do anything. Please don't."

Sonny laughed. His face was cruelly intent (полный решимости; пристальный;

погруженный во что-либо [ın'tent]) when he said, "Don't worry, I won't make your kid

an orphan before he's born." He left the apartment after kissing her lightly on her

uninjured cheek.

On East 112th Street a long line of cars were double-parked in front of a candy store

that was the headquarters of Carlo Rizzi's book. On the sidewalk in front of the store,

fathers played catch with small children they had taken for a Sunday morning ride and

to keep them company as they placed their bets (делали ставки). When they saw Carlo

Rizzi coming they stopped playing ball and bought their kids ice cream to keep them

quiet. Then they started studying the newspapers that gave the starting pitchers (pitcher

– подающий мяч; to pitch – бросать, кидать; /спорт./ подавать), trying to pick out

winning baseball bets for the day.

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Carlo went into the large room in the back of the store. His two "writers," a small wiry

man called Sally Rags and a big husky fellow called Coach, were already waiting for the

action to start. They had their huge, lined pads in front of them ready to write down bets.

On a wooden stand was a blackboard with the names of the sixteen big league baseball

teams chalked on it, paired to show who was playing against who. Against each pairing

was a blocked-out square to enter the odds.

Carlo asked Coach, "Is the store phone tapped (to tap the line – подслушивать

телефонный разговор; tap – пробка, затычка; кран; to tap – вставлять кран,

снабжать втулкой; вынимать пробку) today?"

Coach shook his head. "The tap is still off."

Carlo went to the wall phone and dialed a number. Sally Rags and Coach watched

him impassively as he jotted down the "line," the odds on all the baseball games for that

day. They watched him as he hung up the phone and walked over to the blackboard

and chalked up the odds against each game. Though Carlo did not know it, they had

already gotten the line and were checking his work. In the first week in his job Carlo had

made a mistake in transposing the odds onto the blackboard and had created that

dream of all gamblers, a "middle." That is, by betting the odds with him and then betting

against the same team with another bookmaker at the correct odds, the gambler could

not lose. The only one who could lose was Carlo's book. That mistake had caused a

six-thousand-dollar loss in the book for the week and confirmed the Don's judgment

about his son-in-law. He had given the word that all of Carlo's work was to be checked.

Normally the highly placed members of the Corleone Family would never be

concerned with such an operational detail. There was at least a five-layer insulation to

their level. But since the book was being used as a testing ground for the son-in-law, it

had been placed under the direct scrutiny of Tom Hagen, to whom a report was sent

every day.

Now with the line posted, the gamblers were thronging into the back room of the

candy store to jot down the odds on their newspapers next to the games printed there

with probable pitchers. Some of them held their little children by the hand as they looked

up at the blackboard. One guy who made big bets looked down at the little girl he was

holding by the hand and said teasingly, "Who do you like today, Honey, Giants or the

Pirates?" The little girl, fascinated by the colorful names, said, "Are Giants stronger than

Pirates?" The father laughed.

A line began to form in front of the two writers. When a writer filled one of his sheets

he tore it off, wrapped the money he had collected in it and handed it to Carlo. Carlo

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went out the back exit of the room and up a flight of steps to an apartment which

housed the candy store owner's family. He called in the bets to his central exchange


and put the money in a small wall safe that was hidden by an extended window drape.

Then he went back down into the candy store after having first burned the bet sheet and

flushed (to flush – спускать; бить струей) its ashes down the toilet bowl.

None of the Sunday games started before two P.M. because of the blue laws, so after

the first crowd of bettors, family men who had to get their bets in and rush home to take

their families to the beach, came the trickling (trickle – струйка) of bachelor gamblers or

the die-hards (die-hard – твердолобый человек; консерватор) who condemned their

families to Sundays in the hot city apartments. These bachelor bettors were the big

gamblers, they bet heavier and came back around four o'clock to bet the second games

of doubleheaders (две игры, следующие непосредственно друг за другом). They

were the ones who made Carlo's Sundays a full-time day with overtime, though some

married men called in from the beach to try and recoup (компенсировать, возмещать

[rı'ku:p]) their losses.

By one-thirty the betting had trickled off so that Carlo and Sally Rags could go out and

sit on the stoop (крыльцо со ступенями; открытая веранда) beside the candy store

and get some fresh air. They watched the stickball (stickball – a form of baseball played

in the streets, on playgrounds, etc., in which a rubber ball and a broomstick or the like

are used in place of a baseball and bat) game the kids were having. A police car went

by. They ignored it. This book had very heavy protection at the precinct and couldn't be

touched on a local level. A raid would have to be ordered from the very top and even

then a warning would come through in plenty of time.

Coach came out and sat beside them. They gossiped a while about baseball and

women. Carlo said laughingly, "I had to bat (бить палкой, битой; bat – бита; дубина,

било /для льна/) my wife around again today, teach her who's boss."

Coach said casually, "She's knocked up pretty big now, ain't she?"

"Ahh, I just slapped her face a few times," Carlo said.

"I didn't hurt her." He brooded for a moment. "She thinks she can boss me around, I

don't stand for that (не потерплю этого)."

There were still a few bettors hanging around shooting the breeze (to shoot the

breeze – трепаться, болтать /сленг/; breeze – легкий ветерок; новость, слух), talking

baseball, some of them sitting on the steps above the two writers and Carlo. Suddenly

the kids playing stickball in the street scattered. A car came screeching (to screech –

скрипеть, визжать) up the block and to a halt in front of the candy store. It stopped so

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abruptly that the tires screamed and before it had stopped, almost, a man came hurtling

out (to hurtle – пролетать, нестись со свистом; сильно бросать) of the driver's seat,

moving so fast that everybody was paralyzed. The man was Sonny Corleone.

His heavy Cupid-featured face with its thick, curved mouth was an ugly mask of fury.

In a split second he was at the stoop and had grabbed Carlo Rizzi by the throat. He

pulled Carlo away from the others, trying to drag him into the street, but Carlo wrapped

his huge muscular arms around the iron railings of the stoop and hung on. He cringed

(to cringe – съеживаться /от страха/) away, trying to hide his head and face in the

hollow of his shoulders. His shirt ripped away in Sonny's hand.

What followed then was sickening. Sonny began beating the cowering Carlo with his

fists, cursing him in a thick, rage-choked voice. Carlo, despite his tremendous physique,

offered no resistance, gave no cry for mercy or protest. Coach and Sally Rags dared not

interfere. They thought Sonny meant to kill his brother-in-law and had no desire to share

his fate. The kids playing stickball gathered to curse the driver who had made them

scatter, but now were watching with awestruck interest. They were tough kids but the

sight of Sonny in his rage silenced them. Meanwhile another car had drawn up behind

Sonny's and two of his bodyguards jumped out. When they saw what was happening

they too dared not interfere. They stood alert, ready to protect their chief if any

bystanders had the stupidity to try to help Carlo.

What made the sight sickening was Carlo's complete subjection, but it was perhaps

this that saved his life. He clung to the iron railings with his hands so that Sonny could

not drag him into the street and despite his obvious equal strength, still refused to fight

back. He let the blows rain on his unprotected head and neck until Sonny's rage ebbed.

Finally, his chest heaving, Sonny looked down at him and said, "You dirty bastard, you

ever beat up my sister again I'll kill you."

These words released the tension. Because of course, if Sonny intended to kill the

man he would never have uttered the threat. He uttered it in frustration because he

could not carry it out. Carlo refused to look at Sonny. He kept his head down and his

hands and arms entwined in the iron railing. He stayed that way until the car roared off

and he heard Coach say in his curiously paternal voice, "OK, Carlo, come on into the

store. Let's get out of sight."

It was only then that Carlo dared to get out of his crouch against the stone steps of the

stoop and unlock his hands from the railing. Standing up, he could see the kids look at

him with the staring, sickened faces of people who had witnessed the degradation of a

fellow human being. He was a little dizzy but it was more from shock, the raw fear that

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had taken command of his body; he was not badly hurt despite the shower of heavy


blows. He let Coach lead him by the arm into the back room of the candy store and put

ice on his face, which, though it was not cut or bleeding, was lumpy with swelling

bruises. The fear was subsiding now and the humiliation he had suffered made him sick

to his stomach so that he had to throw up (вырвать). Coach held his head over the sink,

supported him as if he were drunk, then helped him upstairs to the apartment and made

him lie down in one of the bedrooms. Carlo never noticed that Sally Rags had


Sally Rags had walked down to Third Avenue and called Rocco Lampone to report

what had happened. Rocco took the news calmly and in his turn called his caporegime,

Pete Clemenza. Clemenza groaned and said, "Oh, Christ, that goddamn Sonny and his

temper," but his finger had prudently clicked down on the hook so that Rocco never

heard his remark.

Clemenza called the house in Long Beach and got Tom Hagen. Hagen was silent for

a moment and then he said, "Send some of your people and cars out on the road to

Long Beach as soon as you can, just in case Sonny gets held up by traffic or an

accident. When he gets sore like that he doesn't know what the hell he's doing. Maybe

some of our friends on the other side will hear he was in town. You never can tell."

Clemenza said doubtfully, "By the time I could get anybody on the road, Sonny will be

home. That goes for the Tattaglias too."

"I know," Hagen said patiently. "But if something out of the ordinary happens, Sonny

may be held up. Do the best you can, Pete."

Grudgingly Clemenza called Rocco Lampone and told him to get a few people and

cars and cover the road to Long Beach. He himself went out to his beloved Cadillac and

with three of the platoon (взвод; полицейский отряд [pl∂’tu:n]) of guards who now

garrisoned his home, started over the Atlantic Beach Bridge, toward New York City.

One of the hangers-on (hanger-on – прихлебатель, приспешник) around the candy

store, a small bettor on the payroll of the Tattaglia Family as an informer, called the

contact he had with his people. But the Tattaglia Family had not streamlined (to

streamline – придавать обтекаемую форму; хорошо налаживать, подготовить) itself

for the war, the contact still had to go all the way through the insulation layers before he

finally got to the caporegime who contacted the Tattaglia chief. By that time Sonny

Corleone was safely back in the mall, in his father's house, in Long Beach, about to face

his father's wrath.

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Chapter 18

The war of 1947 between the Corleone Family and the Five Families combined

against them proved to be expensive for both sides. It was complicated by the police

pressure put on everybody to solve the murder of Captain McCluskey. It was rare that

operating officials of the Police Department ignored political muscle that protected

gambling and vice operations, but in this case the politicians were as helpless as the

general staff of a rampaging (to rampage [rжm’peıdG] – неистовствовать,

буйствовать), looting army whose field officers refuse to follow orders.

This lack of protection did not hurt the Corleone Family as much as it did their


opponents. The Corleone group depended on gambling for most of its income, and was

hit especially hard in its "numbers" or "policy" branch of operations. The runners who

picked up the action were swept into police nets and usually given a medium

shellacking (полное поражение; основательная порка) before being booked. Even

some of the "banks" were located and raided, with heavy financial loss. The

"bankers," .90 calibers in their own right, complained to the caporegimes, who brought

their complaints to the family council table. But there was nothing to be done. The

bankers were told to go out of business. Local Negro free-lancers were allowed to take

over the operation in Harlem, the richest territory, and they operated in such scattered

fashion that the police found it hard to pin them down.

After the death of Captain McCluskey, some newspapers printed stories involving him

with Sollozzo. They published proof that McCluskey had received large sums of money

in cash, shortly before his death. These stories had been planted by Hagen, the

information supplied by him. The Police Department refused to confirm or deny these

stories, but they were taking effect. The police force got the word through informers,

through police on the Family payroll, that McCluskey had been a rogue cop

(продажный полицейский; rogue [r∂ug] – жулик, мошенник).

Not that he had taken money or clean graft (взятка, подкуп), there was no rank-and-

file onus to that (за это бы никто не бросил в него камень; rank-and-file – члены

какой-либо организации /исключая руководителей или офицеров/, рядовые члены;

onus – бремя; ответственность, долг ['∂un∂s]). But that he had taken the dirtiest of

dirty money; murder and drugs money. And in the morality of policemen, this was


Hagen understood that the policeman believes in law and order in a curiously

innocent way. He believes in it more than does the public he serves. Law and order is,

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after all, the magic from which he derives his power, individual power which he

cherishes as nearly all men cherish individual power. And yet there is always the


smoldering resentment (тлеющее, теплящееся негодование, возмущение, чувство

обиды [rı'zentm∂nt]) against the public he serves. They are at the same time his ward

(опека, подопечный) and his prey (добыча). As wards they are ungrateful, abusive

(оскорбительный, бранный; /здесь/ оскорбляющие [∂'bju:sıv]; to abuse [∂'bju:z] –

оскорблять, ругать) and demanding. As prey they are slippery and dangerous, full of

guile (обман, хитрость, вероломство [gaıl]). As soon as one is in the policeman's

clutches (когти, лапы) the mechanism of the society the policeman defends marshals

(выстраивать /войска/) all its resources to cheat him of his prize. The fix is put in by

politicians. Judges give lenient (мягкий, снисходительный [‘li:nj∂nt]) suspended

sentences to the worst hoodlums. Governors of the States and the President of the

United States himself give full pardons, assuming that respected lawyers have not

already won his acquittal (оправдание /юр./ [∂'kwıtl]). After a time the cop learns. Why

should he not collect the fees these hoodlums are paying? He needs it more. His

children, why should they not go to college? Why shouldn't his wife shop in more

expensive places? Why shouldn't he himself get the sun with a winter vacation in

Florida? After all, he risks his life and that is no joke.

But usually he draws the line against accepting dirty graft. He will take money to let a

bookmaker operate. He will take money from a man who hates getting parking tickets or

speeding tickets. He will allow call girls and prostitutes to ply their trade; for a

consideration. These are vices natural to a man. But usually he will not take a payoff for

drugs, armed robberies, rape, murder and other assorted (смешанный) perversions. In

his mind these attack the very core (сердцевина) of his personal authority and cannot

be countenanced (countenance [‘kauntın∂ns] – выражение лица; to keep one’s

countenance – не показывать вида; to countenance – терпеть, одобрять,


The murder of a police Captain was comparable to regicide (цареубийство

['redGısaıd]). But when it became known that McCluskey had been killed while in the

company of a notorious narcotics peddler, when it became known that he was

suspected of conspiracy to murder, the police desire for vengeance began to fade. Also,

after all, there were still mortgage (заклад, ипотека; закладная ['mo:gıdG]) payment to

be made, cars to be paid off, children to be launched (to launch – бросать, метать;

запускать /ракету/) into the world. Without their "sheet" money (деньги, получаемые

по списку /с нарушителей закона, кормящихся на их участке/); sheet – простыня;

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лист бумаги, печатный лист), policemen had to scramble (карабкаться, продираться,

бороться за обладание) to make ends meet. Unlicensed peddlers were good for lunch

money. Parking ticket payoffs came to nickels and dimes (nickel – монета в 5 центов;

dime – монета в 10 центов). Some of the more desperate even began shaking down

suspects (homosexuals, assaults (assault – нападение; изнасилование [∂'so:lt]) and

batteries (battery – побои, оскорбление действием /юр./) in the precinct squad rooms

(в полицейских участках; squad [skwod] – /воен./ группа, команда /здесь – на

дежурстве/). Finally the brass relented (начальство смягчилось; brass [brα:s] –

латунь, желтая медь; начальство, старший офицер /воен. жарг/). They raised the

prices and let the Families operate. Once again the payoff sheet (список выплат) was

typed up by the precinct bagman (странствующий торговец; коммивояжер /здесь

имеется в виду (насмешливо) полицейский, собирающий свою «долю»/), listing

every man assigned to the local station and what his cut was each month. Some

semblance of social order was restored.

It had been Hagen's idea to use private detectives to guard Don Corleone's hospital

room. These were, of course, supplemented by the much more formidable soldiers of

Tessio's regime. But Sonny was not satisfied even with this. By the middle of February,

when the Don could be moved without danger, he was taken by ambulance to his home

in the mall. The house had been renovated so that his bedroom was now a hospital

room with all equipment necessary for any emergency. Nurses specially recruited and

checked had been hired for round-the-clock care, and Dr. Kennedy, with the payment of

a huge fee, had been persuaded to become the physician in residence to this private

hospital. At least until the Don would need only nursing care.

The mall itself was made impregnable. Button men were moved into the extra houses,

the tenants sent on vacations to their native villages in Italy, all expenses paid.

Freddie Corleone had been sent to Las Vegas to recuperate and also to scout out

(разведать) the ground for a Family operation in the luxury hotel-gambling casino

complex that was springing up. Las Vegas was part of the West Coast empire still

neutral and the Don of that empire had guaranteed Freddie's safety there. The New

York five Families had no desire to make more enemies by going into Vegas after

Freddie Corleone. They had enough trouble on their hands in New York.

Dr. Kennedy had forbade any discussion of business in front of the Don. This edict

was completely disregarded. The Don insisted on the council of war being held in his

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room. Sonny, Tom Hagen, Pete Clemenza and Tessio gathered there the very first night

of his homecoming.

Don Corleone was too weak to speak much but he wished to listen and exercise veto

powers. When it was explained that Freddie had been sent to Las Vegas to learn the

gambling casino business, he nodded his head approvingly. When he learned that

Bruno Tattaglia had been killed by Corleone button men he shook his head and sighed.

But what distressed him most of all was learning that Michael had killed Sollozzo and

Captain McCluskey and had then been forced to flee to Sicily. When he heard this he

motioned them out and they continued the conference in the corner room that held the

law library.

Sonny Corleone relaxed in the huge armchair behind the desk. "I think we'd better let

the old man take it easy for a couple of weeks, until the doc says he can do business."

He paused. "I'd like to have it going again before he gets better. We have the go-ahead

from the cops to operate. The first thing is the policy banks in Harlem. The black boys

up there had their fun, now we have to take it back. They screwed up the works but

good, just like they usually do when they run things. A lot of their runners (runner –

/здесь/ руководящий бизнесом) didn't payoff winners. They drive up in Cadillacs and

tell their players they gotta wait for their dough or maybe just pay them half what they

win. I don't want any runner looking rich to his players. I don't want them dressing too

good. I don't want them driving new cars. I don't want them welching (to welch, to welsh

– скрыться, не уплатив проигрыша) on paying a winner. And I don't want any free-

lancers staying in business, they give us a bad name. Tom, let's get that project moving

right away. Everything else will fall in line as soon as you send out the word that the lid

is off («крышка открыта» = секретность снята, можно работать спокойно)."

Hagen said, "There are some very tough boys up in Harlem. They got a taste of the

big money. They won't go back to being runners or sub-bankers again."

Sonny shrugged. "Just give their names to Clemenza. That's his job, straightening

them out."

Clemenza said to Hagen, "No problem."

It was Tessio who brought up the most important question. "Once we start operating,

the five Families start their raids. They'll hit our bankers in Harlem and our bookmakers

on the East Side. They may even try to make things tough for the garment center outfits

we service. This war is going to cost a lot of money."

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"Maybe they won't," Sonny said. "They know we'll hit them right back. I've got peace

feelers (feeler – щупальце; разведчик) out and maybe we can settle everything by

paying an indemnity for the Tattaglia kid."

Hagen said, "We're getting the cold shoulder (нам оказывают холодный прием) on

those negotiations. They lost a lot of dough the last few months and they blame us for it.

With justice. I think what they want is for us to agree to come in on the narcotics trade,

to use the Family influence politically. In other words, Sollozzo's deal minus Sollozzo.

But they won't broach (broach – вертел; to broach – делать прокол, отверстие;

почать /бочку вина/; /здесь/ огласить; начать обсуждать) that until they've hurt us

with some sort of combat action. Then after we've been softened up they figure we'll

listen to a proposition on narcotics."

Sonny said curtly, "No deal on drugs. The Don said no and it's no until he changes it."

Hagen said briskly, "Then we're faced with a tactical problem. Our money is out in the

open. Bookmaking and policy. We can be hit. But the Tattaglia Family has prostitution

and call girls and the dock unions. How the hell are we going to hit them? The other

Families are in some gambling. But most of them are in the construction trades,

shylocking, controlling the unions, getting the government contracts. They get a lot from

strong-arm and other stuff that involves innocent people. Their money isn't out in the

street. The Tattaglia nightclub is too famous to touch it, it would cause too much of a

stink. And with the Don still out of action their political influence matches ours. So we've

got a real problem here."

"It's my problem, Tom," Sonny said. "I'll find the answer. Keep the negotiation alive

and follow through on the other stuff. Let's go back into business and see what happens.

Then we'll take it from there. Clemenza and Tessio have plenty of soldiers, we can

match the whole Five Families gun for gun if that's the way they want it. We'll just go to

the mattresses."

There was no problem getting the free-lance Negro bankers out of business. The

police were informed and cracked down. With a special effort. At that time it was not

possible for a Negro to make a payoff to a high police or political official to keep such an

operation going. This was due to racial prejudice and racial distrust more than anything

else. But Harlem had always been considered a minor problem, and its settlement was


The Five Families struck in an unexpected direction. Two powerful officials in the

garment unions were killed, officials who were members of the Corleone Family. Then

the Corleone Family shylocks were barred from the waterfront piers (pier – волнолом,

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дамба; пирс) as were the Corleone Family bookmakers. The longshoremen's union

(longshoreman – портовый грузчик) locals had gone over to the Five Families.

Corleone bookmakers all over the city were threatened to persuade them to change

their allegiance (верность, лояльность; вассальная зависимость [∂'li:dG∂ns]). The


biggest numbers (затраты; смета) banker in Harlem, an old friend and ally (союзник) of

the Corleone Family, was brutally murdered. There was no longer any option. Sonny

told his caporegimes to go to the mattresses.

Two apartments were set up in the city and furnished with mattresses for the button

men to sleep on, a refrigerator for food, and guns and ammunition. Clemenza staffed

one apartment and Tessio the other. All Family bookmakers were given bodyguard

teams. The policy bankers in Harlem, however, had gone over to the enemy and at the

moment nothing could be done about that. All this cost the Corleone Family a great deal

of money and very little was coming in. As the next few months went by, other things

became obvious. The most important was that the Corleone Family had overmatched

itself (to overmatch = to be more than a match for – превосходить /силой, умением/;

/здесь/ переоценить свои силы; match – ровня, пара; равносильный противник).

There were reasons for this. With the Don still too weak to take a part, a great deal of

the Family's political strength was neutralized. Also, the last ten years of peace had

seriously eroded the fighting qualities of the two caporegimes, Clemenza and Tessio.

Clemenza was still a competent executioner and administrator but he no longer had the

energy or the youthful strength to lead troops. Tessio had mellowed (смягчился; mellow

– спелый, сочный; to mellow – делаться спелым, созревать; смягчаться)with age

and was not ruthless enough. Tom Hagen, despite his abilities, was simply not suited to

be a Consigliori in a time of war. His main fault was that he was not a Sicilian.

Sonny Corleone recognized these weaknesses in the Family's wartime posture but

could not take any steps to remedy them. He was not the Don and only the Don could

replace the caporegimes and the Consigliori. And the very act of replacement would

make the situation more dangerous, might precipitate some treachery (спровоцировать,

вызвать какое-нибудь предательство, измену; to precipitate [prı’sıpıteıt] –

низвергать, повергать; ввергать; ускорять, торопить). At first, Sonny had thought of

fighting a holding action until the Don could become well enough to take charge, but

with the defection of the policy bankers, the terrorization of the bookmakers, the Family

position was becoming precarious (случайный; ненадежный, сомнительный,

опасный [prı’kε∂rı∂s]). He decided to strike back.

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But he decided to strike right at the heart of the enemy. He planned the execution of

the heads of the five Families in one grand tactical maneuver. To that purpose he put

into effect an elaborate system of surveillance (надзор, наблюдение /напр. за

подозреваемым/ [s∂:’veıl∂ns]) of these leaders. But after a week the enemy chiefs

promptly dived underground and were seen no more in public.


The Five Families and the Corleone Empire were in stalemate (пат /шахм./; мертвая

точка, тупик; stale – несвежий /хлеб/; спертый /воздух/; выдохшийся /спортсмен/).

Chapter 18

Amerigo Bonasera lived only a few blocks from his undertaking establishment on

Mulberry Street and so always went home for supper. Evenings he returned to his place

of business, dutifully joining those mourners paying their respects to the dead who lay in

state in his somber parlors.

He always resented the jokes made about his profession, the macabre (мрачный,

ужасный /франц./ [m∂'kα:br]; dance macabre – танец смерти /жанр средневекового

искусства/) technical details which were so unimportant. Of course none of his friends

or family or neighbors would make such jokes. Any profession was worthy of respect to

men who for centuries earned bread by the sweat of their brows.

Now at supper with his wife in their solidly furnished apartment, gilt statues of the

Virgin Mary with their red-glassed candles flickering on the sideboard, Bonasera lit a

Camel cigarette and took a relaxing glass of American whiskey. His wife brought

steaming plates of soup to the table. The two of them were alone now; he had sent his

daughter to live in Boston with her mother's sister, where she could forget her terrible

experience and her injuries at the hands of the two ruffians (хулиган, негодяй ['rΛfj∂n])

Don Corleone had punished.

As they ate their soup his wife asked, "Are you going back to work tonight?"

Amerigo Bonasera nodded. His wife respected his work but did not understand it. She

did not understand that the technical part of his profession was the least important. She

thought, like most other people, that he was paid for his skill in making the dead look so

lifelike in their coffins. And indeed his skill in this was legendary. But even more

important, even more necessary was his physical presence at the wake

(бодрствование; поминки /перед погребением/). When the bereaved family

(скорбящая, понесшая потерю семья; to bereave – лишать, отнимать) came at night

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to receive their blood relatives and their friends beside the coffin of their loved one, they

needed Amerigo Bonasera with them.

For he was a strict chaperone (опекун, сопровождающий; chaperone – пожилая

дама, сопровождающия молодую девушку на балы и пр.; компаньонка [‘∫жp∂r∂un])

to death. His face always grave, yet strong and comforting, his voice unwavering, yet

muted to a low register, he commanded the mourning ritual. He could quiet grief that

was too unseemly, he could rebuke (упрекать, делать выговор [rı’bju:k]) unruly

children whose parents had not the heart to chastise (подвергать наказанию

/особенно телесному/ [t∫жs’taız]). Never cloying (слащав; to cloy – пресыщать) in the

tender of his condolences, yet never was he offhand (импровизированный; /здесь/

бесцеремонный). Once a family used Amerigo Bonasera to speed a loved one on

(проводить, отправить в последний путь близкого человека), they came back to him

again and again. And he never, never, deserted one of his clients on that terrible last

night above ground.

Usually he allowed himself a little nap after supper. Then he washed and shaved

afresh, talcum powder generously used to shroud (посыпать, укрыть; shroud – саван;

пелена, покров) the heavy black beard. A mouthwash always. He respectfully changed

into fresh linen, white gleaming shirt, the black tie, a freshly pressed dark suit, dull black

shoes and black socks. And yet the effect was comforting instead of somber. He also

kept his hair dyed black, an unheard-of frivolity in an Italian male of his generation; but

not out of vanity. Simply because his hair had turned a lively pepper and salt, a color

which struck him as unseemly for his profession.

