Typical! just as I thought that I had these stories all sussed out, Mutis throws a curveball of a story and changes my perspective of these novellas and admire Mutis for not following a formula. In this story Maqroll only plays a small role, a walk on role even.
The Tramp Steamer’s… is narrated by a person who is collecting stories on Maqroll. However on this occasion he is just attending a conference in Helsinki and he sees a Tramp Steamers and falls in love with it. A few years later he sees it again in Jamaica and again for a third time but it is in total ruins. Through luck the narrator bumps into the captain of the steamers and he discovers that Maqroll and his business partner Abdul Bashur gave it to him in order to take part with their shady business deals and ferry certain cargo to different islands. Also included in this scheme is Bashur’s sister Warda and she strikes a romance with the captain.
Essentially The Tramp… is a pure bona fide no frills love story and a well told one. Not mushy and sensual. Now whether this tale is just an interlude or part of a bigger whole we will see with the fifth novella.