The Crying of Lot 49
A hardcover edition of this book was originally published by J.B. Lippincott Co pany. A portion of this novel was first published in Esquire Magazine under the title !The "orld #This $ne%& the 'lesh #(rs. $edipa (aas%& and the Testa ent of )ierce *nverarity.! Another portion appeared in Cavalier.
49. Copyright 1 2933& 2934 by Tho as )ynchon. All rights reserved. )rinted in the 5nited 6tates of A erica. /o part of this book ay be used or reproduced in any anner whatsoever without written per ission e7cept in the case of brief 8uotations e bodied in critical articles and reviews. 'or infor ation address +arper 9 -ow& )ublishers& *nc.& 2: ,ast 4;rd 6treet& /ew .ork& /... 2::<<.
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'irst ),-,//*AL '*CT*$/ L*B-A-. edition published 29=3. -eissued 299:. Library of Congress Cataloging>in>)ublication ?ata )ynchon& Tho asThe crying of lot 49. *. Title. **. TitleA Crying of lot forty>nine.)6;433. .44CB9 29=3 #pbk.%9: 92 9< 9; 94 ('C 2: 9 = B 3 4 4 ; < 2 @ =2;C.44 =4>44<<2*6B/ :>:3>:92;:B>D
su er afternoon (rs $edipa (aas ca e ho e fro a Tupperware party whose hostess had put perhaps too uch kirsch in the fondue to find that she& $edipa& had been na ed e7ecutor& or she supposed e7ecutri7& of the estate of one )ierce *nverarity& a California real estate ogul who had once lost two illion collars in his spare ti e but still had assets nu erous and tangled enough to ake the Eob of sorting it all out ore than honorary. $edipa stood in the living roo & stared at by the greenish dead eye of the TF tube& spoke the na e of 0od& tried to feel as
drunk as possible. But this did not work. 6he thought of a hotel roo in (aGatlan whose door had Eust been sla ed& it see ed forever& waking up two hundred birds down in the lobbyH a sunrise over the library slope at Cornell 5niversity that nobody out on it had seen because the slope faces westH a dry& disconsolate tune fro the fourth ove ent of the Bartok Concerto for $rchestraH a whitewashed bust of Jay 0ould that )ierce kept over the bed on a shelf so narrow for it sheCd always had the hovering fear it would so eday topple on the . "as that how heCd died& she wondered& a ong drea s& crushed by the only ikon in the houseI That only ade her laugh& out loud and helplessA .ouCre so sick& $edipa& she told herself& or the roo & which knew. The letter was fro the law fir of "arpe& "ist>full& Jubitschek and (c(ingus& of Los Angeles& and signed by so ebody na ed (etGger. *t said )ierce had died back in the spring& and theyCd only Eust now found the will. (etGger was to act as co>e7ecutor and special counsel in the event of any involved litigation. $edipa had been na ed also to e7ecute the will in a codicil dated a year ago. 6he tried to think back to whether anything unusual had happened around then. Through the rest of the afternoon& through her trip to the arket in downtown Jinneret>A ong>The>)ines to buy ricotta and listen to the (uGak #today she ca e through the bead>curtained entrance around bar 4 of the 'ort "ayne 6ettecento ,nse bleCs varioru recording of the Fivaldi JaGoo Concerto& Boyd Beaver& soloist%H then through the sunned gathering of her arEora and sweet basil fro the herb garden& reading of book reviews in the latest Scientific American, into the layering of a lasagna& garlicking of a bread& tearing up of ro aine leaves& eventually& oven on& into the i7ing of the twilightCs whiskey sours against the arrival of her husband& "endell #!(ucho!% (aas fro work& she wondered& wondered& shuffling back through a fat deckful of days which see ed #wouldnCt she be first to ad it itI% ore or less identical& or all pointing the sa e way subtly like a conEurerCs deck& any odd one readily clear
to a trained eye. *t took her till the iddle of +untley and Brinkley to re e ber that last year at three or so one orning there had co e this long>distance call& fro where she would never know #unless now heCd left a diary% by a voice beginning in heavy 6lavic tones as second secretary at the Transyl>vanian Consulate& looking for an escaped batH odulated to co ic>/egro& then on into hostile )achuco dialect& full of chingas and ariconesH then a 0estapo officer asking her in shrieks did she have relatives in 0er any and finally his La ont Cranston voice& the one heCd talked in all the way down to (aGatlan. !)ierce& please&! sheCd anaged to get in& !* thought we hadKK! !But (argo&! earnestly& !*Cve Eust co e fro Co issioner "eston& and that old an in the fun house was urdered by the sa e blowgun that killed )rofessor Luackenbush&! or so ething. !'or 0odCs sake&! she said. (ucho had rolled over and was looking at her. !"hy donCt you hang up on hi &! (ucho suggested& sensibly. !* heard that&! )ierce said. !* think itCs ti e "endell (aas had a little visit fro The 6hadow.! 6ilence& positive and thorough& fell. 6o it was the last of his voices she ever heard. La ont Cranston. That phone line could have pointed any direction& been any length. *ts 8uiet a biguity shifted over& in the onths after the call& to what had been revivedA e ories of his face& body& things heCd given her& things she had now and then pretended not toCve heard hi say. *t took hi over& and to the verge of being forgotten. The shadow waited a year before visiting. But now there was (etGgerCs letter. +ad )ierce called last year then to tell her about this codicilI $r had he decided on it later& so ehow because of her annoyance and (uchoCs indifferenceI 6he felt e7posed& finessed& put down. 6he had never e7ecuted a will in her life& didnCt know where to begin& didnCt know how to tell the law fir in L. A. that she didnCt know where to begin. !(ucho& baby&! she cried& in an access of helplessness. (ucho (aas& ho e& bounded through the screen door. !Today was another defeat&! he began. !Let e tell you&! she also began. But let (ucho go first. +e was a disk Eockey who worked further along the )eninsula and suffered regular crises of conscience out his profession. !* donCt believe in any of it& $ed&! he could usually get out. !* try& * truly canCt&! way down there& further down perhaps than she could reach& so that such ti es often brought her near panic. *t ight have been the sight of her so about to lose control that see ed to bring hi back up. !.ouCre too sensitive.! .eah& there was so uch else she ought to be saying also& but this was what ca e out. *t was true& anyway. 'or a couple years heCd been a used car sales an and so hyperaware of what that profession had co e to ean that working hours were e78uisite torture to hi . (ucho shaved his upper lip every orning three ti es with& three ti es against the grain to re ove any re otest breath of a oustache& new blades he drew blood invariably but kept at itH bought all natural>shoulder suits& then went to a tailor to have the lapels ade yet ore abnor ally narrow& on his hair used only water& co bing it like Jack Le on to throw the further off. The sight of sawdust& even pencil shavings& ade hi wince& his own kind being known to use it for hushing sick trans issions& and though he dieted he could still not as $edipa did use honey to sweeten his coffee for like all things viscous it distressed hi & recalling too poignantly what is often i7ed with otor oil to ooGe dishonest into gaps between piston and cylinder wall. +e walked out of a party one night because so ebody used the word !crea puff&! it see ed aliciously& in his hearing. The an was a refugee +ungarian pastry cook talking shop& but there was your (uchoA thin>skinned. .et at least he had believed in the cars. (aybe to e7cessA how could he not& seeing people poorer than hi co e in& /egro& (e7ican& cracker& a parade seven days a week& bringing the ost godawful of trade>insA otoriGed& etal e7tensions of the selves& of their fa ilies and what their whole lives ust be like& out there so naked for anybody& a stranger like hi self& to look at& fra e cockeyed& rusty underneath& fender repainted in a shade Eust off enough to depress the value& if not (ucho hi self& inside s elling hopelessly of children& super arket booGe& two& so eti es three generations of cigarette s okers& or only of dustK and when the cars were swept out you had to look at the actual residue of these lives& and there was no way of telling what things had been truly refused #when so little he supposed ca e by that out of fear ost of it had to be taken and kept% and what had si ply #perhaps tragically% been lostA clipped coupons pro ising savings of .:4 or . 2:& trading sta ps& pink flyers advertising specials at the arkets& butts& tooth>shy co bs& help>wanted ads& .ellow )ages torn fro the phone book& rags of old underwear or dresses that already were period costu es& for wiping your own breath off the inside of a windshield with so you could see whatever it was& a ovie& a wo an or car you coveted& a cop who ight pull you over Eust for drill& all the bits and pieces coated unifor ly& like a salad of despair& in a gray dressing of ash& condensed e7haust& dust& body wastesKit ade hi sick to look& but he had to look. *f it had been an outright Eunkyard& probably he could have stuck things out& ade a careerA the violence that had caused each
wreck being infre8uent enough& far enough away fro hi & to be iraculous& as each death& up till the o ent of our own& is iraculous. But the endless rituals of trade>in& week after week& never got as far as violence or blood& and so were too plausible for the i pressionable (ucho to take for long. ,ven if enough e7posure to the unvarying gray sickness had so ehow anaged to i uniGe hi & he could still never accept the way each owner& each shadow& filed in only to e7change a dented& alfunctioning version of hi self for another& Eust as futureless& auto otive proEection of so ebody elseCs life. As if it were the ost natural thing. To (ucho it was horrible. ,ndless& convoluted incest. $edipa couldnCt understand how he could still get so upset even now. By the ti e he arried her heCd already been two years at the station& JC5'& and the lot on the pallid& roaring arterial was far behind hi & like the 6econd "orld or Jorean "ars were for older husbands. (aybe& 0od help her& he should have been in a war& Japs in trees& Jrauts in Tiger tanks& gooks with tru pets in the night he ight have forgotten sooner than whatever it was about the lot that had stayed so alar ingly with hi for going on five years. 'ive years. .ou co fort the when they wake pouring sweat or crying out in the language of bad drea s& yes& you hold the & they cal down& one day they lose itA she knew that. But when was (ucho going to forgetI 6he suspected the disk Eockey spot #which heCd got through his good buddy the JC5' advertising anager& whoCd visited the lot once a week& the lot being a sponsor% was a way of letting the Top <::& and even the news copy that ca e Eabbering out of the achineKall the fraudulent drea of teenage appetitesKbe a buffer between hi and that lot. +e had believed too uch in the lot& he believed not at all in the station. .et to look at hi now& in the twilit living roo & gliding like a large bird in an updraft toward the sweating shakerful of booGe& s iling out of his fat vorte7 ringCs centre& youCd think all was flat cal & gold& serene. 5ntil he opened his outh. !Today 'unch&! he told her& pouring& !had e in& wanted to talk about y i age& which he doesnCt like.! 'unch being the progra director& and (uchoCs great foe. !*C too horny& now. "hat * should be is a young father& a big brother. These little chicks call in with re8uests& naked lust& to )unchCs ear& throbs in every word * say. 6o now *C suppose to tape all the phone talk& 'unch personally will edit out anything he considers offensive& eaning all of y end of the conversation. Censorship& * told hi & Cfink&C * uttered& and fled.! +e and 'unch went through so e such routine aybe once a week. 6he showed hi the letter fro (etGger. (ucho knew all about her and )ierceA it had ended a year before (ucho arried her. +e read the letter and withdrew along a shy string of eyeblinks. !"hat a * going to doI! she said. !$h& no&! said (ucho& !you got the wrong fella. /ot e. * canCt even ake out our inco e ta7 right. ,7ecute a will& thereCs nothing * can tell you& see -ose an.! Their lawyer. !(ucho. "endell. *t was over. Before he put y na e on it.! !.eah& yeah. * eant only that& $ed. *C not capable.! 6o ne7t orning thatCs what she did& went and saw -ose an. After a half hour in front of her vanity irror drawing and having to redraw dark lines along her eyelids that each ti e went ragged or wavered violently before she could take the brush away. 6heCd been up ost of the night& after another three>in>the> orning phone call& its announcing bell clear cardiac terror& so out of nothing did it co e& the instru ent one second inert& the ne7t screa ing. *t brought both of the instantly awake and they lay& Eoints unlocking& not even wanting to look at each other for the first few rings. 6he finally& having nothing she knew of to lose& had taken it. *t was ?r +ilarius& her shrink or psychotherapist. But he sounded like )ierce doing a 0estapo officer. !* didnCt wake you up& did *&! he began& dry. !.ou sound so frightened. +ow are the pills& not workingI! !*C not taking the &! she said. !.ou feel threatened by the I! !* donCt know whatCs inside the .! !.ou donCt believe that theyCre only tran8uiliG>ers.! !?o * trust youI! 6he didnCt& and what he said ne7t e7plained why not. !"e still need a hundred>and>fourth for the bridge.! Chuckled aridly. The bridge& die Brucke& being his pet na e for the e7peri ent he was helping the co unity hospital run on effects of L6?><4& esca> line& psilocybin& and related drugs on a large sa ple of surburban housewives. The bridge inward. !"hen can you let us fit you into our schedule.! !/o&! she said& !you have half a illion others to choose fro . *tCs three in the orning.! !"e want you.! +anging in the air over her bed she now beheld the well>known portrait of 5ncle that appears in front of all our post offices& his eyes glea ing unhealthily& his sunken yellow cheeks ost violently rouged& his finger pointing between her eyes. * want you. 6he had never asked ?r +ilarius why& being afraid of all he ight answer.
