Stealth had failed Dr. Cook. There is as much corruption in Brazil as anywhere and there are plenty of travel restrictions even for esteemed scientists. He had wanted to circumvent these. Some of the limits on passage were absolutely ludicrous and had more to do with guarding smuggler’s routes than anything approaching legitimacy.
But he was not cautious enough and the forces of pillage, rapine, and court intrigue would soon have caught up with him had he not failed in placating our yesternights marauders. In fact, that incident attested to the benevolent force of luck which seemed to follow me everywhere.
By all rights, I should be dead many times over. But that is a story for another time. For now, we sit again at the Jewel of Cuiaba with Cook’s niece the fetching Maria. The fading sunlight dapples with utmost play upon her tan and silky shoulders. I was fiercely horny, having seen nothing but jungle, sweat, and sweaty men for a fortnight and a spell. It reminded me of Citadel nights when we’d be allowed to mix with the women. But unlike those times I could not act.
There set that French fuck. A charming enough fellow, intelligent and all, but possessing that Gallic air, a certain carriage that stirred violence within my heart. I do so hate the French and lust most heartily to reacquaint them with their own foul concept of Coup d Grace. Insufferable prick I could snuff out his miserable life and take this little minx for myself. Weak degenerate, academic, shit…Look at her on display as if on a desert roof and I a David and he a French fuck. He turned and smiled his crooked condescending smile and I laughed internally at my primordial violence. No woman is worth the death of even the vilest of men. Not that women are bad. They are just no better than men. Chimps we are the whole sodding lot. Helen is a whore. But I stray…
As we stuffed ourselves with Fejoida and dishes the names of which I cannot recall for the sake of sheer variety. Delicious all, especially so, for our esteemed guest, some G-man betitled Costa. Dr. Cook attempted to extract a travel permit of sorts while the girl lavished the official with drink and feminine viles. Many a stray touch occurred. And this was the reason for Adrien’s grin.
It could not have been pleasant to watch a lover stoke a strangers flame. But he was French after all and seemed to be fine, amused even. Fatalistic frog…typical cynic..blase shit….
I nearly retched upon remembering the vile vile taste of Onion Soup. But the chief portion of our repast was over and as we awaited dessert, Dr. Cook pulled Hoyt’s map from a protective sleeve that he withdrew from a briefcase.
“You have of course heard the rumors?”
“Si.” Senhor Costa laughed turning red a color that mixed oddly with his deeply tanned face. “Is this what you are after! Hah, well if it’s really there, I guess it would be somewhere there between the Xingu and the other branch. But you will die long before you arrive. And for what ghosts? Stories from superstitious fools.”
“But look at the parchment. Is it not authentic. Do you not smell Carvajal?”
“I smell folly.”
“Fine, I am not asking you to believe in the city but you have seen yourself, the ditches, the canals, the traces of road, the black earth. This could be the key to unlocking it all. Myths are not always unfounded you know.”
“Dr. Cook you are an intelligent man. One of the finest minds of Brazil. If I allowed you to venture with these Indians, boys, and mercenaries that deep I would kill you. Then what will they say about me. My wife will hate me even more than if I was stupid enough to fall for your nieces’s flirting.” He said as he smacked away Maria’s hand.
I gained considerable respect for the balding bespectacled beuracrat in that moment.
“No one will know Senhor Costa. It will all seem as if we bribed the Red Hand.”
Costa shook his head and threw up his hands.
“Fine, doctor if you want to die if you want to kill these brancos. You have my blessing.”
Part I – Kentucky Door
1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe
1.2 The Cajun Prayer
Part II – The Wizard’s Nod
Help a Hipster