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that confirmed it. He also showed him the appendix that contained
Melville’s initial inspiration for the whole story: “Le Cachalot Blanc,”
a story about a contest to kill a deleterious white whale, the prize for
doing so being a beautiful American bride. The winner, to everyone’s
surprise, was a black African.
“But the debt was honored still,” Hernán exclaimed, “Lucky girl!”
Roy wanted to buy it but Hernán refused. “This is my copy. It is
the best book ever written,” he said. “If I get another in, I’ll let you
So Roy returned again and again and in the vacuum created by
want of a whale, a friendship was forged.
“Señor Daggoo!” Hernán now cried as Roy came rushing in, “How
are you my friend?”
“I am okay, Don Tashtego. You must show me an atlas.”
Hernán, always a joker, picked up a small globe and balanced it
on his shoulders. “How about this?” The blue ball rolled off his back
and clanged to the floor.
“Not so good,” Roy said, “You just killed everybody.”
“You are right. I would make a poor Titan.”
“Tell me, Hernán, is there an island in the Caribbean called Santa
“Not that I know of,” he said, “There is a city on the coast of
Colombia with that name. There is a Martinique or St. Maarten in the
Caribbean. But I am quite sure there is no Caribbean island named
Santa Marta.”
Roy placed the copy of Waugh on the counter and pointed out the
references to Santa Marta.
“Well, of course this is imaginary. There is no Island in the Sun.”
Of course there wasn’t. But he ventured, “Where did Waugh stay
when he was in the Caribbean?”
“I think he traveled throughout the area. Like his brother he was
quite the playboy. But, unlike his brother, I don’t believe he played
with boys.”
Roy tried to explain his puzzle. About Crash. About as much of
his past as he was willing to reveal. But then, suddenly, there was a
“Oh God!” Roy cried, “The tapeworm!”
“Yes, you must be lonely. You miss your friends.”
“No! Tengo unasolitaria!” he gasped, now saying it correctly,
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