with a multitude of pigeons in a wicker cage

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Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
On the way, she told him that she had been married less than a year to a man who sold trinkets in the market, whom Florentino Ariza had often seen on his company’s boats un­loading cartons of all kinds of salable merchandise and with a multi­tude of pigeons in a wicker cage of the sort mothers used on riverboats for carrying infants.
(Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez)

Have I understood the part in bold?

"Florentino had seen him on his company's boats
unloading cartons of all kinds
with a multitude of pigeons in a wicker cage ('a wicker cage' is because he was always carrying only one cage)."

  • Crockett

    Senior Member
    US English
    Hello SuprunP. I think you understood it the same way I do. I also imagine the wicker cage must have been pretty large to have a 'multitude' of pigeons.

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I imagine it could have been a wicker cage or basket something like this, used for transporting racing pigeons to the starting point. I often saw them at the railway station when I was a child since breeding and racing pigeons was a favourite working-class hobby in the North East of England. I guess there'd be about 20 birds in each, but they are quite big and I imagine many more smaller birds could be fitted into such a basket. It's slightly ambiguous at first unless we know that the boats were Florentino's company's boats. The trinket seller must have been unloading his own goods from the boat.


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