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Wheels spin within wheels in Spark’s comedy of betrayals and terrorism, set in her beloved Venice
Layers of intrigue; triangulating love affairs; murders; international spy-craft; adultery; parental interference; the sweet careless rapture of youth; unmarked graves ― Territorial Rights claims much ground and Muriel Spark enjoys a wicked dance on it.
said and more; he spoke quite slowly with a venom that had no bearing on the present occasion; except that, feeling in a bad mood, he saw no need whatsoever to control it. Lina said, ‘I will meet with your father. I will meet with Curran. I will tell them the story how I got away for a better life. It’s a great story.’ She was crying even more, as she worked herself up with the drama of her story. Robert started to feel enjoyment, and laughed. Lina Pancev, now aged thirty-five, had grown up in
behaviour, and we had feelings. I’m not going to be condemned to spend my time looking for Robert. No, he isn’t in my flat in Paris; my man there hasn’t seen or heard from him. There are a few bars here in Venice where they might know something, near the Sofia. He used to hang around. …’ The prospect of going around the bars alone asking for Robert did not appeal to him after the first try. ‘I’m looking for a young student; he was here last week. Name, Robert Leaver. Tall and thin, twenty-four,
pre-war luxury friend Victor Pancev, Curran and the de Winters always answered that he was murdered either by avenging Bulgarian royalists or Italian partisans. In 1953 Riccardo de Winter dies leaving his luxury palazzo to his wife Violet. Curran is never suspected of his role as a German agent. After the Allied armies are demobilized he takes up residence again in Paris where he continues his pursuit of works of art and youths. His aunts in America die like flies and leave him one fortune
and besides, the reputation of the hotel had to be kept up. He muttered something about the manager’s orders. He said he had no authority to put through calls to anybody but clients of the hotel. ‘Do you realise,’ said Lina, ‘who I am? Call the manager. My father was once a regular patron of this hotel.’ She felt sure this was true, and anyway, it worked. The clerk agreed to leave her name with the telephone operator and to inform her when and if her call came through. He indicated a darkish
walked, making up his mind to acquire a gun to protect himself. The newspapers of Italy were fed by continual kidnappings. Curran thought: Why should I be spared? And he thought again, as he made his way across the bridges and down the small alleys, to Violet’s house: If this were a dream, then I would wake abruptly with fear. But it isn’t a dream. A water-taxi arrived at Violet’s landing-stage as Curran came round the narrow footpath that led to it from the streets behind the house. In the