!* a having a hallucination now& * donCt need drugs for that.! !?onCt describe it&! he said 8uickly. !"ell. "as there anything else you wanted to talk about.! !?id * call youI! !* thought so&! he said& !* had this feeling. /ot telepathy. But rapport with a patient is a curious thing so eti es.! !/ot this ti e.! 6he hung up. And then couldnCt get to sleep. But would be da ned if sheCd take the capsules heCd given her. Literally da ned. 6he didnCt want to get hooked in any way& sheCd told hi that. !6o&! he shrugged& !on e you are not hookedI Leave then. .ouCre cured.! 6he didnCt leave. /ot that the shrink held any dark power over her. But it was easier to stay. "hoCd know the day she was curedI /ot hi & heCd ad itted that hi self. !)ills are different&! she pleaded. +ilarius only ade a face at her& one heCd ade before. +e was full of these delightful lapses fro orthodo7y. +is theory being that a face is sy etrical like a -orschach blot& tells a story like a TAT picture& e7cites a response like a suggested word& so why not. +e clai ed to have once cured a case of hysterical blindness with his nu ber ;B& the !'u>(anchu! # any of the faces having like 0er an sy phonies both a nu ber and nickna e%& which involved slanting the eyes up with the inde7 fingers& enlarging the nostrils with the iddle fingers& pulling the outh wide with the pinkies and protruding the tongue. $n +ilarius it was truly alar ing. And in fact& as $edipaCs 5ncle 6a hallucination faded& it was this 'u> (anchu face that ca e dissolving in to replace it and stay with her for what was left of the hours before dawn. *t put her in hardly any shape to see -ose an. But -ose an had also spent a sleepless night& brooding over the )erry (ason television progra the evening before& which his wife was fond of but toward which -ose an cherished a fierce a bivalence& wanting at once to be a successful trial lawyer like )erry (ason and& since this was i possible& to destroy )erry (ason by under ining hi . $edipa walked in ore or less by surprise to catch her trusted fa ily lawyer stuffing with guilty haste a wad of different>siGed and colored papers into a desk drawer. 6he knew it was the rough draft of The Profession v. Perry Mason, A Not so hy!othetical "n#ictment, and had been in progress for as long as the TF show had been on the air. !.ou didnCt use to look guilty& as * re e ber&! $edipa said. They often went to the sa e group therapy sessions& in a car pool with a photographer fro )alo Alto who thought he was a volleyball. !ThatCs a good sign& isnCt itI! !.ou ight have been one of )erry (asonCs spies&! said -ose an. After thinking a o ent he added& !+a& ha.! !+a& ha&! said $edipa. They looked at each other. !* have to e7ecute a will&! she said. !$h& go ahead then&! said -ose an& !donCt let e keep you.! !/o&! said $edipa& and told hi all. !"hy would he do a thing like that&! -ose an puGGled& after reading the letter. !.ou ean dieI! !/o&! said -ose an& !na e you to help e7ecute it.! !+e was unpredictable.! They went to lunch. -ose an tried to play footsie with her under the table. 6he was wearing boots& and couldnCt feel uch of anything. 6o& insulated& she decided not to ake any fuss. !-un away with e&! said -ose an when the coffee ca e. !"hereI! she asked. That shut hi up. Back in the office& he outlined what she was in forA learn inti ately the books and the business& go through probate& collect all debts& inventory the assets& get an appraisal of the estate& decide what to li8uidate and what to hold on to& pay off clai s& s8uare away ta7es& distribute legacies . . . !+ey&! said $edipa& !canCt * get so ebody to do it for eI! !(e&! said -ose an& !so e of it& sure. But arenCt you even interestedI! !*n whatI! !*n what you ight find out.! As things developed& she was to have all anner of revelations. +ardly about )ierce *nverarity& or herselfH but about what re ained yet had so ehow& before this& stayed away. There had hung the sense of buffering& insulation& she had noticed the absence of an intensity& as if watching a ovie& Eust perceptibly out of focus& that the proEectionist refused to fi7. And had also gently conned herself into the curious& -apunGel>like role of a pensive girl so ehow& agically& prisoner a ong the pines and salt fogs of Jinneret& looking for so ebody to say hey& let down your hair. "hen it turned out to be )ierce sheCd happily pulled out the pins and curlers and down it tu bled in its whispering& dainty avalanche& only when )ierce had got aybe halfway up& her lovely hair turned& through so e
sinister sorcery& into a great unanchored wig& and down he fell& on his ass. But dauntless& perhaps using one of his any credit cards for a shi & heCd slipped the lock on her tower door and co e up the conchlike stairs& which& had true guile co e ore naturally to hi & heCd have done to begin with. But all that had then gone on between the had really never escaped the confine ent of that tower. *n (e7ico City they so ehow wandered into an e7hibition of paintings by the beautiful 6panish e7ile -e edies FaroA in the central painting of a triptych& titled !Bordando el (anto Terrestre&! were a nu ber of frail girls with heart>shaped faces& huge eyes& spun>gold hair& prisoners in the top roo of a circular tower& e broidering a kind of tapestry which spilled out the slit windows and into a void& seeking hopelessly to fill the voidA for all the other buildings and creatures& all the waves& ships and forests of the earth were contained in this tapestry& and the tapestry was the world. $edipa& perverse& had stood in front of the painting and cried. /o one had noticedH she wore dark green bubble shades. 'or a o ent sheCd wondered if the seal around her sockets were tight enough to allow the tears si ply to go on and fill up the entire lens space and never dry. 6he could carry the sadness of the o ent with her that way forever& see the world refracted through those tears& those specific tears& as if indices as yet unfound varied in i portant ways fro cry to cry. 6he had looked down at her feet and known& then& because of a painting& that what she stood on had only been woven together a couple thousand iles away in her own tower& was only by accident known as (e7ico& and so )ierce had taken her away fro nothing& thereCd been no escape. "hat did she so desire escape fro I 6uch a captive aiden& having plenty of ti e to think& soon realiGes that her tower& its height and architecture& are like her ego only incidentalA that what really keeps her where she is is agic& anony ous and alignant& visited on her fro outside and for no reason at all. +aving no apparatus e7cept gut fear and fe ale cunning to e7a ine this for less agic& to understand how it works& how to easure its field strength& count its lines of force& she ay fall back on superstition& or take up a useful hobby like e broidery& or go ad& or arry a disk Eockey. *f the tower is everywhere and the knight of deliverance no proof against its agic& what elseI
6+, left Jinneret& then& with no idea she was
oving toward anything new. (ucho (aas& enig atic& whistling !* "ant to Jiss .our 'eet&! a new recording by 6ick ?ick and the Folkswagens #an ,nglish group he was fond of at that ti e but did not believe in%& stood with hands in pockets while she e7plained about going down to 6an /arciso for a while to look into )ierceCs books and records and confer with (etGger& the co>e7ecutor. (ucho was sad to see her go& but not desperate& so after telling hi to hang up if ?r +ilarius called and look after the oregano in the garden& which had contracted a. strange old& she went. 6an /arciso lay further south& near L.A. Like any na ed places in California it was less an identifiable city than a grouping of conceptsKcensus tracts& special purpose bond>issue districts& shopping nuclei& all overlaid with access roads to its own freeway. But it had been )ierceCs do icile& and head8uartersA the place heCd begun his land speculating in ten years ago& and so put down the plinth course of capital on which everything afterward had been built& however rickety or
cho Courts. *t was part& he e7plained& of being a founding father. "hat the road really was& she fancied& was this hypoder ic needle& inserted so ewhere ahead into the vein of a freeway& a vein nourishing the ainliner L. Barbed wire again gave way to the fa iliar parade of ore beige& prefab& cinderblock office achine distributors& sealant akers& bottled gas works& fastener factories& warehouses& and whatever. 6he thought of (ucho& her husband& trying to believe in his Eob. As if& on so e other fre8uency& or out of the eye of so e whirlwind rotating too slow for her heated skin even to feel the centrifugal coolness of& words were being spoken.& keeping it happy& coherent& protected fro pain& or whatever passes& with a city& for pain. At the far end stood a fountain& with another ny ph.
./. A representation in painted sheet etal of a ny ph holding a white blosso towered thirty feet into the airH the sign& lit up despite the sun& said !. The ordered swirl of houses and streets& fro this high angle& sprang at her now with the sa e une7pected& astonishing clarity as the circuit card had. *t see ed unnatural. To her left appeared a pro> longed scatter of wide& pink buildings& surrounded by iles of fence topped with barbed wire and interrupted now and then by guard towersA soon an entrance whiGGed by& two si7ty>foot issiles on either side and the na e .& one of the giants of the aerospace industry. lettered conservatively on each nose cone. Though she knew even less about radios than about 6outhern Californians& there were to both out> ward patterns a hieroglyphic sense of concealed eaning& of an intent to co unicate. The anager& a drop>out na ed (iles& aybe 23 with a Beatle haircut and a lapelless& cuffless& one>button ohair suit& carried her bags and sang to hi self& possibly to herA (*L. This was 6an /arcisoCs big source of e ploy ent& the 0alactronics ?ivision of . )ierce& she happened to know& had owned a large block of shares& had been so ehow involved in negotiating an understanding with the county ta7 assessor to lure . $edipa pulled into the lot& got out and stood for a o ent in the hot sun and the dead>still air& watching the artificial windstor overhead toss gauGe in five>foot e7cursions. 6he looked down a slope& needing to s8uint for the sunlight& onto a vast sprawl of houses which had grown up all together& like a well>tended crop& fro the dull brown earthH and she thought of the ti e sheCd opened a transistor radio to replace a battery and seen her first printed circuit.oyodyne here in the first place. 6he was s iling a lipsticked and public s ile& not 8uite a hookerCs but nowhere near that of any ny ph pining away with love either. /othing oved. 6he had never known nu bers to run so high. *ts door opened on a long courtyard with a swi ing pool& whose surface that day was flat& brilliant with sunlight.A.6C6 6$/0 Too fat to $rug. 6he suspected that uch.oyodyne& *nc. 6unday had sent the all into silence and paralysis& all but an occasional real estate office or truck stop.$?. /othing was happening. The roo would be good enough for the ti e she had to stay. That%s &hat you tell me all the time. -e e bering her idea about a slow whirlwind& words she couldnCt hear. 6he drove into 6an /arciso on a 6unday& in a rented * pala. "as it so ething like this he felt& looking through the soundproof glass at one of his colleagues with a headset cla ped on and cueing the ne7t record with ove ents styliGed as the handling of chris & censer& chalice ight be for a holy an& yet really tuned in to the voice& voices& the usic& its essage& surrounded by it& digging it& as were all the faithful it went out toH did (ucho stand outside 6tudio A looking in& knowing that even if he could hear it he couldnCt believe in itI 6he gave it up presently& as if a cloud had approached the sun or the s og thickened& and so broken the !religious instant&! whatever it ightCve beenH started up and proceeded at aybe B: ph along the singing blacktop& onto a highway she thought went toward Los Angeles& into a neighborhood that was little ore than the roadCs skinny right>of> way& lined by auto lots& escrow services& drive>ins& s all office buildings and factories whose address nu bers were in the B: and then =:&:::Cs. *f people lived behind the other doors or watched through the windows gagged each with its roaring air>conditioner& she couldnCt see the .A. But were $edipa so e single elted crystal of urban horse& L.3
grotes8ue& toward the skyH and that& she supposed& would set the spot apart& give it an aura.& really& would be no less turned on for her absence. 6 og hung all round the horiGon& the sun on the bright beige countryside was painfulH she and the Chevy see ed parked at the centre of an odd& religious instant.! The face of the ny ph was uch like $edipaCs& which didnCt startle her so uch as a concealed blower syste that kept the ny phCs gauGe chiton in constant agitation& revealing enor ous ver ilion>tipped breasts and long pink thighs at each flap. 6till& when she got a look at the ne7t otel& she hesitated a second. $edipa resolved to pull in at the ne7t otel she saw& however ugly& stillness and four walls having at so e point beco e preferable to this illusion of speed& freedo & wind in your hair& unreeling landscapeKit wasnCt.$. ThereCd see ed no li it to what the printed circuit could have told her #if she had tried to find out%H so in her first inute of 6an /arciso& a revelation also tre bled Eust past the threshold of her understanding. But if there was any vital difference between it and the rest of 6outhern California& it was invisible on first glance.
un an# the Tur-. +e turned out to be so good>looking that $edipa thought at first They& so ebody up there& were putting her on.
. " may (e too fat to $rug. But at least " ain%t too slim to 6wi .ou are a paranoid&! $edipa said. !(y other&! he announced bitterly& !was really out to kasher e& boy& like a piece of beef on the sink& she wanted e drained and white. . *t presently ca e out that $edipa hadnCt been so far off& thinking it was an actor. my #oggie an# me.nglish accent when you donCt talk that wayI! !*tCs this group *C in&! (iles e7plained& !the )aranoids.! !ThatCs e& thatCs e&! cried (etGger& staring& !good 0od.! !*&! the gallant (etGger let her know& !can drink out of the bottle.! !About this kid and his father& whoCs dru ed out of the British Ar y for cowardice& only heCs covering up for a friend& see& and to redee hi self he and the kid follow the old regi ent to 0allipoli& where the father so ehow builds a idget sub arine& and every week they slip through the ?ardanelles into the 6ea of (ar ara and torpedo the Turkish erchant en& the father& son& and 6t Bernard. )eah. ?onCt you want to know what he saidI! !/o&! said $edipa& and snapped on the television set.yes bright through his bangs.ou know what others like that turn their ale children into.! +e ca e in and sat on the floor& in his suit.! $edipa picked up the nearest weapon& which happened to be the rabbit>ear antenna off the TF in the corner. Ti es * wonder&! s oothing down the hair at the back of his head& !if she succeeded.! !"hich oneI! asked $edipa.! $edipa was pouring wine. *t scares e. !. $pened the bottle& poured her a drink& began to talk.! !(y husbandCs a disk Eockey&! $edipa trying to be helpful& !itCs only a thousand>watt station& but if you had anything like a tape * could give it to hi to plug.! (iles closed the door behind the and started in with the shifty eye. !Looks donCt ean a thing any ore&! he said. 6he knew she looked pretty good. But " % m hi!.! !. "eCre new yet.nglish ovies a lot& for the accent.! !And how often&! $edipa in8uired& now aware it was all words& !has that line of approach worked for you& Baby *gorI! !?o you know&! (etGger said& !*nverarity only entioned you to e once. !.! +e left after shaking her down for four bits for carrying the bags. (a(y. $ur anager says we should sing like that. never once #o &e shir-. "e watch . That night the lawyer (etGger showed up. !* have a s ooth young body&! said (iles& !* thought you older chicks went for that.* !About you and your other. !$h&! said (iles& stopping. * drew up his will. 6o e twenty>odd years ago& (etGger had been one of those child ovie stars& perfor ing under the na e of Baby *gor. *t had to be an actor.B
'hen you really try%n% to !ut me #o&n. !*n return for whatI! (oving in on her.! And sure enough& the child& and dog& and a erry old 0reek fisher an who had appeared fro nowhere with a Gither& now all stood in front of phony> ?odecanese process footage of a seashore at sunset& and the kid sang. $nto the screen bloo ed the i age of a child of indeter inate se7& its bare legs pressed awkward together& its shoulder>length curls ingling with the shorter hair of a 6t Bernard& whose long tongue& as $edipa watched& began to swipe at the childCs rosy cheeks& aking the child wrinkle up its nose appealingly and say& !Aw& (urray& co e on& now& youCre getting e all wet. *0$-C6 6$/0 %+ainst the . !?o you want what * think you wantI This is the )ayola Jid here& you know. +e stood at her door& behind hi the oblong pool shi ering silent in a ild diffusion of light fro the nightti e sky& saying& !(rs (aas&! like a reproach. So close your (ig fat li!. !That ovie was called&! (etGger snapped his fingers& *Cashiere#. !* live inside y looks& and *C never sure. The possibility haunts e.ou certainly donCt look&! $edipa began& then had second thoughts. !*tCs lovely&! said $edipa& !but why do you sing with an . The dog sits on periscope watch& and barks if he sees anything.ouCre kidding. !Co e in&! she said& !but * only have one glass. My #a##y. 6heCd shifted into stretch deni slacks and a shaggy black sweater& and had her hair all the way down. +is enor ous eyes& la bent& e7travagantly lashed& s iled out at her wickedlyH she looked around hi for reflectors& icrophones& ca era cabling& but there was only hi self and a debonair bottle of 'rench BeauEolais& which he clai ed toCve s uggled last year into California& this rollicking lawbreaker& past the frontier guards. !6o hey&! he ur ured& !after scouring otels all day to find you& * can co e in there& canCt *I! $edipa had planned on nothing ore involved that evening than watching Bonanza on the tube. (etGger flashed her a big wry couple rows of teeth.ou hate e too.! !"ere you closeI! !/o.! . !. BAB.! !Listen& listen& hereCs where * sing.
* did his ta7 stuff. )resentlyA !The Turks are up there with searchlights&! he said& pouring ore te8uila& watching the little sub arine fill
. "ho in this pilot plays e& an actor beco e a lawyer reverting periodically to being an actor. . !?addy&! blubbered the (etGger in the tube& !*C scared. *t was to be laced by canals with private landings for power boats& a floating social hall in the iddle of an artificial lake& at the botto of which lay restored galleons& i ported fro the Baha asH Atlantean frag ents of colu ns and frieGes fro the CanariesH real hu an skeletons fro *talyH giant cla shells fro *ndonesia>all for the entertain ent of 6cuba enthusiasts. .
Then there was a usical bridge& featuring the fisher an and his instru ent& then the young (etGger took it fro the top while his aging double& over $edipaCs protests& sang har ony. A lawyer in a courtroo & in front of any Eury& beco es an actor& rightI -ay ond Burr is an actor& i personating a lawyer& who in front of a Eury beco es an actor.nglish issionary nurse with a nice build on her& who would end up with (etGgerCs fatherH and even a fe ale sheepdog with eyes for (urray the 6t Bernard. class subs si ply used that gate..! !A cash ne7us&! brooded $edipa& !you and )erry (ason& two of a kind& itCs all you know about& you shysters. They lay now& staring at the screen& flanks Eust lightly touching. Before she was ready for it& back ca e Cashiere#.ust as close as can (e. Soon our su(%s !erisco!e%ll aim for Constantino!le. !TheyCd built a gate init& so 0er an 5>boats could get through to attack the British fleet. $n ca e a loud co ercial for 'angoso Lagoons& a new housing develop ent west of here. li-e the Three Mus-eteers. A ap of the place flashed onto the screen& $edipa drew a sharp breath& (etGger on the chance it ight be for hi looked over. . *tCs a bitch because of the JepheG inefields& but Jerry has also recently hung this net& this gigantic net& woven out of cable < l23 inches thick. 'e &ill stic.* $edipa s iled. The fil is in an air>conditioned vault at one of the +ollywood studios& light canCt fatigue it& it can be repeated endlessly.! !.ou didnCt sing along&! he observed. for those (oys on the (each. . ?id *nverarity use le ons when you were thereI! !+ow did you know we were thereI! 6he watched hi fill her glass& growing ore anti>(etGger as the
level rose. !/o le onsI! she asked& with ovie>gaiety. !/o saltI! !A tourist thing. 6o e i ediacy was there again& so e pro ise of hierophanyA printed circuit& gently curving streets& private access to the water& Book of the ?ead. The little sub arine& na ed the !Justine! after the dead other& was at the 8uai& singling up all lines.ouCre in trouble&! $edipa told hi & staring at the tube& conscious of his thigh& war through his suit and her slacks. As again &e set ho!eful to sea/ 0nce more unto the (reach. !Aha&! said (etGger& fro an inside coat pocket producing a bottle of te8uila.ither he ade up the whole thing& $edipa thought suddenly& or he bribed the engineer over at the local station to run this& itCs all part of a plot& an elaborate& seduction& !lot. 1ust my #a##y.! !-idiculous&! said (etGger. !(inesM! cried (etGger& covering his head and rolling away fro her. $ (etGger. A s all crowd was seeing it off& a ong the the old fisher an& and his daughter& a leggy& ringletted ny phet who& should there be a happy ending& would end up with (etGgerH an . All our . There ca e fro the TF set a terrific e7plosion.! The inside of the idget sub was chaotic& the dog galloping to and fro scattering saliva that ingled with the spray fro a leak in the bulkhead& which the father was now plugging with his shirt. !$ne thing we can do&! announced the father& !go to the botto & try to get un#er the net.! !But our beauty lies&! e7plained (etGger& !in this e7tended capacity for convolution. !* didnCt -no&. TheyCve done the pilot fil of a TF series& in fact& based loosely on y career& starring y friend (anny ?i )resso& a one>ti e lawyer who 8uit his fir to beco e an actor.! $edipa refilled her wine glass. !$h& yeah&! (etGger said& !this is where we have trouble in the /arrows.! !+ow do you know thatI! !"asnCt * thereI! !But&! began $edipa& then saw how they were suddenly out of wine. !+e wrote it off that year as a business e7pense. !. !$ne of *nverarityCs interests&! (etGger noted.=
Through the !erilous years. But sheCd only been re inded of her look downhill this noonti e. (e& *C a for er actor who beca e a lawyer. my #oggie an# me.