After he finished his soup, his wife placed a small steak before him with a few forkfuls

of green spinach oozing yellow oil. He was a light eater. When he finished this he drank

a cup of coffee and smoked another Camel cigarette. Over his coffee he thought about

his poor daughter. She would never be the same. Her outward beauty had been

restored but there was the look of a frightened animal in her eyes that had made him

unable to bear the sight of her. And so they had sent her to live in Boston for a time.

Time would heal her wounds. Pain and terror was not so final as death, as he well knew.

His work made him an optimist.

He had just finished the coffee when his phone in the living room rang. His wife never

answered it when he was home, so he got up and drained his cup and stubbed out his

cigarette. As he walked to the phone he pulled off his tie and started to unbutton his

shirt, getting ready for his little nap. Then he picked up the phone and said with quiet

courtesy, "Hello."

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The voice on the other end was harsh, strained. "This is Tom Hagen," it said. "I'm

calling for Don Corleone, at his request."


Amerigo Bonasera felt the coffee churning (churn – маслобойка, мешалка; to churn

– взбивать /масло/; взбалтывать, вспенивать) sourly in his stomach, felt himself

going a little sick. It was more than a year since he had put himself in the debt of the

Don to avenge his daughter's honor and in that time the knowledge that he must pay

that debt had receded. He had been so grateful seeing the bloody faces of those two

ruffians that he would have done anything for the Don. But time erodes gratitude more

quickly than it does beauty. Now Bonasera felt the sickness of a man faced with

disaster. His voice faltered as he answered, "Yes, I understand. I'm


He was surprised at the coldness in Hagen's voice. The Consigliori had always been

a courteous man, though not Italian, but now he was being rudely brusque. "You owe

the Don a service," Hagen said. "He has no doubt that you will repay him. That you will

be happy to have this opportunity. In one hour, not before, perhaps later, he will be at

your funeral parlor to ask for your help. Be there to greet him. Don't have any people

who work for you there. Send them home. If you have any objections to this, speak now

and I'll inform Don Corleone. He has other friends who can do him this service."

Amerigo Bonasera almost cried out in his fright, "How can you think I would refuse the

Godfather? Of course I'll do anything he wishes. I haven't forgotten my debt. I'll go to my

business immediately, at once."

Hagen's voice was gentler now, but there was something strange about it. "Thank

you," he said. "The Don never doubted you. The question was mine. Oblige him tonight

and you can always come to me in any trouble, you'll earn my personal friendship."

This frightened Amerigo Bonasera even more. He stuttered, "The Don himself is

coming to me tonight?"

"Yes," Hagen said.

"Then he's completely recovered from his injuries, thank God," Bonasera said. His

voice made it a question.

There was a pause at the other end of the phone, then Hagen's voice said very quietly,

"Yes." There was a click and the phone went dead.

Bonasera was sweating. He went into the bedroom and changed his shirt and rinsed

his mouth. But he didn't shave or use a fresh tie. He put on the same one he had used

during the day. He called the funeral parlor and told his assistant to stay with the

bereaved family using the front parlor that night. He himself would be busy in the

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laboratory working area of the building. When the assistant started asking questions

Bonasera cut him off very curtly and told him to follow orders exactly.


He put on his suit jacket and his wife, still eating, looked up at him in surprise. "I have

work to do," he said and she did not dare question him because of the look on his face.

Bonasera went out of the house and walked the few blocks to his funeral parlor.

This building stood by itself on a large lot with a white picket fence running all around

it. There was a narrow roadway leading from the street to the rear, just wide enough for

ambulances and hearses (hearse [h∂:s] – катафалк, похоронные дроги). Bonasera

unlocked the gate and left it open. Then he walked to the rear of the building and

entered it through the wide door there. As he did so he could see mourners already

entering the front door of the funeral parlor to pay their respects to the current corpse.

Many years ago when Bonasera had bought this building from an undertaker planning

to retire, there had been a stoop of about ten steps that mourners had to mount before

entering the funeral parlor. This had posed a problem. Old and crippled mourners

determined to pay their respects had found the steps almost impossible to mount, so

the former undertaker had used the freight elevator for these people, a small metal

platform, that rose out of the ground beside the building. The elevator was for coffins

and bodies. It would descend underground, then rise into the funeral parlor itself, so that

a crippled mourner would find himself rising through the floor beside the coffin as other

mourners moved their black chairs aside to let the elevator rise through the trapdoor

(люк, опускная дверь; trap – ловушка, капкан; /вентиляционная/ дверь /в шахте/).

Then when the crippled or aged mourner (скорбящий; to mourn – скорбеть,

оплакивать /кого-либо/) had finished paying his respects, the elevator would again

come up through the polished floor to take him down and out again.

Amerigo Bonasera had found this solution to the problem unseemly (неподобающий,

непристойный) and penny-pinching (мелочный, скаредный, экономящий на копейке;

to pinch – щипать; сжимать; скупиться). So he had had the front of the building

remodeled, the stoop done away with and a slightly inclining walk put in its place. But of

course the elevator was still used for coffins and corpses.

In the rear of the building, cut off from the funeral parlor and reception rooms by a

massive soundproof (звуконепроницаемый) door, was the business office, the

embalming (to embalm [ım'bα:m] – бальзамировать; balm – бальзам) room, a

storeroom for coffins, and a carefully locked closet holding chemicals and the awful

tools of his trade. Bonasera went to the office, sat at his desk and lit up a Camel, one of

the few times he had ever smoked in this building. Then he waited for Don Corleone.

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He waited with a feeling of the utmost despair. For he had no doubt as to what


services he would be called upon to perform. For the last year the Corleone Family had

waged war against the five great Mafia Families of New York and the carnage had filled

the newspapers. Many men on both sides had been killed. Now the Corleone Family

had killed somebody so important that they wished to hide his body, make it disappear,

and what better way than to have it officially buried by a registered undertaker? And

Amerigo Bonasera had no illusions about the act he was to commit. He would be an

accessory to murder. If it came out, he would spend years in jail. His daughter and wife

would be disgraced, his good name, the respected name of Amerigo Bonasera,

dragged through the bloody mud of the Mafia war.

He indulged himself (позволил себе) by smoking another Camel. And then he

thought of something even more terrifying. When the other Mafia Families found out that

he had aided the Corleones they would treat him as an enemy. They would murder him.

And now he cursed the day he had gone to the Godfather and begged for his

vengeance. He cursed the day his wife and the wife of Don Corleone had become

friends. He cursed his daughter and America and his own success. And then his

optimism returned. It could all go well. Don Corleone was a clever man. Certainly

everything had been arranged to keep the secret. He had only to keep his nerve. For of

course the one thing more fatal than any other was to earn the Don's displeasure.

He heard tires on gravel. His practiced ear told him a car was coming through the

narrow driveway and parking in the back yard. He opened the rear door to let them in.

The huge fat man, Clemenza, entered, followed by two very rough-looking young

fellows. They searched the rooms without saying a word to Bonasera, then Clemenza

went out. The two young men remained with the undertaker.

A few moments later Bonasera recognized the sound of a heavy ambulance coming

through the narrow driveway. Then Clemenza appeared in the doorway followed by two

men carrying a stretcher (носилки; to stretch – растягивать/ся/, вытягивать/ся/). And

Amerigo Bonasera's worst fears were realized. On the stretcher was a corpse swaddled

(to swaddle – пеленать, свивать /младенца/) in a gray blanket but with bare yellow

feet sticking out the end.

Clemenza motioned the stretcher-bearers into the embalming room. And then from

the blackness of the yard another man stepped into the lighted office room. It was Don


The Don had lost weight during his illness and moved with a curious stiffness. He was

holding his hat in his hands and his hair seemed thin over his massive skull. He looked

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older, more shrunken than when Bonasera had seen him at the wedding, but he still


radiated power. Holding his hat against his chest, he said to Bonasera, "Well, old friend,

are you ready to do me this service?"

Bonasera nodded. The Don followed the stretcher into the embalming room and

Bonasera trailed after him. The corpse was on one of the guttered (gutter –

водосточный желоб, сточная канавка) tables. Don Corleone made a tiny gesture with

his hat and the other men left the room.

Bonasera whispered, "What do you wish me to do?"

Don Corleone was staring at the table. "I want you to use all your powers, all your skill,

as you love me," he said. "I do not wish his mother to see him as he is." He went to the

table and drew down the gray blanket. Amerigo Bonasera against all his will, against all

his years of training and experience, let out a gasp of horror. On the embalming table

was the bullet-smashed face of Sonny Corleone. The left eye drowned in blood had a

star fracture (трещина, излом, разрыв) in its lens (линза; хрусталик глаза). The

bridge of his nose and left cheekbone were hammered into pulp.

For one fraction of a second the Don put out his hand to support himself against

Bonasera's body. "See how they have massacred my son," he said.

Chapter 19

Perhaps it was the stalemate that made Sonny Corleone embark on the bloody

course of attrition (трение, изнашивание от трения; истощение, изнурение) that

ended in his own death. Perhaps it was his dark violent nature given full rein. In any

case, that spring and summer he mounted senseless raids on enemy auxiliaries

(auxiliary [o:g’zılj∂rı] – вспомогательный; помощник). Tattaglia Family pimps (pimp –

сводник, сутенер) were shot to death in Harlem, dock goons (goon – головорез,

наемный бандит) were massacred. Union officials who owed allegiance to the Five

Families were warned to stay neutral, and when the Corleone bookmakers and shylocks

were still barred from the docks, Sonny sent Clemenza and his regime to wreak (давать

выход, волю чувству [ri:k], to wreak vengeance upon one’s enemy – отомстить врагу)

havoc (опустошение, разрушение ['hжv∂k]) upon the long shore.

This slaughter was senseless because it could not affect the outcome of the war.

Sonny was a brilliant tactician and won his brilliant victories. But what was needed was

the strategical genius of Don Corleone. The whole thing degenerated into such a deadly

guerrilla war that both sides found themselves losing a great deal of revenue and lives

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to no purpose. The Corleone Family was finally forced to close down some of its most


profitable bookmaking stations, including the book given to son-in-law Carlo Rizzi for his

living. Carlo took to drink and running with chorus girls and giving his wife Connie a hard

time. Since his beating at the hands of Sonny he had not dared to hit his wife again but

he had not slept with her. Connie had thrown herself at his feet and he had spurned her,

as he thought, like a Roman, with exquisite patrician pleasure. He had sneered at her,

"Go call your brother and tell him I won't screw you, maybe he'll beat me up until I get a

hard on (эрекция)."

But he was in deadly fear of Sonny though they treated each other with cold

politeness. Carlo had the sense to realize that Sonny would kill him, that Sonny was a

man who could, with the naturalness of an animal, kill another man, while he himself

would have to call up all his courage, aIl his will, to commit murder. It never occurred to

Carlo that because of this he was a better man than Sonny Corleone, if such terms

could be used; he envied Sonny his awesome savagery, a savagery which was now

becoming a legend.

Tom Hagen, as the Consigliori, disapproved of Sonny's tactics and yet decided not to

protest to the Don simply because the tactics, to some extent, worked. The Five

Families seemed to be cowed (to cow – запугивать, усмирять), finally, as the attrition

went on, and their counterblows weakened and finally ceased altogether. Hagen at first

distrusted this seeming pacification of the enemy but Sonny was jubilant (ликующий,

торжествующий ['dGu:bıl∂nt]). "I'll pour it on," he told Hagen, "and then those bastards

will come begging for a deal."

Sonny was worried about other things. His wife was giving him a hard time because

the rumors had gotten to her that Lucy Mancini had bewitched her husband. And though

she joked publicly about her Sonny's equipment and technique, he had stayed away

from her too long and she missed him in her bed, and she was making life miserable for

him with her nagging.

In addition to this Sonny was under the enormous strain of being a marked man. He

had to be extraordinarily careful in all his movements and he knew that his visits to Lucy

Mancini had been charted by the enemy. But here he took elaborate precautions since

this was the traditional vulnerable spot. He was safe there. Though Lucy had not the

slightest suspicion, she was watched twenty-four hours a day by men of the Santino

regime and when an apartment became vacant on her floor it was immediately rented

by one of the most reliable men of that regime.

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The Don was recovering and would soon be able to resume command. At that time

the tide of battle must swing to the Corleone Family. This Sonny was sure of.

Meanwhile he would guard his Family's empire, earn the respect of his father, and,


since the position was not hereditary to an absolute degree, cement his claim as heir to

the Corleone Empire.

But the enemy was making its plans. They too had analyzed the situation and had

come to the conclusion that the only way to stave off (предотвратить, отсрочить

/бедствие/; stave – палка, шест) complete defeat was to kill Sonny Corleone. They

understood the situation better now and felt it was possible to negotiate with the Don,

known for his logical reasonableness. They had come to hate Sonny for his

bloodthirstiness, which they considered barbaric. Also not good business sense.

Nobody wanted the old days back again with all its turmoil (суматоха, беспорядок

['t∂:moıl]) and trouble.

One evening Connie Corleone received an anonymous phone call, a girl's voice,

asking for Carlo. "Who is this?" Connie asked.

The girl on the other end giggled and said, "I'm a friend of Carlo's. I just wanted to tell

him I can't see him tonight. I have to go out of town."

"You lousy bitch," Connie Corleone said. She screamed it again into the phone. "You

lousy tramp bitch." There was a click on the other end.

Carlo had gone to the track for that afternoon and when he came home in the late

evening he was sore at losing and half drunk from the bottle he always carried. As soon

as he stepped into the door, Connie started screaming curses at him. He ignored her

and went in to take a shower. When he came out he dried his naked body in front of her

and started dolling up (to doll up – наряжать/ся/; doll – кукла) to go out.

Connie stood with hands on hips, her face pointy (заостренный) and white with rage.

"You're not going any place," she said. "Your girl friend called and said she can't make it

tonight. You lousy bastard, you have the nerve to give your whores my phone number.

I'll kill you, you bastard." She rushed at him, kicking and scratching.

He held her off with one muscular forearm. "You're crazy," he said coldly. But she

could see he was worried, as if he knew the crazy girl he was screwing would actually

pull such a stunt (удачное, эффектное выступление; штука, трюк, фокус). "She was

kidding around, some nut," Carlo said.

Connie ducked (to duck – нырять, увертываться; duck – утка) around his arm and

clawed (to claw – царапать; claw – коготь) at his face. She got a little bit of his cheek

under her fingernails. With surprising patience he pushed her away. She noticed he was

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careful because of her pregnancy and that gave her the courage to feed her rage. She

was also excited. Pretty soon she wouldn't be able to do anything, the doctor had said

no sex for the last two months and she wanted it, before the last two months started.

Yet her wish to inflict a physical injury on Carlo was very real too. She followed him into

the bedroom.

She could see he was scared and that filled her with contemptuous delight. "You're

staying home," she said, "you're not going out."

"OK, OK," he said. He was still undressed, only wearing his shorts. He liked to go

around the house like that, he was proud of his V-shaped body, the golden skin. Connie

looked at him hungrily. He tried to laugh. "You gonna give me something to eat at


That mollified (to mollify – смягчить) her, his calling on her duties, one of them at

least. She was a good cook, she had learned that from her mother. She sauteed (to

sautй – потушить, приготовить что-либо быстро в небольшом количестве масла

или жира) veal and peppers, preparing a mixed salad while the pan simmered (to

simmer – закипать; кипеть на медленном огне). Meanwhile Carlo stretched out on his

bed to read the next day's racing form. He had a water glass full of whiskey beside him

which he kept sipping at.

Connie came into the bedroom. She stood in the doorway as if she could not come

close to the bed without being invited. "The food is on the table," she said.

"I'm not hungry yet," he said, still reading the racing form.

"It's on the table," Connie said stubbornly.

"Stick it up your ass," Carlo said. He drank off the rest of the whiskey in the water

glass, tilted the bottle to fill it again. He paid no more attention to her.

Connie went into the kitchen, picked up the plates filled with food and smashed them

against the sink. The loud crashes brought Carlo in from the bedroom. He looked at the

greasy veal and peppers splattered all over the kitchen walls and his finicky

(разборчивый, мелочно требовательный) neatness was outraged. "You filthy guinea

spoiled brat," he said venomously. "Clean that up right now or I'll kick the shit out of


"Like hell I will," Connie said. She held her hands like claws ready to scratch his bare

chest to ribbons.

Carlo went back into the bedroom and when he came out he was holding his belt

doubled in his hand. "Clean it up," he said and there was no mistaking the menace in

his voice. She stood there not moving and he swung the belt against her heavily padded

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hips, the leather stinging but not really hurting. Connie retreated to the kitchen cabinets

and her hand went into one of the drawers to haul out the long bread knife. She held it


Carlo laughed. "Even the female Corleones are murderers," he said. He put the belt

down on the kitchen table and advanced toward her. She tried a sudden lunge but her

pregnant heavy body made her slow and he eluded the thrust she aimed at his groin in

such deadly earnest. He disarmed her easily and then he started to slap her face with a

slow medium-heavy stroke so as not to break the skin. He hit her again and again as

she retreated around the kitchen table trying to escape him and he pursued her into the

bedroom. She tried to bite his hand and he grabbed her by the hair to lift her head up.

He slapped her face until she began to weep like a little girl, with pain and humiliation.

Then he threw her contemptuously onto the bed. He drank from the bottle of whiskey

still on the night table. He seemed very drunk now, his light blue eyes had a crazy glint

in them and finally Connie was truly afraid.

Carlo straddled his legs apart and drank from the bottle. He reached down and

grabbed a chunk (толстый кусок, ломоть) of her pregnant heavy thigh in his hand. He

squeezed very hard, hurting her and making her beg for mercy. "You're fat as a pig," he

said with disgust and walked out of the bedroom.

Thoroughly frightened and cowed, she lay in the bed, not daring to see what her

husband was doing in the other room. Finally she rose and went to the door to peer into

the living room. Carlo had opened a fresh bottle of whiskey and was sprawled on the

sofa. In a little while he would drink himself into sodden (промокший, пропитанный;

отупевший /напр. от усталости, пьянства/) sleep and she could sneak into the kitchen

and call her family in Long Beach. She would tell her mother to send someone out here

to get her. She just hoped Sonny didn't answer the phone, she knew it would be best to

talk to Tom Hagen or her mother.

It was nearly ten o'clock at night when the kitchen phone in Don Corleone's house

rang. It was answered by one of the Don's bodyguards who dutifully turned the phone

over to Connie's mother. But Mrs. Corleone could hardly understand what her daughter

was saying, the girl was hysterical yet trying to whisper so that her husband in the next

room would not hear her. Also her face had become swollen because of the slaps, and

her puffy lips thickened her speech. Mrs. Corleone made a sign to the bodyguard that

he should call Sonny, who was in the living room with Tom Hagen.

Sonny came into the kitchen and took the phone from his mother. "Yeah, Connie," he


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Connie was so frightened both of her husband and of what her brother would do that

her speech became worse. She babbled, "Sonny, just send a car to bring me home, I'll

tell you then, it's nothing, Sonny. Don't you come. Send Tom, please, Sonny. It's

nothing, I just want to come home."

By this time Hagen had come into the room. The Don was already under a sedated

sleep in the bedroom above and Hagen wanted to keep an eye on Sonny in all crises.

The two interior bodyguards were also in the kitchen. Everybody was watching Sonny

as he listened on the phone.

There was no question that the violence in Sonny Corleone's nature rose from some

deep mysterious physical well. As they watched they could actually see the blood

rushing to his heavily corded neck, could see the eyes film with hatred, the separate

features of his face tightening, growing pinched, then his face took on the grayish hue of

a sick man fighting off some sort of death, except that the adrenalin pumping through

his body made his hands tremble. But his voice was controlled, pitched low, as he told

his sister, "You wait there. You just wait there." He hung up the phone.

He stood there for a moment quite stunned with his own rage, then he said, "The

fucking sonofabitch, the fucking sonofabitch." He ran out of the house.

Hagen knew the look on Sonny's face, all reasoning power had left him. At this

moment Sonny was capable of anything. Hagen also knew that the ride into the city

would cool Sonny off, make him more rational. But that rationality might make him even

more dangerous, though the rationality would enable him to protect himself against the

consequences of his rage. Hagen heard the car motor roaring into life and he said to the

two bodyguards, "Go after him."

Then he went to the phone and made some calls. He arranged for some men of

Sonny's regime living in the city to go up to Carlo Rizzi's apartment and get Carlo out of

there. Other men would stay with Connie until Sonny arrived. He was taking a chance

(рисковал), thwarting (thwart – банка на гребной шлюпке; поперечный; to thwart –

перечить; /по/мешать исполнению, /здесь/ раздражая, действуя ему «против

шерсти») Sonny, but he knew the Don would back him up. He was afraid that Sonny

might kill Carlo in front of witnesses. He did not expect trouble from the enemy. The

Five Families had been quiet too long and obviously were looking for peace of some


By the time Sonny roared out of the mall in his Buick, he had already regained, partly,

his senses. He noted the two bodyguards getting into a car to follow him and approved.

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He expected no danger, the Five Families had quit counterattacking, were not really

fighting anymore.

He had grabbed his jacket in the foyer and there was a gun in a secret dashboard

(щиток, приборная доска) compartment (отделение) of the car, the car registered in


the name of a member of his regime, so that he personally could not get into any legal

trouble. But he did not anticipate needing any weapon. He did not even know what he

was going to do with Carlo Rizzi.

Now that he had a chance to think, Sonny knew he could not kill the father of an

unborn child, and that father his sister's husband. Not over a domestic spat (небольшая

ссора; легкий удар, шлепок; to spat – похлопать, пошлепать; побраниться; слегка

поссориться). Except that it was not just a domestic spat. Carlo was a bad guy and

Sonny felt responsible that his sister had met the bastard through him.

The paradox in Sonny's violent nature was that he could not hit a woman and had

never done so. That he could not harm a child or anything helpless. When Carlo had

refused to fight back against him that day, it had kept Sonny from killing him; complete

submission disarmed his violence. As a boy, he had been truly tenderhearted. That he

had become a murderer as a man was simply his destiny.

But he would settle this thing once and for all, Sonny thought, as he headed the Buick

toward the causeway (мостовая, мощеная дорожка, тротуар; дамба, гать) that would

take him over the water from Long Beach to the parkways on the other side of Jones

Beach. He always used this route when he went to New York. There was less traffic.

He decided he would send Connie home with the bodyguards and then he would have

a session with his brother-in-law. What would happen after that he didn't know. If the

bastard had really hurt Connie, he'd make a cripple out of the bastard. But the wind

coming over the causeway, the salty freshness of the air, cooled his anger. He put the

window down all the way.

He had taken the Jones Beach Causeway, as always, because it was usually

deserted this time of night, at this time of year, and he could speed recklessly until he hit

the parkways on the other side. And even there traffic would be light. The release of

driving very fast would help dissipate what he knew was a dangerous tension. He had

already left his bodyguards' car far behind.

The causeway was badly lit, there was not a single car. Far ahead he saw the white

cone of the manned tollbooth (будка для сбора дорожной пошлины: toll).

There were other tollbooths beside it but they were staffed only during the day, for

heavier traffic. Sonny started braking the Buick and at the same time searched his

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pockets for change. He had none. He reached for his wallet, flipped it open with one


hand and fingered out a bill. He came within the arcade of light and he saw to his mild

surprise a car in the tollbooth slot (щелка, щель, прорезь; /здесь/ узкий проезд возле

будки) blocking it, the driver obviously asking some sort of directions from the toll taker.

Sonny honked (to honk – кричать /о диких гусях/; сигналить /авто/) his horn and the

other car obediently rolled through to let his car slide into the slot.

Sonny handed the toll taker the dollar bill and waited for his change. He was in a hurry

now to close the window. The Atlantic Ocean air had chilled the whole car. But the toll

taker was fumbling with his change; the dumb son of a bitch actually dropped it. Head

and body disappeared as the toll man stooped down in his booth to pick up the money.

At that moment Sonny noticed that the other car had not kept going but had parked a

few feet ahead, still blocking his way. At that same moment his lateral vision caught

sight of another man in the darkened tollbooth to his right. But he did not have time to

think about that because two men came out of the car parked in front and walked

toward him. The toll collector still had not appeared. And then in the fraction of a second

before anything actually happened, Santino Corleone knew he was a dead man. And in

that moment his mind was lucid, drained of all violence, as if the hidden fear finally real

and present had purified him.

Even so, his huge body in a reflex for life crashed against the Buick door, bursting its

lock. The man in the darkened tollbooth opened fire and the shots caught Sonny

Corleone in the head and neck as his massive frame spilled out of the car. The two men

in front held up their guns now, the man in the darkened tollbooth cut his fire, and

Sonny's body sprawled on the asphalt with the legs still partly inside. The two men each

fired shots into Sonny's body, then kicked him in the face to disfigure his features even

more, to show a mark made by a more personal human power.

Seconds afterward, all four men, the three actual assassins (assassin [∂'sжsın] –

/наемный, нападающий из-за угла/ убийца) and the bogus (поддельный, фиктивный)

toll collector, were in their car and speeding toward the Meadowbrook Parkway on the

other side of Jones Beach. Their pursuit was blocked by Sonny's car and body in the

tollgate slot but when Sonny's bodyguards pulled up a few minutes later and saw his

body lying there, they had no intention to pursue. They swung their car around in a huge

arc and returned to Long Beach. At the first public phone off the causeway one of them

hopped out and called Tom Hagen. He was very curt and very brisk. "Sonny's dead,

they got him at the Jones Beach toll."

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Hagen's voice was perfectly calm. "OK," he said. "Go to Clemenza's house and tell

him to come here right away. He'll tell you what to do."

Hagen had taken the call in the kitchen, with Mama Corleone bustling around


preparing a snack for the arrival of her daughter. He had kept his composure and the

old woman had not noticed anything amiss. Not that she could not have, if she wanted

to, but in her life with the Don she had learned it was far wiser not to perceive. That if it

was necessary to know something painful, it would be told to her soon enough. And if it

was a pain that could be spared her, she could do without. She was quite content not to

share the pain of her men, after all did they share the pain of women? Impassively she

boiled her coffee and set the table with food. In her experience pain and fear did not dull

physical hunger; in her experience the taking of food dulled pain. She would have been

outraged if a doctor had tried to sedate her with a drug, but coffee and a crust of bread

were another matter; she came, of course, from a more primitive culture.

And so she let Tom Hagen escape to his corner conference room and once in that

room, Hagen began to tremble so violently he had to sit down with his legs squeezed

together, his head hunched into his contracted shoulders, hands clasped together

between his knees as if he were praying to the devil.

