chapter
6 Pages

BEHIND THE FRONT

MADRID HAS CHANGED. I KNEW THE GRAN VIA and the Calle de Alcala with their ostentatious skyscrapers and ostentatious display of luxury ears; the blasé snobbery of the international hotels; the aimless sauntering along the boulevards; the cafés where, above the endless conversations, time itself stood still in a blue mist of cigarette smoke. I had known the crocks, the beggars, the mothers exploiting the misery of their children in the underground, at the entrance of banks, hotels, and theatres, in the parks, and on the steps of churches. I was acquainted with the dark recesses of the slum quarters, and the gleaming cocked hats of the civil guard, which put one in mind of lacquered coffins.