! !"hat do you want to bet& thenI! 6he knew. !0olly&! (etGger said& !they ust have got the reels screwed up. !$ne of your endless repetitions. That you all turn to carrion for the fish at the botto of the ?ardanelles& your daddy& your doggie& and you. 6he had no way to tell how long the ovie had to run. "hatever youCd like. 6he ade the istake of looking at herself in the full>length irror& saw a
.ou want to bet on whatCll happenI! !$f course not&! said $edipa& !the ovieCs ade.! !6o eday.! !0o ahead&! said (etGger& !ask 8uestions.! !+ow do you knowI! !All those ovies had happy endings. 6tubborn& they watched each otherCs eyes for what see ed five inutes.! +e pondered.! *nto the co ercial break now roared a deafening ad for Beaconsfield Cigarettes& whose attractiveness lay in their filterCs use of bone charcoal& the very best kind. Are they going to get out of it& or notI! 6he felt drunk. Te8uila& all rightI That you didnCt ake it. +e owned 42N of the filter process.! 6he nudged his nose with the padded tip of her bra cup and poured booGe. But for each answer& youCll have to take so ething off.! $edipa skipped into the bathroo & which happened also to have a walk> in closet& 8uickly undressed and began putting on as uch as she could of the clothing sheCd brought with herA si7 pairs of panties in assorted colors& girdle& three pairs of nylons& three brassieres& two pairs stretch slacks& four half>slips& one black sheath& two su er dresses& half doGen A>line skirts& three sweaters& two blouses& 8uilted wrapper& baby blue peignoir and old $rion uu> uu.! !AllI! !(ost.! !/ope&! (etGger said.! !Tell e.! !*s this before or afterI! she asked& reaching for the te8uila bottle& a ove that put her left breast in the region of (etGgerCs nose. !/o. 6he s8uinted at hi through her glass. 6uddenly a host of Turkish rifles on shore opened up all together& and the assacre began. 6he grew ore and ore angry& perhaps Euiced& perhaps only i patient for the ovie to co e back on.ou havenCt seen it. !At least tell e if thatCs his old regi ent& there. That you donCt ake it. !Then give e odds. The father was huddled in a shell hole on the steep cliffs of the AnGac beachhead& Turkish shrapnel flying all over the place. !. They donCt show that. !/ow what the hell&! said $edipa. 6he heard co ercials chasing one another into and out of the speaker of the TF. !Another bottle tonight would put you to sleep&! he decided. *t occurred to her& for no reason& that the plucky trio ight not get out after all. !$r the betCs off. !'ine then&! she gave in at last& trying for a brittle voice& !itCs a bet. Bracelets then& scatter pins& earrings& a pendant. 6he looked at her watch& but it had stopped. !Bones of whatI! wondered $edipa. CThat * didnCt ake it.! !Co e on. The irrepressibly co ic (etGger ade cross>eyes before replying& !That would be telling. .! !But you still donCt know&! (etGger said.! 'eeling the words had been conned out of her.! !6o&! she yelled& aybe a bit rattled& !* bet a bottle of so ething.9
up& !patrol boats& and achine guns.! !'air enough&! drawled (etGger& taking her hand as if to shake on the bet and kissing its pal instead& sending the dry end of his tongue to graGe briefly a ong her fateCs furrows& the changeless salt hatchings of her identity. 6he wondered then if this were really happening in the sa e way as& say& her first ti e in bed with )ierce& the dead an. !*nverarity knew.! $n the screen the !-iver Clyde&! a collier carrying <::: en& beached at 6edd>el>Bahr in an unearthly silence.! +e only s iled back. !* know this part&! (etGger told her& his eyes s8ueeGed shut& head away fro the set. !'or fifty yards out the sea was red with blood. Close your eyes& turn around& donCt peek. -ight now itCs your last chance to place your bet.! !$dds would give it away. /either Baby *gor nor (urray the dog were in evidence. *t all see ed to take hours to put on and she could hardly walk when she was finished. "eCll call it 6trip Botticelli.! $edipa had a arvelous ideaA !'ine&! she told hi & !but first *Cll Eust slip into the bathroo for a second. !This is it& en&! a phony British accent was heard to whisper. !This is absurd&! she said& !of course theyCll get out.! !That cuts down the probability&! he told her& s ug. But then the ovie ca e back.
. etc. !$h& for )eteCs sake&! he said in his Baby *gor voice. And sing. All sha#o& gray. 6he lay watching it. 'atch it tug the lonely ti#e 4i-e a comforter over me./A?. that%s &here it%s at. The can col> lided with a irror and bounced away& leaving a silvery& reticulated bloo of glass to hang a second before it all fell Eingling into the sinkH Goo ed over to the enclosed shower& where it crashed into and totally destroyed a panel of frosted glassH thence around the three tile walls& up to the ceiling& past the light& over the two prostrate bodies& a id its own whoosh and the buGGing& distorted uproar fro the TF set. 6he said& !"hat the hell didnCt he ownI! (etGger cocked an eyebrow at her.insi#e.! !?epends how hot it gets in here& gang&! winked Eolly $edipa.! $edipa took her teeth out of (etGger& looked around and saw in the doorway (iles& the kid with the bangs and ohair suit& now ultiplied by four. An# the lonely sea . !ut out the moon. !Are you fro LondonI! another wanted to knowA !*s that a London thing youCre doingI! +air spray hung like fog& glass twinkled all over the floor. The kids filed out& after plugging e7tension cords into all available outlets in the other roo and leading the in a bundle out a window.verything s elled like hair spray. !. 6he wasnCt& really. 6erenade us.o& can " come to you. . the san#. (etGger ca e up behind her with so e idea of cupping his hands around her breasts& but couldnCt i ediately find the because of all the clothes.ouCre really ad&! he s iled. . !ThatCs kinky&! said one of the girls. The can hit the floor& so ething broke& and with a great outsurge of pressure the stuff co > enced ato iGing& propelling the can swiftly about the bathroo . sen# (ac.! !(aybe later&! invited one of the other )aranoids shyly& !you could Eoin us in the pool. No. !Coo. !Anyone for 6trip BotticelliI! *n the other roo the TF was blaring a co ercial for a Turkish bath in downtown 6an /arciso& wherever downtown was& called +oganCs 6eraglio. !*C sure this pales by co parison&! said $edipa& whoCd succeeded in rolling over& !so why donCt you all Eust& you know& go outside. an# moon(eam &hite. (etGger rushed in to find $edipa rolling around& trying to get back on her feet& a id a great sticky ias a of fragrant lac8uer. The can& hissing alignantly& bounced off the toilet and whiGGed by (etGgerCs right ear& issing by aybe a 8uarter of an inch. *t see ed to be the group heCd entioned& the )aranoids. The still an# faceless moon $ills the (each tonight 'ith only a ghost of #ay. "%# lose the &ay. As alone as "/ 4onely girl in your lonely flat. O'A?. 6he looked up past his eyelids& into the staring ceiling light& her field of vision cut across by wild& flashing overflights of the can& whose pressure see ed ine7haustible. " must lie alone. 6he could i agine no end to itH yet presently the can did give up in id>flight and fall to the floor& about a foot fro $edipaCs nose. the moon.the ti#e5 The night has gone so gray. (etGger helped her stagger to her feet. ?eferent& he began to narrate for their entertain ent a surfer orgy he had been to the week before& involving a five>gallon can of kidney suet& a s all auto obile with a sun roof& and a trained seal. !(etGger&! she oaned& and sank her teeth into his upper ar & through the sharkskin. So hush your lonely cry. An# you lie alone tonight. The can knew where it was going& she sensed& or so ething fast enough& 0od or a digital achine& ight have co puted in advance the co ple7 web of its travelH but she wasnCt fast enough& and knew only that it ight hit the at any o ent& at whatever clip it was doing& a hundred iles an hour.2:
beach ball with feet& and laughed so violently she fell over& taking a can of hair spray on the sink with her.ou tell e. !Bli ey&! so ebody re arked.P
. 6he couldnCt tell the apart& three of the were carrying electric guitars& they all had their outh open. an# itCs #ar. &ell. They stood at the window and heard the )aranoids singing. !?id you know thatI! !6adist&! $edipa yelled& !say it once ore& *Cll wrap the TF tube around your head&! !. .
As * lie an# &atch the moon 0n the lonely sea. !Lord love a duck&! su ariGed a boy holding a passkey& and $edipa decided this was (iles.! *f she was going to she got no chance& for outside& all in a shuddering deluge of thick guitar chords& the )aranoids had broken into song. There also appeared a nu ber of girlsC faces& gaGing through ar pits and around angles of knees. /one of this works without ood usic. Their dru er had set up precariously on the diving board& the others were invisible. $5T. an# the lonely sea. (etGger hit the deck and cowered with $edipa as the can continued its high>speed caro ingH fro the other roo ca e a slow& deep crescendo of naval bo bard ent& achine>gun& howitGer and s all>ar s fire& screa s and chopped>off prayers of dying infantry.-. !*nverarity owned that too&! (etGger said. 6he was scared but nowhere near sober. Till it comes for me/ Till it ta-es the s-y.
"hen the lights ca e on again& and she and (etGger lay twined a id a wall>to>wall scatter of clothing and spilled bourbon& the TF tube revealed the father& dog and Baby *gor trapped inside the darkening !Justine&! as the water level ine7orably rose.! 6he shut the door behind her and took the occasion to blunder& al ost absently& into another slip and skirt& as well as a long>leg girdle and a couple pairs of knee socks. !Another early reel&! she said hopefully. $edipa looked and saw Baby *gor& disguised as a Turkish beggar lad& skulking with the dog around a set she took to be Constantinople.our little eyes have seen your daddy for the last ti e. $edipa refilled her glass& (etGger had another snort fro the bottle. !*f * answer that& will you take so ething offI! !*Cll do it without an answer&! roared (etGger& shucking out of his coat. !.ou are for salvationH * a for the )it. !?id he get there in& what did you call the & in an . . $edipa had leaped to her feet and run across to the other wall to turn and glare at (etGger. $edipa took off another earring. 6o it wentA the succession of fil frag ents on the tube& the progressive re oval of clothing that see ed to bring her no nearer nudity& the booGing& the tireless shivaree& of voices and guitars fro out by the pool. Then re e bered that the irror had broken and fallen in sink. 6he had a o ent of nearly pure terror. +er cli a7 and (etGgerCs& when it ca e& coincided with every light in the place& including the TF tube& suddenly going out& dead& black. $n the doorsill the )aranoids& as we leave ilk to propitiate the leprechaun& had set a fifth of Jack ?aniels.! !/o&! said (etGger. $utside a fugue of guitars had begun& and she counted each electronic voice as it ca e in& till she reached si7 or so and recalled only three of the )aranoids played guitarsH so others ust be plugging in.! $edipa re oved a bracelet. "ith a cry $edipa rushed to hi & fell on hi & began kissing hi to wake hi up. !6even yearsC bad luck&! she said aloud. !*Cll be ./?. *t was a curious e7perience. $edipa took off another earring. !?id he get there overland& aybe through Asia (inorI! !(aybe&! said (etGger. 'ro the TF set the 6t Bernard was barking. The ca era ca e in for a close>up of Baby *gor crying& one hand on the control board. +is radiant eyes flew open& pierced her& as if she could feel the sharpness so ewhere vague between her breasts. $edipa took off an earring.
. $edipa would scowl back& growing ore and ore certain& while a headache began to flower behind her eyes& that they a ong all possible co binations of new lovers had found a way to ake ti e itself slow down. !$boy&! said $edipa. !'irst 8uestion&! (etGger re inded her. /ow and then a co ercial would co e in& each ti e (etGger would say& !*nverarityCs&! or !Big block of shares&! and later settled for nodding and s iling. !They didnCt ake itM! she yelled. 6he poured a drink. *t struck her that if the sun ever ca e up (etGger would disappear. !* canCt allow that 8uestion&! (etGger said. 6he ay have fallen asleep once or twice. 6he awoke at last to find herself getting laidH sheCd co e in on a se7ual crescendo in progress& like a cut to a scene where the ca eraCs already oving.:Cs ovie usic with the assive sa7 section& in faded the legend T+.ou won e&! (etGger s iled.22
!/ow then&! $edipa shivered brightly. At so e point she went into the bathroo & tried to find her i age in the irror and couldnCt. !6o&! she said& !an early reel. The father see ed to be up before a court> artial& now. (etGger took his trousers off& earnestly. 6he wasnCt sure if she wanted hi to.ou bastard& * won. Through one of those +ollywood distortions in probability& the father was spared electrocution so he could ake a farewell speech& apologiGing to Baby *gor and the dog for getting the into this and regretting that they wouldnCt be eeting in heavenA !. $n the screen /ew Qealanders and Turks were i paling one another on bayonets.! !(aybe itCs a flashback&! (etGger said. . 6he noticed also a fat sto ach the suit had hidden. !Another earringI! said (etGger. 6he sank with an enor ous sigh that carried all rigidity like a ythical fluid fro her& down ne7t to hi H so weak she couldnCt help hi undress herH it took hi <: inutes& rolling& arranging her this way and that& as if she thought& he were so e scaled> up& short>haired& poker>faced little girl with a Barbie doll. The )aranoids had blown a fuse. "hich indeed they were.4. !?id Baby *gor get to Constantinople in the good sub arine CJustineCI! !/o&! said (etGger. 6o ething short>circuited then and the grounded Baby *gor was electrocuted& thrashing back and forth and screa ing horribly.! At the end his suffering eyes filled the screen& the sound of inco ing water grew deafening& up swelled that strange . The dog was first to drown& in a great crowd of bubbles.! !. Things grew less and less clear. This is where he gets cashiered& ha& ha. $edipa then sat five inutes watching the tube& forgetting she was supposed to ask 8uestions. !$r aybe he gets it twice. Class sub arine. 6he ca e back in to find (etGger wearing only a pair of bo7er shorts and fast asleep with a harden and his head under the couch.
! 6he began to cry.! And she did. The letter itself had nothing uch to say& had co e in response to one of her dutiful& ore or less ra bling& twice>a>week notes to hi & in which she was not confessing to her scene with (etGger because (ucho& she felt& so ehow& would know.
then did not delay in turning curious. /o suspicion at all that it ight have so ething to tell her. "ould then proceed at a JC5' record hop to look out again across the glea ing gy floor and there in one of the giant keyholes inscribed for basketball see& groping her vertical backstroke a little awkward opposite any boy heels ight ake her an inch taller than& a 6haron& Linda or (ichele& seventeen and what is known as a hip one& whose velveted eyes ulti ately& statistically would eet (uchoCs and respond& and the thing would develop
. !That you wouldnCt be easy. As if #as sheCd guessed that first inute in 6an /arciso% there were revelation in progress all around her. *f one obEect behind her discovery of what she was to label the Tristero 6yste or often only The Tristero #as if it ight be so ethingCs secret title% were to bring to an end her encapsulation in her tower& then that nightCs infidelity with (etGger would logically be the starting point for itH logically. (uch of the revelation was to co e through the
sta p collection )ierce had left& his substitute often for herKthousands of little colored windows into deep vistas of space and ti eA savannahs tee ing with elands and gaGelles& galleons sailing west into the void& +itler heads& sunsets& cedars of Lebanon& allegorical faces that never were& he could spend hours peering into each one& ignoring her.! After awhile she said& !* will. ThatCs what would co e to haunt her ost& perhapsA the way it fitted& logically& together.et if she hadnCt been set up or sensitiGed& first by her peculiar seduction& then by the other& al ost offhand things& what after all could the ute sta ps have told her& re aining then as they wouldCve only e7>rivals& cheated as she by death& about to be broken up into lots& on route to any nu ber of new astersI *t got seriously under way& this sensitiGing& either with the letter fro (ucho or the evening she and (etGger drifted into a strange bar known as The 6cope. !Co e on. Looking back she forgot which had co e first. The thought that now it would all have to be inventoried and appraised was only another headache. . 6he had never seen the fascination.2<
!"hat did *nverarity tell you about e&! she asked finally. !Co e back&! said (etGger.
