~Part Six~

[He makes yet another caipirinha, sloppily, visibly drunk. He breathes deeply, drains his drink, and resumes rolling his proverbial boulder as though it just might reach the top of the hill this time—or simply dissolve in his cachaša.]

And whether it is Jennie or Charlotte or Catherine or whomever else I may have married, we shall be in Brazil and there shall be music!

[He snaps his fingers and the fiddler strikes up "Chorinho" as our guide drunkenly dances about as though with one of the aforementioned ideas of women, now and then shouting over the tune.]

And now, my guide is complete! It is bound as I am bound for New York and then Brazil once more! The captain says we are about to pass St. Thomas, but I could care as long as there is music! As long as there is this most delicious beverage—the caipirinha has been Brazil's official cocktail for nearly centuries!

It is the drink of the Common Man! That, Dear Reader, is a notion so American that it is American no more! It is a notion I once had printed in Cincinnati at my own—not insignificant—expense—so that my country could then promptly forget it and wage a gigantic war against itself instead. A war of industry! A war of dispossession! Well, Sherman, color me dispossessed! I am too American for what my nation of birth has become! The idea rebels against itself evermore!

We all must have a villain I suppose! Indeed we—

[He smacks a mosquito on his neck.]

Goddammit there's another foe! This one vanquished!

[For one reason or another, as the music still plays and he continues to dance, the symptoms of Yellow Fever appear instantly. He sweats and jerks about the ship's deck, sure he is about to vomit, but instead he cries.]

Oh what's this now? What's—

[His tears are filled with blood.]

Oh for Christ's sake. Oh, now I shall surely have to stop at St. Thomas and check into some sanitarium that hopefully will not kill me for a lark. How Americans can be so mistreated abroad!

[He slurs his speech, perhaps drunkenly, perhaps out of illness. No one can be certain, least of all he.]