THE STRAITS OF GIBRALTAR March 12, 1940
When the wave threw him against the gunwale, it was pure instinct that made Captain González grab at the wood, scraping the skin all the way down his hand. Decades later—by which time he’d become the most distinguished bookseller in Vigo—he would shudder as he remembered that night, the most terrifying and extraordinary of his life. While he sat in his armchair as an old, gray-haired man, his mouth would recall the taste of blood, saltpeter, and fear. His ears would remember the thundering of what they called the “toppler of...