.7cept for a couple>three nearer the door& who were engaged in a nose>picking contest& seeing how far they could flick it across the roo .verybody 8uit talking. "eCre the only bar in the area& you know& has a strictly electronic usic policy. .oyodyne plant. 6he knew the pattern because it had happened a few ti es already& though $edipa had been ost scrupulously fair about it& entioning the practice only once& in fact& another three in the orning and out of a dark dawn sky& asking if he wasnCt worried about the penal code. +aving once been seventeen and ready to laugh at al ost anything& she found herself then overco e by& call it a tenderness sheCd never go 8uite to the back of lest she get bogged. Today see ed to be payday& and everyone inside to be drunk already. Later on we really swing.oyodyne. (A*L To . !"hatCs happeningI! $edipa whispered. !ThatCs by 6tockhausen&! the hip graybeard infor ed her& !the early crowd tends to dig your -adio Cologne sound.)$-T ALL $B6C. A wiGened bartender wearing shades aterialiGed and (etGger ordered bourbon. The bartender tiptoed back& with the drinks. 0lared at all the way& $edipa and (etGger found a table in back.
. As long as theyCre careful about not pressing the wrong button& you knowI! *t ay have been that sa e evening that they happened across The 6cope& a bar out on the way to L.$5. .cho Courts beca e i possible& either because of the stillness of the pool and the blank windows that faced on it& or a prevalence of teenage voyeurs& whoCd all had copies of (ilesCs passkey ade so they could check in at whi on any biGarre se7ual action. Co e on around 6aturdays& starting idnight we have your 6inewave 6ession& thatCs a live get>together& fellas co e in Eust to Ea fro all over the state& 6an Jose& 6anta Barbara& 6an ?iegoKK! !LiveI! (etGger said& !electronic usic& liveI! !They put it on the tape& here& live& fella.very now and again& like this evening& .! !6o they ake isprints&! (etGger said& !let the . Like all their inabilities to co unicate& this too had a virtuous otive. . At first she didnCt see. The 6cope proved to be a haunt for electronics asse bly people fro . ThatCs for if you didnCt bring your a7& see& but you got the feeling and you want to swing with the rest of the cats& thereCs always so ething available.! 6he threw a brassiere in at hi and said& *"%m
supposed to report all obscene ail to y pots> aster. 6he wondered then if worrying affected his perfor ance. . !(etGger&! it occurred to her& !what is a pots> asterI! !0uy in the scullery&! replied (etGger authoritatively fro the bathroo & !in charge of all the heavy stuff& canner kettles& gunboats& ?utch ovens .2. !$f course&! said (ucho after awhile& that was allH but in his tone of voice she thought she heard ore& so ething between annoyance and agony. There was this Ee ne sais 8uoi about the 6cope crowdA they all wore glasses and stared at you&
silent. A sudden chorus of whoops and yibbles burst fro a kind of Euke bo7 at the far end of the roo . *dly& she began to ski back through (uchoCs letter after reading it to see if there were any dirty words.
then groovy as it could when you found you couldnCt get statutory rape really out of the back of your law>abiding head.)$T6(A6T./. This would grow so bad $edipa and (etGger got in the habit of dragging a attress into the walk>in closet& where (etGger would then ove the chest of drawers up against the door& re ove the botto drawer and put it on top& insert his legs in the e pty space& this being the only way he could lie full length in this closet& by which point heCd usually lost interest in the whole thing.A.& near the . $edipa& checking the bar& grew nervous. "e got a whole back roo full of your audio oscillators& gunshot achines& contact ikes& everything an. *t kept her fro asking hi any ore 8uestions. *t was an ordinary (uchoes8ue envelope& swiped fro the station& ordinary air ail sta p& to the left of the cancellation a blurb put on by the govern ent& -. *t ay have been an intuition that the letter would be newsless inside that ade $edipa look ore closely at its outside& when it arrived.! !/o offense&! said (etGger& with a winning Baby *gor s ile.-. The green neon sign outside ingeniously depicted the face of an oscilloscope tube& over which flowed an ever>changing dance of LissaEous figures.
But otion is relative.! !*ndustrial anything.* haGarded (etGger. !+e finally resigned his co ission.24
A frail young an in a drip>dry suit slid into the seat across fro the & introduced hi self as (ike 'allopian& and began proselytiGing for an organiGation known as the )eter )inguid 6ociety.ast 'leet& four corvettes and two clippers& all under the co and of one -ear Ad iral )opov& to 6an 'rancisco Bay& as part of a ploy to keep Britain and 'rance fro #a ong other things% intervening on the side of the Confederacy.A.ou think like a Bircher&! 'allopian said. *f you believe an e7cerpt fro the !Bogatir! or !0aida ak! Cs log& forwarded in April to the 0eneral>AdEutant in 6t )etersburg and now so ewhere in the Jrasnyi Arkhiv& it was the !?isgruntled! that had vanished during the night. 5nknown& however& to Co odore )inguid& CGar /icholas ** of -ussia had dispatched his 'ar . !There you go&! nodded 'allopian. This did not keep )opov fro periodic reconnoitring. ThatCs what * eant when * said casualty. /aturally thatCs cost us a lot of support in the Bible Belt& where we ightCve been e7pected to go over real good. (uch worse& to 'allopianCs ind. /ot the fanatic our ore left>leaning friends over in the Birch 6ociety chose to artyriGe. "ouldnCt that dis8ualify hi as any kind of anti>Co unist figureI!
!.ou one of these right>wing nut outfitsI! in8uired the diplo atic (etGger. The cruisers& however& see ed to prefer cruising and nothing ore. But the ripples fro those two splashes spread& and grew& and today engulf us all.H and for the rest of his life he did little ore than ac8uire ! wealth. 6tor s and scurvy anaged to destroy or discourage every vessel in this ar ada e7cept the ga e little !?isgruntled&! which showed up off the coast of California about a year later. 6ure he was against industrial capitalis . "hat happened on the 9th (arch& 2=34& a day now held sacred by all )eter )inguid 6ociety e bers& is not too clear. The old Confederacy. /ight fell. !)eter )inguid was really our first casualty. !5sI! asked $edipa.ou never get to any of the underlying truth. After the confrontation& appalled at what had to be so e ilitary alliance between abolitionist -ussia #/icholas having freed the serfs in 2=32% and a 5nion that paid lip>service to abolition while it kept its own industrial laborers in a kind of wage>slavery& )eter )inguid stayed in his cabin for weeks& brooding. 6o are we. !. )inguid could not have chosen a worse ti e for an assault on 6an 'rancisco.!
. ?idnCt it lead& inevitably& to (ar7is I 5nderneath& both are part of the sa e creeping horror. !But that sounds&! obEected (etGger& !like he was against industrial capitalis . !But that was the very first ilitary confrontation between -ussia and A erica. !0ood guys and bad guys. $ff the coast of either what is now Car el>by>the>6ea& or what is now )is o Beach& around noon or possibly toward dusk& the two
ships sighted each other.! !TheyI! in8uired (etGger& twinkling also. 'allopian twinkled.! !"as the Co odore killed& thenI! asked $edipa. Lincoln and the CGar had forced hi to. !"hat happened to )eter )inguidI! $edipa wanted to know. Attack& retaliation& both proEectiles deep>si7ed forever and the )acific rolls on. The )eter )inguid 6ociety was na ed for the co anding officer of the Confederate an>of>war !?isgruntled&! who early in 2=3. Fiolated his upbringing and code of honor. *n the orning the -ussian ship was gone. +e and ost of the crew settled near L. $ne of the ay have fired& if it did then the other respondedH but both were out of range so neither showed a scar afterward to prove anything. !"e donCt try to ake scripture out of it. -u ors were abroad that winter that the -eb cruisers !Alaba a! and !6u ter! were indeed on the point of attacking the city& and the -ussian ad iral had& on his own responsibility& issued his )acific s8uadron standing orders to put on stea and clear for action should any such atte pt develop. had set sail with the daring plan of bringing a task force around Cape +orn to attack 6an 'rancisco and thus open a second front in the "ar 'or 6outhern *ndependence. !"ho caresI! 'allopian shrugged. )opov did send out a ship& either the corvette !Bogatir! or the clipper !0aida> ak&! to see what it could see. !They accuse us of being paranoids. .
$n the sly. !*tCs not as rebellious as it looks.oyodyneCs inter>office delivery. Bo7 89:. See you at The Sco!e.. !This ti e of nightI! !(aybe a late shiftI! But (etGger only frowned.oyodyne syste . But weCre the only one in California so far. !+eCs wearing a . 3. !*tCs the principle&! 'allopian agreed& sounding defensive. !"ha&! said 'allopian. !?elivering the ail is a govern ent onopoly. They keep a sharp eye out. "hat do you ake of thatI! !6o e inter>office ail run&! $edipa said.* "A6T. $n the latrine wall& a ong lipsticked obscenities& she noticed the following essage& neatly indited in engineering letteringA
*"ntereste# in so!histicate# fun5 . +et in touch &ith 6ir(y. !. !$f course&! said (etGger.coming5 +uess that%s all for no&. 6he found a pen in her purse and copied the address and sy bol in her e o book& thinkingA 0od& hieroglyphics. through 'ASTE only.ou werenCt supposed to see that&! he told the . TheyCre run on a tight schedule& and they get nervous. A few of your ore affluent type e bers do wrap their letters around bricks& and then the whole thing in brown paper& and send the -ailway .! !"hat book did they eanI! asked $edipa. !"hat doingI! !6peculating in California real estate&! said 'allopian. atte pting to link the Civil "ar to the postal refor ove ent that
. for . .! 'allopian gave the a wry s ile. it said& ho& are you5 1ust thought "%# #ro! you a note. "e use . 6ecurity people over at the plant know so ethingCs up. !(ail call&! people were yelling.! !+ow e7tensive is thisI! asked (etGger. <ear Mi-e. .! !A little like copping out&! (etGger sy pathiGed. 4. Turned out 'allopian was doing a history of private ail delivery in the =.oyodyne badge. +e had an envelope. !$nly inside our 6an /arciso chapter. !ThatCs how it is&! 'allopian confessed bitterly& ! ost of the ti e. The fat kid& looking harassed& cli bed up on the bar and started calling na es and throwing envelopes into the crowd. +owCs your (oo. girl frien#s. A. !?uring the drought that year you couldCve bought lots in the heart of downtown L. apiece.I $edipa wondered. . A.24
!+ow poignant&! $edipa said. !To keep it up to so e kind of a reasonable volu e& each e ber has to send at least one letter a week through the . $edipa& halfway into swallowing part of her drink& sprayed it out again in a glittering cone for ten feet easy& and collapsed in giggles. *f you donCt& you get fined. (etGger had taken out a pair of glasses and was s8uinting through the at the kid on the bar. !Be back&! $edipa shrugged& heading for the ladiesC roo . Beneath the notice&
faintly in pencil& was a sy bol sheCd never seen before& a loop& triangle and trapeGoid& thusA
*t ight be so ething se7ual& but she so ehow doubted it. The more the merrier.! +e opened his letter and showed $edipa and (etGger. 6ure enough& it was& Eust like in the ar y. TheyCve set up pilot proEects si ilar to this in the "ashington and * think ?allas chapters.S.ou would be opposed to that. $edipa could see& instead of a postage sta p& the handstruck initials ))6. But itCs hard to find carriers& we have a big turnover. "hen she ca e out 'allopian was back& and had this funny look on his face.7press& but * donCt know .! A great shout went up near the doorway& bodies flowed toward a fattish pale young an whoCd appeared carrying a leather ailsack over his shoulder. ?e "itt&! pointing at the fat ail an& who was being hauled& twitching& down off the bar and offered drinks he did not want& !heCs the ost nervous one weCve had all year.ou& hu((y.. 'allopian e7cused hi self and Eoined the others.
$edipa had believed& long before leaving Jinneret& in so e principle of the sea as rede ption for 6outhern California #not& of course& for her own section of the state& which see ed to need none%& so e unvoiced idea that no atter what you did to its edges the true )acific stayed inviolate and integrated or assu ed the ugliness at any edge into so e ore general truth. !+ey& blokes&! yelled ?ean or perhaps 6erge& !letCs pinch a boat.ork and 'lorida& where *nverarity had developed real estate& and in ?elaware& where heCd been incorporated. The )aranoid ele ent piled out of their car& carrying usical instru ents and looking around as if for outlets under the trucked>in white sand to plug into. As if the breakaway gowns& net bras& Eeweled garters and 0>strings of historical figuration that would fall away were layered dense as $edipaCs own street>clothes in that ga e with (etGger in front of the Baby *gor ovieH as if a plunge toward dawn indefinite black hours long would indeed be necessary before The Tristero could be revealed in its terrible nakedness. +e saw it all as a parable of power& its feeding& growth and syste atic abuse& though he didnCt go into it that far with her& that particular night. !"hy are you walking around&! in8uired $edipa& !with your eyes closed& (etGgerI! !Larceny&! (etGger said& ! aybe theyCll need a lawyer. They wandered all in a loose pattern down the beach toward a s all arina for what boat owners didnCt have lots directly on the water. $r rather& her attendance at so e uni8ue perfor ance& prolonged as if it were the last of the night& so ething a little e7tra for whoeverCd stayed this late. $edipa fell in love with it. $ut in it& on a round island of fill a ong blue wavelets& s8uatted the social hall& a chunky& ogived and verdigrised& Art /ouveau reconstruction of so e . 6o began& for $edipa& the languid& sinister bloo ing of The Tristero. (etGger closed his eyes and tripped over an old anchor.23
had begun around 2=44.! !+urry& hurry&! called the )aranoids. !Co e on& then&! they called. "ould its s ile& then& be coy& and would it flirt away har lessly backstage& say good night with a Bourbon 6treet bow and leave her in peaceI $r would it instead& the dance ended& co e back down the runway& its lu inous stare locked to $edipaCs& s ile gone align and pitilessH bend to her alone a ong the desolate rows of seats and begin to speak words she never wanted to hearI The beginning of that perfor ance was clear enough.! A snarl rose along with so e s oke fro a ong pleasure boats strung like piglets along the pier& indicating the )aranoids had indeed started so eoneCs outboard. $edipa fro the * palaCs trunk took a basket filled with cold eggplant par igianC sandwiches fro an *talian drive>in& and (etGger ca e up with an enor ous Ther os of te8uila sours. 6o ewhere beyond the battening& urged sweep of three>bedroo houses rushing by their thousands across all the dark beige hills& so ehow i plicit in an arrogance or bite to the s og the ore inland so nolence of 6an /arciso did lack& lurked the sea& the uni aginable )acific& the one to which all surfers& beach pads& sewage disposal sche es& tourist incursions& sunned ho ose7uality& chartered fishing are irrelevant& the hole left by the oonCs tearing>free and onu ent to her e7ileH you could not hear or even s ell this but it was there& so ething tidal began to reach feelers in past eyes and eardru s& perhaps to arouse fractions of brain current your ost gossa er icroelectrode is yet too gross for finding. All $edipa would re e ber about hi at first& in fact& were his slender build and neat Ar enian nose& and a certain affinity of his eyes for green neon. 6uddenly& a doGen boats away& a for & covered with a blue polyethylene tarp& rose up and said& !Baby *gor& * need help. +e was persuaded to hand over the wheel to one of the girls.! !* know that voice&! said (etGger. The two of the & followed by a convertibleful of the )aranoids (iles& ?ean& 6erge and Leonard and their chicks& had decided to spend the day out at 'angoso Lagoons& one of *nverarityCs last big proEects. The trip out was uneventful e7cept for two or three collisions the )aranoids al ost had owing to 6erge& the driver& not being able to see through his hair. +e found it beyond si ple coincidence that in of all years 2=32 the federal govern ent should have set out on a vigorous suppression of those independent ail routes still surviving the various Acts of C44& C4B& C42 and C44& Acts all designed to drive any private co petition into financial ruin. They ca e in a ong earth> oving achines& a total absence of trees& the usual hieratic geo etry& and eventually& shi ying for the sand roads& down in a heli7 to a sculptured body of water na ed Lake *n>verarity.uropean pleasure>casino. )erhaps it was only that notion& its arid hope& she sensed as this forenoon they ade their seaward thrust& which would stop short of any sea. !Luick&! said the blue tarp& !let e hitch a ride with you guys.our actorRlawyer friend&! $edipa recalled. !(anny ?i )resso&! said (etGger& see ing less than delighted.! !+ear& hear&! cried the girls. *t was while she and (etGger were waiting for ancillary letters to be granted representatives in AriGona& Te7as& /ew . !.