He was, he knew now, no fit Consigliori for a Family at war. He had been fooled,

faked out, by the Five Families and their seeming timidity. They had remained quiet,

laying their terrible ambush (засада ['жmbu∫]). They had planned and waited, holding

their bloody hands no matter what provocation they had been given. They had waited to

land one terrible blow. And they had. Old Genco Abbandando would never have fallen

for it, he would have smelled a rat, he would have smoked them out, tripled his

precautions. And through all this Hagen felt his grief. Sonny had been his true brother,

his savior; his hero when they had been boys together. Sonny had never been mean or

bullying (to bully – задирать; запугивать) with him, had always treated him with

affection, had taken him in his arms when Sollozzo had turned him loose. Sonny's joy at

that reunion had been real. That he had grown up to be a cruel and violent and bloody

man was, for Hagen, not relevant (уместный, относящийся к делу ['relıv∂nt]).

He had walked out of the kitchen because he knew he could never tell Mama

Corleone about her son's death. He had never thought of her as his mother as he

thought of the Don as his father and Sonny as his brother. His affection for her was like

his affection for Freddie and Michael and Connie. The affection for someone who has

been kind but not loving. But he could not tell her. In a few short months she had lost all

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her sons; Freddie exiled to Nevada, Michael hiding for his life in Sicily, and now Santino

dead. Which of the three had she loved most of all? She had never shown.

It was no more than a few minutes, Hagen got control of himself again and picked up

the phone. He called Connie's number. It rang for a long time before Connie answered

in a whisper.

Hagen spoke to her gently. "Connie, this is Tom. Wake your husband up, I have to

talk to him."

Connie said in a low frightened voice, "Tom, is Sonny coming here?"

"No," Hagen said. "Sonny's not coming there. Don't worry about that. Just wake Carlo

up and tell him it's very important I speak to him."

Connie's voice was weepy. "Tom, he beat me up, I'm afraid he'll hurt me again if he

knows I called home."

Hagen said gently, "He won't. He'll talk to me and I'll straighten him out. Everything

will be OK. Tell him it's very important, very, very important he come to the phone. OK?"

It was almost five minutes before Carlo's voice came over the phone, a voice half

slurred by whiskey and sleep. Hagen spoke sharply to make him alert.

"Listen, Carlo," he said, "I'm going to tell you something very shocking. Now prepare

yourself because when I tell it to you I want you to answer me very casually as if it's less

than it is. I told Connie it was important so you have to give her a story. Tell her the

Family has decided to move you both to one of the houses in the mall and to give you a

big job. That the Don has finally decided to give you a chance in the hope of making

your home life better. You got that?"

There was a hopeful note in Carlo's voice as he answered, "Yeah, OK."

Hagen went on, "In a few minutes a couple of my men are going to knock on your

door to take you away with them. Tell them I want them to call me first. Just tell them

that. Don't say anything else. I'll instruct them to leave you there with Connie. OK?"

"Yeah, yeah, I got it," Carlo said. His voice was excited. The tension in Hagen's voice

seemed to have finally alerted him that the news coming up was going to be really

important. Hagen gave it to him straight. "They killed Sonny tonight. Don't say anything.

Connie called him while you were asleep and he was on his way over there, but I don't

want her to know that, even if she guesses it, I don't want her to know it for sure. She'll

start thinking it's all her fault. Now I want you to stay with her tonight and not tell her

anything. I want you to make up with her. I want you to be the perfect loving husband.

And I want you to stay that way until she has her baby at least. Tomorrow morning

somebody, maybe you, maybe the Don, maybe her mother, will tell Connie that her

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brother got killed. And I want you by her side. Do me this favor and I'll take care of you

in the times to come. You got that?"

Carlo's voice was a little shaky. "Sure, Tom, sure. Listen, me and you always got

along. I'm grateful. Understand?"

"Yeah," Hagen said. "Nobody will blame your fight with Connie for causing this, don't

worry about that. I'll take care of that." He paused and softly, encouragingly, "Go ahead

now, take care of Connie." He broke the connection.

He had learned never to make a threat, the Don had taught him that, but Carlo had

gotten the message all right: he was a hair away from death.

Hagen made another call to Tessio, telling him to come to the mall in Long Beach

immediately. He didn't say why and Tessio did not ask. Hagen sighed. Now would come

the part he dreaded.

He would have to waken the Don from his drugged slumber. He would have to tell the

man he most loved in the world that he had failed him, that he had failed to guard his

domain and the life of his eldest son. He would have to tell the Don everything was lost

unless the sick man himself could enter the battle. For Hagen did not delude himself.

Only the great Don himself could snatch even a stalemate from this terrible defeat.

Hagen didn't even bother checking with Don Corleone's doctors, it would be to no

purpose. No matter what the doctors ordered, even if they told him that the Don could

not rise from his sickbed on pain of death, he must tell his adopted father and then

follow him. And of course there was no question about what the Don would do. The

opinions of medical men were irrelevant now, everything was irrelevant now. The Don

must be told and he must either take command or order Hagen to surrender the

Corleone power to the Five Families.

And yet with all his heart, Hagen dreaded the next hour. He tried to prepare his own

manner. He would have to be in all ways strict with his own guilt. To reproach himself

would only add to the Don's burden. To show his own grief would only sharpen the grief

of the Don. To point out his own shortcomings (недостатки, дефекты, то, в чем «не

дотягивает») as a wartime Consigliori, would only make the Don reproach himself for

his own bad judgment for picking such a man for such an important post.

He must, Hagen knew, tell the news, present his analysis of what must be done to

rectify (исправить, выпрямить) the situation and then keep silent. His reactions

thereafter must be the reactions invited by his Don. If the Don wanted him to show guilt,

he would show guilt; if the Don invited grief, he would lay bare his genuine sorrow.

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Hagen lifted his head at the sound of motors, cars rolling up onto the mall. The

caporegimes were arriving. He would brief them first and then he would go up and


wake Don Corleone. He got up and went to the liquor cabinet by the desk and took out

a glass and bottle. He stood there for a moment so unnerved he could not pour the

liquid from bottle to glass. Behind him, he heard the door to the room close softly and,

turning, he saw, fully dressed for the first time since he had been shot, Don Corleone.

The Don walked across the room to his huge leather armchair and sat down. He

walked a little stiffly, his clothes hung a little loosely on his frame but to Hagen's eyes he

looked the same as always. It was almost as if by his will alone the Don had discarded

all external evidence of his still weakened frame. His face was sternly set with all its old

force and strength. He sat straight in the armchair and he said to Hagen, "Give me a

drop of anisette."

Hagen switched bottles and poured them both a portion of the fiery, licorice-tasting

alcohol. It was peasant, homemade stuff, much stronger than that sold in stores, the gift

of an old friend who every year presented the Don with a small truckload.

"My wife was weeping before she fell asleep," Don Corleone said. "Outside my

window I saw my caporegimes coming to the house and it is midnight. So, Consigliori of

mine, I think you should tell your Don what everyone knows."

Hagen said quietly, "I didn't tell Mama anything. I was about to come up and wake you

and tell you the news myself. In another moment I would have come to waken you."

Don Corleone said impassively, "But you needed a drink first."

"Yes," Hagen said.

"You've had your drink," the Don said. "You can tell me now." There was just the

faintest hint of reproach for Hagen's weakness.

"They shot Sonny on the causeway," Hagen said. "He's dead."

Don Corleone blinked (to blink – мигать, щуриться). For just the fraction of a second

the wall of his will disintegrated and the draining (to drain – дренировать, осушать

/почву/; истощать /силы, средства/) of his physical strength was plain on his face.

Then he recovered.

He clasped his hands in front of him on top of the desk and looked directly into

Hagen's eyes. "Tell me everything that happened," he said. He held up one of his hands.

"No, wait until Clemenza and Tessio arrive so you won't have to tell it all again."

It was only a few moments later that the two caporegimes were escorted into the room

by a bodyguard. They saw at once that the Don knew about his son's death because

the Don stood up to receive them. They embraced him as old comrades were permitted

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to do. They all had a drink of anisette which Hagen poured them before he told them the

story of that night.

Don Corleone asked only one question at the end. "Is it certain my son is dead?"

Clemenza answered. "Yes," he said. "The bodyguards were of Santino's regime but

picked by me. I questioned them when they came to my house. They saw his body in

the light of the tollhouse. He could not live with the wounds they saw. They place their

lives in forfeit for what they say."

Don Corleone accepted this final verdict without any sign of emotion except for a few

moments of silence. Then he said, "None of you are to concern yourselves with this

affair. None of you are to commit any acts of vengeance, none of you are to make any

inquiries to track down the murderers of my son without my express command. There

will be no further acts of war against the Five Families without my express and personal

wish. Our Family win cease all business operations and cease to protect any of our

business operations until after my son's funeral. Then we will meet here again and

decide what must be done. Tonight we must do what we can for Santino, we must bury

him as a Christian. I will have friends of mine arrange things with the police and all other

proper authorities. Clemenza, you will remain with me at all times as my bodyguard, you

and the men of your regime. Tessio, you will guard all other members of my Family.

Tom, I want you to call Amerigo Bonasera and tell him I will need his services at some

time during this night. To wait for me at his establishment. It may be an hour, two hours,

three hours. Do you all understand that?"

The three men nodded. Don Corleone said, "Clemenza, get some men and cars and

wait for me. I will be ready in a few minutes. Tom, you did well. In the morning I want

Constanzia with her mother. Make arrangements for her and her husband to live in the

mall. Have Sandra's friends, the women, go to her house to stay with her. My wife will

go there also when I have spoken with her. My wife will tell her the misfortune and the

women will arrange for the church to say their masses and prayers for his soul."

The Don got up from his leather armchair. The other men rose with him and

Clemenza and Tessio embraced him again. Hagen held the door open for the Don, who

paused to look at him for a moment. Then the Don put his hand on Hagen's cheek,

embraced him quickly, and said, in Italian, "You've been a good son. You comfort me."

Telling Hagen that he had acted properly in this terrible time. The Don went up to his

bedroom to speak to his wife. It was then that Hagen made the call to Amerigo

Bonasera for the undertaker to redeem (выкупить /заложенные вещи/; возместить;

искупить) the favor he owed to the Corleones.

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Book 5

Chapter 20


The death of Santino Corleone sent shock waves through the underworld of the nation.

And when it became known that Don Corleone had risen from his sick bed to take

charge of the Family affairs, when spies at the funeral reported that the Don seemed to

be fully recovered, the heads of the Five Families made frantic efforts to prepare a

defense against the bloody retaliatory (to retaliate [rı’tжlıeıt] – отплачивать, отвечать

тем же самым; применять репрессалии; retaliatory [rı’tжlı∂t∂rı] – ответный,

ответный удар; репрессивный) war that was sure to follow. Nobody made the mistake

of assuming that Don Corleone could be held cheaply because of his past misfortunes.

He was a man who had made only a few mistakes in his career and had learned from

every one of them.

Only Hagen guessed the Don's real intentions and was not surprised when emissaries

were sent to the Five Families to propose a peace. Not only to propose a peace but a

meeting of all the Families in the city and with invitations to Families all over the United

States to attend. Since the New York Families were the most powerful in the country, it

was understood that their welfare affected the welfare of the country as a whole.

At first there were suspicions. Was Don Corleone preparing a trap (западня)? Was he

trying to throw his enemies off their guard? Was he attempting to prepare a wholesale

massacre to avenge his son? But Don Corleone soon made it clear that he was sincere.

Not only did he involve all the Families in the country in this meeting, but made no move

to put his own people on a war footing (привести в боевую готовность) or to enlist

allies. And then he took the final irrevocable (неотменяемый, окончательный,

безвозвратный [ı'rev∂k∂bl]) step that established the authenticity of these intentions

and assured the safety of the grand council to be assembled. He called on the services

of the Bocchicchio Family.

The Bocchicchio Family was unique in that, once a particularly ferocious branch of the

Mafia in Sicily, it had become an instrument of peace in America. Once a group of men

who earned their living by a savage determination, they now earned their living in what

perhaps could be called a saintly fashion. The Bocchicchios' one asset (имущество

/часто об одном предмете/; ценное качество /разг./) was a closely knit structure of

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blood relationships, a family loyalty severe even for a society where family loyalty came

before loyalty to a wife.

The Bocchicchio Family, extending out to third cousins, had once numbered nearly

two hundred when they ruled the particular economy of a small section of southern

Sicily. The income for the entire family then came from four or five flour mills, by no

means owned communally, but assuring labor and bread and a minimal security for all

Family members. This was enough, with intermarriages, for them to present a common

front against their enemies.

No competing mill, no dam that would create a water supply to their competitors or

ruin their own selling of water, was allowed to be built in their corner of Sicily. A powerful

landowning baron once tried to erect his own mill strictly for his personal use. The mill

was burned down. He called on the carabineri (полицейские /итал./) and higher

authorities, who arrested three of the Bocchicchio Family. Even before the trial the

manor house of the baron was torched (подожжен; torch – факел). The indictment

(обвинительный акт [ın'daıtm∂nt]) and accusations were withdrawn. A few months later

one of the highest functionaries in the Italian government arrived in Sicily and tried to

solve the chronic water shortage of that island by proposing a huge dam. Engineers

arrived from Rome to do surveys while watched by grim natives, members of the

Bocchicchio clan. Police flooded the area, housed in a specially built barracks.

It looked like nothing could stop the dam from being built and supplies and equipment

had actually been unloaded in Palermo. That was as far as they got. The Bocchicchios

had contacted fellow Mafia chiefs and extracted agreements for their aid. The heavy

equipment was sabotaged, the lighter equipment stolen. Mafia deputies in the Italian

Parliament launched a bureaucratic counterattack against the planners. This went on for

several years and in that time Mussolini came to power. The dictator decreed that the

dam must be built. It was not. The dictator had known that the Mafia would be a threat

to his regime, forming what amounted to a separate authority from his own. He gave full

powers to a high police official, who promptly solved the problem by throwing everybody

into jail or deporting them to penal work islands. In a few short years he had broken the

power of the Mafia, simply by arbitrarily arresting anyone even suspected of being a

mafioso. And so also brought ruin to a great many innocent families.

The Bocchicchios had been rash enough to resort to force against this unlimited

power. Half of the men were killed in armed combat, the other half deported to penal

island colonies. There were only a handful left when arrangements were made for them

to emigrate to America via the clandestine underground route of jumping ship through

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Canada. There were almost twenty immigrants and they settled in a small town not far

from New York City, in the Hudson Valley, where by starting at the very bottom they

worked their way up to owning a garbage hauling firm (фирма по вывозу мусора; to

haul – тянуть, тащить, волочить; перевозить) and their own trucks. They became

prosperous because they had no competition. They had no competition because

competitors found their trucks burned and sabotaged. One persistent fellow who

undercut prices was found buried in the garbage he had picked up during the day,

smothered (to smother [‘smΛр∂] – душить; задохнуться) to death.

But as the men married, to Sicilian girls, needless to say, children came, and the

garbage business though providing a living, was not really enough to pay for the finer

things America had to offer. And so, as a diversification (ответвление; боковая линия;

/здесь/ дополнительное занятие), the Bocchicchio Family became negotiators and

hostages in the peace efforts of warring Mafia families.

A strain of stupidity ran through the Bocchicchio clan, or perhaps they were just

primitive. In any case they recognized their limitations and knew they could not compete

with other Mafia families in the struggle to organize and control more sophisticated

business structures like prostitution, gambling, dope and public fraud (обман,

мошенничество /здесь – государства/ [fro:d]). They were straight-from-the-shoulder

(сплеча, прямо, без обиняков) people who could offer a gift to an ordinary patrolman

but did not know how to approach a political bagman. They had only two assets. Their

honor and their ferocity.

A Bocchicchio never lied, never committed an act of treachery. Such behavior was too

complicated. Also, a Bocchicchio never forgot an injury and never left it unavenged no

matter what the cost. And so by accident they stumbled into what would prove to be

their most lucrative profession.

When warring families wanted to make peace and arrange a parley, the Bocchicchio

clan was contacted. The head of the clan would handle the initial negotiations and

arrange for the necessary hostages. For instance, when Michael had gone to meet

Sollozzo, a Bocchicchio had been left with the Corleone Family as surety for Michael's

safety, the service paid for by Sollozzo. If Michael were killed by Sollozzo, then the

Bocchicchio male hostage held by the Corleone Family would be killed by the

Corleones. In this case the Bocchicchios would take their vengeance on Sollozzo as the

cause of their clansman's death. Since the Bocchicchios were so primitive, they never

let anything, any kind of punishment, stand in their way of vengeance. They would give

up their own lives and there was no protection against them if they were betrayed. A

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Bocchicchio hostage (заложник; залог ['hostıdG]) was gilt-edged (с золотым обрезом;

первоклассный; gilt – позолота) insurance (гарантия, страхование).

And so now when Don Corleone employed the Bocchicchios as negotiators and

arranged for them to supply hostages for all the Families to come to the peace meeting,

there could be no question as to his sincerity. There could be no question of treachery.

The meeting would be safe as a wedding.

Hostages given, the meeting took place in the director's conference room of a small

commercial bank whose president was indebted to Don Corleone and indeed some of

whose stock belonged to Don Corleone though it was in the president's name. The

president always treasured that moment when he had offered to give Don Corleone a

written document proving his ownership of the shares, to preclude (предотвратить) any

treachery. Don Corleone had been horrified. "I would trust you with my whole fortune,"

he told the president. "I would trust you with my life and the welfare (благосостояние)

of my children. It is inconceivable (немыслимо, непредставимо) to me that you would

ever trick me or otherwise betray me. My whole world, all my faith in my judgment of

human character would collapse. Of course I have my own written records so that if

something should happen to me my heirs would know that you hold something in trust

for them. But I know that even if I were not here in this world to guard the interests of my

children, you would be faithful to their needs."

The president of the bank, though not Sicilian, was a man of tender sensibilities. He

understood the Don perfectly. Now the Godfather's request was the president's

command and so on a Saturday afternoon, the executive suite of the bank, the

conference room with its deep leather chairs, its absolute privacy, was made available

to the Families.

Security at the bank was taken over by a small army of handpicked (выбранный,

подобранный; отборный) men wearing bank guard uniforms. At ten o'clock on a

Saturday morning the conference room began to fill up. Besides the Five Families of

New York, there were representatives from ten other Families across the country, with

the exception of Chicago, that black sheep of their world. They had given up trying to

civilize Chicago, and they saw no point in including those mad dogs in this important


A bar had been set up and a small buffet. Each representative to the conference had

been allowed one aide (помощник, адъютант [eıd]). Most of the Dons had brought their

Consiglioris as aides so there were comparatively few young men in the room. Tom

Hagen was one of those young men and the only one who was not Sicilian. He was an

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object of curiosity, a freak (каприз, причуда; уродец; человек или явление,

выходящее за рамки обычного).


Hagen knew his manners. He did not speak, he did not smile. He waited on his boss,

Don Corleone, with all the respect of a favorite earl (граф /английский/ [∂:l]) waiting on

his king; bringing him a cold drink, lighting his cigar, positioning his ashtray; with respect

but no obsequiousness (подобострастие; obsequious [∂b’si:kwı∂s] –


Hagen was the only one in that room who knew the identity of the portraits hanging on

the dark paneled walls. They were mostly portraits of fabulous financial figures done in

rich oils. One was of Secretary of the Treasury Hamilton. Hagen could not help thinking

that Hamilton might have approved of this peace meeting being held in a banking

institution. Nothing was more calming, more conducive to pure reason, than the

atmosphere of money.

The arrival time had been staggered (to stagger – шататься, колебаться;

регулировать часы работы) for between nine-thirty to ten A.M. Don Corleone, in a

sense the host since he had initiated the peace talks, had been the first to arrive; one of

his many virtues was punctuality. The next to arrive was Carlo Tramonti, who had made

the southern part of the United States his territory. He was an impressively handsome

middle-aged man, tall for a Sicilian, with a very deep sunburn, exquisitely tailored and

barbered. He did not look Italian, he looked more like one of those pictures in the

magazines of millionaire fishermen lolling (to loll – сидеть развалясь; стоять

/облокотясь/ в ленивой позе) on their yachts. The Tramonti Family earned its

livelihood from gambling, and no one meeting their Don would ever guess with what

ferocity he had won his empire.

Emigrating from Sicily as a small boy, he had settled in Florida and grown to manhood

there, employed by the American syndicate of Southern small-town politicians who

controlled gambling. These were very tough men backed up by very tough police

officials and they never suspected that they could be overthrown by such a greenhorn

(новичок, неопытный человек) immigrant. They were unprepared for his ferocity and

could not match it simply because the rewards being fought over were not, to their

minds, worth so much bloodshed. Tramonti won over the police with bigger shares of

the gross (общая масса [gr∂us]); he exterminated those redneck (неотесанный

человек, деревенщина) hooligans who ran their operation with such a complete lack of

imagination. It was Tramonti who opened ties with Cuba and the Batista regime and

eventually poured money into the pleasure resorts of Havana gambling houses,

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whorehouses, to lure (завлекать, заманивать [lu∂]) gamblers from the American


mainland. Tramonti was now a millionaire many times over and owned one of the most

luxurious hotels in Miami Beach.

When he came into the conference room followed by his aide, an equally sunburned

Consigliori, Tramonti embraced Don Corleone, made a face of sympathy to show he

sorrowed for the dead son.

Other Dons were arriving. They all knew each other, they had met over the years,

either socially or when in the pursuit of their businesses. They had always showed each

other professional courtesies and in their younger, leaner (lean – тощий, худой) days

had done each other little services. The second Don to arrive was Joseph Zaluchi from

Detroit. The Zaluchi Family, under appropriate disguises and covers, owned one of the

horse-racing tracks in the Detroit area. They also owned a good part of the gambling.

Zaluchi was a moon-faced, amiable-looking man who lived in a one-hundred-thousand-

dollar house in the fashionable Grosse Point section of Detroit. One of his sons had

married into an old, well-known American family. Zaluchi, like Don Corleone, was

sophisticated (скушенный, изощренный, сложный, непростой). Detroit had the lowest

incidence of physical violence of any of the cities controlled by the Families; there had

been only two executions in the last three years in that city. He disapproved of traffic in


Zaluchi had brought his Consigliori with him and both men came to Don Corleone to

embrace him. Zaluchi had a booming American voice with only the slightest trace of an

accent. He was conservatively dressed, very businessman, and with a hearty goodwill

to match. He said to Don Corleone, "Only your voice could have brought me here." Don

Corleone bowed his head in thanks. He could count on Zaluchi for support.

The next two Dons to arrive were from the West Coast, motoring from there in the

same car since they worked together closely in any case. They were Frank Falcone and

Anthony Molinari and both were younger than any of the other men who would come to

the meeting; in their early forties. They were dressed a little more informally than the

others, there was a touch of Hollywood in their style and they were a little more friendly

than necessary. Frank Falcone controlled the movie unions and the gambling at the

studios plus a complex of pipeline (трубопровод, нефтепровод) prostitution that

supplied girls to the whorehouses of the states in the Far West. It was not in the realm

of possibility for any Don to become "show biz" but Falcone had just a touch. His fellow

Dons distrusted him accordingly.

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Anthony Molinari controlled the waterfronts of San Francisco and was preeminent


(выдающийся, превосходящий других) in the empire of sports gambling. He came of

Italian fishermen stock and owned the best San Francisco sea food restaurant, in which

he took such pride that the legend had it he lost money on the enterprise by giving too

good value for the prices charged. He had the impassive face of the professional

gambler and it was known that he also had something to do with dope smuggling over

the Mexican border and from the ships plying (to ply – курсировать, совершать рейс /о

корабле/) the lanes (lane – узкая дорога, тропинка /особ. между живыми

изгородями/; морской путь) of the oriental oceans. Their aides were young, powerfully

built men, obviously not counselors but bodyguards, though they would not dare to carry

arms to this meeting. It was general knowledge that these bodyguards knew karate, a

fact that amused the other Dons but did not alarm them in the slightest, no more than if

the California Dons had come wearing amulets blessed by the Pope. Though it must be

noted that some of these men were religious and believed in God.

Next arrived the representative from the Family in Boston. This was the only Don who

did not have the respect of his fellows. He was known as a man who did not do right by

his "people," who cheated them unmercifully. This could be forgiven, each man

measures his own greed. What could not be forgiven was that he could not keep order

in his empire. The Boston area had too many murders, too many petty wars for power,

too many unsupported free-lance activities; it flouted (to flout – попирать, глумиться)

the law too brazenly. If the Chicago Mafia were savages, then the Boston people were

gavones, or uncouth (неуклюжий, грубоватый, неотесанный [Λn'ku:θ]) louts (lout –

неуклюжий, неотесанный человек, деревенщина); ruffians. The Boston Don's name

was Domenick Panza. He was short, squat; as one Don put it, he looked like a thief.

The Cleveland syndicate, perhaps the most powerful of the strictly gambling

operations in the United States, was represented by a sensitive-looking elderly man with

gaunt (сухопарый; длинный, вытянутый в длину; мрачный) features and snow-white

hair. He was known, of course not to his face, as "the Jew" because he had surrounded

himself with Jewish assistants rather than Sicilians. It was even rumored that he would

have named a Jew as his Consigliori if he had dared. In any case, as Don Corleone's

Family was known as the Irish Gang because of Hagen's membership, so Don Vincent

Forlenza's Family was known as the Jewish Family with somewhat more accuracy. But

he ran an extremely efficient organization and he was not known ever to have fainted at

the sight of blood, despite his sensitive features. He ruled with an iron hand in a velvet

political glove.

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The representatives of the Five Families of New York were the last to arrive and Tom

Hagen was struck by how much more imposing, impressive, these five men were than

the out-of-towners, the hicks. For one thing, the five New York Dons were in the old

Sicilian tradition, they were "men with a belly" meaning, figuratively, power and courage;

and literally, physical flesh, as if the two went together, as indeed they seem to have

done in Sicily. The five New York Dons were stout, corpulent men with massive leonine

heads, features on a large scale, fleshy imperial noses, thick mouths, heavy folded

cheeks. They were not too well tailored or barbered; they had the look of no-nonsense

busy men without vanity.

There was Anthony Stracci, who controlled the New Jersey area and the shipping on

the West Side docks of Manhattan. He ran the gambling in Jersey and was very strong

with the Democratic political machine. He had a fleet of freight hauling trucks that made

him a fortune primarily because his trucks could travel with a heavy overload and not be

stopped and fined by highway weight inspecton. These trucks helped ruin the highways

and then his road-building firm, with lucrative state contracts, repaired the damage

wrought. It was the kind of operation that would warm any man's heart, business of itself

creating more business. Stracci, too, was old-fashioned and never dealt in prostitution,

but because his business was on the waterfront it was impossible for him not to be

involved in the drug-smuggling traffic. Of the five New York Families opposing the

Corleones his was the least powerful but the most well disposed.

