Graham stopped the recording here and returned to his seat.
We were all waiting for some kind of explanation. It never came.
“Uh…Hoyt? What was that about?”
“Well, isn’t it obvious!” Graham snapped.
“No.” I said wryly.
“We have to go to Brazil!”
He said it with such certitude that we couldn’t help but chuckle.
“What’s so funny!” Graham demanded. “The thing is clear as day! He’s drawn it!” He expostulated pointing a finger at Sam. “He’s drawn it and whatever had a hold of me earlier has even played the Tele for us! And about…what…about bloody Brazil…so we have to go…and soon…because…because…” He was kind of breathless. Sinking back into the mahogany leather he released strange little wheezes.
I was about to ask if he was alright but his former odd placidity returned right as I opened my mouth.
We all waited for him to continue building his case for a trip to Brazil. It never came.
“The Tele…?” Lucas inquired. “Bloody…? Have you been watching too much Top Gear again?”
Yeah, I thought to myself. It was a really odd word choice for our all American giant.
“Look…” Graham said palming his face. “Look, the thing’s thrown itself on us…Unification…the answer…don’t tell me this dream hasn’t been peaking through our dim eaves…tapping…trying to get our attention…and finally a word slips through..and you would all align in denial. What utter claptrap, what nonsense, you..you Philistines!”
“Relax man, relax, I’m not against going to Brazil, but there’s no way we’re going to just up and fly on your word. Thorton wouldn’t have it. There’s so much volatile stuff on site. We need adequate reason. So you’d better get a grip and elaborate. Else, we go nowhere…” I stated firmly.
“We’ll have to begin in Cuiabá. It will all fall into place there. That’s where it will make sense…”
“It has to make sense now, Graham,” Lucas interjected.
“Alright! Look…what was that newscaster talking about?”
I’d almost forgotten about the ‘News of the Weird’ segment that had come on the ‘tele.’ This reminder led me to recall the record that had just played. It was very strange how things kept slipping back out of my conscious attention. Then again I had been drinking and awake for nearly a day now.
“So what was that a recording of anyway?” I asked.
“I’ll get to that! But look I don’t think I have to. They turned on the television! You saw it. You were all here. You were privy!”
His eyes were alight with indignation.
“Amapá!Calçoene! Amazon Stonehenge! What does it suggest you utter Pillocks?! Eh….”
We all just stared. His voice was becoming more foreign by the minute. The usual mellow tenor was too crisp…
“No takers?! Figures, thick, thick as the Styx. BRAZIL! BRAZIL! BRAZIL! The jaguar in Sam’s picture what was it next to? Monoliths right…what was on the Tele…monoliths…right…hmmm….yes…?!”
“Sure. But what would we do there? What’s the M.O.? You know Thorton’s ‘operating definitions.’”
“You understand it would all end there right. All these little Physics right! Hmm…no..no…much too thick…like tar they are…boggy sodding fuck…right…yea..gotta make them see..eh…got to…ok I’ll tell you what…hmm mmm o mmmm,” He was teetering under his breath, “I will…so you have to see for yourselves… a trip to the Shuttle then. Now!”
‘The Shuttle’ was our ‘place and setting’ it was where we did our transcendental work. I wasn’t about to go there on a whim.
“We’re not moving till you explain what that record was.”
“Look…I uh…oooo…I have to piss….!” He sprang up from his seat and was gone.
We were all dumbfounded. No one spoke. Fortunately, it wasn’t terribly long before he returned.
“I don’t know what that record is! He cried. I just know the vision I know the voice. It’s….it’s something of my late uncle’s something my father left me when he died. I’d always been told to stay clear of uncle Henry. He was the black sheep of the clan you see. Got into some kind of trouble thieving some sort of thing from the Museum of London. Bad reputation..bad…always up to something..always stoned..but there’s this record which I’ve played only once before..sounded like utter gibberish at the time…but now it all makes sense…I’m glad I kept it out of interest out of filial duty. Now we know…we know…”
“We know what exactly?”
I was still confused.
He was still standing at the threshold of the sitting room. Gently swaying like a drunk but with more rhythm. Given his height, the motion had a strange serpentine sinuous sort of quality. I actually think I’d seen my autistic nephew do something similar.
“We know that we must go to Brazil! To Cuiabá! We must go: and this is how you will explain it to Thorton. We must go because there is medicine there and an academic who will know exactly what we’re on about! Name’s Senhor Palis! He’ll be thrilled to see this….”
Graham crossed the floor to the record player, picked up the sleeve from the record he’d put on, and produced from it a sheet of yellow paper. Holding it aloft dramatically he scanned our faces with searching eyes.
“Uh…and what is that ya got there…”
“The map he’s been looking for.”
1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe
1.2 The Cajun Prayer