! !.ouCre all ready to lose& then&! she said. !* can e7plain&! he said.: years&! (etGger snorted& !thatCs te porary. !* left y car on the other side of the lake&! ?i )resso said& !but * know he has so ebody watching. grabassing around& trying to push each other over the side.! !"ho does&! (etGger asked. !'ellow whoCs chasing e&! allowed ?i )resso& holding the cup between his teeth so it covered his nose and looking at the & arch.ou flee a bulancesI! !+eCs been trying to borrow oney&! ?i )resso said& !since * told hi * couldnCt get an advance against any settle ent in this suit. !*tCs still there&! said ?i )resso& descending. The )aranoids were singing& to the tune of !Adeste'ideles!A . . A s8uat an with a crew cut& intensely tanned and also with shades& ca e out in the open running& one ar doubled like a wing with the hand at chest level& inside the Eacket. "ith binoculars. !Are we on ca eraI! asked (etGger dryly. !+ey&! yelled a couple voices& faintly& al ost in unison& fro up the beach a ways. !6o&! said ?i )resso& !whoCs Tony Jaguar. Both wore gray suits. Fery big in Cosa /ostra& is who.! (etGger& as uch as cool (etGger could& goggled. !* want to check on y car&! he said. Arouse public interest& aybe with a sensational defense. !TheyCre watching. !* ought to ake a run for it. &e .! (etGger handed $edipa aboard the about>to>be>hiEacked vessel& a ly>foot alu inu tri aran known as the !0odGilla **&! and gave ?i )resso what he intended to be a hand also& but he had grabbed& it see ed& only e pty plastic& and when he pulled& the entire covering ca e away and there stood ?i )resso& in a skin>diving suit and wraparound shades.2B
!/ot so loud& hey&! said ?i )resso& skulking as best a polyethylene cone can along the landing towards the .! !"hoCs your clientI! asked (etGger& holding out a te8uila sour. 6he couldnCt see if they were holding anything like guns.! The )aranoids cast off& backed the !0odGilla +! out fro the pier& turned and with a concerted whoop took off like a bat out of hell& nearly sending ?i )resso over the fantail.ouCre an actor&! said (etGger. !That pilot will never be bought& (etG& not unless you go out and do so ething really ?arrowlike& spectacular. The air suddenly went cold& the sun was blotted out.ust !inche# your (oat . !. !(y heart isnCt in it&! ?i )resso ad itted& !and if. * bought while te porarily insane& how can * lend oneyI! !$ver .ey. !. ?i )resso& 6cuba suit glistening& scra bled up the side of a cupola. soli# citizen.ou ran fro clientsI! $edipa asked. $edipa spread a blanket and poured booGe into cups ade of white& crushed& plastic foa . !ThatCs right& good buddy. !This is real&! chattered ?i )resso& !co e on. !Anthony 0iunghierrace&! replied o inous ?i )resso& !alias Tony Jaguar. !+ow are you in with the I! !*C a lawyer again&! ?i )resso said. $edipa& looking back& could see their pursuer had been Eoined by another an about the sa e build.* canCt even keep up pay ents on that DJ. *f he had really played the part of (etGger in a TF pilot fil as (etGger clai ed& the casting had been typically +ollywoodA they didnCt look or act a bit alike. soli# citizen.! !.! !"ho wants whatI .h& sfaci C&! shrugged ?i )resso& and spat into their wake.!
!Like what. $edipa cringed out of the way and watched ?i )resso. . 0a bling ostly& also talk
. is in it& friends. &e .! !*C not so craGy * donCt know trouble&! ?i )resso said& !and Tony J.ey.ou better talk to the other e7ecutor too.! +e introduced $edipa& ?i )resso tipping his shades politely.! !"hoI! !. The three looked up in alar to see loo ing over the and about to collide the pale green social hall& its towering pointed windows& wrought>iron floral e bellish ents& solid silence& air so ehow of waiting for the .ust !inche# your (o oat. ?i )resso laughed and punched (etGger in the shoulder. ?ean& the )aranoid at the hel & brought the boat around neatly to a s all wooden dock& everybody got out& ?i )resso heading nervously for an outside staircase. . *t was like walking on the head of a dru A they could hear their reverberations inside the hollow building beneath& and the delighted yelling of the )aranoids. $edipa and (etGger& carrying picnic stuff& followed up the stairs& along a balcony& out of the buildingCs shadow& up a etal ladder finally to the roof.! !Like win the litigation *C bringing against the estate of )ierce *nverarity.
)aranoids and their chicks appeared against the bright sky& fro behind turrets& gables& ventilating ducts& and oved in on the eggplant sandwiches in the basket. (etGger sat on the Eug of booGe so they couldnCt get any. *nverarity never paid hi . !Bone charcoal&! $edipa re e bered. !. !These bones ca e fro *taly. Till Tony started chasing& anyway. !All right& thatCs how he got the . But they died& every one& du bly& without a trace or a word. All drawn up in ost kosher fashion& (anfred. !.ouCre a selfish sch uck. )resently the bodies sankH and stayed where they were till the early C4:C4& when Tony Jaguar& whoCd been a corporal in an *talian outfit attached to the 0er an force at Lago di )ieta and knew about what was at the botto & decided along with so e colleagues to see what he could salvage. *t was re arkable that so few en held out so long. "hat construction fir did your client work forI! !Construction fir &! s8uinted ?i )resso.ast 6an /arciso 'reeway& it had no right to be there& so we Eust barrelled on through& no sweat. !Lake in the path of the . !Tell e about the lawsuit&! (etGger said& trying with both hands to keep his hair in place. They dug in as far as the rocky beach would let the H they sent s all raids up the cliffs that ostly never ca e back& but did succeed in taking out a achine>gun& once. 5nless it was a bribe. * only did his legal ta7 deductions& so * wouldnCt have seen it if it was.ouCve been into *nverarityCs books&! ?i )resso said. 'or weeks& a handful of A erican troops& cut off and without co unications& huddled on the narrow shore of the clear and tran8uil lake while fro the cliffs that tilted vertiginously over the beach 0er ans hit the day and night with plunging& enfilading fire. The )aranoids and their chicks ay have been out of earshot. The water of the lake was too cold to swi A you died of e7posure before you could reach any safe shore. The wind had risen.! !All the ti e Cosa /ostra is watching&! soothed (etGger& !watching.eah& well Tony Jaguar& y client& supplied so e bones&! said ?i )resso& !he alleges. 6o e of the &! waving out at the lake& !are down there& to decorate the botto for the 6cuba nuts. tragic% battle of attrition in a inor pocket developed during the advance on -o e.! !+ow&! in8uired $edipa& !are road builders in any position to sell bones& prayI! !$ld ce eteries have to be ripped up&! (etGger e7plained. $ut of so e urky train of reasoning& which ay have included the observed fact that A erican tourists& beginning then to be plentiful& would pay good dollars for al ost anythingH and stories about 'orest Lawn and the A erican cult of the deadH possibly so e di hope that 6enator (cCarthy& and others of his persuasion& in those days having achieved a certain ascendancy over the rich cretini fro across the sea& would so ehow refocus attention on the fallen of "" **& especially ones whose corpses had never been foundH out of so e such labyrinth of assu ed otives& Tony Jaguar decided he could surely unload his harvest of bones on so e A erican so eplace& through his contacts in the !fa ily&! known these days as Cosa /ostra. The rest of the bones were used in the -9? phase of the filter progra & back around the early C4:Cs& way before cancer.! !(y 0od&! (etGger said& soon as this na e registered. ?ifferent highway outfits in the area& ones *nverarity had bought into& they got the contracts.! (etGger ade a nonco ittal oue. ThatCs what *Cve been doing today& e7a ining the goods in dispute. An i port>e7port fir bought the bones& sold the to a
. +e was scrupulous about pay ents like that.! !$ffhand&! (etGger said& !it doesnCt sound like *nverarity. !. Lago di )ieta was near the Tyrrhenian coast& so ewhere between /aples and -o e& and had been the scene of a now ignored #in 294. )atrols looked for routes out& but those few that returned had found nothing. !+u an bones& rightI! ?i )resso nodded yes.2=
heCs been up to show cause to the local Table why he shouldnCt be in for so e discipline there. *f there was payola in there& * doubt it got written down. (etGger looked around. $ne day the 0er ans ca e down fro the cliffs& and their enlisted en put all the bodies that were on the beach into the lake& along with what weapons and other ateriel were no longer of use to either side. *t does not do to be seen helping those the organiGation does not want helped.! !/o bribes& no freeways&! ?i )resso shaking his head.! !* have relatives in 6icily&! said ?i )resso& in co ic broken . All they anaged to co e up with was bones.ou know the Beaconsfield filter thing. /o planes ca e over e7cept an occasional 6tuka with strafing in ind. !0*CsI! !About a co pany&! said (anny ?i )resso. !.nglish. Tony Jaguar says he harvested the all fro the botto of Lago di )ieta. ThatCs what itCs about. There were no trees to build rafts with. That kind of grief * do not need. +e was right. A straight sale. They did what they could to break outH failing& they clung to life as long as they could.! $edipa glared.
!(etG& *C running for it.! *The Courier%s Trage#y. But no EokeA for Leonard the dru er now reached into the pocket of his beach robe and produced a fistful of ariEuana cigarettes and distributed the a ong his chu s. $edipa with a sigh collapsed on her back and stared through the wind at the e pty blue sky.! And he disappeared down the ladder. The only shares he held were in $steolysis& *nc. !6o it was Beaconsfield bought the . /iccol3 is at this point grown up& hanging around the court of his fatherCs urderer& ?uke Angelo& and as8uerading as a special courier of the Thurn and Ta7is fa ily& who at the ti e held a postal onopoly throughout ost of the +oly -o an . "hat he is trying to do& ostensibly& is develop a new arket& since the evil ?uke of 68ua uglia has steadfastly refused&
.* said (iles& !sheCs right. *f he stops by here donCt bully hi & heCs y client.! !+elp&! said ?i )resso& looking back with a wild eye and open outh across the lake.29
fertiliGer enterprise& which ay have used one or two fe urs for laboratory tests but eventually decided to phase entirely into enhaden instead and transferred the re aining several tons to a holding co pany& which stored the in a warehouse outside of 'ort "ayne& *ndiana& for aybe a year before Bea>consfield got interested. by -ichard "harfinger& related near to unintelligible by eight e ories unlooping progressively into regions as strange to ap as their rising coils and clouds of pot s oke. *t got so confusing that ne7t day $edipa decided to go see the play itself& and even conned (etGger into taking her. This co es out in the first scene& as /iccol3 confides his history to a friend& ?o enico. pire. !/one of us s oke Beaconsfields anyway. Being in thick with the ?uke of 68ua uglia& )as8uale plots to do away with young /iccol3 by suggesting a ga e of hide>and>seek and then finessing hi into crawling inside of an enor ous cannon& which a hench an is then to set off& hopefully blowing the child& as )as8uale recalls ruefully& later on in the third act& 0ut in a (loo#y rain to fee# our fiel#s Ami# the Maena# roar of nitre%s song An# sulfur%s cantus firmus. This enables the evil illegiti ate son& )as8uale& to take over as regent for his half>brother /iccold& the rightful heir and good guy of the play& till he co es of age.& the co pany they set up to develop the filter. Bones of lost battalion in lake& fished up& turned into charcoalKK! !TheyCve been listening&! screa ed ?i )resso& !those kids. /ot *nverarity. !Aha&! (etGger leaped. All the ti e& so ebody listens in& snoopsH they bug your apart ent& they tap your phoneKK! !But we donCt repeat what we hear&! said another girl. The sa e kind of kinky thing& you know.! 6o they were& until well after the sun had set and (iles& ?ean& 6erge and Leonard and their chicks& by holding up the glowing roaches of their cigarettes like a flipcard section at a football ga e to spell out alternate 6Cs and $Cs& attracted the attention of the 'angoso Lagoons 6ecurity 'orce& a garrison against the night ade up of one>ti e cowboy actors and L.! Laughter. 6oon she heard the !0odGilla **! starting up. otorcycle cops. -uefully& because the hench an& a likeable sche er na ed . Attendance did not swell by the ti e the play started.rcole& is secretly involved with dissident ele ents in the court of 'aggio who want to keep /iccold alive& and so he contrives to stuff a young goat into the cannon instead& eanwhile s uggling /iccol3 out of the ducal palace disguised as an elderly procuress. The ti e in between had been whiled away with songs by the )aranoids& and Euicing& and feeding pieces of eggplant sandwich to a flock of not too bright seagulls whoCd istaken 'angoso Langoons for the )acific& and hearing the plot of The Courier%s Trage#y. (etGger closed his eyes& turned his head& uttering& !)ossession.ou know& blokes&! re arked one of the girls& a long>waisted& brown>haired lovely in a black knit leotard and pointed sneakers& !this all has a ost biGarre rese blance to that ill& ill Jacobean revenge play we went to last week. A. "eCre all on pot. Two figures in gray suits crouched behind its windshield. /ever in Beaconsfield itself. $edipa and a reluctant (etGger ca e in on only a partly>filled house. Angelo& then& evil ?uke of 68ua uglia& has perhaps ten years before the playCs opening urdered the good ?uke of adEoining 'aggio& by poisoning the feet on an i age of 6aint /arcissus& Bishop of Jerusale & in the court chapel& which feet the ?uke was in the habit of kissing every 6unday at (ass. !(etGger&! it occurred to her& !heCs taking the boatI "eCre arooned. But the costu es were gorgeous and the lighting i aginative& and though the words were all spoken in Transplanted (iddle "estern 6tage British& $edipa found herself after five inutes sucked utterly into the landscape of evil -ichard "harfinger had fashioned for his 2Bth>century audiences& so preapocalyptic& death> wishful& sensually fatigued& unprepared& a little poignantly& for that abyss of civil war that had been waiting& cold and deep& only a few years ahead of the . )as8uale of course has no intention of letting hi live so long.! !. The Courier%s Trage#y was being put on by a 6an /arciso group known as the Tank )layers& the Tank being a s all arena theatre located out between a traffic analysis fir and a wildcat transistor outfit that hadnCt been there last year and wouldnCt be this co ing but eanwhile was underselling even the Japanese and hauling in loot by the stea shovelful. Another runabout had appeared and was headed toward the .