The Family that controlled upper New York State, that arranged smuggling of Italian

immigrants from Canada, all upstate (северная часть штата) gambling and exercised

veto power on state licensing of racing tracks, was headed by Ottilio Cuneo. This was a

completely disarming man with the face of a jolly round peasant baker, whose legitimate

activity was one of the big milk companies. Cuneo was one of those men who loved

children and carried a pocket full of sweets in the hopes of being able to pleasure one of

his many grandchildren or the small offspring (отпрыск) of his associates. He wore a

round fedora with the brim turned down all the way round like a woman's sun hat, which

broadened his already moon-shaped face into the very mask of joviality. He was one of

the few Dons who had never been arrested and whose true activities had never even

been suspected. So much so that he had served on civic committees and had been

voted as "Businessman of the Year for the State of New York" by the Chamber of


The closest ally to the Tattaglia Family was Don Emilio Barzini. He had some of the

gambling in Brooklyn and some in Queens. He had some prostitution. He had strong-

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arm. He completely controlled Staten Island. He had some of the sports betting in the

Bronx and Westchester. He was in narcotics. He had close ties to Cleveland and the

West Coast and he was one of the few men shrewd enough to be interested in Las

Vegas and Reno, the open cities of Nevada. He also had interests in Miami Beach and

Cuba. After the Corleone Family, his was perhaps the strongest in New York and

therefore in the country. His influence reached even to Sicily. His hand was in every

unlawful pie. He was even rumored (о нем даже ходили слухи; rumor [‘ru:m∂] – слух,

молва) to have a toehold (точка опоры /напр. для ноги, когда взбираешься на гору/,

зацепка; toe – палец ноги) in Wall Street. He had supported the Tattaglia Family with

money and influence since the start of the war. It was his ambition to supplant

(вытеснить, занять чье-то место [s∂’plα:nt]) Don Corleone as the most powerful and

respected Mafia leader in the country and to take over part of the Corleone empire. He

was a man much like Don Corleone, but more modern, more sophisticated, more

businesslike. He could never be called an old Moustache Pete and he had the

confidence of the newer, younger, brasher (brashy – щетинистый, шероховатый)

leaders on their way up. He was a man of great personal force in a cold way, with none

of Don Corleone's warmth and he was perhaps at this moment the most "respected"

man in the group.

The last to arrive was Don Phillip Tattaglia, the head of the TattagIia Family that had

directly challenged the Corleone power by supporting Sollozzo, and had so nearly

succeeded. And yet curiously enough he was held in a slight contempt by the others.

For one thing, it was known that he had allowed himself to be dominated by Sollozzo,

had in fact been led by the nose by that fine Turkish hand. He was held responsible for

all this commotion (волнение /моря/; смятение; суматоха, суета), this uproar that had

so affected the conduct of everyday business by the New York Families. Also he was a

sixty-year-old dandy (щеголь, франт) and woman-chaser. And he had ample

(обширный, достаточный) opportunity to indulge his weakness.

For the Tattaglia Family dealt in women. Its main business was prostitution. It also

controlled most of the nightclubs in the United States and could place any talent

anywhere in the country. Phillip Tattaglia was not above using strong-arm to get control

of promising singers and comics and muscling in on record firms. But prostitution was

the main source of the Family income.

His personality was unpleasant to these men. He was a whiner (to whine – скулить,

хныкать, плакаться), always complaining of the costs in his Family business. Laundry

bills, all those towels, ate up the profits (but he owned the laundry firm that did the work).

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The girls were lazy and unstable, running off, committing suicide. The pimps were


treacherous and dishonest and without a shred (лоскуток, клочок) of loyalty. Good help

was hard to find. Young lads of Sicilian blood turned up their noses at such work,

considered it beneath their honor to traffic and abuse women; those rascals who would

slit a throat with a song on their lips and the cross of an Easter palm in the lapel of their

jackets. So Phillip Tattaglia would rant (говорить напыщенно, декламировать,

проповедовать) on to audiences unsympathetic and contemptuous. His biggest howl

(вой, завывание) was reserved for authorities who had it in their power to issue and

cancel liquor licenses for his nightclubs and cabarets. He swore he had made more

millionaires than Wall Street with the money he had paid those thieving guardians of

official seals.

In a curious way his almost victorious war against the Corleone Family had not won

him the respect it deserved. They knew his strength had come first from Sollozzo and

then from the Barzini Family. Also the fact that with the advantage of surprise he had

not won complete victory was evidence against him. If he had been more efficient, all

this trouble could have been avoided. The death of Don Corleone would have meant the

end of the war. It was proper, since they had both lost sons in their war against each

other, that Don Corleone and Phillip Tattaglia should acknowledge each other's

presence only with a formal nod. Don Corleone was the object of attention, the other

men studying him to see what mark of weakness had been left on him by his wounds

and defeats. The puzzling factor was why Don Corleone had sued for peace after the

death of his favorite son. It was an acknowledgment of defeat and would almost surely

lead to a lessening of his power. But they would soon know.

There were greetings, there were drinks to be served and almost another half hour

went by before Don Corleone took his seat at the polished walnut table. Unobtrusively

(unobtrusive [Λn∂b’tru:sıv] – ненавязчивый, скромный), Hagen sat in the chair slightly

to the Don's left and behind him. This was the signal for the other Dons to make their

way to the table. Their aides sat behind them, the Consiglioris up close so that they

could offer any advice when needed.

Don Corleone was the first to speak and he spoke as if nothing had happened. As if

he had not been grievously wounded and his eldest son slain (to slay-slew-slain –

убивать /книжн./), his empire in a shambles (в развалинах, руинах), his personal

family scattered, Freddie in the West and under the protection of the Molinari Family

and Michael secreted in the wastelands (пустынные, невозделанные земли) of Sicily.

He spoke naturally, in Sicilian dialect.

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"I want to thank you all for coming," he said. "I consider it a service done to me

personally and I am in the debt of each and every one of you. And so I will say at the

beginning that. I am here not to quarrel or convince, but only to reason and as a


reasonable man do everything possible for us all to part friends here too. I give my word

on that, and some of you who know me well know I do not give my word lightly. Ah, well,

let's get down to business. We are all honorable men here, we don't have to give each

other assurances as if we were lawyers."

He paused. None of the others spoke. Some were smoking cigars, others sipping their

drinks. All of these men were good listeners, patient men. They had one other thing in

common. They were those rarities, men who had refused to accept the rule of organized

society, men who refused the dominion of other men. There was no force, no mortal

man who could bend them to their will unless they wished it. They were men who

guarded their free will with wiles (wile – хитрость, уловка, обман) and murder. Their

wills could be subverted (to suvert [sΛb’v∂:t] – ниспровергнуть; разрушить) only by

death. Or the utmost reasonableness.

Don Corleone sighed. "How did things ever go so far?" he asked rhetorically. "Well, no

matter. A lot of foolishness has come to pass. It was so unfortunate, so unnecessary.

But let me tell what happened, as I see it."

He paused to see if someone would object to his telling his side of the story.

"Thank God my health has been restored and maybe I can help set this affair aright.

Perhaps my son was too rash, too headstrong, I don't say no to that. Anyway let me just

say that Sollozzo came to me with a business affair in which he asked me for my money

and my influence. He said he had the interest of the Tattaglia Family. The affair involved

drugs, in which I have no interest. I'm a quiet man and such endeavors (endeavor

[ın'dev∂] – попытка, старание, стремление) are too lively for my taste. I explained this

to Sollozzo, with all respect for him and the Tattaglia Family. I gave him my 'no' with all

courtesy. I told him his business would not interfere with mine, that I had no objection to

his earning his living in this fashion. He took it ill and brought misfortune down on all our

heads. Well, that's life. Everyone here could tell his own tale of sorrow. That's not to my


Don Corleone paused and motioned to Hagen for a cold drink, which Hagen swiftly

furnished him. Don Corleone wet his mouth. "I'm willing to make the peace," he said.

"Tattaglia has lost a son, I have lost a son. We are quits. What would the world come to

if people kept carrying grudges against all reason? That has been the cross of Sicily,

where men are so busy with vendettas they have no time to earn bread for their families.

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It's foolishness. So I say now, let things be as they were before. I have not taken any


steps to learn who betrayed and killed my son. Given peace, I will not do so. I have a

son who cannot come home and I must receive assurances that when I arrange matters

so that he can return safely that there will be no interference, no danger from the

authorities. Once that's settled maybe we can talk about other matters that interest us

and do ourselves, all of us, a profitable service today." Corleone gestured expressively,

submissively, with his hands. "That is all I want."

It was very well done. It was the Don Corleone of old. Reasonable. Pliant (гибкий,

податливый, уступчивый; to ply – сгибать, делать складку). Soft-spoken. But every

man there had noted that he had claimed good health, which meant he was a man not

to be held cheaply despite the misfortunes of the Corleone Family. It was noted that he

had said the discussion of other business was useless until the peace he asked for was

given. It was noted that he had asked for the old status quo, that he would lose nothing

despite his having got the worst of it over the past year. However, it was Emilio Barzini

who answered Don Corleone, not Tattaglia. He was curt and to the point without being

rude or insulting.

"That is all true enough," Barzini said. "But there's a little more. Don Corleone is too

modest. The fact is that Sollozzo and the Tattaglias could not go into their new business

without the assistance of Don Corleone. In fact, his disapproval injured them. That's not

his fault of course. The fact remains that judges and politicians who would accept favors

from Don Corleone, even on drugs, would not allow themselves to be influenced by

anybody else when it came to narcotics. Sollozzo couldn't operate if he didn't have

some insurance of his people being treated gently. We all know that. We would all be

poor men otherwise. And now that they have increased the penalties the judges and the

prosecuting attorneys drive a hard bargain when one of our people get in trouble with

narcotics. Even a Sicilian sentenced to twenty years might break the omerta and talk his

brains out. That can't happen. Don Corleone controls all that apparatus. His refusal to

let us use it is not the act of a friend. He takes the bread out of the mouths of our

families. Times have changed, it's not like the old days where everyone can go his own

way. If Corleone had all the judges in New York, then he must share them or let us

others use them. Certainly he can present a bill for such services, we're not communists,

after all. But he has to let us draw water from the well. It's that simple."

When Barzini had finished talking there was a silence. The lines were now drawn,

there could be no return to the old status quo. What was more important was that

Barzini by speaking out was saying that if peace was not made he would openly join the

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Tattaglia in their war against the Corleone. And he had scored a telling point. Their lives

and their fortunes depended upon their doing each other services, the denial of a favor

asked by a friend was an act of aggression. Favors were not asked lightly and so could

not be lightly refused.

Don Corleone finally spoke to answer. "My friends," he said, "I didn't refuse out of

spite (назло, со злобы, с досады). You all know me. When have I ever refused an

accommodation (согласование, соглашение, компромисс)? That's simply not in my

nature. But I had to refuse this time. Why? Because I think this drug business will

destroy us in the years to come. There is too much strong feeling about such traffic in

this country. It's not like whiskey or gambling or even women which most people want

and is forbidden them by the pezzonovante of the church and the government. But

drugs are dangerous for everyone connected with them. It could jeopardize

(подвергнуть риску) all other business. And let me say I'm flattered by the belief that I

am so powerful with the judges and law officials, I wish it were true. I do have some

influence but many of the people who respect my counsel might lose this respect if

drugs become involved in our relationship. They are afraid to be involved in such

business and they have strong feelings about it. Even policemen who help us in

gambling and other things would refuse to help us in drugs. So to ask me to perform a

service in these matters is to ask me to do a disservice to myself. But I'm willing to do

even that if all of you think it proper in order to adjust other matters."

When Don Corleone had finished speaking the room became much more relaxed with

more whisperings and cross talk. He had conceded (to concede – уступать; допускать

/возможность, правильность чего-либо/ [k∂n'si:d]) the important point. He would offer

his protection to any organized business venture in drugs. He was, in effect, agreeing

almost entirely to Sollozzo's original proposal if that proposal was endorsed (to endorse

[ın’do:s] – расписываться на обороте документа; подтверждать, одобрять) by the

national group gathered here. It was understood that he would never participate in the

operational phase, nor would he invest his money. He would merely use his protective

influence with the legal apparatus. But this was a formidable concession.

The Don of Los Angeles, Frank Falcone, spoke to answer. "There's no way of

stopping our people from going into that business. They go in on their own and they get

in trouble. There's too much money in it to resist. So it's more dangerous if we don't go

in. At least if we control it we can cover it better, organize it better, make sure it causes

less trouble. Being in it is not so bad, there has to be control, there has to be protection,

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there has to be organization, we can't have everybody running around doing just what

they please like a bunch of anarchists."

The Don of Detroit, more friendly to Corleone than any of the others, also now spoke

against his friend's position, in the interest of reasonableness. "I don't believe in drugs,"

he said. "For years I paid my people extra so they wouldn't do that kind of business. But

it didn't matter, it didn't help. Somebody comes to them and says, 'I have powders, if

you put up the three-, four-thousand-dollar investment we can make fifty thousand

distributing.' Who can resist such a profit? And they are so busy with their little side

business they neglect the work I pay them to do. There's more money in drugs. It's

getting bigger all the time. There's no way to stop it so we have to control the business

and keep it respectable. I don't want any of it near schools, I don't want any of it sold to

children. That is an infamita. In my city I would try to keep the traffic in the dark people,

the colored. They are the best customers, the least troublesome and they are animals

anyway. They have no respect for their wives or their families or for themselves. Let

them lose their souls with drugs. But something has to be done, we just can't let people

do as they please and make trouble for everyone."

This speech of the Detroit Don was received with loud murmurs of approval. He had

hit the nail on the head. You couldn't even pay people to stay out of the drug traffic. As

for his remarks about children, that was his well-known sensibility, his

tenderheartedness speaking. After all, who would sell drugs to children? Where would

children get the money? As for his remarks about the coloreds, that was not even heard.

The Negroes were considered of absolutely no account, of no force whatsoever. That

they had allowed society to grind them into the dust proved them of no account and his

mentioning them in any way proved that the Don of Detroit had a mind that always

wavered (to waver – колебаться, колыхаться, развеваться) toward irrelevancies

(irrelevance – неуместность [ı'relıv∂ns]).

All the Dons spoke. All of them deplored the traffic in drugs as a bad thing that would

cause trouble but agreed there was no way to control it. There was, simply, too much

money to be made in the business, therefore it followed that there would be men who

would dare anything to dabble (плескаться, барахтаться; заниматься чем-либо

поверхностно) in it. That was human nature.

It was finally agreed. Drug traffic would be permitted and Don Corleone must give it

some legal protection in the East. It was understood that the Barzini and Tattaglia

Families would do most of the large-scale operations. With this out of the way the

conference was able to move on to other matters of a wider interest. There were many

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complex problems to be solved. It was agreed that Las Vegas and Miami were to be

open cities where any of the Families could operate. They all recognized that these


were the cities of the future. It was also agreed that no violence would be permitted in

these cities and that petty (мелкий, незначительный) criminals of all types were to be

discouraged. It was agreed that in momentous affairs, in executions that were

necessary but might cause too much of a public outcry, the execution must be approved

by this council. It was agreed that button men and other soldiers were to be restrained

from violent crimes and acts of vengeance against each other on personal matters. It

was agreed that Families would do each other services when requested, such as

providing executioners, technical assistance in pursuing certain courses of action such

as bribing jurors (juror ['dGu∂r∂] – присяжный), which in some instances could be vital.

These discussions, informal, colloquial and on a high level, took time and were broken

by lunch and drinks from the buffet bar.

Finally Don Barzini sought to bring the meeting to an end. "That's the whole matter

then," he said. "We have the peace and let me pay my respects to Don Corleone, whom

we all have known over the years as a man of his word. If there are any more

differences we can meet again, we need not become foolish again. On my part the road

is new and fresh. I'm glad this is all settled."

Only Phillip Tattaglia was a little worried still. The murder of Santino Corleone made

him the most vulnerable person in this group if war broke out again. He spoke at length

for the first time.

"I've agreed to everything here, I'm willing to forget my own misfortune. But I would

like to hear some strict assurances from Corleone. Will he attempt any individual

vengeance? When time goes by and his position perhaps becomes stronger, will he

forget that we have sworn our friendship? How am I to know that in three or four years

he won't feel that he's been ill served, forced against his will to this agreement and so

free to break it? Will we have to guard against each other all the time? Or can we truly

go in peace with peace of mind? Would Corleone give us all his assurances as I now

give mine?"

It was then that Don Corleone gave the speech that would be long remembered, and

that reaffirmed his position as the most far-seeing statesman among them, so full of

common sense, so direct from the heart; and to the heart of the matter. In it he coined a

phrase that was to become as famous in its way as Churchill's Iron Curtain, though not

public knowledge until more than ten years later.

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For the first time he stood up to address the council. He was short and a little thin from

his "illness," perhaps his sixty years showed a bit more but there was no question that

he had regained all his former strength, and had all his wits.

"What manner of men are we then, if we do not have our reason," he said. "We are all

no better than beasts in a jungle if that were the case. But we have reason, we can

reason with each other and we can reason with ourselves. To what purpose would I

start all these troubles again, the violence and the turmoil? My son is dead and that is a

misfortune and I must bear it, not make the innocent world around me suffer with me.

And so I say, I give my honor, that I will never seek vengeance, I will never seek

knowledge of the deeds that have been done in the past. I will leave here with a pure


"Let me say that we must always look to our interests. We are all men who have

refused to be fools, who have refused to be puppets dancing on a string pulled by the

men on high. We have been fortunate here in this country. Already most of our children

have found a better life. Some of you have sons who are professors, scientists,

musicians, and you are fortunate. Perhaps your grandchildren will become the new

pezzonovanti. None of us here want to see our children follow in our footsteps, it's too

hard a life. They can be as others, their position and security won by our courage. I

have grandchildren now and I hope their children may someday, who knows, be a

governor, a President, nothing's impossible here in America. But we have to progress

with the times. The time is past for guns and killings and massacres. We have to be

cunning like the business people, there's more money in it and it's better for our children

and our grandchildren.

"As for our own deeds, we are not responsible to the .90 calibers, the pezzonovantis

who take it upon themselves to decide what we shall do with our lives, who declare

wars they wish us to fight in to protect what they own. Who is to say we should obey the

laws they make for their own interest and to our hurt? And who are they then to meddle

when we look after our own interests? Sonna cosa nostra," Don Corleone said, "these

are our own affairs. We will manage our world for ourselves because it is our world,

cosa nostra. And so we have to stick together to guard against outside meddlers.

Otherwise they will put the ring in our nose as they have put the ring in the nose of all

the millions of Neapolitans and other Italians in this country.

"For this reason I forgo my vengeance for my dead son, for the common good. I

swear now that as long as I am responsible for the actions of my Family there will not be

one finger lifted against any man here without just cause and utmost provocation. I am

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willing to sacrifice my commercial interests for the common good. This is my word, this

is my honor, there are those of you here who know I have never betrayed either.

"But I have a selfish interest. My youngest son had to flee, accused of Sollozzo's

murder and that of a police captain. I must now make arrangements so that he can

come home with safety, cleared of all those false charges. That is my affair and I will

make those arrangements. I must find the real culprits (culprit – Обвиняемый,

преступник, виновный ['kΛlprıt]) perhaps, or perhaps I must convince the authorities of

his innocence, perhaps the witnesses and informants will recant (отрекаться,

отказываться от своего мнения [rı'kжnt]) their lies. But again I say that this is my affair

and I believe I will be able to bring my son home.

"But let me say this. I am a superstitious man, a ridiculous failing but I must confess it

here. And so if some unlucky accident should befall my youngest son, if some police

officer should accidentally shoot him, if he should hang himself in his cell, if new

witnesses appear to testify to his guilt, my superstition will make me feel that it was the

result of the ill will still borne me by some people here. Let me go further. If my son is

struck by a bolt of lightning I will blame some of the people here. If his plane should fall

into the sea or his ship sink beneath the waves of the ocean, if he should catch a mortal

fever, if his automobile should be struck by a train, such is my superstition that I would

blame the ill will felt by people here. Gentlemen, that ill will, that bad luck, I could never

forgive. But aside from that let me swear by the souls of my grandchildren that I will

never break the peace we have made. After all, are we or are we not better men than

those pezzonovanti who have killed countless millions of men in our lifetimes?"

With this Don Corleone stepped from his place and went down the table to where Don

Phillip Tattaglia was sitting. Tattaglia rose to greet him and the two men embraced,

kissing each other's cheeks. The other Dons in the room applauded and rose to shake

hands with everybody in sight and to congratulate Don Corleone and Don Tattaglia on

their new friendship. It was not perhaps the warmest friendship in the world, they would

not send each other Christmas gift greetings, but they would not murder each other.

That was friendship enough in this world, all that was needed.

Since his son Freddie was under the protection of the Molinari Family in the West,

Don Corleone lingered with the San Francisco Don after the meeting to thank him.

Molinari said enough for Don Corleone to gather that Freddie had found his niche out

there, was happy and had become something of a ladies' man. He had a genius for

running a hotel, it seemed. Don Corleone shook his head in wonder, as many fathers do

when told of undreamed-of talents in their children. Wasn't it true that sometimes the

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greatest misfortunes brought unforeseen rewards? They both agreed that this was so.

Meanwhile Corleone made it clear to the San Francisco Don that he was in his debt for

the great service done in protecting Freddie. He let it be known that his influence would

be exerted so that the important racing wires (проволока, обозначающая финиш на

скачках /под которую забегают кони на финише/) would always be available to his

people no matter what changes occurred in the power structure in the years to come, an

important guarantee since the struggle over this facility was a constant open wound

complicated by the fact that the Chicago people had their heavy hand in it. But Don

Corleone was not without influence even in that land of barbarians and so his promise

was a gift of gold.

It was evening before Don Corleone, Tom Hagen and the bodyguard-chauffeur, who

happened to be Rocco Lampone, arrived at the mall in Long Beach. When they went

into the house the Don said to Hagen, "Our driver, that man Lampone, keep an eye on

him. He's a fellow worth something better I think." Hagen wondered at this remark.

Lampone had not said a word all day, had not even glanced at the two men in the back

seat. He had opened the door for the Don, the car had been in front of the bank when

they emerged, he had done everything correctly but no more than any well-trained

chauffeur might do. Evidently the Don's eye had seen something he had not seen.

The Don dismissed Hagen and told him to come back to the house after supper. But

to take his time and rest a little since they would put in a long night of discussion. He

also told Hagen to have Clemenza and Tessio present. They should come at ten P.M.,

not before. Hagen was to brief Clemenza and Tessio on what had happened at the

meeting that afternoon.

At ten the Don was waiting for the three men in his office, the corner room of the

house with its law library and special phone. There was a tray with whiskey bottles, ice

and soda water. The Don gave his instructions.

"We made the peace this afternoon." he said. "I gave my word and my honor and that

should be enough for all of you. But our friends are not so trustworthy so let's all be on

our guard still. We don't want any more nasty little surprises." Then Don turned to

Hagen. "You've let the Bocchicchio hostages go?"

Hagen nodded. "I called Clemenza as soon as I got home."

Corleone turned to the massive Clemenza. The caporegime nodded. "I released them.

Tell me, Godfather, is it possible for a Sicilian to be as dumb as the Bocchicchios

pretend to be?"

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Don Corleone smiled a little. "They are clever enough to make a good living. Why is it

so necessary to be more clever than that? It's not the Bocchicchios who cause the

troubles of this world. But it's true, they haven't got the Sicilian head."

They were all in a relaxed mood, now that the war was over. Don Corleone himself

mixed drinks and brought one to each man. The Don sipped his carefully and lit up a


"I want nothing set forth to discover what happened to Sonny, that's done with and to

be forgotten. I want all cooperation with the other Families even if they become a little

greedy and we don't get our proper share in things. I want nothing to break this peace

no matter what the provocation until we've found a way to bring Michael home. And I

want that to be first thing on your minds. Remember this, when he comes back he must

come back in absolute safety. I don't mean from the Tattaglias or the Barzinis. What I'm

concerned about are the police. Sure, we can get rid of the real evidence against him;

that waiter won't testify, nor that spectator or gunman or whatever he was. The real

evidence is the least of our worries since we know about it. What we have to worry

about is the police framing false evidence because their informers have assured them

that Michael Corleone is the man who killed their captain. Very well. We have to

demand that the Five Families do everything in their power to correct this belief of the

police. All their informers who work with the police must come up with new stories. I

think after my speech this afternoon they will understand it is to their interest to do so.

But that's not enough. We have to come up with something special so Michael won't

ever have to worry about that again. Otherwise there's no point in him coming back to

this country. So let's all think about that. That's the most important matter.

"Now, any man should be allowed one foolishness in his life. I have had mine. I want

all the land around the mall bought, the houses bought. I don't want any man able to

look out his window into my garden even if it's a mile away. I want a fence around the

mall and I want the mall to be on full protection all the time. I want a gate in that fence.

In short, I wish now to live in a fortress. Let me say to you now that I will never go into

the city to work again. I will be semiretired. I feel an urge to work in the garden, to make

a little wine when the grapes are in season. I want to live in my house. The only time I'll

leave is to go on a little vacation or to see someone on important business and then I

want all precautions taken. Now don't take this amiss. I'm not preparing anything. I'm

being prudent, I've always been a prudent man, there is nothing I find so little to my

taste as carelessness in life. Women and children can afford to be careless, men cannot.

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Be leisurely in all these things, no frantic (неистовый, безумный) preparations to alarm

our friends. It can be done in such a way as to seem natural.

"Now I'm going to leave things more and more up to each of you three. I want the

Santino regime disbanded and the men placed in your regimes. That should reassure

our friends and show that I mean peace. Tom, I want you to put together a group of men

who will go to Las Vegas and give me a full report on what is going on out there. Tell me

about Fredo, what is really happening out there, I hear I wouldn't recognize my own son.

It seems he's a cook now, that he amuses himself with young girls more than a grown

man should. Well, he was always too serious when he was young and he was never the

man for Family business. But let's find out what really can be done out there."

Hagen said quietly, "Should we send your son-in-law? After all, Carlo is a native of

Nevada, he knows his way around."

Don Corleone shook his head. "No, my wife is lonely here without any of her children.

I want Constanzia and her husband moved into one of the houses on the mall. I want

Carlo given a responsible job, maybe I've been too harsh on him, and" – Don Corleone

made a grimace – "I'm short of sons. Take him out of the gambling and put him in with

the unions where he can do some paper work and a lot of talking. He's a good talker."

There was the tiniest note of contempt in the Don's voice.

Hagen nodded. "OK, Clemenza and I will go over all the people and put together a

group to do the Vegas job. Do you want me to call Freddie home for a few days?"

The Don shook his head. He said cruelly, "What for? My wife can still cook our meals.

Let him stay out there." The three men shifted uneasily in their seats. They had not

realized Freddie was in such severe disfavor with his father and they suspected it must

be because of something they did not know.

Don Corleone sighed. "I hope to grow some good green peppers and tomatoes in the

garden this year, more than we can eat. I'll make you presents of them. I want a little

peace, a little quiet and tranquillity for my old age. Well, that's all. Have another drink if

you like."

It was a dismissal. The men rose. Hagen accompanied Clemenza and Tessio to their

cars and arranged meetings with them to thrash out (тщательно обсудить, выяснить,

проработать; to thrash – бить, пороть; /молотить = to thresh/) the operational details

that would accomplish the stated desires of their Don. Then he went back into the

house where he knew Don Corleone would be waiting for him.

