The Power and the Glory (Penguin Classics)
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"Graham Greene's masterpiece" —John Updike)
In a poor, remote section of Southern Mexico, the paramilitary group, the Red Shirts have taken control. God has been outlawed, and the priests have been systematically hunted down and killed. Now, the last priest is on the run. Too human for heroism, too humble for martyrdom, the nameless little worldly “whiskey priest” is nevertheless impelled toward his squalid Calvary as much by his own compassion for humanity as by the efforts of his pursuers.
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exclaimed. It's a game children play. I know. He said to the child: Have you any friends? The child suddenly laughed again knowingly. The seven-year-old body was like a dwarf's: it disguised an ugly maturity. Get out of here, the woman said. Get out before I teach you ... She made a last impudent and malicious gesture and was gone-perhaps for ever as far as he was concerned. To those you love you do not always say good-bye beside a deathbed, in an atmosphere of leisure and incense. He said: I
proudly: I'm not a prisoner. I'm a guest. The priest made a motion of apology (he was afraid to speak) and moved again. Wait a moment, the half-caste commanded him again. Come here. The priest stood stubbornly, half-turned away, near the door. Come here, the half-caste said. You're a prisoner, aren't you?-and I'm a guest-of the Governor. Do you want me to shout for a policeman? Then do as you're told: come here. It seemed as if God were deciding ... finally. He came, pail in hand, and stood
line, life might, after all, be enjoyed again. It was an English book-but from his years in an American seminary he retained enough English to read it, with a little difficulty. Even if he had been unable to understand a word, it would still have been a book. It was called Jewels Five Words Long, A Treasury of English Verse, and on the fly-leaf was pasted a printed certificate-Awarded to ... and then the name Coral Fellows filled up in ink ... for proficiency in English  Composition, Third
cold. He wheezed: So much to think about. I should like to do something for you, the lieutenant said: I've brought you some brandy. Against the law? Yes. It's very good of you. He took the small flask. You wouldn't need this, I dare say. But I've always been afraid of pain. We have to die some time, the lieutenant said. It doesn't seem to matter so much when.  You're a good man. You've got nothing to be afraid of. You have such odd ideas, the lieutenant complained. He said: Sometimes
down from the window-seat and picked up his candle-Zapata, Villa, Madero, and the rest, they were all dead, and it was people like the man out there who killed them. He felt deceived. The lieutenant came along the pavement: there was something brisk and stubborn about his walk, as if he were saying at every step: I have done what I have done. He looked in at the boy holding the candle with a look of indecisive recognition. He said to himself: I would do much more for him and them, much more,