The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.3 – Noble Savage

Five indigenous tribe members stand near a hut with spears in the Amazon
Garimpero

I never subscribed to the myth of the noble savage. Ever since I came across Rosseau’s idea of the inherent goodness of man in the wild…. I found it laughable.

And here, of course, my suspicions were confirmed. Those suspicions being that ‘people are people.’ Attributing mysticism to their humanity because of an underdog ‘natural’ status is condescending. All that west coast Birkenstock bric a brac seemed a touch racist. ‘Why can’t an Indian be an asshole?’

But these boys weren’t assholes. They did have a legitimate reason to kill us. Nothing wrong with whacking the baddies. I’m a military man after all so murder is in my toolkit. Argue all you want but at some point, killing is a right. Ugly? This fact? Perhaps, but defecation is also a right. We shit. We kill.

We were potential vectors for disease. And while this tribe may not have understood the finer points of germ theory they weren’t stupid. They understood that every time ‘brancos’ (white folk) showed up death and disease often followed.

Hence all the trips to various villages that Cook and Lobo had recently taken. They were on a diplomatic mission to ply various chiefs with gifts and assure them that we weren’t walking infections. This would pave the way for a smoother passage then if we just strode in like we owned the place.

And Brancos had been doing precisely that for far too long. I am no bleeding heart and I take a healthy satisfaction in my northern heritage but there’s much to lament about the course of history. I can’t recall the name of the prospector but one story, in particular, turned my stomach.

Cook recounted how nearly a century or maybe it was more…there was a group of brigands chasing dreams of gold in the wood. There is gold in the Amazon but there are also Indians. And this particular band took great joy in giddy slaughter. Pregnant women were disemboweled, flayed men hung from trees, and all this was considered good.

More recently clashes between natives and police had produced less gruesome deaths. But deaths they remained. There were yet still prospectors boasting of slain Indians. In 2017 an investigation was launched based on these boasts. Boasts of boasters who could well be the cause of the deaths of 10 natives. Ten dead men do not strike a NATO boy as even the merest marginalia. But, these ten marked the death of a fifth of a nation.

It was small wonder then – Fabre’s news of the visitations deadly intent. The Amazon was home to the largest number of uncontacted tribes and while Cook was good, no one was quite good enough…

All these thoughts I read in the reflection of my face. The dark glass of a government Jeep was transporting us back to Cuiaba.

We were in trouble. The incident with the flares and the helicopter may have saved us but it was certainly unpopular with local officials.

Cook paused his hectic Portuguese exchange with the officer driving and turned to me.

“Did I forget to tell you to sing?”



Part I – Kentucky Door

1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe

1.2 The Cajun Prayer

1.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter One: The Cambridge Gable Scene (‘Gator is Waitin’)

1.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.4 – The Cambridge Gable Scene – (Horticulture)

1.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.5: ‘To Luckadoo Cove’

1.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.6 – ‘Is there anybody out there…’

1.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.7: ‘Jesse’

1.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.8: ‘Lungful of Bees’

1.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.9 – ‘Precedent’

2.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.0 -Calvinist Neuroses

2.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.1 – Mirage

2.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.2 – Estate Planning

2.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.3 – High Tech Summons

2.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.4 – Amazon Stonehenge

2.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.5 – Jung

2.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.6 – Dee

2.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.7 – Meeting 211

2.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.8 – Itinerary

2.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.9 – Fact and Fiction

2.10 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.10 -Kaffeeklatsch

2.11 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.11 – Catnap

2.12 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.12 – ‘One Pair’

2.13 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.13 – Reentry

2.14 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.14 – Phoenix

2.15 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.15 – Apollo and Dionysus

3.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.0 – Inherit the Wind

3.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.1 – Stardust

3.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.2 – Loyola

3.3 Chapter 3.3 – High and Dry

3.4 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.4 – One DreamSketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.9 – Thera_

3.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.5 – Pensive

3.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.6 – Feijoada

3.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.7 – ‘Good food and good work…’

3.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.8 – A Good Egg

3.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.9 – Oregon Hill

3.10 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.10 – ‘Thick Bushes’

4.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.0 – No room at the Inn

4.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.1 – The Union Jack

4.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.2 – The Genevive

4.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.3 – Ecclesiastes 1:18

4.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.4 – Bleached

4.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.5 – Marty

4.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.6 – Highland Deep

4.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.7 – Sunshine

4.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.8 – What is it?

4.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.9 – Thera

4.10 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.10 – Father Crespi

4.11 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.11 – Why this?

Part II – The Wizard’s Nod

5.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.0 – Thurible

5.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.1 – Parlour Tricks

5.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.2 – Tropical Brutalism

5.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.3 – The Dreamers in the Wood

5.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.4 – Les Goddams

The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.5 – Lobo

5.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.6 – Madonna

5.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.7 – Basic 2.0

5.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.8 – The Least Dangerous Game

5.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.9 – Bichanos

5.10 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.10 – Extreme Parsimony

5.11 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.11 – Gut to Guts

6.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.0 -Silent Chocolate (Celestial Shoes)

6.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.1 – Of Boffins and Shamans

6.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.2 – Diplomacy


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