By New Street Communications

1: Marley’s Ghost

Marley was dead to begin with. Ten years dead. He had carried every weight the world could lay upon a man, but in the end he died all the same – in fact, made his own exit in his own time – and did so without complaint. He wanted more. There was none. And so he departed. He was cold in the ground, his eyes closed to all things, his feet pointed east.

Scrooge no more thought of his old friend, however, than he did of his second divorce or of the time (on a Christmas Eve, just like this) at Havana’s Floridita when he’d matched drinks one-for-one with a man who was a coward. Each downed glass after glass of rum; neither got drunk. The coward, who claimed to be a good Catholic, was long gone. Over the course of six decades, one left much behind and could count many graves. But, if one was honest and unflinching, he understood that there was no tragedy in this.

The snows of Idaho were as beautiful as they were silent. Light from the full moon fell across the Big Wood River. Sprays of pine rose with great dignity amid the white of the valley and the white of the distant Boulder Mountains. Cottonwoods stood naked. Trail Creek, Warm Springs Creek, Silver Creek and even the river itself lay frozen on their surfaces…

BOOK DESCRIPTION (FROM AMAZON): Ketchum, Idaho – Christmas, 1959: Blizzard-bound, Ernest Hemingway occupies himself with wine and prose, recreating his own rendition of Charles Dickens’s classic A Christmas Carol. The story he spins carries echoes of himself. Afflicted by depression and concern over what he feels are his failing artistic powers, he reaches back to a timeless story of renewal, and to memory, to kindle a sense of joy and redemption. (Note: The book is 48 pages in length.)