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The Don had taken off his jacket and tie and was lying down on the couch. His stern

face was relaxed into lines of fatigue. He waved Hagen into a chair and said, "Well,

Consigliori, do you disapprove of any of my deeds today?"

Hagen took his time answering. "No," he said. "But I don't find it consistent

(последовательный, стойкий; совместимый, согласующийся), nor true to your nature.

You say you don't want to find out how Santino was killed or want vengeance for it. I

don't believe that. You gave your word for peace and so you'll keep the peace but I can't

believe you will give your enemies the victory they seem to have won today. You've

constructed a magnificent riddle that I can't solve, so how can I approve or disapprove?"

A look of content came over the Don's face. "Well, you know me better than anyone

else. Even though you're not a Sicilian, I made you one. Everything you say is true, but

there's a solution and you'll comprehend it before it spins out to the end. You agree

everyone has to take my word and I'll keep my word. And I want my orders obeyed

exactly. But, Tom, the most important thing is we have to get Michael home as soon as

possible. Make that first in your mind and in your work. Explore all the legal alleys, I

don't care how much money you have to spend. It has to be foolproof when he comes

home. Consult the best lawyers on criminal law. I'll give you the names of some judges

who will give you a private audience. Until that time we have to guard against all


Hagen said, "Like you, I'm not worried so much about the real evidence as the

evidence they will manufacture. Also some police friend may kill Michael after he's

arrested. They may kill him in his cell or have one of the prisoners do it. As I see it, we

can't even afford to have him arrested or accused."

Don Corleone sighed. "I know, I know. That's the difficulty. But we can't take too long.

There are troubles in Sicily. The young fellows over there don't listen to their elders

anymore and a lot of the men deported from America are just too much for the old-

fashioned Dons to handle. Michael could get caught in between. I've taken some

precautions against that and he's still got a good cover but that cover won't last forever.

That's one of the reasons I had to make the peace. Barzini has friends in Sicily and they

were beginning to sniff Michael's trail. That gives you one of the answers to your riddle.

I had to make the peace to insure my son's safety. There was nothing else to do."

Hagen didn't bother asking the Don how he had gotten this information. He was not

even surprised, and it was true that this solved part of the riddle. "When I meet with

Tattaglia's people to firm up the details, should I insist that all his drug middlemen

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(посредники) be clean? The judges will be a little skittish (норовистый или пугливый

/о лошади/; капризный) about giving light sentences to a man with a record."

Don Corleone shrugged. "They should be smart enough to figure that out themselves.

Mention it, don't insist. We'll do our best but if they use a real snowbird (дрозд-

рябинник; кокаинист) and he gets caught, we won't lift a finger. We'll just tell them

nothing can be done. But Barzini is a man who will know that without being told. You

notice how he never committed himself in this affair. One might never have known he

was in any way concerned. That is a man who doesn't get caught on the losing side."

Hagen was startled. "You mean he was behind Sollozzo and Tattaglia all the time?"

Don Corleone sighed. "Tattaglia is a pimp. He could never have outfought Santino.

That's why I don't have to know about what happened. It's enough to know that Barzini

had a hand in it."

Hagen let this sink in. The Don was giving him clues but there was something very

important left out. Hagen knew what it was but he knew it was not his place to ask. He

said good night and turned to go. The Don had a last word for him.

"Remember, use all your wits for a plan to bring Michael home," the Don said. "And

one other thing. Arrange with the telephone man so that every month I get a list of all

the telephone calls, made and received, by Clemenza and Tessio. I suspect them of

nothing. I would swear they would never betray me. But there's no harm in knowing any

little thing that may help us before the event."

Hagen nodded and went out. He wondered if the Don was keeping a check on him

also in some way and then was ashamed of his suspicion. But now he was sure that in

the subtle and complex mind of the Godfather a far-ranging plan of action was being

initiated that made the day's happenings no more than a tactical retreat. And there was

that one dark fact that no one mentioned, that he himself had not dared to ask, that Don

Corleone ignored. All pointed to a day of reckoning (to reckon – считать, подсчитывать;

сводить счеты, рассчитываться) in the future.

Chapter 21

But it was to be nearly another year before Don Corleone could arrange for his son

Michael to be smuggled back into the United States. During that time the whole Family

racked their brains (ломали голову; to rack – пытать, мучить; заставлять работать

изо всех сил, изнурять) for suitable schemes. Even Carlo Rizzi was listened to now

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that he was living in the mall with Connie. (During that time they had a second child, a

boy.) But none of the schemes met with the Don's approval.

Finally it was the Bocchicchio Family who through a misfortune of its own solved the

problem. There was one Bocchicchio, a young cousin of no more than twenty-five years

of age, named Felix, who was born in America and with more brains than anyone in the

clan had ever had before. He had refused to be drawn into the Family garbage hauling

business and married a nice American girl of English stock to further his split from the

clan. He went to school at night, to become a lawyer, and worked during the day as a

civil service post office clerk. During that time he had three children but his wife was a

prudent manager and they lived on his salary until he got his law degree.

Now Felix Bocchicchio, like many young men, thought that having struggled to

complete his education and master the tools of his profession, his virtue would

automatically be rewarded and he would earn a decent living. This proved not to be the

case. Still proud, he refused all help from his clan. But a lawyer friend of his, a young

man well connected and with a budding (подающий надежды, многообещающий)

career in a big law firm, talked Felix into doing him a little favor. It was very complicated,

seemingly legal, and had to do with a bankruptcy fraud. It was a million-to-one shot

against its being found out. Felix Bocchicchio took the chance. Since the fraud involved

using the legal skills he had learned in a university, it seemed not so reprehensible

(предосудительный; to reprehend – делать выговор, порицать), and, in an odd way,

not even criminal.

To make a foolish story short, the fraud was discovered. The lawyer friend refused to

help Felix in any manner, refused to even answer his telephone calls. The two principals

(главные виновники) in the fraud, shrewd middle-aged businessmen who furiously

blamed Felix Bocchicchio's legal clumsiness (неуклюжесть, неловкость; clumsy –

неуклюжий, неловкий) for the plan going awry (окончился неудачей; awry [∂ ‘raı] –

кривой; косо, набок), pleaded guilty (признали себя виновными) and cooperated with

the state, naming Felix Bocchicchio as the ringleader (зачинщик) of the fraud and

claiming he had used threats of violence to control their business and force them to

cooperate with him in his fraudulent schemes. Testimony was given that linked Felix

with uncles and cousins in the Bocchicchio clan who had criminal records for strong-arm,

and this evidence was damning. The two businessmen got off with suspended

sentences. Felix Bocchicchio was given a sentence of one to five years and served

three of them. The clan did not ask help from any of the Families or Don Corleone

because Felix had refused to ask their help and had to be taught a lesson: that mercy

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comes only from the Family, that the Family is more loyal and more to be trusted than


In any case, Felix Bocchicchio was released from prison after serving three years,

went home and kissed his wife and three children and lived peacefully for a year, and

then showed that he was of the Bocchicchio clan after all. Without any attempt to

conceal his guilt, he procured a weapon, a pistol, and shot his lawyer friend to death. He

then searched out the two businessmen and calmly shot them both through the head as

they came out of a luncheonette (закусочная, буфет ['lΛnt∫∂’net]). He left the bodies

lying in the street and went into the luncheonette and ordered a cup of coffee which he

drank while he waited for the police to come and arrest him.

His trial was swift and his judgment merciless. A member of the criminal underworld

had cold-bloodedly murdered state witnesses who had sent him to the prison he richly

deserved. It was a flagrant flouting (вопиющее глумление, выказывание презрения;

flagrant [‘fleıgr∂nt] – ужасающий, вопиющий; to flout – презирать, попирать,

глумиться) of society and for once the public, the press, the structure of society and

even soft-headed and soft-hearted humanitarians (гуманисты) were united in their

desire to see Felix Bocchicchio in the electric chair. The governor of the state would no

more grant him clemency (милость, помилование) than the officials of the pound

(загон /для скота/) spare a mad dog, which was the phrase of one of the governor's

closest political aides. The Bocchicchio clan of course would spend whatever money

was needed for appeals to higher courts, they were proud of him now, but the

conclusion was certain. After the legal folderol (= folderal – бессмысленная болтовня),

which might take a little time, Felix Bocchicchio would die in the electric chair.

It was Hagen who brought this case to the attention of the Don at the request of one

of the Bocchicchios who hoped that something could be done for the young man. Don

Corleone curtly refused. He was not a magician. People asked him the impossible. But

the next day the Don called Hagen into his office and had him go over the case in the

most intimate detail. When Hagen was finished, Don Corleone told him to summon the

head of the Bocchicchio clan to the mall for a meeting.

What happened next had the simplicity of genius. Don Corleone guaranteed to the

head of the Bocchicchio clan that the wife and children of Felix Bocchicchio would be

rewarded with a handsome pension. The money for this would be handed over to the

Bocchicchio clan immediately. In turn, Felix must confess to the murder of Sollozzo and

the police captain McCluskey.

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There were many details to be arranged. Felix Bocchicchio would have to confess


convincingly, that is, he would have to know some of the true details to confess to. Also

he must implicate (вовлекать, впутывать) the police captain in narcotics. Then the

waiter at the Luna Restaurant must be persuaded to identify Felix Bocchicchio as the

murderer. This would take some courage, as the description would change radically,

Felix Bocchicchio being much shorter and heavier. But Don Corleone would attend to

that. Also since the condemned man had been a great believer in higher education and

a college graduate, he would want his children to go to college. And so a sum of money

would have to be paid by Don Corleone that would take care of the children's college.

Then the Bocchicchio clan had to be reassured that there was no hope for clemency on

the original murders. The new confession of course would seal the man's already

almost certain doom (рок, судьба; осуждение, приговор).

Everything was arranged, the money paid and suitable contact made with the

condemned man so that he could be instructed and advised. Finally the plan was

sprung and the confession made headlines in all the newspapers. The whole thing was

a huge success. But Don Corleone, cautious as always, waited until Felix Bocchicchio

was actually executed four months later before finally giving the command that Michael

Corleone could return home.

Сhapter 22

Lucy Mancini, a year after Sonny's death, still missed him terribly, grieved for him

more fiercely than any lover in any romance. And her dreams were not the insipid

(безвкусный, пресный; вялый, неинтересный [ın'sıpıd]) dreams of a schoolgirl, her

longings (сильные, страстные желания, стремления; to long – страстно желать,

стремиться) not the longing of a devoted wife. She was not rendered desolate by the

loss of her "life's companion," or miss him because of his stalwart (стойкий, верный,

решительный ['sto:lw∂t]) character. She held no fond remembrances of sentimental

gifts, of girlish hero worship, his smile, the amused glint of his eyes when she said

something endearing (to endear [ın’dı∂] – заставить полюбить, внушить любовь) or


No. She missed him for the more important reason that he had been the only man in

the world who could make her body achieve the act of love. And, in her youth and

innocence, she still believed that he was the only man who could possibly do so.

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Now a year later she sunned herself in the balmy Nevada air. At her feet the slender,

blond young man was playing with her toes. They were at the side of the hotel pool for

the Sunday afternoon and despite the people all around them his hand was sliding up

her bare thigh.

"Oh, Jules, stop," Lucy said. "I thought doctors at least weren't as silly as other men."

Jules grinned at her. "I'm a Las Vegas doctor." He tickled the inside of her thigh and

was amazed how just a little thing like that could excite her so powerfully. It showed on

her face though she tried to hide it. She was really a very primitive, innocent girl. Then

why couldn't he make her come across (признаться, все выложить)? He had to figure

that one out and never mind the crap about a lost love that could never be replaced.

This was living tissue here under his hand and living tissue required other living tissue.

Dr. Jules Segal decided he would make the big push tonight at his apartment. He'd

wanted to make her come across without any trickery but if trickery there had to be, he

was the man for it. All in the interests of science of course. And, besides, this poor kid

was dying for it.

"Jules, stop, please stop," Lucy said. Her voice was trembling.

Jules was immediately contrite (сокрушающийся, кающийся ['kontraıt]). "OK, honey,"

he said. He put his head in her lap and using her soft thighs as a pillow, he took a little

nap. He was amused at her squirming (to squirm – извиваться, корчиться;

чувствовать неловкость, смущение), the heat that registered from her loins and when

she put her hand on his head to smooth his hair, he grasped her wrist playfully and held

it loverlike but really to feel her pulse. It was galloping. He'd get her tonight and he'd

solve the mystery, what the hell ever it was. Fully confident, Dr. Jules Segal fell asleep.

Lucy watched the people around the pool. She could never have imagined her life

would change so in less than two years. She never regretted her "foolishness" at

Connie Corleone's wedding. It was the most wonderful thing that had ever happened to

her and she lived it over and over again in her dreams. As she lived over and over again

the months that followed.

Sonny had visited her once a week, sometimes more, never less. The days before

she saw him again her body was in torment (мука ['to:m∂nt]). Their passion for each

other was of the most elementary kind, undiluted (to dilute [‘daılju:t] – разжижать,

разбавлять) by poetry or any form of intellectualism. It was love of the coarsest nature,

a fleshly love, a love of tissue for opposing tissue.

When Sonny called to her he was coming she made certain there was enough liquor

in the apartment and enough food for supper and breakfast because usually he would

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not leave until late the next morning. He wanted his fill (хотел насытиться) of her as


she wanted her fill of him. He had his own key and when he came in the door she would

fly into his massive arms. They would both be brutally direct, brutally primitive. During

their first kiss they would be fumbling at each other's clothing and he would be lifting her

in the air, and she would be wrapping her legs around his huge thighs. They would be

making love standing up in the foyer of her apartment as if they had to repeat their first

act of love together, and then he would carry her so to the bedroom.

They would lie in bed making love. They would live together in the apartment for

sixteen hours, completely naked. She would cook for him, enormous meals. Somtimes

he would get phone calls obviously about business but she never even listened to the

words. She would be too busy toying with his body, fondling it, kissing it, burying her

mouth in it. Sometimes when he got up to get a drink and he walked by her, she

couldn't help reaching out to touch his naked body, hold him, make love to him as if

those special parts of his body were a plaything, a specially constructed, intricate

(запутанный, замысловатый, сложный ['ıntrıkıt]) but innocent toy revealing its known,

but still surprising ecstasies. At first she had been ashamed of these excesses on her

part but soon saw that they pleased her lover, that her complete sensual enslavement

to his body flattered him. In all this there was an animal innocence. They were happy


When Sonny's father was gunned down in the street, she understood for the first time

that her lover might be in danger. Alone in her apartment, she did not weep, she wailed

aloud, an animal wailing (to wail – вопить, выть). When Sonny did not come to see her

for almost three weeks she subsisted on sleeping pills, liquor and her own anguish

(мука, боль, острая тоска). The pain she felt was physical pain, her body ached. When

he finally did come she held on to his body at almost every moment. After that he came

at least once a week until he was killed.

She learned of his death through the newspaper accounts and that very same night

she took a massive overdose of sleeping pills. For some reason, instead of killing, the

pills made her so ill that she staggered out into the hall of her apartment and collapsed

in front of the elevator door where she was found and taken to the hospital. Her

relationship to Sonny was not generally known so her case received only a few inches

in the tabloid (малоформатная газета со сжатым текстом; бульварная газета)


It was while she was in the hospital that Tom Hagen came to see her and console her.

It was Tom Hagen who arranged a job for her in Las Vegas working in the hotel run by

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Sonny's brother Freddie. It was Tom Hagen who told her that she would receive an


annuity (ежегодная рента [∂'nju:ıtı]) from the Corleone Family, that Sonny had made

provisions for her. He had asked her if she was pregnant, as if that were the reason for

her taking the pills and she had told him no. He asked her if Sonny had come to see her

that fatal night or had called that he would come to see her and she told him no, that

Sonny had not called. That she was always home waiting for him when she finished

working. And she had told Hagen the truth. "He's the only man I could ever love," she

said. "I can't love anybody else." She saw him smile a little but he also looked surprised.

"Do you find that so unbelievable?" she asked. "Wasn't he the one who brought you

home when you were a kid?"

"He was a different person," Hagen said, "he grew up to be a different kind of man."

"Not to me," Lucy said. "Maybe to everybody else, but not to me." She was still too

weak to explain how Sonny had never been anything but gentle with her. He'd never

been angry with her, never even irritable or nervous.

Hagen made all the arrangements for her to move to Las Vegas. A rented apartment

was waiting, he took her to the airport himself and he made her promise that if she ever

felt lonely or if things didn't go right, she would call him and he would help her in any

way he could.

Before she got on the plane she asked him hesitantly, "Does Sonny's father know

what you're doing?"

Hagen smiled, "I'm acting for him as well as myself. He's old-fashioned in these things

and he would never go against the legal wife of his son. But he feels that you were just

a young girl and Sonny should have known better. And your taking all those pills shook

everybody up." He didn't explain how incredible it was to a man like the Don that any

person should try suicide.

Now, after nearly eighteen months in Las Vegas, she was surprised to find herself

almost happy. Some nights she dreamed about Sonny and lying awake before dawn

continued her dream with her own caresses until she could sleep again. She had not

had a man since. But the life in Vegas agreed with her. She went swimming in the hotel

pools, sailed on Lake Mead and drove through the desert on her day off. She became

thinner and this improved her figure. She was still voluptuous but more in the American

than the old Italian style. She worked in the public relations section of the hotel as a

receptionist and had nothing to do with Freddie though when he saw her he would stop

and chat a little. She was surprised at the change in Freddie. He had become a ladies'

man, dressed beautifully, and seemed to have a real flair (чутье) for running a gambling

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resort. He controlled the hotel side, something not usually done by casino owners. With

the long, very hot summer seasons, or perhaps his more active sex life, he too had

become thinner and Hollywood tailoring made him look almost debonair

(жизнерадостный, веселый [deb∂’nε∂]) in a deadly sort of way.

It was after six months that Tom Hagen came out to see how she was doing. She had

been receiving a check for six hundred dollars a month, every month, in addition to her

salary. Hagen explained that this money had to be shown as coming from some place

and asked her to sign complete powers of attorney so that he could channel the money

properly. He also told her that as a matter of form she would be listed as owner of five

"points" in the hotel in which she worked. She would have to go through all the legal

formalities required by the Nevada laws but everything would be taken care of for her

and her own personal inconvenience would be at a minimum. However she was not to

discuss this arrangement with anyone without his consent. She would be protected

legally in every way and her money every month would be assured. If the authorities or

any law-enforcement (enforcement – давление, принуждение; принудительный)

agencies ever questioned her, she was to simply refer them to her lawyer and she

would not be bothered any further.

Lucy agreed. She understood what was happening but had no objections to how she

was being used. It seemed a reasonable favor. But when Hagen asked her to keep her

eyes open around the hotel, keep an eye on Freddie and on Freddie's boss, the man

who owned and operated the hotel, as a major stockholder (акционер), she said to him,

"Oh, Tom, you don't want me to spy on Freddie?"

Hagen smiled. "His father worries about Freddie. He's in fast company with Moe

Greene and we just want to make sure he doesn't get into any trouble." He didn't bother

to explain to her that the Don had backed the building of this hotel in the desert of Las

Vegas not only to supply a haven for his son, but to get a foot in the door for bigger


It was shortly after this interview that Dr. Jules Segal came to work as the hotel

physician. He was very thin, very handsome and charming and seemed very young to

be a doctor, at least to Lucy. She met him when a lump (опухоль, шишка) grew above

her wrist on her forearm. She worried about it for a few days, then one morning went to

the doctor's suite of offices in the hotel. Two of the show girls from the chorus line were

in the waiting room, gossiping with each other. They had the blond peach-colored

prettiness Lucy always envied. They looked angelic. But one of the girls was saying, "I

swear if I have another dose I'm giving up dancing."

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When Dr. Jules Segal opened his office door to motion one of the show girls inside,

Lucy was tempted to leave, and if it had been something more personal and serious she

would have. Dr. Segal was wearing slacks (широкие брюки) and an open shirt. The

horn-rimmed glasses helped and his quiet reserved manner, but the impression he gave

was an informal one, and like many basically old-fashioned people, Lucy didn't believe

that medicine and informality mixed.

When she finally got into his office there was something so reassuring in his manner

that all her misgivings fled. He spoke hardly at all and yet he was not brusque, and he

took his time. When she asked him what the lump was he patiently explained that it was

a quite common fibrous (волокнистый, фиброзный ['faıbr∂s]) growth that could in no

way be malignant (злокачественный [m∂’lıgn∂nt]) or a cause for serious concern. He

picked up a heavy medical book and said, "Hold out your arm."

She held out her arm tentatively (неуверенно; tentative ['tent∂tıv] – пробный,

опытный). He smiled at her for the first time. "I'm going to cheat myself out of a surgical

fee," he said. "I'll just smash it with this book and it will flatten out. It may pop up again

but if I remove it surgically, you'll be out of money and have to wear bandages and all

that. OK?"

She smiled at him. For some reason she had an absolute trust in him. "OK," she said.

In the next instant she let out a yell as he brought down the heavy medical volume on

her forearm. The lump had flattened out, almost.

"Did it hurt that much?" he asked.

"No," she said. She watched him completing her case history card. "Is that all?"

He nodded, not paying any more attention to her. She left.

A week later he saw her in the coffee shop and sat next to her at the counter. "How's

the arm?" he asked.

She smiled at him. "Fine," she said. "You're pretty unorthodox but you're pretty good."

He grinned at her. "You don't know how unorthodox I am. And I didn't know how rich

you were. The Vegas Sun just published the list of point owners in the hotel and Lucy

Mancini has a big ten points. I could have made a fortune on that little bump (опухоль,


She didn't answer him, suddenly reminded of Hagen's warnings. He grinned again.

"Don't worry, I know the score (я прекрасно понимаю ситуацию; score – зарубка,

метка), you're just one of the dummies (одна из дурочек; dummy – кукла, чучело;

манекен; марионетка; дурачок, дурочка), Vegas is full of them. How about seeing one

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of the shows with me tonight and I'll buy you dinner. I'll even buy you some roulette



She was a little doubtful. He urged her. Finally she said, "I'd like to come but I'm afraid

you might be disappointed by how the night ends. I'm not really a swinger like most of

the girls here in Vegas."

"That's why I asked you," Jules said cheerfully. "I've prescribed a night's rest for


Lucy smiled at him and said a little sadly, "Is it that obvious?" He shook his head and

she said, "OK, supper then, but I'll buy my own roulette chips."

They went to the supper show and Jules kept her amused by describing different

types of bare thighs and breasts in medical terms; but without sneering, all in good

humor. Afterward they played roulette together at the same wheel and won over a

hundred dollars. Still later they drove up to Boulder Dam in the moonlight and he tried to

make love to her but when she resisted after a few kisses he knew that she really meant

no and stopped. Again he took his defeat with great good humor. "I told you I wouldn't,"

Lucy said with half-guilty reproach.

"You would have been awfully insulted if I didn't even try," Jules said. And she had to

laugh because it was true.

The next few months they became best friends. It wasn't love because they didn't

make love, Lucy wouldn't let him. She could see he was puzzled by her refusal but not

hurt the way most men would be and that made her trust him even more. She found out

that beneath his professional doctor's exterior he was wildly fun-loving and reckless. On

weekends he drove a souped-up MG (to soup up – увеличивать мощность

/двигателя/ [su:p]) in the California races. When he took a vacation he went down into

the interior of Mexico, the real wild country, he told her, where strangers were murdered

for their shoes and life was as primitive as a thousand years ago. Quite accidentally she

learned that he was a surgeon and had been connected with a famous hospital in New


All this made her more puzzled than ever at his having taken the job at the hotel.

When she asked him about it, Jules said, "You tell me your dark secret and I'll tell you


She blushed and let the matter drop. Jules didn't pursue it either and their relationship

continued, a warm friendship that she counted on more than she realized.

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Now, sitting at the side of the pool with Jules' blond head in her lap, she felt an


overwhelming tenderness for him. Her loins ached and without realizing it her fingers

sensuously stroked the skin of his neck. He seemed to be sleeping, not noticing, and

she became excited just by the feel of him against her. Suddenly he raised his head

from her lap and stood up. He took her by the hand and led her over the grass on to the

cement walk. She followed him dutifully even when he led her into one of the cottages

that held his private apartment. When they were inside he

fixed them both big drinks. After the blazing sun and her own sensuous thoughts the

drink went to her head and made her dizzy. Then Jules had his arms around her and

their bodies, naked except for scanty bathing suits, were pressed against each other.

Lucy was murmuring, "Don't," but there was no conviction in her voice and Jules paid no

attention to her. He quickly stripped her bathing bra off so that he could fondle her

heavy breasts, kissed them and then stripped off her bathing trunks and as he did so

kept kissing her body, her rounded belly and the insides of her thighs. He stood up,

struggling out of his own bathing shorts and embracing her, and then, naked in each

other's arms, they were lying on his bed and she could feel him entering her and it was

enough, just the slight touch, for her to reach her climax and then in the second

afterward she could read in the motions of his body, his surprise. She felt the

overwhelming shame she had felt before she knew Sonny, but Jules was twisting her

body over the edge of the bed, positioning her legs a certain way and she let him control

her limbs and her body, and then he was entering her again and kissing her and this

time she could feel him but more important she could tell that he was feeling something

too and coming to his climax.

When he rolled off her body, Lucy huddled into one corner of the bed and began to

cry. She felt so ashamed. And then she was shockingly surprised to hear Jules laugh

softly and say, "You poor benighted (застигнутый ночью; погруженный во мрак

/невежества/) Eye-talian girl, so that's why you kept refusing me all these months? You

dope (дурочка)." He said "you dope" with such friendly affection that she turned toward

him and he took her naked body against his saying, "You are medieval, you are

positively medieval." But the voice was soothingly comforting as she continued to weep.

Jules lit a cigarette and put it in her mouth so that she choked on the smoke and had

to stop crying. "Now listen to me," he said, "if you had had a decent modern raising with

a family culture that was part of the twentieth century your problem would have been

solved years ago. Now let me tell you what your problem is: it's not the equivalent of

being ugly, of having bad skin and squinty (косой, косоглазый; to squint – косить

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глазами) eyes that facial surgery really doesn't solve. Your problem is like having a wart

(бородавка [wo:t]) or a mole (родинка) on your chin, or an improperly formed ear. Stop

thinking of it in sexual terms. Stop thinking in your head that you have a big box no man

can love because it won't give his penis the necessary friction. What you have is a

pelvic (тазовый) malformation (неправильное образование, порок развития) and

what we surgeons call a weakening of the pelvic floor. It usually comes after child-

bearing but it can be simply bad bone structure. It's a common condition and many

women live a life of misery because of it when a simple operation could fix them up.

Some women even commit suicide because of it. But I never figured you for that

condition because you have such a beautiful body. I thought it was psychological, since

I know your story, you told it to me often enough, you and Sonny. But let me give you a

thorough physical examination and I can tell you just exactly how much work will have

to be done. Now go in and take a shower."