The real reason /iccold is waiting around is of course to get a crack at the ?uke.rcole who once saved the life of young /iccol3 and aided his escape fro 'aggio. The other courier& one Fittorio& takes offense& vowing in an aside to report this treasonable talk to Angelo at the first opportunity. "ith the tongue i paled on his rapier . The Church will never sanction it& says 'rancesca.rcole runs to a burning torch set in the wall& sets the tongue afla e and waving it around like a ad an concludes the act by screa ing& Thy !itiless unmanning is most meet.vil ?uke Angelo& eanwhile& is sche ing to a alga ate the duchies of 68ua uglia and 'aggio& by arrying off the only royal fe ale available& his sister 'rancesca& to )as8uale the 'aggian usurper. +e has begun feeling his sister up and nibbling at her neckH the dialogue odulates into the fevered figures of inte perate desire& and the scene ends with the couple collapsing onto a divan. The only obstacle in the way of this union is that 'rancesca is )as8ualeCs otherKher illicit liaison with the good e7>?uke of 'aggio being one reason Angelo had hi poisoned to begin with. This he presently confesses to ?o enico& though only after having enticed that infor er into foolishly bending over and putting his head into a curious black bo7& on the prete7t of showing hi a pornographic diora a. "hile a battle rages in the streets outside the palace& )as8uale is locked up in his patrician hothouse& holding an orgy. The second was largely spent in the protracted torture and eventual urder of a prince of the church who prefers artyrdo to sanctioning 'rancescaCs arriage to her son. )resent at the erry aking is a fierce black perfor ing ape& brought back fro a recent voyage to the *ndies. They see to have slipped her ind& replies Angelo& during the ten years he and 'rancesca have been having their affair. .ou want to goI! !* want to see about the bones&! said $edipa. *ncest or no& the arriage ust beH it is vital to his long>range political plans.<:
even with the lower rates and faster service of the Thurn and Ta7is syste & to e ploy any but his own essengers in co unicating with his stooge )as8uale over in neighboring 'aggio. A steel vise pro ptly cla ps onto the faithless ?o enicoCs head and the bo7 uffles his cries for help.rcole& spying on the cardinalCs agony& dispatches couriers to the good>guy ele ent back in 'aggio who have it in for )as8uale& telling the to spread the word that )as8ualeCs planning to arry his other& calculating this ought to rile up public opinion so eH and another scene in which /iccol3& passing the ti e of day with one of ?uke AngeloCs couriers& hears the tale of the Lost 0uard& a body of so e fifty hand>picked knights& the flower of 'aggian youth& who once rode as protection for the good ?uke. $ne day& out on anoeuvres near the frontiers of 68ua uglia& they all vanished without a trace& and shortly afterward the good ?uke got poisoned. There is an a using scene where 'rancesca delicately seeks to re ind her brother of the social taboos against incest. The act itself closes with ?o enico& to who the naive /iccol3 started it off by spilling his secret& trying to get in to see ?uke Angelo and betray his dear friend. . <escen#e# this malign. (eanwhile& back in the torture roo & the cardinal is now being forced to bleed into a chalice and consecrate his own blood& not to 0od& but to 6atan. Altogether& a ost anti>clerical scene& perhaps intended as a sop to the )uritans of the ti e #a useless gesture since none of the ever went to plays& regarding the for so e reason as i oral%. 4et us (egin thy frightful Pentecost.rcoleCs agents. 6o& says ?uke Angelo& * will bribe a cardinal. The only interruptions co e when . 'or about ten inutes the vengeful crew proceed to ai & strangle& poison& burn& sto p& blind and otherwise have at )as8uale& while he describes inti ately his varied sensations for our enEoy ent.rcole binds his hands and feet with scarlet silk cords& lets hi know who it is heCs run afoul of& reaches into the bo7 with a pair of pincers& tears out ?o enicoCs tongue& stabs hi a couple ti es& pours into the bo7 a beaker of a8ua regia& enu erates a list of other goodies& including castration& that ?o enico will undergo before heCs allowed to die& all a id screa s& tongueless atte pts to pray& agoniGed struggles fro the victi . The lights went out& and in the 8uiet so ebody across the arena fro $edipa distinctly said& !*ck. 6he had to wait till the fourth act. +onest /iccol3& who always has difficulty hiding his feelings& observes that if the two events turn out to be at all connected& and can be traced to ?uke Angelo& boy& the ?uke better watch out& is all. Thin-s Ercole the zany Paraclete. The third act takes place in the court of 'aggio& and is spent urdering )as8uale& as the cul ination of a coup stirred up by . +e dies finally in e7tre e agony& and in arches one 0ennaro& a co plete
. They also cut off his big toe& and he is ade to hold it up like a +ost and say& !This is y body&! the keenwitted Angelo observing that itCs the first ti e heCs told anything like the truth in fifty years of syste atic lying. $f course it is so ebody in an ape suit& who at a signal leaps on )as8uale fro a chandelier& at the sa e ti e as half a doGen fe ale i personators who have up to now been lounging around in the guise of dancing girls also ove in on the usurper fro all parts of the stage. =nholy +host.! (etGger said& !. The ?uke& of course& is in his apart ent busy knocking off a piece& and the best ?o enico can do is an ad inistrative assistant who turns out to be the sa e .
But gathere# u!. 0ennaro asks a lieutenant where they areH turns out itCs only a league or so fro the lake where 'aggioCs Lost 0uard were last seen before their ysterious disappearance. As he scribbles he lets drop a few disordered and cryptic re arks about the ink heCs using& i plying itCs a very special fluid indeed. The ha!less mutton. 6urrounded by treachery on all sides& the ?uke has . The ?uke does not& perhaps ay not& enlighten us. *t is all a big in>Eoke. one trice (e lost "n (ringing #o&n a fell an# soulless #oom =nuttera(le. +eretofore the na ing of na es has gone on either literally or as etaphor. A spy arrives fro 68ua uglia to tell the /iccoloCs on the way.<2
nonentity& to proclai hi self interi head of state till the rightful ?uke& /iccol3& can be located. 6he looked idly around for the sy bol sheCd seen the other night in The 6cope& but all the walls& surprisingly& were blank. AndA The s&an has yiel#e# (ut one hollo& quill.rcole brings in /iccol3 to await the ?ukeCs pleasure.rcole& whose true role he still does not suspect& finally su on the Thurn and Ta7is courier& figuring he can no longer trust his own en. Accosted by Fittorio and half a doGen
. Again& as in AngeloCs court& the curious chill creeps in. The cheering stops. . But not by his own en. Certain things& it is ade clear& will not be spoken aloudH certain events will not be shown onstageH though it is difficult to i agine& given the e7cesses of the preceding acts& what these things could possibly be. 6cene switches to 0ennaro& at the head of a s all ar y& on route to invade 68ua uglia. $or *anchor* it has ris%n. .o&s
Bet&een. 6he could not say why& e7actly& but felt threatened by this absence of even the arginal try at co unication latrines are known for. Angelo flies into an apoplectic rage& and orders /iccoloCs pursuit and destruction. (ut his tegument/ )et &hat. But now& as the ?uke gives his fatal co and& a new ode of e7pression takes over. &as neither !luc-e# nor harshly flaye#. That vain usur!ing of an honour%# name/ 'e%ll #ance his masque as if it &ere the truth. All of which causes hi high a use ent.veryone onstage #having clearly been directed to do so% beco es aware of a possibility. 0ennaro& even less enlightening than Angelo was& invokes the protection of 0od and 6aint /arcissus for /iccolo& and they all ride on. . +e has learned about the coup in 'aggio& the possibility that /iccolo ay be alive so ewhere after all. . (etGger lurched into the undersiGed lobby to s oke& $edipa headed for the ladiesC roo . There was an inter ission. s&art an# sil-en . *t can only be called a kind of ritual reluctance. Act *F of The Courier%s Trage#y discloses evil ?uke Angelo in a state of nervous frenGy. As close as he co es does not illu inateA 4et him that vizar# -ee! unto his grave. "ord has reached hi that 0ennaro is levying a force to invade 68ua uglia& also a ru or that the )ope is about to intervene because of the cardinalCs urder. (eanwhile& at AngeloCs palace& wily . LikeA
This !itchy (re& in $rance is *encre* hight/ "n this might #ire Squamuglia a!e the +aul. *t is at about this point in the play& in fact& that things really get peculiar& and a gentle chill& an a bi> & guity& begins to creep in a ong the words. s&orn To !unctual ven#etta never slee!. But who then will the pursuers beI Fittorio knowsA every flunky in the court& idling around in their 68ua uglia livery and e7changing 6ignificant Looks& knows. The essage to 0ennaro co pleted and sealed& /iccol3 tucks it in his doublet and takes off for 'aggio& still unaware& as is . 6crea ing at Fittorio he is e7plicit enough about who shall not pursue /iccoloA his own bodyguard he describes to their faces as ver in& Ganies& poltroons. from #ee!s untol#. . 6o ebody else runs in with news that the body of ?o enico& /iccol3Cs faithless friend& has been found utilatedH but tucked in his shoe was a essage& so ehow scrawled in blood& revealing /iccoloCs true identity. Angelo takes out a 8uill& parch ent and ink& e7plaining to the audience but not to the good guys& who are still ignorant of recent develop ents& that to forestall an invasion fro 'aggio& he ust assure 0ennaro with all haste of his good intentions. from &il#ly #ifferent (easts. Back to 68ua uglia& where Fittorio& the ?ukeCs courier& reports how /iccol3 has been talking treason.rcoleCs string has run out at last. 4est at the !alest &his!er of the name S&eet Niccolo hath stol%n. Enlist the !oniar#s s&ift of Those &ho. The audiences of the ti e knew. Angelo knows& but does not say.rcole& of the coup and his own i pending restoration as rightful ?uke of 'aggio. Back to 0ennaro and his ar y. There is a lot of talk to the effect that if Angelo wants peace heCd better send a essenger to let the know before they reach the frontier& otherwise with great reluctance they will hand his ass to hi . 0reat reEoicing& in the idst of which 0ennaro& who seldo converses& only orates& begs everybody re e ber that /iccol3 is still riding under the Thurn and Ta7is colors. transmute#.
ave mingle# &ith the (loo# of Niccol#. *t is no longer the lying docu ent /iccolo read us e7cerpts fro at all& but now iraculously a long confession by Angelo of all his cri es& closing with the revelation of what really happened to the Lost 0uard of 'aggio.
But no& the (ones of these "mmaculate . 0ennaro glances at it& does a double>take& reads it aloud. No hallo&e# s-ein of stars can &ar#. Back in 68ua uglia Angelo is trying to uster an ar y& without success.oin%#. " tro&. That truth it is.ou know one of the I! said (etGger& an7ious to
leave.! As if breaking out of so e drea Cs paralysis& he begins& each step an effort& to retreat. A &e#loc. Again there is silence and everybody looks at everybody else. *t plays& as (etGger re arked later& like a -oad -unner cartoon in blank verse. *n the presence of the iracle all fall to their knees& bless the na e of 0od& ourn /iccolo& vow to lay 68ua uglia waste. An# Tacit lies the gol# once -notte# horn. They wait. +e had also played the part of 0ennaro the winner.4 years old& and * should know better. $edipa said& !* donCt know. 6uddenly& in lithe and terrible silence& with dancersC grace& three figures& long>li bed& effe inate& dressed in black tights& leotards and gloves& black silk hose pulled over their faces& co e capering on stage and stop& gaGing at hi .! !. $aggio%s no(le #ea#. According to the progra & The Courier%s Trage#y had been directed by one -andolph ?riblette. Their faces behind the stockings are shadowy and defor ed.&hose sole chil# is miracle> A life%s (ase lie. 2
Trystero.! +e had a brooding look. The word hung in the air as the act ended and all lights were for a o ent cutH hung in the dark to puGGle $edipa (aas& but not yet to e7ert the power over her it was to.
!* want to find out so ething.very ode of violent death available to -enaissance an& including a lye pit& land ines& a trained falcon with enveno Cd talons& is e ployed. !Look& (etGger&! $edipa said& !co e on backstage with e.!
!$h& about the bones.rcole eets his end in a refreshingly si ple ass stabbing. An# innocence &ith innocence is .! !'ine&! (etGger said& !and what ne7t& picket the FA. ?esperate& he asse bles those flunkies and pretty girls who are left& ritually locks all his e7its& has wine brought in& and begins an orgy. * want to talk to
?riblette. 'ho%s once (een set his tryst &ith Trystero. .I (arch on "ashingtonI 0od protect e&! he addressed the ceiling of the little theatre& causing a few heads a ong those leaving to swivel& !fro these lib& overeducated broads with the soft heads and bleeding hearts. "e also see /iccol3& in the scene following& for the last ti e. "itnesses parade in& there is the travesty of a trial& and .!
. They wereKsurpriseKevery one assacred by Angelo and thrown in the lake. Leaning against the tree& he reads parts of the letter aloud& co enting& sarcastic& on what is blatantly a pack of lies devised to soothe 0ennaro until Angelo can uster his own ar y of 68ua uglians to invade 'aggio. Later on their bones were fished up again and ade into charcoal& and the charcoal into ink& which Angelo& having a dark sense of hu or& used in all his subse8uent co unications with 'aggio& the present docu ent included.<<
others& heCs charged with the urder of ?o en> ico. +e sits under a tree& opens AngeloCs letter& and learns at last of the coup and the death of )as8uale. re&ritten into truth. +e realiGes that heCs riding toward restoration& the love of an entire dukedo & the co ing true of all his ost virtuous hopes. $ffstage there is a sound of footpads. +e has stopped to rest by the shore of a lake where& he re e bers being told& the 'aggian 0uard disappeared. 'ro its seal we can see itCs the letter fro Angelo that /iccol3 was carrying. The soldier hands 0ennaro a roll of parch ent& stained with blood& which was found on the body. This +uar# of $aggio. +e tre bles and cannot speak& only stutter& in what ay be the shortest line ever written in blank verseA !T>t>t>t>t . The two things& so close. The act ends with 0ennaroCs forces drawn up by the shores of the lake. * a . At the end of it about the only character left alive in a stage dense with corpses is the colorless ad inistrator& 0ennaro. The lights all go out. &e all (ear testament. .e that &e last as Thum an# Ta7is -ne& No& rec-s no lor# (ut the stiletto%s Thorn. . An enlisted an co es on to report that a body& identified as /iccol3 by the usual a ulet placed round his neck as a child& has been found in a condition too awful to talk about. *t Eust has e uneasy. But 0ennaro ends on a note ost desperate& probably for its original audience a real shock& because it na es at last the na e Angelo did not and /iccol3 tried toA . /iccol3 leaps to his feet& staring up one of the radial aisles& hand froGen on the hilt of his sword. The fifth act& entirely an anticli a7& is taken up by the bloodbath 0ennaro visits on the court of 68ua uglia.
* found it at QapfCs 5sed Books over by the freeway. 6he couldnCt stop watching his eyes. !*t was great&! said $edipa.! !. !"as it written in as a stage directionI All those people& so obviously in on so ething. Qapf ight still have it. !"hereCs the originalI "hat did you ake these copies fro I! !A paperback&! ?riblette yelled back. They were bright black& surrounded by an incredible network of lines& like a laboratory aGe for studying intelligence in tears. *t was written to entertain people. ?riblette otioned her over to a file cabinet ne7t to the one shower. Like horror ovies. *C curious. * lose at least half a doGen every ti e. They see ed to know what she wanted& even if she didnCt.
. !"ho was 6hakespeare. The rest of his body was wreathed in stea & giving his head an eerie& balloon>like buoyancy. (aybe he had only been talking in general.ou guys& youCre like )uritans are about the Bible. Can you find the placeI! 6o ething ca e to her viscera& danced briefly& and went. !* donCt care what Beaconsfield uses in its filter.! !Could * borrow itI! !6o ebody took it. !. !'eel&! said ?riblette& e7tending his ar . There was a skull on the cover. 6criptsCre in the top drawer. !?onCt ask e the publisher. !. !Let e discourage you. !*Cll wait in the car& $JI! $edipa watched hi out of sight& then went looking for dressing roo sH circled the annular corridor outside twice before settling on a door in the shadowy interval between two overhead lights. /ot this one& folks& she wants to right wrongs& <: years after itCs all over.!(etGger&! $edipa whispered& e barrassed& !*C a . !"hy&! ?riblette said at last& !is everybody so interested in te7tsI! !"ho elseI! Too 8uickly. $edipa realiGed then& cold corpse>fingers of grue on her skin& that it was e7actly the sa e look heCd coached his cast to give each other whenever the subEect of the Trystero assassins ca e up.! !"ho was heI! she said. 6he decided to ask about this look. *t was a long ti e ago. !* want to see if thereCs a connection.ou sweat like hell& but nothing else would really be hi & rightI! $edipa nodded. 6he pushed in& gliding off sweating biceps and o entary curtains of long& swung hair& till at last she stood before ?riblette& still wearing his gray 0ennaro outfit.! But they were all purple& ?ittoedKworn& torn& stained with coffee.! !*t isnCt that&! she protested.oung -epublican. /othing else in the drawer. -aise ghosts. !"hat thenI! (etGger challenged& getting to his feet& loo ing. 6he felt. !+ey&! she yelled into the shower. All fro a drunken hassle with (anny ?i )resso.! !"hy did youI +ad you heard about the so ewhere elseI! !.ou donCt understand&! getting ad. 6o e people today can drive F"Cs& cany a 6ony radio in their shirt pocket. !Are you putting e onI! 'or awhile the furrowed eyes only gaGed back.! !+ap +arrigan co ics&! (etGger now even louder& !which she is hardly old enough to read& John "ayne on 6aturday afternoon slaughtering ten thousand Japs with his teeth& this is $edipa (aasCs "orld "ar **& an. A girl re oving fake blood fro her face otioned $edipa on into a region of brightly>lit irrors.! +e stuck his head out of the shower. *t isnCt literature& it doesnCt ean anything.! !Against who I! in8uired (etGger& putting on shades. $pening night parties.! 6he looked around for words& feeling helpless. The knowing look you get in your drea s fro a certain unpleasant figure. Careful& staring at her with deep a use ent& he said& !There was another copy there. /ot to our boys in unifor & however gallant& whenever they died. "harfinger didnCt show the at all& you know. !?onCt drag e into your scholarly disputes&! adding !whoever you all are&! with a fa iliar s ile. $r about what happened at Lago di )ieta& or cancer .es& youCre curious&! (etGger said. ?ribletteCs head wagged back and forth. . *tCs an anthology& 1aco(ean ?evenge Plays. $r was that one of your touchesI! !That was y own&! ?riblette told her& !that& and actually bringing the three assassins onstage in the fourth act. !(etGger& donCt harass e. 'orgetting her first loyalty& legal and oral& is to the estate she represents. 6he walked in on soft& elegant chaos& an i pression of e anations& utually interfering& fro the stub>antennas of everybodyCs e7posed nerve endings. * donCt want to think about the .ou ca e to talk about the play&! he said. !.! !Could * see a scriptI! 6he didnCt know what she was looking for& e7actly. * donCt care what )ierce bought fro the Cosa /ostra. !"hatI! !* donCt know&! she said& a little desperate. . 6o hung up with
<. "harfinger was no 6hakespeare. 0ennaroCs costu e was gray flannel. Be on y side. !*Cd better grab a shower&! he said& !before the ?rop>The>6oap crowd get here.
