(Art by George Fredric Watts, Hope, 1886)
Asesino is a story inspired by the dream a friend, Diego Sebastian Figueredo, told at a milonga about a year ago.
It begins with an epigraph borrowed from Thomas De Quincey’s On Murder as Considered as One of the Fine Arts:
The name “Old Man of the Mountains” does not designate any individual person, but was the title — in Arabic Sheikh-al-jebal, “Prince of the Mountains” — of a series of chiefs who presided from 1090 to 1258 over a community or military order of fanatical Mohammedan sectaries, called The Assassins, distributed through Persia and Syria, but with certain mountain-ranges for their headquarters. But, though there is no doubt that the words assassin and assassination, as terms for secret murder, and especially for secret murder by stabbing, are a recollection of the reputed habits of this old Persian and Syrian community, the original etymology of the word Assassins itself, as the name of the community, is not so certain. Skeat sets it down as simply the Arabic hashishin, “hashish-drinkers,” from the fact or on the supposition that the agents of the Old Man of the Mountains, when they were detached on their murderous errands, went forth nerved for the task by the intoxication of hashish, or Indian hemp.
The story is mostly in Spanish, yet Alma’s inner demon seems to speak in a language unfamiliar to her.
What did you think of the ending by the river? Please leave your comments below.