Quirke calls to Fermoy

“In Fermoy they stopped again, Quirke having run out of cigarettes, and while he was in the tobacconist’s Rose sat in the car and watched dismayed a man belabouring a cart horse with a stick. He was a coarse-looking fellow with a red face and a lantern jaw and a prominent forehead – he might have been modelled on a Punch cartoon – and he wore a belt of plaited straw. The horse stood between the shafts of the cart, its head hanging, suffering the blows without flinching. Oh my Lord, Rose thought, this poor benighted country!”

– John Banville, writing as Benjamin Black “Vengeance”

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