The routine business took an hourH for another hour the shareholders and pro7ies and co pany officers held a . *C the proEector at the planetariu & all the closed little universe visible in the circle of that stage is co ing out of y outh& eyes& so eti es other orifices
also. free&ays. ThatCs it.ou could fall in love with e& you can talk to y shrink& you can hide a tape recorder in y bedroo & see what * talk about fro wherever * a when * sleep. The shower splashed."
But she couldnCt let it 8uite go. +is eyes waited& at the centres of their webs.ou know where that play e7ists& not in that file cabinet& not in any paperback youCre looking for& butK! a hand e erged fro the veil of shower>stea to indicate his suspended headK!in here. 6he left& and was all the way outside before thinking& * went in there to ask about bones and instead we talked about the Trystero thing. Anything ight help. !*Cll call&! said $edipa. Around the all& /egroes carried gunboats of ashed potatoes& spinach& shri p& Gucchini& pot roast& to the long& glittering stea tables& preparing to feed a noontide invasion of . 6he got in and rode with hi for two iles before realiGing that the whi sies of nightti e reception were bringing the JC5' down fro Jinneret& and that the disk Eockey talking was her husband& (ucho. Stan#s the &ell -no&n +alactronics Branch
. ThatCs what *C for.<4
words& words.! +e fell silent.! At the word& ?ribletteCs face abruptly vanished& back into the stea . (etGger had been listening to the car radio. +e had anaged to create around it the sa e aura of ritual reluctance here& offstage& as he had on. The words& who caresI TheyCre rote noises to hold line bashes with& to get past the bone barriers around an actorCs e ory& rightI But the reality is in this head. They gave her a round white visitorCs badge at one of the gates& and she parked in an enor ous lot ne7t to a 8uonset building painted pink and about a hundred yards long. !. A. !*f * were to dissolve in here&! speculated the voice out of the drifting stea & !be washed down the drain into the )acific& what you saw tonight would vanish too. (ine. . * gave the life. )erhaps the other& also. To give the spirit flesh. !"hat ade you feel differently than "harfinger did about this& this Trystero. 6ta p collectors tell e it did e7ist. . 6he stood in a nearly deserted parking lot& watching the headlights of (etGgerCs car co e at her& and wondered how accidental it had been.
*t was so e such feeling that got her up early one
orning to go to a . . 5nder the sy bol sheCd copied off the latrine wall of The 6cope into her e o book& she wrote Shall " !ro. $edipa hadnCt wanted toH say the word. There was
nothing she could do at it& yet she felt it ight redee her a little fro inertia.ou could waste your life that way and never touch the truth.oyodyne workers.oyodyne songfest. ?ead& ineral& without value or potential.oyodyne Cafeteria& and scene of her eeting.oyodyne stockholdersC
eeting. The only residue in fact would be things "harfinger didnCt lie about. The bond the probate court had had her post was perhaps their evaluation in dollars of how uch did stand in her way. !?ribletteI! $edipa called& after awhile. 'or two hours $edipa sat on a long bench
between old en who ight have been twins and whose hands& alternately #as if their owners were asleep and the oled& freckled hands out roa ing drea >landscapes% kept falling onto her thighs. But they would be traces& fossils. )erhaps 68ua uglia and 'aggio& if they ever e7isted. As if switched off. 'or one thing& she read over the will ore closely. +is face appeared briefly.! +e wasnCt s iling.ect a &orl#5 *f not proEect then at least flash so e arrow on the do e to skitter a ong constellations and trace out your ?ragon& "hale& 6outhern Cross. )erhaps the Thurn and Ta7is ail syste .ou can put together clues& develop a thesis& or several& about why characters reacted to the Trystero possibility the way they did& why the assassins ca e on& why the black costu es. . !"e could do that.ou& that part of you so concerned& 0od knows how& with that little world& would also vanish. The Adversary. This was the . To the tune of CornellCs al a ater& they sangA
+.igh a(ove the 4. "harfinger supplied words and a yarn.(/
.ou want to do thatI . *f it was really )ierceCs atte pt to leave an organiGed so ething behind after his own annihilation& then it
was part of her duty& wasnCt it& to bestow life on what had persisted& to try to be what ?riblette was& the dark achine in the centre of the planetariu & to bring the estate into pulsing stelliferous (eaning& all in a soaring do e around herI *f only so uch didnCt stand in her wayA her deep ignorance of law& of invest ent& of real estate& ulti ately of the dead an hi self. An# the traffic%s &hine. T+$50+ she saw (ike 'allopian again& and did trace the te7t of The Courier%s Trage#y a certain distance& these follow> ups were no ore dis8uieting than other revelations which now see ed to co e crowding in e7ponentially& as if the ore she collected the ore would co e to her& until everything she saw& s elled& drea ed& re e bered& would so ehow co e to be woven into The Tristero.
As far as she could see in any direction it was white or pastelA enCs shirts& papers& drawing boards.! 'ro a drawer he produced a Dero7ed wad of papers& showing a bo7 with a sketch of a bearded Fictorian on its outside& and co ing out of the top two pistons attached to a crankshaft and flywheel. But nobody noticed. 6he began to wander aisles a ong light blue desks& turning a corner now and then. *tCs a sy pto of the gutlessness of the whole society. +rumman get their slice. 'e stay on the groun#. +eads ca e up at the sound of her heels& engineers stared until sheCd passed& but nobody spoke to her.! !)atents&! $edipa said. Martin launches off a !a#. And doGens of other old favorites whose lyrics she couldnCt re e ber. The singers were then for ed into platoon> siGed groups for a 8uick tour of the plant. A stockholder. !6ee&! Joteks said& !if you can get the to drop their clause on patents. JohnCs so ebody who still invents things. !. Ja es Clerk (a7well& e7plained Joteks& a fa ous 6cotch scientist who had once postulated a tiny intelligence& known as (a7wellCs ?e on.of . !"ell this was invented by John /efastis& whoCs up at Berkeley now. <ouglas.ou know the /efastis (achineI! $edipa only widened her eyes.. +ere. As it turned out he wasnCt working& only doodling with a
fat felt pencil this signA
!+ello there&! $edipa said& arrested by this coincidence. 4oc-hee# from a su(/ 'e can%t get the ?@< 0n a Pi!er Cu(. Then& by accident #?r +ilar>ius& if asked& would accuse her of using subli inal cues in the environ ent to guide her to a particular person% or howsoever& she ca e on one 6tanley Joteks& who wore wire>ri bifocals& sandals& argyle socks& and at first glance see ed too young to be working here. $n a whi & she added& !Jirby sent e&! this having been the na e on the latrine wall. Pin. Can you really influence policy& or ake suggestions they wonCt Eust file in the garbageI! !.oyodyne& Contracts flee thee yet.!avilions (ravely shining. 6he said& !*C a tourist& actually. *t was supposed to sound conspiratorial& but ca e out silly.oyodyne. !6it down.ouCre lost& huhI! 6he knew blunt 8uestions like& what does that sy bol eanI would get her nowhere. Catching sight of her badge& !. !* ean& whoCs there been& really& since Tho as . .! +e gave her the once>over& hooked with his foot a swivel chair fro the ne7t desk and rolled it over for her. !"hoCs that with the beardI! asked $edipa. <0< has shafte# thee. All she could think of was to put on her shades for all this light& and wait for so ebody to rescue her. !Tea work&! Joteks snarled& !is one word for it& yeah. 'ast olecules have ore energy than slow ones. 6o ehow $edipa got lost. $ne inute she was gazing at a ockup of a space capsule& safely surrounded by old& so nolent enH the ne7t& alone in a great& fluorescent ur ur of office activity. "hat it really is is a way to avoid responsibility.! !* didnCt think people invented any ore&! said $edipa& sensing this would goad hi . "%ll (et. Palm trees tall an# true. Avco (uil#s them nice. That& lady& is y a7 to grind. North American. Joteks e7plained how every engineer& in signing the . )oyo#yne. Convair (oosts the satellite "nto or(its roun#/ Boeing (uil#s the Minuteman. &e s&ear un#ying 4oyalty to you. 0ut of s!ite.disonI *snCt it all tea work nowI! Bloody ChiclitG& in his welco ing speech this orning& had stressed tea work. Being led in this by the president of the co pany& (r Clayton #!Bloody!% ChiclitG hi selfH and to the tune of !Aura Lee!A
0L. !+i&! said 6tanley Joteks& deftly sliding the big envelope heCd been doodling on into an open drawer he then closed.oyodyne contract& also signed away the patent rights to any inventions he ight co e up with.
Ben#i7 gui#es the &arhea#s in. 'ive or ten inutes went by this way& panic growing inside her headA there see ed no way out of the area.es&! lied $edipa& to see where it would take the . The ?e on could sit in a bo7 a ong air olecules that were oving at all different rando speeds& and sort out the fast olecules fro the slow ones. CThis stifles your really creative engineer&! Joteks said& adding bitterly& !wherever he ay be.! !6tockholder. To the en#. * have a copy of the patent.! !0oodness&! said $edipa& !are you allowed to talk like thatI! Joteks looked to both sides& then rolled his chair closer. Concentrate enough of the in one place and you have a region of high
trace# (y one of the victims in the #ust.! +e went on to tell how the /efastis (achine contained an honest>to>0od (a7wellCs ?e on.! !*tCs ental work&! Joteks said& !But not work in the ther odyna ic sense.! !/o&! his voice gone funny& so that she looked up& too sharply& by which ti e& carried by a certain o entu of thought& heCd also said& !*n 6an 'ranciscoH thereCs noneK! and by then knew heCd ade a istake. !$nly people with the gift. 'e o&e this #escri!tion to a !ost ri#er. 6o you would be violating the 6econd Law of Ther odyna ics& getting so ething for nothing& causing perpetual & otion. 6heCd decided to co e tonight to The 6cope not only because of the encounter with 6tanley Joteks& but also because of other revelationsH because it see ed that a pattern was beginning to e erge& having to do with the ail and how it was delivered.ou really want to try itI . *n school they got brainwashed& like all of us& into believing the (yth of the A erican *nventorK(orse and his telegraph& Bell and his telephone& .! But sheCd pronounced it like a word& waste. !/ot everybody can work it& of course&! Joteks& having war ed to his subEect& was telling her. +eCd let you try. !*n Berkeley.! As they got drunker this typical 6outhern California dialogue degenerated further. !Tell the down at the post office& youCll find yourself in a ailbag headed for 'airbanks& Alaska& without even a '-A0*L.ou can then use the difference in te perature between this hot region of the bo7 and any cooler region& to drive a heat engine.! (etGger& whoCd co e along to The 6cope that evening& wanted to argue. $nly one an per invention.! $edipa rested her shades on her nose and batted her eyelashes& figuring to co8uette her way off this conversational hookA !"ould * ake a good sensitive& do thinkI! !. They can always tell when they co e on another of their kind. !6ure this Joteks is part of so e underground&! he told her a few days later& !an underground of the unbalanced& possibly& but then how can you bla e the for being aybe a little bitterI Look whatCs happening to the . . 6he in her turn& clearly& was not about to forget it.6. "hatCs it like& $edipa& being all alone in a night are like thatI $f course they stick together& they keep in touch.. !+eCs living so ewhere along Telegraph&! he uttered. !* gave you the wrong address.. (aybe it only happens once every five years& but still& i ediately& they know. To this #ay the i#entities of the slayers
. !+ow can you be against a corporation that wants a worker to waive his patent rights.ou could write to hi .&! said Joteks.! $edipa took out her little e o book and opened to the sy bol sheCd copied and the words Shall " !ro.oyodyneH got stuck on so e CproEectC or Ctask forceC or Ctea C and started being ground into anony ity. +er suspicions got e bellished by& of all people& (ike 'allopian of the )eter )inguid 6ociety.<3
te perature. $edipa& behind her shades& looked around carefully& trying not to ove her head. address isnCt good any ore.! !* saw it in a ladiesC John&! she confessed. !'orget it&! he advisedH opened a book and proceeded to ignore her. But 6tanley Joteks was no longer about to be sweet>talked. the only &itness to the massacre. That sounds like the surplus value theory to e& fella& and you sound like a (ar7ist.oyodyne was nor al. +e only knows a few sensitives. sticker going for you. sy bol! on had co e& she bet& fro John /efastis. The envelope sheCd seen Joteks doodling what sheCd begun to think of as the !"A6T. !*tCs ".dison and his light bulb& To 6wift and his this or that.AB9.A. 0n this site. &ho #ie# shortly after.& lady&! he told her& !an acrony & not Cwaste&C and we had best not go into it any further. !6orting isnCt workI! $edipa said. it read& in . The only other clue &as a cross. C6ensitives&C John calls the . $argo men (attle# gallantly with a (an# of mas-e# marau#ers in mysterious *(lacuniforms. a #ozen 'ells. The fa iliar 6ociety for the )ropagation of Christian Jnowledge photo& showing (a7well in right profile& see ed to work best. There had been the bronGe historical arker on the other side of the lake at 'angoso Lagoons. The air would e7pand and push a piston.7cept right here& where $edipa (aas& with a thousand other people to choose fro & had had to walk uncoerced into the presence of adness.T. +is face congealed& a ask of distrust.! 6he took a chanceA !Then the "A6T. /obody paid any attention to the A the air>conditioning hu ed on& *B( typewriters chiggered away& swivel chairs s8ueaked& fat reference anuals were sla ed shut& rattling blueprints folded and refolded& while high overhead the long silent fluorescent bulbs glared errilyH all with . 6ince the ?e on only sat and sorted& you wouldnCt have put any real work into the syste .ouCre so right>wing youCre left> wing&! he protested. /obody wanted the to invent Konly perfor their little role in a design ritual& already set down for the in so e procedures handbook. Then when they grew up they found they had to sign over all their rights to a onster like . $r so ebody like hi . !. $edipa sat alone and gloo y. All you had to do was stare at the photo of Clerk (a7well& and concentrate on which cylinder& right or left& you wanted the ?e on to raise the te perature in. .ect a &orl#5 !Bo7 4B.
