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Oliver Benjamin                            
crushed. So you’ve escaped!”
Betty harrumphed and strode off to do some proper dusting.
Crash led Roy to an azure sofa and fetched a bag of ice for his head.
“I jumped bail to Mexico,” Roy explained, “Then I figured out
your riddle. The Alec Waugh book. But I don’t get it. Where’s Santa
Crash stared helplessly. “Alec Waugh book? Santa Marta? What
are you talking about?”
Roy looked at him hopelessly.
“Anyway, I’m just glad you understood my clever hint about
Calypso. Trinidad of course, being it’s place of origin. You’ll become
an investigative explorer yet!”
“I need a drink.”
Crash fixed Roy a cocktail. He drank it quickly and then two
more. When he was ready to speak again he pointed toward the
window dressing and declared, “That’s the Eve you mentioned.
“Alas, I thought she was too. I visited the National Museum in
Addis and couldn’t resist stealing the bones. The padlock was so
flimsy, you know. And no security around. I thought I truly had
pulled a coup. But no, it’s only a replica, sad to say.”
“And the other bones? From Yeha?”
“Not old enough, unfortunately. If only I had managed to dig
some up on Deq! But the gilded cup blinded me. Still, it paid for all
this,” he said, sweeping his forearm across the room the way he had
once at Lake Tana. “Prime coastal acreage. As always, the terrestrial
trumps the transcendent. Voracity vanquishes veracity. Joker jumps
the jack. Eat cetera. Id infinitum.”
“So you’ve been here all this time?” Roy asked.
“Yes. I’m laying low, trying to finish the book,” Crash said
resignedly, “They won’t be letting me back into Ethiopia anytime
soon. I may never have the bones, but I’ve got my memories and my
imaginings and maybe that’s enough.”
“Good for you.”
“So what about you? Where are you staying?”
“On the beach.”
“Which resort?”
“No resort. On the beach,” Roy shrugged, then explained his
predicament. Crash immediately offered him a room and despite the
atavistic romance of tropical shoreside destitution, Roy gratefully
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