A man dead by kicks. (1st Part)

I was looking, not long ago, for the story “Un hombre muerto a puntapiés” by Pablo Palacios in English for a friend of mine and I couldn’t find it on the web. After some time I decided that if I ever wanted her to read something about the Ecuadorian writer, I would have to translate it myself. So, I’ve decided to do it, and post the story in parts in this blog. Now, English is my second language, so if anybody finds a huge and unforgivable spelling or grammar mistake, please tell me, so I can change it.

You can find the complete story in Spanish, in this webpage: http://ecuadorliteratura.homestead.com/ppalacio1.html

A man dead by kicks.

How to throw to the basket the beating events of the streets?

To find out the truth is a moralizing action.

El COMERCIO from Quito.

“Last night, approximately at twelve and a half, the Policeman number 451, that was on service in that zone, found between Escobedo and García streets, an individual named Ramirez almost in complete state of weakness. The ill-fated was bleeding abundantly by the nose, and questioned by the Policeman said he was the victim of an aggression by some people he didn’t know, just because he asked them for a cigarette. The Policeman invited the assaulted to come with him to the Police Station with the object of him to declare what happened so they could solve the case, to which Ramirez denied rotundly. Then, the first, in the doing of his duty, requested help to one of the chaufferurs of the closes car stations and drove the wounded one to the Police Station, where, even after he was attended by the doctor Ciro Benavides, passed away after a few hours.

“This morning, the Commissioner of the 6th has made the convenient procedures but hasn’t found anything about the murderers or the origin of Ramirez. The only thing that was known, by an accidental fact, is that the dead was a vicious*.

“We will try to continue communicating the news about how much we know of this mysterious crime”. There was nothing else in the crime report of the afternoon paper.

I don’t know in which mood I was then. The truth is that I laughed of satisfaction. ¡A mean dead by kicks! It was the funniest, the most comic of what could happen. I waited until the next day, in which I looked yearning to find something in the newspaper, but about my man, there were no lines. There wasn’t anything either on the next day. I think that after ten days nobody remembered what happened between Escobedo and García.

But, to me, it was obsessing. I was chased everywhere by the amusing phrase: ¡A man dead by kicks! And all the letters danced before my eyes, so happily that I decided finally to build the street scene or to go into, at least, the mystery of why a citizen was killed in such a ridiculous way.

Good heavens. I would have wanted to make an experimental study. But I have seen in books that such studies are just about investigating the how of the things, and between my first idea, which was this, of building, and the one that finds out the reasons that moved a few individuals to attack another one with kicks, the most original and beneficial one for the human specie was the second. Well, the why of the things, they say, is concerning to the philosophy, and I never knew what of philosophical my investigations would have. Besides, everything that goes with that word confuses me. With this, fearful and discouraged, I lightened the pipe. “This is essential, very essential”

it will continue...

*It was really hard for me to find a translation for this word: "vicioso" as in that time (the time when the story was written, it meant: "homosexual").

Translation by: Gabriela Cabezas

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Un grupo literario, casi nuevo, del Ecuador.