Lucy went in and took her shower. Patiently and over her protests, Jules made her lie

on the bed, legs spread apart. He had an extra doctor's bag in his apartment and it was

open. He also had a small glass-topped table by the bed which held some other

instruments. He was all business now, examining her, sticking his fingers inside her and

moving them around. She was beginning to feel humiliated when he kissed her on the

navel and said, almost absent-mindedly, "First time I've enjoyed my work." Then he

flipped her over and thrust a finger in her rectum, feeling around, but his other hand was

stroking her neck affectionately. When he was finished he turned her right side up again,

kissed her tenderly on the mouth and said, "Baby, I'm going to build you a whole new

thing down there, and then I'll try it out personally. It will be a medical first, I'll be able to

write a paper on it for the official journals."

Jules did everything with such good-humored affection, he so obviously cared for her,

that Lucy got over her shame and embarrassment. He even had the medical textbook

down off its shelf to show her a case like her own and the surgical procedure to correct

it. She found herself quite interested.

"It's a health thing too," Jules said. "If you don't get it corrected you're going to have a

hell of a lot of trouble later on with your whole plumbing system (водопроводная

система; plumb [plΛm] – отвес; лот, грузило). The structure becomes progressively

weaker unless it's corrected by surgery. It's a damn shame that old-fashioned prudery

([‘pru:d∂rı] – излишняя или притворная стыдливость) keeps a lot of doctors from

properly diagnosing and correcting the situation, and a lot of women from complaining

about it."

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"Don't talk about it, please don't talk about it," Lucy



He could see that she was still to some extent ashamed of her secret, embarrassed

by her "ugly defect." Though to his medically trained mind this seemed the height of

silliness, he was sensitive enough to identify with her. It also put him on the right track to

making her feel better.

"OK, I know your secret so now I'll tell you mine," he said. "You always ask me what

I'm doing in this town, one of the youngest and most brilliant surgeons in the East." He

was mocking some newspaper reports about himself. "The truth is that I'm an

abortionist, which in itself is not so bad, so is half the medical profession; but I got

caught. I had a friend, a doctor named Kennedy, we interned (intern – студент

медицинского колледжа или молодой врач, работающий в больнице и живущий

при ней) together, and he's a really straight guy but he said he'd help me. I understand

Tom Hagen had told him if he ever needed help on anything the Corleone Family was

indebted to him. So he spoke to Hagen. The next thing I know the charges were

dropped, but the Medical Association and the Eastern establishment had me black-

listed. So the Corleone Family got me this job out here. I make a good living. I do a job

that has to be done. These show girls are always getting knocked up and aborting them

is the easiest thing in the world if they come to me right away. I curette (кюретка /хир./;

выскабливать кюреткой [kju∂'ret]) 'em like you scrape a frying pan. Freddie Corleone

is a real terror. By my count he's knocked up fifteen girls while I've been here. I've

seriously considered giving him a father-to-son talk about sex. Especially since I've had

to treat him three times for clap (триппер) and once for syphilis. Freddie is the original

bareback (без седла, на неоседланной лошади) rider."

Jules stopped talking. He had been deliberately indiscreet, something he never did, so

that Lucy would know that other people, including someone she knew and feared a little

like Freddie Corleone, also had shameful secrets.

"Think of it as a piece of elastic in your body that has lost its elasticity," Jules said. "By

cutting out a piece, you make it tighter, snappier."

"I'll think about it," Lucy said, but she was sure she was going to go through with it,

she trusted Jules absolutely. Then she thought of something else. "How much will it


Jules frowned. "I haven't the facilities here for surgery like that and I'm not the expert

at it. But I have a friend in Los Angeles who's the best in the field and has facilities at

the best hospital. In fact he tightens up all the movie stars, when those dames find out

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that getting their faces and breasts lifted isn't the whole answer to making a man love

them. He owes me a few favors so it won't cost anything. I do his abortions for him.

Listen, if it weren't unethical I'd tell you the names of some of the movie sex queens

who have had the operation."

She was immediately curious. "Oh, come on, tell me," she said. "Come on." It would

be a delicious piece of gossip and one of the things about Jules was that she could

show her feminine love of gossip without him making fun of it.

"I'll tell you if you have dinner with me and spend the night with me," Jules said. "We

have a lot of lost time to make up for because of your silliness."

Lucy felt an overwhelming affection to him for being so kind and she was able to say,

"You don't have to sleep with me, you know you won't enjoy it the way I am now."

Jules burst out laughing. "You dope, you incredible dope. Didn't you ever hear of any

other way of making love, far more ancient, far more civilized. Are you really that


"Oh that," she said.

"Oh that," he mimicked her. "Nice girls don't do that, manly men don't do that. Even in

the year 1948. Well, baby, I can take you to the house of a little old lady right here in

Las Vegas who was the youngest madam of the most popular whorehouse in the wild

west days, back in 1880, I think it was. She likes to talk about the old days. You know

what she told me? That those gunslingers (стрелки; агрессивные ребята; to sling –

швырять; метать из пращи; sling – праща; рогатка), those manly, virile, straight-

shooting cowboys would always ask the girls for a 'French,' what we doctors call fellatio,

what you call 'oh that.' Did you ever think of doing 'oh that' with your beloved Sonny?"

For the first time she truly surprised him. She turned on him with what he could think

of only as a Mona Lisa smile (his scientific mind immediately darting off on a tangent

(отклонился в сторону; tangent ['tжndG∂nt] – касательная; тангенс), could this be the

solving of that centuries-old mystery?) and said quietly, "I did everything with Sonny." It

was the first time she had ever admitted anything like that to anyone.

Two weeks later Jules Segal stood in the operating room of the Los Angeles hospital

and watched his friend Dr. Frederick Kellner perform the specialty. Before Lucy was put

under anesthesia, Jules leaned over and whispered, "I told him you were my special girl

so he's going to put in some real tight walls." But the preliminary pill had already made

her dopey and she didn't laugh or smile. His teasing remark did take away some of the

terror of the operation.

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Dr. Kellner made his incision (разрез, надрез) with the confidence of a pool (лужа,

прудок; омут, заводь) shark (акула) making an easy shot. The technique of any

operation to strengthen the pelvic floor required the accomplishment of two objectives.

The musculofibrous pelvic sling had to be shortened so that the slack was taken up.

And of course the vaginal opening, the weak spot itself in the pelvic floor, had to be

brought forward, brought under the pubic arch and so relieved from the line of direct

pressure above. Repairing the pelvic sling (ремень, канат) was called perincorrhaphy.

Suturing (to suture [‘sju:t∫∂] – накладывать шов) the vaginal wall was called


Jules saw that Dr. Kellner was working carefully now, the big danger in the cutting

was going too deep and hitting the rectum. It was a fairly uncomplicated case, Jules had

studied all the X rays and tests. Nothing should go wrong except that in surgery

something could always go wrong.

Kellner was working on the diaphragm sling, the T forceps (хирургические щипцы,

пинцет ['fo:seps]) held the vaginal flap (что-либо, прикрепленное за один конец;

клапан), and exposing the ani muscle and the fasci (фасции) which formed its sheath.

Kellner's gauze-covered (gauze [go:z] – газ /материя/; марля) fingers were pushing

aside loose connective tissue. Jules kept his eyes on the vaginal wall for the

appearance of the veins, the telltale danger signal of injuring the rectum. But old Kellner

knew his stuff. He was building a new snatch as easily as a carpenter nails together

two-by-four studs (stud – гвоздь с большой шляпокй; штифт).

Kellner was trimming away the excess vaginal wall using the fastening-down stitch to

close the "bite" taken out of the tissue of the redundant (излишний, чрезмерный

[rı'dΛnd∂nt]) angle, insuring that no troublesome projections would form. Kellner was

trying to insert three fingers into the narrowed opening of the lumen (канал, проход

/анат./ ['lu:m∂n]), then two. He just managed to get two fingers in, probing deeply and

for a moment he looked up at Jules and his china-blue eyes over the gauze mask

twinkled as though asking if that was narrow enough. Then he was busy again with his


It was all over. They wheeled Lucy out to the recovery room and Jules talked to

Kellner. Kellner was cheerful, the best sign that everything had gone well. "No

complications at all, my boy," he told Jules. "Nothing growing in there, very simple case.

She has wonderful body tone, unusual in these cases and now she's in first-class shape

for fun and games. I envy you, my boy. Of course you'll have to wait a little while but

then I guarantee you'll like my work."

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Jules laughed. "You're a true Pygmalion, Doctor. Really, you were marvelous."


Dr. Kellner grunted. "That's all child's play, like your abortions. If society would only be

realistic, people like you and I, really talented people, could do important work and leave

this stuff for the hacks (наемная лошадь; поденщик). By the way, I'll be sending you a

girl next week, a very nice girl, they seem to be the ones who always get in trouble. That

will make us all square (так мы сочтемся) for this job today."

Jules shook his hand. "Thanks, Doctor. Come out yourself sometime and I'll see that

you get all the courtesies of the house."

Kellner gave him a wry smile. "I gamble every day, I don't need your roulette wheels

and crap tables. I knock heads with fate too often as it is. You're going to waste out

there, Jules. Another couple of years and you can forget about serious surgery. You

won't be up to it." He turned away.

Jules knew it was not meant as a reproach but as a warning. Yet it took the heart out

of him anyway. Since Lucy wouldn't be out of the recovery room for at least twelve

hours, he went out on the town and got drunk. Part of getting drunk was his feeling of

relief that everything had worked out so well with Lucy.

The next morning when he went to the hospital to visit her he was surprised to find

two men at her bedside and flowers all over the room. Lucy was propped up on pillows,

her face radiant. Jules was surprised because Lucy had broken with her family and had

told him not to notify them unless something went wrong. Of course Freddie Corleone

knew she was in the hospital for a minor operation; that had been necessary so that

they both could get time off, and Freddie had told Jules that the hotel would pick up all

the bills for Lucy.

Lucy was introducing them and one of the men Jules recognized instantly. The

famous Johnny Fontane. The other was a big, muscular, snotty-looking Italian guy

whose name was Nino Valenti. They both shook hands with Jules and then paid no

further attention to him. They were kidding Lucy, talking about the old neighborhood in

New York, about people and events Jules had no way of sharing. So he said to Lucy,

"I'll drop by later, I have to see Dr. Kellner anyway."

But Johnny Fontane was turning the charm on him. "Hey, buddy, we have to leave

ourselves, you keep Lucy company. Take good care of her, Doc." Jules noticed a

peculiar hoarseness in Johnny Fontane's voice and remembered suddenly that the man

hadn't sung in public for over a year now, that he had won the Academy Award for his

acting. Could the man's voice have changed so late in life and the papers keeping it a

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secret, everybody keeping it a secret? Jules loved inside gossip and kept listening to

Fontane's voice in an attempt to diagnose the trouble. It could be simple strain


(растяжение), or too much booze and cigarettes or even too much women. The voice

had an ugly timbre to it, he could never be called the sweet crooner (эстрадный певец;

croon – тихое проникновенное пение; to croon – напевать вполголоса) anymore.

"You sound like you have a cold," Jules said to Johnny Fontane.

Fontane said politely, "Just strain, I tried to sing last night. I guess I just can't accept the

fact that my voice changed, getting old you know." He gave Jules a what-the-hell grin

(усмешка, как бы говорящая: «Какого черта?»).

Jules said casually, "Didn't you get a doctor to look at it? Maybe it's something that

can be fixed."

Fontane was not so charming now. He gave Jules a long cool look. "That's the first

thing I did nearly two years ago. Best specialists. My own doctor who's supposed to be

the top guy out here in California. They told me to get a lot of rest. Nothing wrong, just

getting older. A man's voice changes when he gets older."

Fontane ignored him after that, paying attention to Lucy, charming her as he charmed

all women. Jules kept listening to the voice. There had to be a growth on those vocal

cords. But then why the hell hadn't the specialists spotted it? Was it malignant and

inoperable? Then there was other stuff.

He interrupted Fontane to ask, "When was the last time you got examined by a


Fontane was obviously irritated but trying to be polite for Lucy's sake. "About eighteen

months ago," he said.

"Does your own doctor take a look once in a while?" Jules asked.

"Sure he does," Johnny Fontane said irritably. "He gives me a codeine spray and

checks me out. He told me it's just my voice aging, that all the drinking and smoking and

other stuff. Maybe you know more than he does?"

Jules asked, "What's his name?"

Fontane said with just a faint flicker of pride, "Tucker, Dr. James Tucker. What do you

think of him?"

The name was familiar, linked to famous movie stars, female, and to an expensive

health farm.

"He's a sharp dresser," Jules said with a grin.

Fontane was angry now. "You think you're a better doctor than he is?"

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Jules laughed. "Are you a better singer than Carmen Lombardo?" He was surprised to

see Nino Valenti break up in laughter, banging his head on his chair. The job hadn't

been that good. Then on the wings of those guffaws (guffaw [gΛ'fo:] – грубый хохот,

гогот) he caught the smell of bourbon (сорт виски ['bu∂b∂n]) and knew that even this

early in the morning Mr. Valenti, whoever the hell he was, was at least half drunk.

Fontane was grinning at his friend. "Hey, you're supposed to be laughing at my jokes,

not his." Meanwhile Lucy stretched out her hand to Jules and drew him to her bedside.

"He looks like a bum (задница /груб./; бездельник, лодырь; плохой, низкого

качества) but he's a brilliant (блестящий) surgeon," Lucy told them. "If he says he's

better than Dr. Tucker then he's better than Dr. Tucker. You listen to him, Johnny."

The nurse came in and told them they would have to leave. The resident was going to

do some work on Lucy and needed privacy. Jules was amused to see Lucy turn her

head away so when Johnny Fontane and Nino Valenti kissed her they would hit her

cheek instead of her mouth, but they seemed to expect it. She let Jules kiss her on the

mouth and whispered, "Come back this afternoon, please?" He nodded.

Out in the corridor, Valenti asked him, "What was the operation for? Anything


Jules shook his head. "Just a little female plumbing. Absolutely routine, please believe

me. I'm more concerned than you are, I hope to marry the girl."

They were looking at him appraisingly so he asked, "How did you find out she was in

the hospital?"

"Freddie called us and asked us to look in," Fontane said. "We all grew up in the same

neighborhood. Lucy was maid of honor when Freddie's sister got married."

"Oh," Jules said. He didn't let on that he knew the whole story, perhaps because they

were so cagey (уклончивый) about protecting Lucy and her affair with Sonny.

As they walked down the corridor, Jules said to Fontane, "I have visiting doctor's

privileges here, why don't you let me have a look at your throat?"

Fontane shook his head. "I'm in a hurry."

Nino Valenti said, "That's a million-dollar throat, he can't have cheap doctors looking

down it." Jules saw Valenti was grinning at him, obviously on his side.

Jules said cheerfully, "I'm no cheap doctor. I was the brightest young surgeon and

diagnostician on the East Coast until they got me on an abortion rap (легкий удар;

ответственность /за проступок/, обвинение, наказание /сленг/)."

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As he had known it would, that made them take him seriously. By admitting his crime

he inspired belief in his claim of high competence. Valenti recovered first. "If Johnny

can't use you, I got a girl friend I want you to look at, not at her throat though."

Fontane said to him nervously, "How long will you take?"

"Ten minutes," Jules said. It was a lie but he believed in telling lies to people. Truth

telling and medicine just didn't go together except in dire (ужасный, страшный;

крайний) emergencies (emergency [ı‘m∂:dG∂ns] – непредвиденный случай, крайняя

необходимость), if then.

"OK," Fontane said. His voice was darker, hoarser, with fright.

Jules recruited a nurse and a consulting room. It didn't have everything he needed but

there was enough. In less than ten minutes he knew there was a growth on the vocal

chords, that was easy. Tucker, that incompetent sartorial (портняжный, портновский)

son of a bitch of a Hollywood phony, should have been able to spot it. Christ, maybe the

guy didn't even have a license and if he did it should be taken away from him. Jules

didn't pay any attention to the two men now. He picked up the phone and asked for the

throat man at the hospital to come down. Then he swung around and said to Nino

Valenti, "I think it might be a long wait for you, you'd better leave."

Fontane stared at him in utter disbelief. "You son of a bitch, you think you're going to

keep me here? You think you're going to fuck around with my throat?"

Jules, with more pleasure than he would have thought possible, gave it to him straight

between the eyes. "You can do whatever you like," he said. "You've got a growth of

some sort on your vocal chords, in your larynx. If you stay here the next few hours, we

can nail it down, whether it's malignant or nonmalignant. We can make a decision for

surgery or treatment. I can give you the whole story. I can give you the name of a top

specialist in America and we can have him out here on the plane tonight, with your

money that is, and if I think it necessary. But you can walk out of here and see your

quack (знахарь; шарлатан) buddy or sweat while you decide to see another doctor, or

get referred to somebody incompetent. Then if it's malignant and gets big enough they'll

cut out your whole larynx or you'll die. Or you can just sweat. Stick here with me and we

can get it all squared away in a few hours. You got anything more important to do?"

Valenti said, "Let's stick around, Johnny, what the hell. I'll go down the hall and call

the studio. I won't tell them anything, just that we're held up. Then I'll come back here

and keep you company."

It proved to be a very long afternoon but a rewarding one. The diagnosis of the staff

throat man was perfectly sound as far as Jules could see after the X rays and swab

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(мазок /мед./) analysis. Halfway through, Johnny Fontane, his mouth soaked with


iodine, retching (to retch – рыгать, тужиться /при рвоте/) over the roll of gauze stuck in

his mouth, tried to quit. Nino Valenti grabbed him by the shoulders and slammed him

back into a chair. When it was all over Jules grinned at Fontane and said, "Warts."

Fontane didn't grasp it. Jules said again. "Just some warts. We'll slice them right off

like skin off baloney (= Bologna-sausage – болонская /копченая/ колбаса). In a few

months you'll be OK."

Valenti let out a yell but Fontane was still frowning. "How about singing afterward, how

will it affect my singing?"

Jules shrugged. "On that there's no guarantee. But since you can't sing now what's

the difference?"

Fontane looked at him with distaste. "Kid, you don't know what the hell you're talking

about. You act like you're giving me good news when what you're telling me is maybe I

won't sing anymore. Is that right, maybe I won't sing anymore?"

Finally Jules was disgusted. He'd operated as a real doctor and it had been a

pleasure. He had done this bastard a real favor and he was acting as if he'd been done

dirt. Jules said coldly, "Listen, Mr. Fontane, I'm a doctor of medicine and you can call

me Doctor, not kid. And I did give you very good news. When I brought you down here I

was certain that you had a malignant growth in your larynx which would entail

(повлечет за собой) cutting out your whole voice box. Or which could kill you. I was

worried that I might have to tell you that you were a dead man. And I was so delighted

when I could say the word 'warts.' Because your singing gave me so much pleasure,

helped me seduce girls when I was younger and you're a real artist. But also you're a

very spoiled guy. Do you think because you're Johnny Fontane you can't get cancer? Or

a brain tumor that's inoperable. Or a failure of the heart? Do you think you're never

going to die? Well, it's not all sweet music and if you want to see real trouble take a

walk through this hospital and you'll sing a love song about warts. So just stop the crap

and get on with what you have to do. Your Adolphe Menjou (американский актер

(1890 – 1963), изысканно-аристократический) medical man can get you the proper

surgeon but if he tries to get into the operating room I suggest you have him arrested for

attempted murder."

Jules started to walk out of the room when Valenti said, "Attaboy (= at-a-boy –

молодец, молодчина), Doc, that's telling him."

Jules whirled around and said, "Do you always get looped (напившийся,

надрызгавшийся /сленг/; loop – петля) before noontime?"

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Valenti said, "Sure," and grinned at him and with such good humor that Jules said


more gently than he had meant to, "You have to figure you'll be dead in five years if you

keep that up."

Valenti was lumbering (to lumber – тяжело, неуклюже двигаться; lumber –

ненужные громоздкие вещи; бревна) up to him with little dancing steps. He threw his

arms around Jules, his breath stank of bourbon. He was laughing very hard. "Five

years?" he asked still laughing. "Is it going to take that long?"

A month after her operation Lucy Mancini sat beside the Vegas hotel pool, one hand

holding a cocktail, the other hand stroking Jules' head, which lay in her lap.

"You don't have to build up your courage," Jules said teasingly. "I have champagne

waiting in our suite."

"Are you sure it's OK so soon?" Lucy asked.

"I'm the doctor," Jules said. "Tonight's the big night. Do you realize I'll be the first

surgeon in medical history who tried out the results of his 'medical first' operation? You

know, the Before and After. I'm going to enjoy writing it up for the journals. Let's see,

'while the Before was distinctly pleasurable for psychological reasons and the

sophistication of the surgeon-instructor, the post-operative coitus was extremely

rewarding strictly for its neurological" – he stopped talking because Lucy had yanked on

his hair hard enough for him to yell with pain.

She smiled down at him. "If you're not satisfied tonight I can really say it's your fault,"

she said.

"I guarantee my work. I planned it even though I just let old Kellner do the manual

labor," Jules said. "Now let's just rest up, we have a long night of research ahead."

When they went up to their suite – they were living together now – Lucy found a

surprise waiting: a gourmet (гурман /франц./ ['gu∂meı]) supper and next to her

champagne glass, a jeweler's box with a huge diamond engagement ring inside it.

"That shows you how much confidence I have in my work," Jules said. "Now let's see

you earn it."

He was very tender, very gentle with her. She was a little scary at first, her flesh

jumping away from his touch but then, reassured, she felt her body building up to a

passion she had never known, and when they were done the first time and Jules

whispered, "I do good work," she whispered back, "Oh, yes, you do; yes, you do." And

they both laughed to each other as they started making love again.

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Book 6

Chapter 23

After five months of exile in Sicily, Michael Corleone came finally to understand his

father's character and his destiny. He carne to understand men like Luca Brasi, the

ruthless caporegime Clemenza. his mother's resignation and acceptance of her role.

For in Sicily he saw what they would have been if they had chosen not to struggle

against their fate. He understood why the Don always said, "A man has only one


destiny." He came to understand the contempt for authority and legal government, the

hatred for any man who broke omerta, the law of silence.

Dressed in old clothes and a billed cap, Michael had been transported from the ship

docked at Palermo to the interior of the Sicilian island, to the very heart of a province

controlled by the Mafia, where the local capo-mafioso was greatly indebted to his father

for some past service. The province held the town of Corleone, whose name the Don

had taken when he emigrated to Arnerica so long ago. But there were no longer any of

the Don's relatives alive. The women had died of old age. All the men had been killed in

vendettas or had also emigrated, either to America, Brazil or to some other province on

the Italian mainland. He was to learn later that this small poverty-stricken town had the

highest murder rate of any place in the world.

Michael was installed as a guest in the home of a bachelor uncle of the capo-mafioso.

The uncle, in his seventies, was also the doctor for the district. The capo-mafioso was a

man in his late fifties named Don Tommasino and he operated as the gabbellotto for a

huge estate belonging to one of Sicily's most noble families. The gabbellotto, a sort of

overseer to the estates of the rich, also guaranteed that the poor would not try to claim

land not being cultivated, would not try to encroach (вторгаться, покушаться на чужие

права) in any way on the estate, by poaching (to poach – браконьерствовать;

незаконно вторгаться в чужие владения) or trying to farm it as squatters

(поселившийся незаконно на незанятой земле; to squat – сидеть на корточках). In

short, the gabbellotto was a mafioso who for a certain sum of money protected the real

estate of the rich from all claims made on it by the poor, legal or illegal. When any poor

peasant tried to implement (выполнять, осуществлять, обеспечивать выполнение)

the law which permitted him to buy uncultivated land, the gabbellotto frightened him off

with threats of bodily harm or death. It was that simple.

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Don Tommasino also controlled the water rights in the area and vetoed the local

building of any new dams by the Roman government. Such dams would ruin the


lucrative business of selling water from the artesian wells he controlled, make water too

cheap, ruin the whole important water economy so laboriously built up over hundreds of

years. However, Don Tommasino was an old-fashioned Mafia chief and would have

nothing to do with dope traffic or prostitution. In this Don Tommasino was at odds with

the new breed of Mafia leaders springing up in big cities like Palermo, new men who,

influenced by American gangsters deported to Italy, had no such scruples.

The Mafia chief was an extremely portly (полный, дородный; представительный)

man, a "man with a belly," literally as well as in the figurative sense that meant a man

able to inspire fear in his fellow men. Under his protection, Michael had nothing to fear,

yet it was considered necessary to keep the fugitive's identity a secret. And so Michael

was restricted to the walled estate of Dr. Taza, the Don's uncle.

Dr. Taza was tall for a Sicilian, almost six feet, and had ruddy cheeks and snow-white

hair. Though in his seventies, he went every week to Palermo to pay his respects to the

younger prostitutes of that city, the younger the better. Dr. Taza's other vice was

reading. He read everything and talked about what he read to his fellow townsmen,

patients who were illiterate peasants, the estate shepherds, and this gave him a local

reputation for foolishness. What did books have to do with them?

In the evenings Dr. Taza, Don Tommasino and Michael sat in the huge garden

populated with those marble statues that on this island seemed to grow out of the

garden as magically as the black heady grapes. Dr. Taza loved to tell stories about the

Mafia and its exploits over the centuries and in Michael Corleone he had a fascinated

listener. There were times when even Don Tommasino would be carried away by the

balmy air, the fruity, intoxicating wine, the elegant and quiet comfort of the garden, and

tell a story from his own practical experience. The doctor was the legend, the Don the


In this antique garden, Michael Corleone learned about the roots from which his father

grew. That the word "Mafia" had originally meant place of refuge. Then it became the

name for the secret organization that sprang up to fight against the rulers who had

crushed the country and its people for centuries. Sicily was a land that had been more

cruelly raped than any other in history. The Inquisition had tortured rich and poor alike.

The landowning barons and the princes of the Catholic Church exercised absolute

power over the shepherds and farmers. The police were the instruments of their power

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and so identified with them that to be called a policeman is the foulest insult one Sicilian

can hurl (бросать, швырять) at another.

Faced with the savagery of this absolute power, the suffering people learned never to

betray their anger and their hatred for fear of being crushed. They learned never to

make themselves vulnerable by uttering any sort of threat since giving such a warning

insured a quick reprisal (репрессалия). They learned that society was their enemy and

so when they sought redress for their wrongs they went to the rebel underground the

Mafia. And the Mafia cemented its power by originating the law of silence, the omerta.

In the countryside of Sicily a stranger asking directions to the nearest town will not even

receive the courtesy of an answer. And the greatest crime any member of the Mafia

could commit would be to tell the police the name of the man who had just shot him or

done him any kind of injury. Omerta became the religion of the people. A woman whose

husband has been murdered would not tell the police the name of her husband's

murderer, not even of her child's murderer, her daughter's raper.

Justice had never been forthcoming (предстоящий, грядущий; ожидаемый) from the

authorities and so the people had always gone to the Robin Hood Mafia. And to some

extent the Mafia still fulfilled this role. People turned to their local capo-mafioso for help

in every emergency. He was their social worker, their district captain ready with a

basket of food and a job, their protector.

