My hell was abruptly ended by a loud, “Senhor!”
A tall, Latin-looking fellow, seeming to be somewhere in his mid-thirties was standing directly in front of me.
“May I help you?”
“Yes, you are Senhor Baird, am I correct?”
“Sure, but don’t tell the authorities.”
The stranger laughed heartily.
“Very good, Senhor Baird, very good. You still have your sense of humor…that is good. But you are seeming to be missing something.”
“Si, that nasty drink, that will not fill you, you must eat!”
“I’ve never been known to pass up a meal. So are you…Proffesor…Böhm?”
My surprise passed when I recalled how many krauts had expatriated to Brazil. What I at first thought was Spanish inflection I now recognized as Portuguese. I guess Thornton had wanted to surprise me.
“Ok, Leo, is that short for Leonardo?”
“Leandro.” Here he threw up his hands in disarming ‘Comme ci, comme ça.’
“But that is no matter. Leo is fine. Where are your friends?”
“Two are sleeping, one is at the pool, and I haven’t seen the fifth in weeks.”
“Ah, you are talking about Senhor Hoyt?”
“Yea,” I said, my curiosity peaking.
“He is in Virginia, where I stopped before I come here.”
“Ah, ok I suppose you figured out my father’s family.”
“Not exactly an episode of Unsolved Mysteries, so, what the hell is going on with Graham?”
Leo sighed. “You Americans are all business.”
“Maybe Thornton…” I smirked.
“Your friend was with Senhor Thornton, in Richmond, I could not believe what he told me…”
“Was he alright?”
“Well, yes in terms of uh…he seemed strong…but well I have always been sort of superstitious and I don’t know…he was…”
Leo laughed. “Si. I would not have said it that way but I guess so.”
So it seemed that Graham was still under whatever the hell spell he’d fallen into all those weeks ago.
“So what did he tell you that was so unbelievable?” I inquired regaining the pace of the conversation.
“Hmm…” the professor looked around.
“Oh no no, nothing like that, nobody would know what to do with the information except us.”
“Si, but that…all of it…is sooo much information…and…you must eat! Look at you…like a skeleton. Crazy eyes too, hungry…”
“As I said, I’ve never been known to pass up a meal.”
“Excellent. It is Saturday, I will show you how Brazilians celebrate such afternoons. There is a fellow Fernando has a restaurant on Fifth Avenue just a few blocks from here, best Feijoada in the states.”
After a bit more banter I headed off to corral the other reprobates.
1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe
1.2 The Cajun Prayer
Help a Hipster