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The Four Walls

The Four Walls



Vangelis Chatzigiannidis

To Rodakio, 2004
268 p.
ISBN 960-7360-78-8, ISBN-13 978-960-7360-78-6, [In Print]
Price € 22,37

PART ONE: THE EXPERIMENT

In the secluded house of P. Rodakis, probably the loneliest man on the island, a hunted woman takes refuge. She hides a sinful family secret, while in her trunks is hidden an infant, her daughter. She settles in and her one concern is to make her stay in this safe place as assured as possible. To that end, she suggests to her host an undertaking based on a fascinating old idea and offers to act as his assistant. That idea is about an experiment for the tastiest honey in the world. Guided by her infallible sense of taste she tries to discover that magical herb combination which, fed to the bees as nutriment, will verify an old formula, accidentally found in a little box. The tests that follow last nearly ten years and are successful beyond all expectation. However, in spite of the close collaboration of the two co-tenants, there will never be a real bond between them. They will remain strangers forever; their secrets will remain sealed. Confined in the four walls of their rooms, they communicate only when necessary. Apart from that, they live far from the world outside, as the boundaries of their estate seem inviolable. The little girl, Rosa, who lives in the same conditions of seclusion as well, will never play with other children or go to school. Her education undertakes P. Rodakis himself (according to his own beliefs) and through the relation of teacher-pupil an unusual relationship is developed. One day, the woman, drifted by an urge as quick as lighting, decides to break her protective shell by crossing the borders of the estate, a decision she pays with her life. At the same time, as by a cruel joke of fate, the experiment proves to be triumphantly successful.

PART TWO: CHTISTO

The unexpected loss of the woman leaves P. Rodakis the sole possessor of the secret. The reputation of the exquisite apicultural product named Agelikon will go beyond the boundaries not only of the island but also of the country. A group of different people will try to go into partnership with the arrogant apiculturist and to make profit from his auriferous business. In the end he will find himself captive in a monastery, imprisoned in the mazy tunnels of a stone edifice that has been sculptured by the monks for centuries. It is the well-known CHTISTO, a hill that has been internally dug and turned into an impregnable fortress. There reigns the dark figure of the Father Superior, an almost metaphysical creature, who claims that he wants to put the magnificent discovery into the service of faith. His demand is clear: in order for P. Rodakis to be free again, he must surrender to him the secret formula, something that he refuses explicitly.
At the same time Rosa is imprisoned, too. After the vanishing of her “father” – as P. Rodakis is generally regarded – she left the island and settled in the house of her real father who, after a long search, finally managed to locate her. After a series of comic as well as tragic misunderstandings it is decided that she should stay locked up in a room. Her sole consolation is the memory of P. Rodakis.
For the prisoner of Chtiston as well, the only light in the darkness that surrounds him is the thought of Rosa. His liberation from the stone prison is effected in the most unexpected way. A young monk who was directly involved in the apiculturist’s set up betrays Father Superior’s trust and negotiates with a powerful foreigner the turning over of the precious prisoner. As soon as the terms of the surrender are agreed upon, the escape takes place successfully. When P. Rodakis discovers that Rosa is gone he threatens that he will not proceed to any collaboration whatsoever unless his supposed daughter is found. Her release is finally achieved.


POST SCRIPT

They go abroad all together and stay in the luxurious villa of a baron who, like the others, wishes to participate in the production of the wondrous elixir. What happens afterwards will be told through the successive statements of the characters in the interrogator’s office after the baron is found drowned in a lake. The interrogator himself is fascinated by the peculiar story of Agelikon, and the case of the drowning appears to become less important.
As the witnesses come and go, it is revealed that P. Rodakis is unable to materialize his project for some time. The formula encoded in a little poem that was never written down has flown off his mind. Now his only opponent being the unpredictable function of his memory he will have to struggle with it in order to recapture the formula. The outcome is unknown.

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