But what Dr. Taza did not add, what Michael learned on his own in the months that

followed, was that the Mafia in Sicily had become the illegal arm of the rich and even

the auxiliary police of the legal and political structure. It had become a degenerate

capitalist structure, anti-communist, anti-liberal, placing its own taxes on every form of

business endeavor no matter how small.

Michael Corleone understood for the first time why men like his father chose to

become thieves and murderers rather than members of the legal society. The poverty

and fear and degradation were too awful to be acceptable to any man of spirit. And in

America some emigrating Sicilians had assumed there would be an equally cruel


Dr. Taza offered to take Michael into Palermo with him on his weekly visit to the

bordello but Michael refused. His flight to Sicily had prevented him from getting proper

medical treatment for his smashed jaw and he now carried a memento from Captain

McCluskey on the left side of his face. The bones had knitted badly, throwing his profile

askew (криво, косо), giving him the appearance of depravity (порочность,

развращенность [dı'prжvıtı]) when viewed from that side. He had always been vain

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about his looks and this upset him more than he thought possible. The pain that came

and went he didn't mind at all, Dr. Taza gave him some pills that deadened it. Taza

offered to treat his face but Michael refused. He had been there long enough to learn

that Dr. Taza was perhaps the worst physician in Sicily. Dr. Taza read everything but his

medical literature, which he admitted he could not understand. He had passed his

medical exams through the good offices of the most important Mafia chief in Sicily who

had made a special trip to Palermo to confer with Taza's professors about what grades

they should give him. And this too showed how the Mafia in Sicily was cancerous to the

society it inhabited. Merit (заслуга, достоинство) meant nothing. Talent meant nothing.

Work meant nothing. The Mafia Godfather gave you your profession as a gift.

Michael had plenty of time to think things out. During the day he took walks in the

countryside, always accompanied by two of the shepherds attached to Don

Tommasino's estate. The shepherds of the island were often recruited to act as the

Mafia's hired killers and did their job simply to earn money to live. Michael thought about

his father's organization. If it continued to prosper it would grow into what had happened

here on this island, so cancerous that it would destroy the whole country. Sicily was

already a land of ghosts, its men emigrating to every other country on earth to be able

to earn their bread, or simply to escape being murdered for exercising their political and

economic freedoms.

On his long walks the most striking thing in Michael's eyes was the magnificent beauty

of the country; he walked through the orange orchards that formed shady deep caverns

through the countryside with their ancient conduits (трубопровод; акведук ['kondıt])

splashing water out of the fanged (fang – клык) mouths of great snake stones carved

before Christ. Houses built like ancient Roman villas, with huge marble portals and

great vaulted (vault [vo:lt] – свод) rooms, falling into ruins or inhabited by stray

(заблудившееся или отбившееся от стада животное) sheep. On the horizon the

bony hills shone like picked bleached (to bleach – белить, отбеливать; побелеть)

bones piled high. Gardens and fields, sparkly green, decorated the desert landscape

like bright emerald necklaces. And sometimes he walked as far as the town of Corleone,

its eighteen thousand people strung out (to string out – растягивать вереницей) in

dwellings that pitted the side of the nearest mountain, the mean hovels (лачуга,

хибарка ['hov∂l]) built out of black rock quarried (to quarry – добывать камень /из

карьера/; quarry – каменоломня) from that mountain. In the last year there had been

over sixty murders in Corleone and it seemed that death shadowed the town. Further on,

the wood of Ficuzza broke the savage monotony of arable (пахотный ['жr∂bl]) plain.

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His two shepherd bodyguards always carried their luparas with them when

accompanying Michael on his walks. The deadly Sicilian shotgun was the favorite


weapon of the Mafia. Indeed the police chief sent by Mussolini to clean the Mafia out of

Sicily had, as one of his first steps, ordered all stone walls in Sicily to be knocked down

to not more than three feet in height so that murderers with their luparas could not use

the walls as ambush points for their assassinations. This didn't help much and the

police minister solved his problem by arresting and deporting to penal colonies any

male suspected of being a mafioso.

When the island of Sicily was liberated by the Allied Armies, the American military

government officials believed that anyone imprisoned by the Fascist regime was a

democrat and many of these mafiosi were appointed as mayors of villages or

interpreters to the military government. This good fortune enabled the Mafia to

reconstitute itself and become more formidable than ever before.

The long walks, a bottle of strong wine at night with a heavy plate of pasta and meat,

enabled Michael to sleep. There were books in Italian in Dr. Taza's library and though

Michael spoke dialect Italian and had taken some college courses in Italian, his reading

of these books took a great deal of effort and time. His speech became almost

accentless and, though he could never pass as a native of the district, it would be

believed that he was one of those strange Italians from the far north of Italy bordering

the Swiss and Germans.

The distortion of the left side of his face made him more native. It was the kind of

disfigurement common in Sicily because of the lack of medical care. The little injury that

cannot be patched up simply for lack of money. Many children, many men, bore

disfigurements that in America would have been repaired by minor surgery or

sophisticated medical treatments.

Michael often thought of Kay, of her smile, her body, and always felt a twinge of

conscience at leaving her so brutally without a word of farewell. Oddly enough his

conscience was never troubled by the two men he had murdered; Sollozzo had tried to

kill his father, Captain McCluskey had disfigured him for life.

Dr. Taza always kept after him about getting surgery done for his lopsided face,

especially when Michael asked him for pain-killing drugs, the pain getting worse as time

went on, and more frequent. Taza explained that there was a facial nerve below the eye

from which radiated a whole complex of nerves. Indeed, this was the favorite spot for

Mafia torturers, who searched it out on the cheeks of their victims with the needle-fine

point of an ice pick. That particular nerve in Michael's face had been injured or perhaps

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there was a splinter of bone lanced into it. Simple surgery in a Palermo hospital would

permanently relieve the pain.

Michael refused. When the doctor asked why, Michael grinned and said, "It's

something from home."

And he really didn't mind the pain, which was more an ache, a small throbbing in his

skull, like a motored apparatus running in liquid to purify it.

It was nearly seven months of leisurely rustic (сельский, деревенский; простой,

грубый [‘rΛstık]) living before Michael felt real boredom. At about this time Don

Tommasino became very busy and was seldom seen at the villa. He was having his

troubles with the "new Mafia" springing up in Palermo, young men who were making a

fortune out of the postwar construction boom in that city. With this wealth they were

trying to encroach on the country fiefs of old-time Mafia leaders whom they

contemptuously labeled Moustache Petes. Don Tommasino was kept busy defending

his domain. And so Michael was deprived of the old man's company and had to be

content with Dr. Taza's stories, which were beginning to repeat themselves.

One morning Michael decided to take a long hike to the mountains beyond Corleone.

He was, naturally, accompanied by the two shepherd bodyguards. This was not really a

protection against enemies of the Corleone Family. It was simply too dangerous for

anyone not a native to go wandering about by himself. It was dangerous enough for a

native. The region was loaded with bandits, with Mafia partisans fighting against each

other and endangering everybody else in the process. He might also be mistaken for a

pagliaio thief.

A pagliaio is a straw-thatched hut erected in the fields to house farming tools and to

provide shelter for the agricultural laborers so that they will not have to carry them on

the long walk from their homes in the village. In Sicily the peasant does not live on the

land he cultivates. It is too dangerous and any arable land, if he owns it, is too precious.

Rather, he lives in his village and at sunrise begins his voyage out to work in distant

fields, a commuter (to commute – совершать регулярные поездки из дома на работу

/в отдаленное место, например, из пригорода в город/) on foot. A worker who

arrived at his pagliaio and found it looted was an injured man indeed. The bread was

taken out of his mouth for that day. The Mafia, after the law proved helpless, took this

interest of the peasant under its protection and solved the problem in typical fashion. It

hunted down and slaughtered all pagliaio thieves. It was inevitable that some innocents

suffered. It was possible that if Michael wandered past a pagliaio that had just been

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looted he might be adjudged (to adjudge – выносить приговор, признавать виновным)

the criminal unless he had somebody to vouch (поручиться) for him.

So on one sunny morning he started hiking (to hike – путешествовать, бродить

пешком; бродяжничать) across the fields followed by his two faithful shepherds. One

of them was a plain simple fellow, almost moronic (слабоумный), silent as the dead

and with a face as impassive as an Indian. He had the wiry small build of the typical

Sicilian before they ran to the fat of middle age. His name was Calo.

The other shepherd was more outgoing, younger, and had seen something of the

world. Mostly oceans, since he had been a sailor in the Italian navy during the war and

had just had time enough to get himself tattooed before his ship was sunk and he was

captured by the British. But the tattoo made him a famous man in his village. Sicilians

do not often let themselves be tattooed, they do not have the opportunity nor the

inclination. (The shepherd, Fabrizzio, had done so primarily to cover a splotchy (splotch

– большое неровное пятно) red birthmark on his belly.) And yet the Mafia market carts

had gaily painted scenes on their sides, beautifully primitive paintings done with loving

care. In any case, Fabrizzio, back in his native village, was not too proud of that tattoo

on his chest, though it showed a subject dear to the Sicilian "honor," a husband

stabbing a naked man and woman entwined together on the hairy floor of his belly.

Fabrizzio would joke with Michael and ask questions about America, for of course it was

impossible to keep them in the dark about his true nationality. Still, they did not know

exactly who he was except that he was in hiding and there could be no babbling (to

babble – болтать; выбалтывать, проболтаться) about him. Fabrizzio sometimes

brought Michael a fresh cheese still sweating the milk that formed it.

They walked along dusty country roads passing donkeys pulling gaily painted carts.

The land was filled with pink flowers, orange orchards, groves of almond (рощи

миндаля ['a:m∂nd]) and olive trees, all blooming. That had been one of the surprises.

Michael had expected a barren land because of the legendary poverty of Sicilians. And

yet he had found it a land of gushing (to gush – хлынуть, литься потоком) plenty,

carpeted with flowers scented by lemon blossoms. It was so beautiful that he wondered

how its people could bear to leave it. How terrible man had been to his fellow man could

be measured by the great exodus from what seemed to be a Garden of Eden.

He had planned to walk to the coastal village of Mazara, and then take a bus back to

Corleone in the evening, and so tire himself out and be able to sleep. The two

shepherds wore rucksacks filled with bread and cheese they could eat on the way. They

carried their luparas quite openly as if out for a day's hunting.

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It was a most beautiful morning. Michael felt as he had felt when as a child he had


gone out early on a summer day to play ball. Then each day had been freshly washed,

freshly painted. And so it was now. Sicily was carpeted in gaudy (яркий, кричащий;

цветистый ['go:dı]) flowers, the scent of orange and lemon blossoms so heavy that

even with his facial injury which pressed on the sinuses (sinus ['saın∂s] – пазуха

/анат./), he could smell it.

The smashing on the left side of his face had completely healed but the bone had

formed improperly and the pressure on his sinuses made his left eye hurt. It also made

his nose run continually, he filled up handkerchiefs with mucus (слизь ['mju:k∂s]) and

often blew his nose out onto the ground as the local peasants did, a habit that had

disgusted him when he was a boy and had seen old Italians, disdaining handkerchiefs

as English foppery (щегольство), blow out their noses in the asphalt gutters.

His face too felt "heavy." Dr. Taza had told him that this was due to the pressure on

his sinuses caused by the badly healed fracture. Dr. Taza called it an eggshell fracture

of the zygoma; that if it had been treated before the bones knitted, it could have been

easily remedied by a minor surgical procedure using an instrument like a spoon to push

out the bone to its proper shape. Now, however, said the doctor, he would have to

check into a Palermo hospital and undergo a major procedure called maxillo-facial

surgery where the bone would be broken again. That was enough for Michael. He

refused. And yet more than the pain, more than the nose dripping, he was bothered by

the feeling of heaviness in his face.

He never reached the coast that day. After going about fifteen miles he and his

shepherds stopped in the cool green watery shade of an orange grove to eat lunch and

drink their wine. Fabrizzio was chattering about how he would someday get to America.

After drinking and eating they lolled (to loll [lol] – сидеть развалясь) in the shade and

Fabrizzio unbuttoned his shirt and contracted his stomach muscles to make the tattoo

come alive. The naked couple on his chest writhed in a lover's agony and the dagger

thrust by the husband quivered in their transfixed (to transfix [trжns’fıks] – пронзать,

прокалывать) flesh. It amused them. It was while this was going on that Michael was hit

with what the Sicilians call "the thunderbolt."

Beyond the orange grove lay the green ribboned fields of a baronial estate. Down the

road from the grove was a villa so Roman it looked as if it had been dug up from the

ruins of Pompeii. It was a little palace with a huge marble portico and fluted (flute –

канелюра, желобок /архит./) Grecian columns and through those columns came a

bevy (стая /птиц/; общество, собрание /женщин/ ['bevı]) of village girls flanked by two

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stout matrons clad in black. They were from the village and had obviously fulfilled their

ancient duty to the local baron by cleaning his villa and otherwise preparing it for his

winter sojourn (временное пребывание [‘sodG∂:n]). Now they were going into the

fields to pick the flowers with which they would fill the rooms. They were gathering the

pink sulla, purple wisteria (глициния), mixing them with orange and lemon blossoms.

The girls, not seeing the men resting in the orange grove, came closer and closer.

They were dressed in cheap gaily printed frocks that clung to their bodies. They were

still in their teens but with the full womanliness sundrenched flesh ripened into so

quickly. Three or four of them started chasing one girl, chasing her toward the grove.

The girl being chased held a bunch of huge purple grapes in her left hand and with her

right hand was picking grapes off the cluster and throwing them at her pursuers. She

had a crown of ringleted hair as purple-black as the grapes and her body seemed to be

bursting out of its skin.

Just short of the grove she poised, startled, her eyes having caught the alien color of

the men's shirts. She stood there up on her toes poised like a deer to run. She was very

close now, close enough for the men to see every feature of her face.

She was all ovals – oval-shaped eyes, the bones of her face, the contour of her brow.

Her skin was an exquisite dark creaminess and her eyes, enormous, dark violet or

brown but dark with long heavy lashes shadowed her lovely face. Her mouth was rich

without being gross, sweet without being weak and dyed dark red with the juice of the

grapes. She was so incredibly lovely that Fabrizzio murmured, "Jesus Christ, take my

soul, I'm dying," as a joke, but the words came out a little too hoarsely. As if she had

heard him, the girl came down off her toes and whirled away from them and fled back to

her pursuers. Her haunches moved like an animal's beneath the tight print of her dress;

as pagan and as innocently lustful. When she reached her friends she whirled around

again and her face was like a dark hollow against the field of bright flowers. She

extended an arm, the hand full of grapes pointed toward the grove. The girls fled

laughing, with the black-clad, stout matrons scolding them on.

As for Michael Corleone, he found himself standing, his heart pounding in his chest; he

felt a little dizzy. The blood was surging through his body, through all its extremities and

pounding against the tips of his fingers, the tips of his toes. All the perfumes of the

island came rushing in on the wind, orange, lemon blossoms, grapes, flowers. It

seemed as if his body had sprung away from him out of himself. And then he heard the

two shepherds laughing.

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"You got hit by the thunderbolt, eh?" Fabrizzio said, clapping him on the shoulder.


Even Calo became friendly, patting him on the arm and saying, "Easy, man, easy," but

with affection. As if Michael had been hit by a car. Fabrizzio handed him a wine bottle

and Michael took a long slug (глоток /спиртного/). It cleared his head.

"What the hell are you damn sheep lovers talking about?" he said.

Both men laughed. Calo, his honest face filled with the utmost seriousness, said, "You

can't hide the thunderbolt. When it hits you, everybody can see it. Christ, man, don't be

ashamed of it, some men pray for the thunderbolt. You're a lucky fellow."

Michael wasn't too pleased about his emotions being so easily read. But this was the

first time in his life such a thing had happened to him. It was nothing like his adolescent

crushes (увлечение, пылкая любовь; to crush – раздавить, сокрушить), it was

nothing like the love he'd had for Kay, a love based as much on her sweetness, her

intelligence and the polarity of the fair and dark. This was an overwhelming desire for

possession, this was an inerasible printing of the girl's face on his brain and he knew

she would haunt his memory every day of his life if he did not possess her. His life had

become simplified, focused on one point, everything else was unworthy of even a

moment's attention. During his exile he had always thought of Kay, though he felt they

could never again be lovers or even friends. He was, after all was said, a murderer, a

Mafioso who had "made his bones." But now Kay was wiped completely out of his


Fabrizzio said briskly, "I'll go to the village, we'll find out about her. Who knows, she

may be more available than we think. There's only one cure for the thunderbolt, eh,


The other shepherd nodded his head gravely. Michael didn't say anything. He

followed the two shepherds as they started down the road to the nearby village into

which the flock of girls had disappeared.

The village was grouped around the usual central square with its fountain. But it was

on a main route so there were some stores, wine shops and one little cafй with three

tables out on a small terrace. The shepherds sat at one of the tables and Michael joined

them. There was no sign of the girls, not a trace. The village seemed deserted except

for small boys and a meandering (to meander [mı'жnd∂] – бродить без цели; meander

– извилина /дороги, реки/; меандр /орнамент/) donkey.

The proprietor of the cafй came to serve them. He was a short, burly man, almost

dwarfish but he greeted them cheerfully and set a dish of chickpeas (нут, горох

турецкий) at their table. "You're strangers here," he said, "so let me advise you. Try my

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wine. The grapes come from my own farm and it's made by my sons themselves. They

mix it with oranges and lemons. It's the best wine in Italy."

They let him bring the wine in a jug and it was even better than he claimed, dark

purple and as powerful as a brandy. Fabrizzio said to the cafй proprietor, "You know all

the girls here, I'll bet. We saw some beauties coming down the road, one in particular

got our friend here hit with the thunderholt." He motioned to Michael.

The cafй owner looked at Michael with new interest. The cracked face had seemed

quite ordinary to him before, not worth a second glance. But a man hit with the

thunderbolt was another matter. "You had better bring a few bottles home with you, my

friend," he said. "You'll need help in getting to sleep tonight."

Michael asked the man, "Do you know a girl with her hair all curly? Very creamy skin,

very big eves, very dark eyes. Do you know a girl like that in the village?"

The cafй owner said curtly, "No. I don't know any girl like that." He vanished from the

terrace into his cafй.

The three men drank their wine slowly, finished off the jug and called for more. The

owner did not reappear. Fabrizzio went into the cafй after him. When Fabrizzio came

out he grimaced and said to Michael, "Just as I thought, it's his daughter we were

talking about and now he's in the back boiling up his blood to do us a mischief. I think

we'd better start walking toward Corleone."

Despite his months on the island Michael still could not get used to the Sicilian

touchiness on matters of sex, and this was extreme even for a Sicilian. But the two

shepherds seemed to take it as a matter of course. They were waiting for him to leave.

Fabrizzio said, "The old bastard mentioned he has two sons, big tough lads that he has

only to whistle up. Let's get going."

Michael gave him a cold stare. Up to now he had been a quiet, gentle young man, a

typical American, except that since he was hiding in Sicily he must have done

something manly. This was the first time the shepherds had seen the Corleone stare.

Don Tommasino, knowing Michael's true identity and deed, had always been wary

(осторожный, настороженный ['wε∂rı]) of him, treating him as a fellow "man of

respect." But these unsophisticated sheep herders had come to their own opinion of

Michael, and not a wise one. The cold look, Michael's rigid white face, his anger that

came off him like cold smoke off ice, sobered their laughter and snuffed out (snuff –

нагар на свече; to snuff out – потушить /свечу/; разрушить, подавить) their familiar


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When he saw he had their proper, respectful attention Michael said to them, "Get that

man out here to me."

They didn't hesitate. They shouldered their luparas and went into the dark coolness of

the cafй. A few seconds later they reappeared with the cafй owner between them. The

stubby man looked in no way frightened but his anger had a certain wariness about it.

Michael leaned back in his chair and studied the man for a moment. Then he said

very quietly, "I understand I've offended you by talking about your daughter. I offer you

my apologies, I'm a stranger in this country, I don't know the customs that well. Let me

say this. I meant no disrespect to you or her." The shepherd bodyguards were

impressed. Michael's voice had never sounded like this before when speaking to them.

There was command and authority in it though he was making an apology. The cafй

owner shrugged, more wary still, knowing he was not dealing with some farmboy. "Who

are you and what do you want from my daughter?"

Without even hesitating Michael said, "I am an American hiding in Sicily, from the

police of my country. My name is Michael. You can inform the police and make your

fortune but then your daughter would lose a father rather than gain a husband. In any

case I want to meet your daughter. With your permission and under the supervision of

your family. With all decorum. With all respect. I'm an honorable man and I don't think of

dishonoring your daughter. I want to meet her, talk to her and then if it hits us both right

we'll marry. If not, you'll never see me again. She may find me unsympathetic after all,

and no I man can remedy that. But when the proper time comes I'll tell you everything

about me that a wife's father should know."

All three men were looking at him with amazement. Fabrizzio whispered in awe, "It's

the real thunderbolt." The cafй owner, for the first time, didn't look so confident, or

contemptuous; his anger was not so sure. Finally he asked, "Are you a friend of the


Since the word Mafia could never be uttered aloud by the ordinary Sicilian, this was as

close as the cafй owner could come to asking if Michael was a member of the Mafia. It

was the usual way of asking if someone belonged but it was ordinarily not addressed to

the person directly concerned.

"No," Michael said. "I'm a stranger in this country."

The cafй owner gave him another look, the smashed left side of his face, the long legs

rare in Sicily. He took a look at the two shepherds carrying their luparas quite openly

without fear and remembered how they had come into his cafй and told him their

padrone wanted to talk to him. The cafй owner had snarled (рычать; огрызаться,

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сердито ворчать) that he wanted the son of a bitch out of his terrace and one of the

shepherds had said, "Take my word, it's best you go out and speak to him yourself."


And something had made him come out. Now something made him realize that it would

be best to show this stranger some courtesy. He said grudgingly, "Come Sunday

afternoon. My name is Vitelli and my house is up there on the hill, above the village. But

come here to the cafй and I'll take you up."

Fabrizzio started to say something but Michael gave him one look and the shepherd's

tongue froze in his mouth. This was not lost on Vitelli. So when Michael stood up and

stretched out his hand, the cafй owner took it and smiled. He would make some

inquiries and if the answers were wrong he could always greet Michael with his two

sons bearing their own shotguns. The cafй owner was not without his contacts among

the "friends of the friends." But something told him this was one of those wild strokes of

good fortune that Sicilians always believed in, something told him that his daughter's

beauty would make her fortune and her family secure. And it was just as well. Some of

the local youths were already beginning to buzz around (виться, увиваться; to buzz –

жужжать, гудеть) and this stranger with his broken face could do the necessary job of

scaring them off. Vitelli, to show his goodwill, sent the strangers off with a bottle of his

best and coldest wine. He noticed that one of the shepherds paid the bill. This

impressed him even more, made it clear that Michael was the superior of the two men

who accompanied him.

Michael was no longer interested in his hike. They found a garage and hired a car and

driver to take them back to Corleone, and some time before supper, Dr. Taza must have

been informed by the shepherds of what had happened. That evening, sitting in the

garden, Dr. Taza said to Don Tommasino, "Our friend got hit by the thunderbolt today."

Don Tommasino did not seem surprised. He grunted. "I wish some of those young

fellows in Palermo would get a thunderbolt, maybe I could get some peace." He was

talking about the new-style Mafia chiefs rising in the big cities of Palermo and

challenging the power of old-regime stalwarts like himself.

Michael said to Tommasino, "I want you to tell those two sheep herders to leave me

alone Sunday. I'm going to go to this girl's family for dinner and I don't want them

hanging around."

Don Tommasino shook his head. "I'm responsible to your father for you, don't ask me

that. Another thing, I hear you've even talked marriage. I can't allow that until I've sent

somebody to speak to your father."

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Michael Corleone was very careful, this was after all a man of respect. "Don


Tommasino, you know my father. He's a man who goes deaf when somebody says the

word no to him. And he doesn't get his hearing back until they answer him with a yes.

Well, he has heard my no many times. I understand about the two guards, I don't want

to cause you trouble, they can come with me Sunday, but if I want to marry I'll marry.

Surely if I don't permit my own father to interfere with my personal life it would be an

insult to him to allow you to do so."

The capo-mafioso sighed. "Well, then, marriage it will have to be. I know your

thunderbolt. She's a good girl from a respectable family. You can't dishonor them

without the father trying to kill you, and then you'll have to shed blood. Besides, I know

the family well, I can't allow it to happen."

Michael said, "She may not be able to stand the sight of me, and she's a very young

girl, she'll think me old." He saw the two men smiling at him. "I'll need some money for

presents and I think I'll need a car."

The Don nodded. "Fabrizzio will take care of everything, he's a clever boy, they taught

him mechanics in the navy. I'll give you some money in the morning and I'll let your

father know what's happening. That I must do."

Michael said to Dr. Taza, "Have you got anything that can dry up this damn snot

(сопли /груб./) always coming out of my nose? I can't have that girl seeing me wiping it

all the time."

Dr. Taza said, "I'll coat (покрывать) it with a drug before you have to see her. It

makes your flesh a little numb (онемелый [nΛm]) but, don't worry, you won't be kissing

her for a while yet." Both doctor and Don smiled at this witticism.

By Sunday, Michael had an Alfa Romeo, battered (to batter – сильно бить, колотить;

плющить /металл/) but serviceable. He had also made a bus trip to Palermo to buy

presents for the girl and her family. He had learned that the girl's name was Apollonia

and every night he thought of her lovely face and her lovely name. He had to drink a

good deal of wine to get some sleep and orders were given to the old women servants

in the house to leave a chilled bottle at his bedside. He drank it empty every night.

On Sunday, to the tolling of church bells that covered all of Sicily, he drove the Alfa

Romeo to the village and parked it just outside the cafй. Calo and Fabrizzio were in the

back seat with their luparas and Michael told them they were to wait in the cafй, they

were not to come to the house. The cafй was closed but Vitelli was there waiting for

them, leaning against the railing of his empty terrace.

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They shook hands all around and Michael took the three packages, the presents, and

trudged (идти с трудом, устало тащиться) up the hill with Vitelli to his home. This

proved to be larger than the usual village hut, the Vitellis were not poverty-stricken.

Inside the house was familiar with statues of the Madonna entombed in glass, votive

(исполненный по обету; ['v∂utıv]) lights flickering redly at their feet. The two sons were

waiting, also dressed in their Sunday black. They were two sturdy young men just out of

their teens but looking older because of their hard work on the farm. The mother was a

vigorous woman, as stout as her husband. There was no sign of the girl.

After the introductions, which Michael did not even hear, they sat in the room that

might possibly have been a living room or just as easily the formal dining room. It was

cluttered with all kinds of furniture and not very large but for Sicily it was middle-class


Michael gave Signor Vitelli and Signora Vitelli their presents. For the father it was a

gold cigar-cutter, for the mother a bolt (кусок, рулон /холста, шелковой материи/) of

the finest cloth purchasable in Palermo. He still had one package for the girl. His

presents were received with reserved thanks. The gifts were a little too premature, he

should not have given anything until his second visit.

The father said to him, in man-to-man country fashion, "Don't think we're so of no

account to welcome strangers into our house so easily. But Don Tommasino vouched

for you personally and nobody in this province would ever doubt the word of that good

man. And so we make you welcome. But I must tell you that if your intentions are

serious about my daughter, we will have to know a little more about you and your family.

You can understand, your family is from this country."

Michael nodded and said politely, "I will tell you anything you wish to know anytime."

Signor Vitelli held up a hand. "I'm not a nosy (носатый; любопытный) man. Let's see

if it's necessary first. Right now you're welcome in my house as a friend of Don


Despite the drug painted inside his nose, Michael actually smelled the girl's presence

in the room. He turned and she was standing in the arched doorway that led to the back

of the house. The smell was of fresh flowers and lemon blossoms but she wore nothing

in her hair of jet black curls, nothing on her plain severe black dress, obviously her

Sunday best. She gave him a quick glance and a tiny smile before she cast her eyes

down demurely and sat down next to her mother.

Again Michael felt that shortness of breath, that flooding through his body of

something that was not so much desire as an insane possessiveness. He understood

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for the first time the classical jealousy of the Italian male. He was at that moment ready

to kill anyone who touched this girl, who tried to claim her, take her away from him. He

wanted to own her as wildly as a miser (скупец, скряга) wants to own gold coins, as

hungrily as a sharecropper (испольщик, издольщик) wants to own his own land.

Nothing was going to stop him from owning this girl, possessing her, locking her in a

house and keeping her prisoner only for himself. He didn't want anyone even to see her.

When she turned to smile at one of her brothers Michael gave that young man a

murderous look without even realizing it. The family could see it was a classical case of

the "thunderholt" and they were reassured. This young man would be putty (оконная

замазка; шпатлевка; послушное орудие, игрушка /в чьих-либо руках/) in their

daughter's hands until they were married. After that of course things would change but it

wouldn't matter.

Michael had bought himself some new clothes in Palermo and was no longer the

roughly dressed peasant, and it was obvious to the family that he was a Don of some

kind. His smashed face did not make him as evil-looking as he believed; because his

other profile was so handsome it made the disfigurement interesting even. And in any

case this was a land where to be called disfigured you had to compete with a host of

men who had suffered extreme physical misfortune.

Michael looked directly at the girl, the lovely ovals of her face. Her lips now he could

see were almost blue so dark was the blood pulsating in them. He said, not daring to

speak her name, "I saw you by the orange groves the other day. When you ran away. I

hope I didn't frighten you?"

The girl raised her eyes to him for just a fraction. She shook her head. But the

loveliness of those eyes had made Michael look away. The mother said tartly (tart –

кислый, терпкий, едкий; резкий, колкий /об ответе или возражении/), "Apollonia,

speak to the poor fellow, he's come miles to see you," but the girl's long jet lashes

remained closed like wings over her eyes. Michael handed her the present wrapped in

gold paper and the girl put it in her lap. The father said, "Open it, girl," but her hands did

not move. Her hands were small and brown, an urchin's hands (urchin – мальчишка,

пострел). The mother reached over and opened the package impatiently, yet careful

not to tear the precious paper. The red velvet jeweler's box gave ber pause, she had

never held such a thing in her hands and didn't know how to spring its catch (запор,

задвижка). But she got it open on pure instinct and then took out the present.

It was a heavy gold chain to be worn as a necklace, and it awed them not only

because of its obvious value but because a gift of gold in this society was also a

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statement of the most serious intentions. It was no less than a proposal of matrimony, or

rather the signal that there was the intention to propose matrimony. They could no

longer doubt the seriousness of this stranger. And they could not doubt his substance

(вещество, материя; имущество, состояние).

Apollonia still had not touched her present. Her mother held it up for her to see and

she raised those long lashes for a moment and then she looked directly at Michael, her

doelike brown eyes grave, and said, "Grazia." It was the first time he had heard her


It had all the velvety softness of youth and shyness and it set Michael's ears ringing.

He kept looking away from her and talking to the father and mother simply because

looking at her confused him so much. But he noticed that despite the conservative

looseness of her dress her body almost shone through the cloth with sheer sensuality.

And he noticed the darkening of her skin blushing, the dark creamy skin, going darker

with the blood surging to her face.

Finally Michael rose to go and the family rose too. They said their good-byes formally,

the girl at last confronting him as they shook hands, and he felt the shock of her skin on

his skin, her skin warm and rough, peasant skin. The father walked down the hill with

him to his car and invited him to Sunday dinner the next week. Michael nodded but he

knew he coudn't wait a week to see the girl again.

He didn't. The next day, without his shepherds, he drove to the village and sat on the

garden terrace of the cafй to chat with her father. Signor Vitelli took pity on him and sent

for his wife and daughter to come down to the cafй to join them. This meeting was less

awkward. The girl Apollonia was less shy, and spoke more. She was dressed in her

everyday print frock which suited her coloring much better.

The next day the same thing happened. Only this time Apollonia was wearing the gold

chain he had given her. He smiled at her then, knowing that this was a signal to him. He

walked with her up the hill, her mother close behind them. But it was impossible for the

two young people to keep their bodies from brushing against each other and once

Apollonia stumbled and fell against him so that he had to hold her and her body so

warm and alive in his hands started a deep wave of blood rising in his body. They could

not see the mother behind them smiling because her daughter was a mountain goat and

had not stumbled on this path since she was an infant in diapers. And smiling because

this was the only way this young man was going to get his hands on her daughter until

the marriage.

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This went on for two weeks. Michael brought her presents every time he came and


gradually she became less shy. But they could never meet without a chaperone being

present. She was just a village girl, barely literate, with no idea of the world, but she had

a freshness, an eagerness for life that, with help of the language barrier, made her

seem interesting. Everything went very swiftly at Michael's request. And because the

girl was not only fascinated by him but knew he must be rich, a wedding date was set

for the Sunday two weeks away.

Now Don Tommasino took a hand. He had received word from America that Michael

was not subject to orders but that all elementary precautions should be taken. So Don

Tommasino appointed himself the parent of the bridegroom to insure the presence of

his own bodyguards. Calo and Fabrizzio were also members of the wedding party from

Corleone as was Dr. Taza. The bride and groom would live in Dr. Taza's villa

surrounded by its stone wall.

The wedding was the usual peasant one. The villagers stood in the streets and threw

flowers as the bridal party, principals and guests, went on foot from the church to the

bride's home. The wedding procession pelted (to pelt – бросать /в кого-либо/,

забрасывать) the neighbors with sugar-coated almonds, the traditional wedding

candies, and with candies left over made sugary white mountains on the bride's

wedding bed, in this case only a symbolic one since the first night would be spent in the

villa outside Corleone. The wedding feast went on until midnight but bride and groom

would leave before that in the Alfa Romeo. When that time came Michael was surprised

to find that the mother was coming with them to the Corleone villa at the request of the

bride. The father explained: the girl was young, a virgin, a little frightened, she would

need someone to talk to on the morning following her bridal night; to put her on the right

track if things went wrong. These matters could sometimes get very tricky. Michael saw

Apollonia looking at him with doubt in her huge doe-brown eyes. He smiled at her and


And so it came about that they drove back to the villa outside Corleone with the

mother-in-law in the car. But the older woman immediately put her head together with

the servants of Dr. Taza, gave her daughter a hug and a kiss and disappeared from the

scene. Michael and his bride were allowed to go to their huge bedroom alone.

Apollonia was still wearing her bridal costume with a cloak thrown over it. Her trunk

and case had been brought up to the room from the car. On a small table was a bottle

of wine and a plate of small wedding cakes. The huge canopied (canopy [‘kжn∂pı] –

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балдахин, полог) bed was never out of their vision. The young girl in the center of the

room waited for Michael to make the first move.

And now that he had her alone, now that he legally possessed her, now that there

was no barrier to his enjoying that body and face he had dreamed about every night,

Michael could not bring himself to approach her. He watched as she took off the bridal

shawl and draped it over a chair, and placed the bridal crown on the small dressing

table. That table had an array of perfumes and creams that Michael had had sent from

Palermo. The girl tallied (tally – бирка, этикетка, ярлык; счет /в игре/; to tally –

подсчитывать, здесь: просмотреть) them with her eyes for a moment.

Michael turned off the lights, thinking the girl was waiting for some darkness to shield

her body while she undressed. But the Sicilian moon came through the unshuttered

windows, bright as gold, and Michael went to close the shutters but not all the way, the

room would be too warm.

The girl was still standing by the table and so Michael went out of the room and down

the hall to the bathroom. He and Dr. Taza and Don Tommasino had taken a glass of

wine together in the garden while the women had prepared themselves for bed. He had

expected to find Apollonia in her nightgown when he returned, already between the

covers. He was surprised that the mother had not done this service for her daughter.

Maybe Apollonia had wanted him to help her to undress. But he was certain she was

too shy, too innocent for such forward behavior (смелое, развязное поведение;

forward [‘fo:w∂d] – передний, передовой; развязный, нахальный /кто лезет вперед/;

behavior [bı’heıvj∂] – поведение, манеры).

Coming back into the bedroom, he found it completely dark, someone had closed the

shutters all the way. He groped his way toward the bed and could make out the shape

of Apollonia's body lying under the covers, her back to him, her body curved away from

him and huddled up. He undressed and slipped naked beneath the sheets. He stretched

out one hand and touched silky naked skin. She had not put on her gown and this

boldness delighted him. Slowly, carefully, he put one hand on her shoulder and pressed

her hody gently so that she would turn to him. She turned slowly and his hand touched

her breast, soft, full and then she was in his arms so quickly that their bodies came

together in one line of silken electricity and he finally had his arms around her, was

kissing her warm mouth deeply, was crushing her body and breasts against him and

then rolling his body on top of hers.

Her flesh and hair taut (туго натянутый, упругий [to:t]) silk, now she was all

eagerness, surging against him wildly in a virginal erotic frenzy. When he entered her

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she gave a little gasp and was still for just a second and then in a powerful forward


thrust of her pelvis she locked her satiny legs around his hips. When they came to the

end they were locked together so fiercely, straining against each other so violently, that

falling away from each other was like the tremble before death.

That night and the weeks that followed, Michael Corleone came to understand the

premium (большой почет, спрос [‘pri:mj∂m]) put on virginity by socially primitive people.

It was a period of sensuality that he had never before experienced, a sensuality mixed

with a feeling of masculine power. Apollonia in those first days became almost his slave.

Given trust, given affection, a young full-blooded girl aroused from virginity to erotic

awareness was as delicious as an exactly ripe fruit.

She on her part brightened up the rather gloomy masculine atmosphere of the villa.

She had packed her mother off the very next day after her bridal night and presided at

the communal table with bright girlish charm. Don Tommasino dined with them every

night and Dr. Taza told all his old stories as they drank wine in the garden full of statues

garlanded with blood-red flowers, and so the evenings passed pleasantly enough. At

night in their bedroom the newly married couple spent hours of feverish lovemaking.

Michael could not get enough of Apollonia's beautifully sculpted body, her honey-

colored skin, her huge brown eyes glowing with passion. She had a wonderfully fresh

smell, a fleshly smell perfumed by her sex yet almost sweet and unbearably

aphrodisiacal. Her virginal passion matched his nuptial lust and often it was dawn when

they fell into an exhausted slumber. Sometimes, spent but not yet ready for sleep,

Michael sat on the window ledge (на подоконнике; ledge – планка, рейка; выступ)

and stared at Apollonia's naked body while she slept. Her face too was lovely in repose,

a perfect face he had seen before only in art books of painted Italian Madonnas who by

no stretch (напряжение) of the artist's skill could be thought virginal.

In the first week of their marriage they went on picnics and small trips in the Alfa

Romeo. But then Don Tommasino took Michael aside and explained that the marriage

had made his presence and identity common knowledge in that part of Sicily and

precautions had to be taken against the enemies of the Corleone Family, whose long

arms also stretched to this island refuge. Don Tommasino put armed guards around his

villa and the two shepherds, Calo and Fabrizzio, were fixtures (прикрепление; лицо,

прочно обосновавшееся в каком-либо месте) inside the walls. So Michael and his

wife had to remain on the villa grounds. Michael passed the time by teaching Apollonia

to read and write English and to drive the car along the inner walls of the villa. About

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this time Don Tommasino seemed to be preoccupied and poor company. He was still

having trouble with the new Mafia in the town of Palermo, Dr. Taza said.

One night in the garden an old village woman who worked in the house as a servant

brought a dish of fresh olives and then turned to Michael and said, "Is it true what

everybody is saying that you are the son of Don Corleone in New York City, the


Michael saw Don Tommasino shaking his head in disgust at the general knowledge of

their secret. But the old crone (старуха, старая карга) was looking at him in so

concerned a fashion, as if it was important for her to know the truth, that Michael

nodded. "Do you know my father?" he asked.

The woman's name was Filomena and her face was as wrinkled and brown as a

walnut, her brown-stained teeth showing through the shell of her flesh. For the first time

since he had been in the villa she smiled at him. "The Godfather saved my life once,"

she said, "and my brains too." She made a gesture toward her head.

She obviously wanted to say something else so Michael smiled to encourage her. She

asked almost fearfully, "Is it true that Luca Brasi is dead?"

Michael nodded again and was surprised at the look of release on the old woman's

face. Filomena crossed herself and said, "God forgive me, but may his soul roast in hell

for eternity."

Michael remembered his old curiosity about Brasi, and had the sudden intuition that

this woman knew the story Hagen and Sonny had refused to tell him. He poured the

woman a glass of wine and made her sit down. "Tell me about my father and Luca

Brasi," he said gently. "I know some of it, but how did they become friends and why was

Brasi so devoted to my father? Don't be afraid, come tell me."

Filomena's wrinkled face, her raisin-black (raisin [reızn] – изюм) eyes, turned to Don

Tommasino, who in some way signaled his permission. And so Filomena passed the

evening for them by telling her story.

Thirty years before, Filnmena had been a midwife in New York City, on Tenth Avenue,

servicing the Italian colony. The women were always pregnant and she prospered. She

taught doctors a few things when they tried to interfere in a difficult birth. Her husband

was then a prosperous grocery store owner, dead now poor soul, she blessed him,

though he had been a card player and wencher (бабник; wench – девушка, молодая

женщина /шутл./) who never thought to put aside for hard times. In any event one

cursed night thirty years ago when all honest people were long in their beds, there came

a knocking on Filomena's door. She was by no means frightened, it was the quiet hour

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babes prudently chose to enter safely into this sinful world, and so she dressed and


opened the door. Outside it was Luca Brasi whose reputation even then was fearsome.

It was known also that he was a bachelor. And so Filomena was immediately frightened.

She thought he had come to do her husband harm, that perhaps her husband had

foolishly refused Brasi some small favor.

But Brasi had come on the usual errand. He told Filomena that there was a woman

about to give birth, that the house was out of the neighborhood some distance away

and that she was to come with him. Filomena immediately sensed something amiss.

Brasi's brutal face looked almost like that of a madman that night, he was obviously in

the grip of some demon. She tried to protest that she attended only women whose

history she knew but he shoved a bandful of green dollars in her hand and ordered her

roughly to come along with him. She was too frightened to refuse.

In the street was a Ford, its driver of the same feather as Luca Brasi. The drive was

no more than thirty minutes to a small frame house in Long Island City right over the

bridge. A two-family house but obviously now tenanted only by Brasi and his gang. For

there were some other ruffians in the kitchen playing cards and drinking. Brasi took

Filomena up the stairs to a bedroom. In the bed was a young pretty girl who looked Irish,

her face painted, her hair red; and with a belly swollen like a sow. The poor girl was so

frightened. When she saw Brasi she turned her head away in terror, yes terror, and

indeed the look of hatred on Brasi's evil face was the most frightening thing she had

ever seen in her life. (Here Filomena crossed herself again.)

To make a long story short, Brasi left the room. Two of his men assisted the midwife

and the baby was born, the mother was exhausted and went into a deep sleep. Brasi

was summoned and Filomena, who had wrapped the newborn child in an extra blanket,

extended the bundle to him and said, "If you're the father, take her. My work is finished."

Brasi glared at her, malevolent, insanity stamped on his face. "Yes, I'm the father," he

said. "But I don't want any of that race to live. Take it down to the basement and throw it

into the furnace."

For a moment Filomena thought she had not understood him properly. She was

puzzled by bis use of the word "race." Did he mean because the girl was not Italian? Or

did he mean because the girl was obviously of the lowest type; a whore in short? Or did

he mean that anything springing from his loins he forbade to live. And then she was

sure he was making a brutal joke. She said shortly, "It's your child, do what you want."

And she tried to hand him the bundle.

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At this time the exhausted mother awoke and turned on her side to face them. She


was just in time to see Brasi thrust violently at the bundle, crushing the newborn infant

against Filomena's chest. She called out weakly, "Luc, Luc, I'm sorry," and Brasi turned

to face her.

It was terrible, Filomena said now. So terrible. They were like two mad animals. They

were not human. The hatred they bore each other blazed through the room. Nothing

else, not even the newborn infant, existed for them at that moment. And yet there was a

strange passion. A bloody, demonical lust so unnatural you knew they were damned

forever. Then Luca Brasi turned back to Filomena and said harshly, "Do what I tell you,

I'll make you rich."

Filomena could not speak in her terror. She shook her head. Finally she managed to

whisper, "You do it, you're the father, do it if you like." But Brasi didn't answer. Instead

he drew a knife from inside his shirt. "I'll cut your throat," he said.

She must have gone into shock then because the next thing she remembered they

were all standing in the basement of the house in front of a square iron furnace.

Filomena was still holding the blanketed baby, which had not made a sound. (Maybe if it

had cried, maybe if I had been shrewd enough to pinch it, Filomena said, that monster

would have shown mercy.)

One of the men must have opened the furnace door, the fire now was visible. And

then she was alone with Brasi in that basement with its sweating pipes, its mousy odor.

Brasi had his knife out again. And there could be no doubting that he would kill her.

There were the flames, there were Brasi's eyes. His face was the gargoyle (горгулья –

выступающая водосточная труба в виде фантастической фигуры /в готической

архитектуре/ ['gα:goıl]) of the devil, it was not human, it was not sane. He pushed her

toward the open furnace door.

At this point Filomena fell silent. She folded her bony hands in her lap and looked

directly at Michael. He knew what she wanted, how she wanted to tell him, without using

her voice. He asked gently, "Did you do it?" She nodded.

It was only after another glass of wine and crossing herself and muttering a prayer

that she continued her story. She was given a bundle of money and driven home. She

understood that if she uttered a word about what had happened she would be killed. But

two days later Brasi murdered the young Irish girl, the mother of the infant, and was

arrested by the police. Filomena, frightened out of her wits, went to the Godfather and

told her story. He ordered her to keep silent, that he would attend to everything. At that

time Brasi did not work for Don Corleone.

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Before Don Corleone could set matters aright, Luca Brasi tried to commit suicide in

his cell, hacking at his throat with a piece of glass. He was transferred to the prison

hospital and by the time he recovered Don Corleone had arranged everything. The

police did not have a case they could prove in court and Luca Brasi was released.

Though Don Corleone assured Filomena that she had nothing to fear from either Luca

Brasi or the police, she had no peace. Her nerves were shattered and she could no

longer work at her profession. Finally she persuaded her husband to sell the grocery

store and they returned to Italy. Her husband was a good man, had been told everything

and understood. But he was a weak man and in Italy squandered (to squander –

проматывать) the fortune they had both slaved in America to earn. And so after he died

she had become a servant. So Filomena ended her story. She had another glass of

wine and said to Michael, "I bless the name of your father. He always sent me money

when I asked, he saved me from Brasi. Tell him I say a prayer for his soul every night

and that he shouldn't fear dying."

After she had left, Michael asked Don Tommasino, "Is her story true?" The capo-

mafioso nodded. And Michael thought, no wonder nobody wanted to tell him the story.

Some story (ну и история, ничего себе история). Some Luca.

The next morning Michael wanted to discuss the whole thing with Don Tommasino but

learned that the old man had been called to Palermo by an urgent message delivered

by a courier. That evening Don Tommasino returned and took Michael aside. News had

come from America, he said. News that it grieved him to tell. Santino Corleone had

been killed.

Chapter 24

The Sicilian sun, early-morning lemon-colored, filled Michael's bedroom. He awoke

and, feeling Apollonia's satiny body against his own sleep-warm skin, made her come

awake with love. When they were done, even all the months of complete possession

could not stop him from marveling at her heauty and her passion.

She left the bedroom to wash and dress in the bathroom down the hall. Michael, still

naked, the morning sun refreshing his body, lit a cigarette and relaxed on the bed. This

was the last morning they would spend in this house and the villa Don Tommasino had

arranged for him to be transferred to another town on the southern coast of Sicily.

Apollonia, in the first month of pregnancy, wanted to visit with her family for a few weeks

and would join him at the new hiding place after the visit.

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The night before, Don Tommasino had sat with Michael in the garden after Apollonia

had gone to bed. The Don had been worried and tired, and admitted that he was

concerned about Michael's safety. "Your marriage brought you into sight," he told

Michael. "I'm surprised your father hasn't made arrangements for you to go someplace

else. In any case I'm having my own troubles with the young Turks in Palermo. I've

offered some fair arrangements so that they can wet their beaks more than they

deserve, but those scum (пена, накипь; подонки; мерзавец) want everything. I can't

understand their attitude. They've tried a few little tricks but I'm not so easy to kill. They

must know I'm too strong for them to hold me so cheaply. But that's the trouble with

young people, no matter how talented. They don't reason things out and they want all

the water in the well (родник; колодец; водоем)."

And then Don Tommasino had told Michael that the two shepherds, Fabrizzio and

Calo, would go with him as bodyguards in the Alfa Romeo. Don Tommasino would say

his good-byes tonight since he would he off early in the morning, at dawn, to see to his

affairs in Palermo. Also, Michael was not to tell Dr. Taza about the move, since the

doctor planned to spend the evening in Palermo and might blab (проболтаться).

Michael had known Don Tommasino was in trouble. Armed guards patrolled the walls

of the villa at night and a few faithful shepherds with their luparas were always in the

house. Don Tommasino himself went heavily armed and a personal bodyguard

attended him at all times.

The morning sun was now too strong. Michael stubbed out his cigarette and put on

work pants, work shirt and the peaked cap most Sicilian men wore. Still barefooted, he

leaned out his bedroom window and saw Fabrizzio sitting in one of the garden chairs.

Fabrizzio was lazily combing his thick dark hair, his lupara was carelessly thrown across

the garden table. Michael whistled and Fabrizzio looked up to his window.

"Get the car," Michael called down to him. "I'll be leaving in five minutes. Where's


Fabrizzio stood up. His shirt was open, exposing the blue and red lines of the tattoo

on his chest. "Calo is having a cup of coffee in the kitchen," Fabrizzio said. "Is your wife

coming with you?"

Michael squinted (to squint – косить /глазами/; бросить взгляд украдкой) down at

him. It occurred to him that Fabrizzio had been following Apollonia too much with his

eyes the last few weeks. Not that he would dare ever to make an advance toward the

wife of a friend of the Don's. In Sicily there was no surer road to death. Michael said

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coldly, "No, she's going home to her family first, she'll join us in a few days." He


watched Fabrizzio hurry into the stone hut that served as a garage for the Alfa Romeo.

Michael went down the hall to wash. Apollonia was gone. She was most likely in the

kitchen preparing his breakfast with her own hands to wash out the guilt she felt

because she wanted to see her family one more time before going so far away to the

other end of Sicily. Don Tommasino would arrange transportation for her to where

Michael would be.

Down in the kitchen the old woman Filomena brought him his coffee and shyly bid him

a good-bye. "I'll remember you to my father," Michael said and she nodded.

Calo came into the kitchen and said to Michael, "The car's outside, shall I get your


"No, I'll get it," Michael said. "Where's Apolla?"

Calo's face broke into an amused grin. "She's sitting in the driver's seat of the car,

dying to step on the gas. She'll be a real American woman before she gets to America."

It was unheard of for one of the peasant women in Sicily to attempt driving a car. But

Michael sometimes let Apollonia guide the Alfa Romeo around the inside of the villa

walls, always beside her however because she sometimes stepped on the gas when

she meant to step on the brake.

Michael said to Calo, "Get Fabrizzio and wait for me in the car." He went out of the

kitchen and ran up the stairs to the bedroom. His bag was already packed. Before

picking it up he looked out the window and saw the car parked in front of the portico

steps rather than the kitchen entrance. Apollonia was sitting in the car, her hands on the

wheel like a child playing. Calo was just putting the lunch basket in the rear seat. And

then Michael was annoyed to see Fabrizzio disappearing through the gates of the villa

on some errand outside. What the hell was he doing? He saw Fabrizzio take a look over

his shoulder, a look that was somehow furtive. He'd have to straighten that damn

shepherd out. Michael went down the stairs and decided to go through the kitchen to

see Filomena again and give her a final farewell. He asked the old woman, "Is Dr. Taza

still sleeping?"

Filomena's wrinkled face was sly. "Old roosters (петух) can't greet the sun. The doctor

went to Palermo last night."

Michael laughed. He went out the kitchen entrance and the smell of lemon blossoms

penetrated even his sinus-filled nose. He saw Apollonia wave to him from the car just

ten paces up the villa's driveway and then he realized she was motioning him to stay

where he was, that she meant to drive the car to where he stood. Calo stood grinning

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beside the car, his lupara dangling in his hand. But there was still no sign of Fabrizzio.

At that moment, without any conscious reasoning process, everything came together in

his mind, and Michael shouted to the girl, "No! No!" But his shout was drowned in the

roar of the tremendous explosion as Apollonia switched on the ignition (зажигание).

The kitchen door shattered into fragments and Michael was hurled along the wall of the

villa for a good ten feet. Stones tumbling from the villa roof hit him on the shoulders and

one glanced off (to glance off – скользнуть; glance [glα:ns] – быстрый взгляд; to

glance – мельком взглянуть; мелькнуть; отражаться) his skull as he was lying on the

ground. He was conscious just long enough to see that nothing remained of the Alfa

Romeo but its four wheels and the steel shafts which held them together.

He came to consciousness in a room that seemed very dark and heard voices that

were so low that they were pure sound rather than words. Out of animal instinct he tried

to pretend he was still unconscious but the voices stopped and someone was leaning

from a chair close to his bed and the voice was distinct now, saying, "Well, he's with us

finally." A lamp went on, its light like white fire on his eyeballs and Michael turned his

head. It felt very heavy, numb. And then he could see the face over his bed was that of

Dr. Taza.

"Let me look at you a minute and I'll put the light out," Dr. Taza said gently. He was

busy shining a small pencil flashlight (ручной фонарик) into Michael's eyes. "You'll be