Another reading of that line ight help light further the dark face of the word. )ut there aybe by so e student. /ow * feel&! laughing& !as if * have been 92 all y life. * thought& when * was a boy& that he had been 92 all his life. )orky )ig is a little boy. $edipa pondered this.A. 6he hung up and headed for QapfCs 5sed Books.A. published by The Lectern )ress& Berkeley& California& back in 294B. According to a short preface& the te7t had been taken fro a folio edition& undated. That was how the old an& bless hi & knew they werenCt *ndians. (r Thoth Eerked awake& Earring loose the fly& which ade a desperate scra ble for the door. *t was to be the first of any de urs. $h& * canCt re e ber. The children told e that he has a nephew now& Cicero. The phone buGGed on and on& into hollowness. *t ade the invisible in the night& because they ca e at night. Qapf hi self ca e forward out of a wan cone of 24>watt illu ination to help her find the paperback ?riblette had entioned& 1aco(ean ?evenge Plays. 6he would give the order& she would create constellationsH ne7t day she drove out to Fesperhaven +ouse& a ho e for senior citiGens that *nverarity had put up around the ti e . *n a way& it cheered her. +eathen. That was a good one too. 6he called -andolph ?riblette fro a pay booth& to see it heCd known about this "ells& 'argo incidentH if that was why heCd chosen to dress his bravos all in black. 6he checked the copyright page and found that the original hardcover had been a te7tbook& Plays of $or#. They checked& but didnCt have the hardcover. $ddly& the preface was unsigned. 6he poured herself half a tu bler of Jack ?aniels #the )aranoids having left the a fresh bottle the evening before% and called the L.! Thinking also that she could visit John /efastis. The *ndians who wore black feathers& the *ndians who werenCt *ndians. The nurse pursued& spraying poison. library.oyodyne ca e to 6an /arciso.ouCre bothering (r Thoth&! she yelled at the little fellow.cho Courts& (etGger in L. !*t was i7ed in so with the *ndians&! he tried to re e ber& !the drea . !* was drea ing&! (r Thoth told her& !about y grandfather. *n its front recreation roo she found sunlight co ing in it see ed through every windowH an old an nodding in front of a di Leon 6chlesinger cartoon show on the tubeH and a black fly browsing along the pink& dandruffy arroyo of the neat part in the old anCs hair. variant. *f he got killed his soul would wander in the dark forever.7press& back in the gold rush days. +e ust have loved that part of it. !+ello&! said $edipa. +is horse was na ed Adolf& * re e ber that. !*t was all i7ed in with a )orky )ig cartoon. ?o you re e ber& during the war& when )orky worked in a defense plantI +e and Bugs Bunny. !. 'ilthy achine. /o *ndian ever attacked at night. (aybe *Cll try the directly. A fat nurse ran in with a can of bug spray and yelled at the fly to take off so she could kill it. +e rode for the )ony . ?id he only ean ?ribletteI 6he opened her outh to ask& but didnCt.! !*f they werenCt *ndians&! $edipa asked& !what were theyI! !A 6panish na e&! (r Thoth said& frowning& !a (e7ican na e. The skull on the cover watched the & through the di light. ?id they write it on the
. for the day on other business& she turned i ediately to the single ention of the word Trystero. !*tCs been very uch in de and&! Qapf told her.! +e waved at the tube. !The anarchist is dressed all in black.:Cs. ?id you ever see the one about )orky )ig and the anarchistI! 6he had& as a atter of fact& but she said no. !"ait&! she said& having Eust got an idea& !the publisherCs up in Berkeley.! $edipa& sensitiGed& thinking of the bronGe arker& s iled at hi as granddaughterly as she knew how and asked& !?id he ever have to fight off desperadosI! !That cruel old an&! said (r Thoth& !was an *ndian killer.! !"hat were you drea ing about hi I! !$h& that&! perhaps e barrassed. A very old an& at least as old as * a now& 92. 0od& the saliva would co e out in a string fro his lip whenever he told about killing the *ndians. (y grandfather told e. *n the dark you can only see his eyes. !*t co es into your drea s& you know. 'e(ster. 23=B e#. $h& the stories that old an would tell. *t dates fro the 29. 6he had caught sight of the historical arker only because sheCd gone back& deliberately& to Lake *nvera>rity one day& owing to this& what you ight have to call& growing obsession& with !bringing so ething of herself! Keven if that so ething was Eust her presenceKto the scatter of business interests that had survived *nverar>ity. Toumeur an# 'harfinger.! !?ressed all in black&! $edipa pro pted hi . The cagy fly stayed where it was. Back at .<B
remain shrou#e# in mystery. The feathers were white& but those false *ndians were supposed to burn bones and stir the boneblack with their feathers to get the black. $pposite the line she read& in pencil& Cf. They could look it up on inter>library loan for her. A crossI $r the initial TI The sa e stuttered by /iccol3 in The Courier%s Trage#y.
Those suppressions were brutal. * wrote to 6acra ento about that historical arker& and theyCve been kicking it around their bureaucratic orass for onths. * havenCt
. ThereCs no way to trace it& unless you want to follow up an accidental correlation& like you got fro the old an. !* picked the dandelions in a ce etery& two years ago.ast 6an /arciso 'reeway. *n the space of a sip of dandelion wine it ca e to her that she would never know how any ti es such a seiGure ay already have visited& or how to grasp it should it visit again. They took it out for the . 6he glanced down the corridor of CohenCs roo s in the rain and saw& for the very first ti e& how far it ight be possible to get lost in this. *t will say& C$ld>ti ers re e ber the ya about&C whatever happened.ou think itCs really a correlationI! 6he thought of how tenuous it was& like a long white hair& over a century long. !There are so e irregularities& (iG (aas&! he said.<=
ringI! +e reached down to a knitting bag by his chair and ca e up with blue ya & needles& patterns& finally a dull gold signet ring. All these fatigued brain cells between herself and the truth.! !. !"ho can tell what goes on with the I! *f sheCd thought to check a couple lines back in the "harfinger play& $edipa ight have ade the ne7t connection by herself. (etGger had taken the sta p albu s to Cohen fro safe>deposit storage a week ago in $edipaCs * pala& and then she hadnCt even been interested enough to look inside the . )robably hired by the 'ederal govern ent. $edipa wondered whether& at the end of this #if it were supposed to end%& she too ight not be left with only co piled e ories of clues& announce ents& inti ations& but never the central truth itself& which ust so ehow each ti e be too bright for her e ory to holdH which ust always blaGe out& destroying its own essage irreversibly& leaving an overe7posed blank when the ordinary world ca e back. !* have taken the liberty&! 0enghis Cohen was saying& !of getting in touch with an .our grandfatherI! !/o& y 0od. /ow the ce etery is gone. But now it ca e to her& as if the rain whispered it& that what 'allopian had not known about private carriers& Cohen ight. sy bol& and he shrugged again.A. 6he looked around& spooked at the sunlight pouring in all the windows& as if she had been trapped at the centre of so e intricate crystal& and said& !(y 0od. )erhaps even in this last secondKbut there was no way to tell. $edipa felt at once otherly. $dds are the author will be dead. 6o eday theyCll co e back with a source book for e to read. Can you i agine a 92>year>old an so brutalI! $edipa stared. area. $ne rainy orning& with ist rising off the pool& (etGger again away& the )aranoids off so ewhere to a recording session& $edipa got rung up by this 0enghis Cohen& who even over the phone she could tell was disturbed.! !And * feel hi & certain days& days of a certain te perature&! said (r Thoth& !and baro etric pressure. !(y grandfather cut this fro the finger of one of the he killed. Afterward it is only this signal& really dross& this secular announce ent& and never what is revealed during the attack& that he re e bers. *n a roo perhaps a third of the way along the suite he sat her in a rocking chair and brought real ho e ade dandelion wine in s all neat glasses. !(arauders& na eless& faceless& dressed in black. Two very old en. -eal good docu entation& this Californiana crap. $edipa showed hi the "A6T. (etGger& acting on instructions in the will& had retained this a iable& slightly adenoidal e7pert& for a percent of his valuation& to inventory and appraise *nverarityCs sta p collection. 0enghis Cohen had a touch of su er flu& his fly was half open and he was wearing a Barry 0oldwater sweatshirt also.7pert Co ittee.7press and "ells& 'argo if he was writing a book about the .! 6o she went to find 'allopian& who ought to know a lot about the )ony . "hen he opened the door of his apart entRoffice she saw hi fra ed in a long succession or train of doorways& roo after roo receding in the general direction of 6anta (onica& all soaked in rain>light.! !CouldnCt it have been a rival carrierI! 'allopian shrugged. !*t was in the ladiesC roo & right here in The 6cope& (ike.! !"o en&! he only said. As it was she got an assist fro one 0enghis Cohen& who is the ost e inent philatelist in the L.! 6he could& at this stage of things& recogniGe signals like that& as the epileptic is said toKan odor& color& pure piercing grace note announcing his seiGure. !Could you co e overI! 6he was so ehow sure& driving in on the slick freeway& that the !irregularities! would tie in with the word Trystero. The device on the ring was once again the "A6T. ?id you know thatI * feel hi close to e. $ld>ti ers.! !. +e did& but not about their dark adversaries. !*Cve had hints&! he told her& !sure. sy bol.
There it was again& her "A6T.! +e flipped the sta p over and with the tip of the tweeGers showed her. co e orative sta p& the )ony . !*Cve co e up so far with eight in all. 6o e friends have been around to see the too& but theyCre all being cautious. !/or ally this issue& and the others& are unwater> arked&! Cohen said& !and in view of other detailsK the hatching& nu ber of perforations& way the paper has agedKitCs obviously a counterfeit. !$dd&! Cohen agreed.::& until Bis arck bought the out in 2=3B& (iG (aas& they were the . sy bol& showing up black& a little right of center. 6.! !*C not sure * understand&! $edipa said. !"hy put in a deliberate istakeI! he asked& ignoringKif he saw itKthe look on her face. !An =::>year tradition of postal fraud.! Cohen s iled& blew his nose. !The transposition&! consulting a notebook& !is only on the Lincoln .ouCd be a aGed how uch you can sell an honest forgery for. !And what if it were as old as Thurn and Ta7isI $ edio Tassis& banished fro (ilan& organiGed his first couriers in the Berga o region around 2<9:. . The black costu es& the silence& the secrecy. !*tCs the wrong side&! she said& as he swabbed the sta p gently with benGine and placed it on a black tray.! They sat in silence& listening to rain gnaw languidly at the windows and skylights& confronted all at once by the arvellous possibility.! !*f itCs the sa e one&! said Cohen.! 'ro the sa e plastic folder he now tweeGed what looked like an old 0er an sta p& with the figures 2R4 in the centre& the word $reimar-e at the top& and along the right>hand argin the legend Thum un# Ta7is. The other forgeries run back to 2=9.! +e rolled over to her a s all table& and fro a plastic folder lifted with tweeGers& delicately& a 5.! 6he nodded. !+eCd have to be pretty old. -egular issue& 2944.7press rider galloping out of a western fort. !+as that ever happened beforeI! she had to ask. *t was in their coat of ar s. CThen the water ark you found&! she said& !is nearly the sa e thing& e7cept for the e7tra little dooEigger sort of co ing out of the bell. !.7>
press issue of 294:& .:.! !ThatCs B: years&! she said. $edipa re e bered.! $edipa told hi then all about old (r ThothCs signet ring& and the sy bol sheCd caught 6tanley Joteks doodling& and the uted horn drawn in the ladiesC roo at The 6cope. Al ost like the "A6T. This is one of their very few adhesive sta ps. !ThatCs why *Cve referred it& and the others& to the Co ittee. !"hatever it is&! he hardly needed to say& !theyCre apparently still 8uite active. !A post horn&! Cohen saidH !the Thurn and Ta7is sy bol. 'ro shrubbery over on the right>hand side and possibly in the direction the rider would be heading& protruded a single& painstakingly engraved& black feather. sy bol. But see what you think of this.! !Then it isnCt worth anything.! !+ow recentI! blurted $edipa& louder than she needed to be. !*C not sure&! Cohen said. /ot to y knowledge.!
. !Allow e.:4.! !*t sounds ridiculous&! Cohen said& !but y guess is itCs a ute.! ?ecorating each corner of the sta p& $edipa saw a horn with a single loop in it. of all things.! An# Tacit lies the gol# once -notte# horn. 6ure. ThereCs even a transpositionK5.<9
yet forwarded the the sta ps in 8uestion& pending your own authoriGation and of course (r (etGgerCs. But look in the corners. 6o e collectors specialiGe in the . The picture had a )ony . Potsage. /ot Eust an error. !Look&! he said& switching on a s all& intense la p& handing her an oblong agnifying glass.. !"hat is thisI! she asked& wondering how uch ti e had gone by. henna brown. +owever& all fees& * a sure& can be charged to the estate. "hoever they were their ai was to ute the Thurn and Ta7is post horn. !They were&! she re e bered fro the "harfinger play& !so e kind of private couriers& rightI! !'ro about 2. !The water ark. !*s anything wrong& (iG (aasI! 6he told hi first about the letter fro (ucho with a cancellation telling her report all obscene ail to her pots aster. 6. Cancelled.! $edipa peered.ach one has an error like this& laboriously worked into the design& like a taunt.uropean ail service. The 8uestion is& who did theseI TheyCre atrocious.
. !A few onths ago it got 8uite cloudy. 6he found the Lectern )ress in a s all office building on 6hattuck Avenue. "hen she woke in the orning& she was sitting bolt upright& staring into the irror at her own e7hausted face.& but it was so ehow too late. 6he purred along up the east side of the bay& presently cli bed into the Berkeley hills and arrived close to idnight at a sprawling& any>leveled& 0er an>baro8ue hotel& carpeted in deep green& going in for curved corridors and orna ental chandeliers.!
/o& thought $edipa& sad.A. "hen she finally did settle into sleep& she drea ed that (ucho& her husband& was aking love to her on a soft white beach that was not part of any California she knew. 6he wanted to find out where -ichard "harfinger had got his infor ation about Trystero.A(. . 6he debated& driving north& whether to stop off at ho e on the way to Berkeley or co ing back. As if the dead really do persist& even in a bottle of wine. As if their ho e ce etery in so e way still did e7ist& in a land where you could so ehow walk& and not need the . As if they re e bered.A'>(5T..! +e sounded nervous& or suddenly in retreat.ast 6an /ar>ciso 'reeway& and bones still could rest in peace& nourishing ghosts of dandelions& no one to plow the up.6. A66. A clerk popped up fro behind the desk where heCd been sleeping and began aking sign language at her. 6he fell asleep al ost at once& but kept waking fro a night are about so ething in the irror& across fro her bed. /othing specific& only a possibility& nothing she could see. . *t isnCt our business& is itI! 6he asked hi then about the initials ".LC$(.. !*tCs clearer now&! he said& rather for al. As it turned out she issed the e7it for Jinneret and that solved it. Tourneur an# 'harfinger on the pre ises& but did take her check for S2<. )ossibly also take a look at how the inventor John /efastis picked up his ail. 6heCd lost hi . CAL*'$-/*A C+A)T.-*CA/ ?. +e poured her ore dandelion wine.ou see& in spring& when the dandelions begin to bloo again& the wine goes through a fer entation. $edipa considered giving hi the finger to see what would happen. 'e(ster. But sheCd driven straight through& and all at once the fatigue of it had caught up with her. !/o& * wouldnCt.4:& gave her the address of their
.very light in the place burned& alar ingly brightH a truly ponderable silence occupied the building.. +e said no& but so abruptly out of phase now with her own thoughts he could even have been lying. A sign in the lobby said ".(BL..T. They didnCt have Plays of $or#.
her ne7t ove should have been to contact -andolph ?riblette again& she decided instead to drive up to Berkeley. As with (ucho when sheCd left Jinneret& (etGger did not see desperate at her going. The clerk took her to a roo with a reproduction of a -e edios Faro in it& through corridors gently curving as the streets of 6an /arciso& utterly silent.:
!?o we tell the govern ent& or whatI! !*C sure they know ore than we do.
6. Along another pattern of track& another string of decisions taken& switches closed& the faceless points en whoCd thrown the now all transferred& deserted& in stir& fleeing the skip>tracers& out of their skull& on horse& alcoholic& fanatic& under aliases& dead& i possible to find ever again.% This& however& it ust be pointed out& leaves the line nearly as corrupt as before& owing to no clear eaning for the word trystero& unless it be a pseudo>*talianate variant on triste #T wretched& depraved%. 6he should have re e bered the date on the book K294B. And in the leaf>fractured sunlight& froGe. The doubt> ful C"hitechapelC version #c. +e was teaching at 6an /arciso College& 6an /arciso& California. 6he ski ed through to find the line that had brought her all the way up here. 6JieUEoiLyEgdV through it carrying her fat book& attracted& unsure& a stranger& wanting to feel relevant but knowing how uch of a search a ong alternate universes it would take. 6he spent nearly an hour ore& searching through all the footnotes& finding nothing. ! C"hoCs once been set his tryst with Trystero. 6he ca e downslope fro "heeler +all& through 6ather 0ate into a plaGa tee ing with corduroy& deni & bare legs& blonde hair& hornri s& bicycle spokes in the sun& bookbags& swaying card tables& long paper petitions dangling to earth& posters for undecipherable '6(Cs& . Another world. The girl in the . 'or she had undergone her own educating at a ti e of nerves& blandness and retreat a ong not only her fellow students but also ost of the visible structure around and ahead of the & this having been a national refle7 to certain pathologies in high places only death had had the power to cure& and this Berkeley was like no so nolent 6iwash out of her own past at all& but ore akin to those 'ar . ory BortG& professor of . 6he couldnCt. Then where& $edipa wondered& does the paperback * bought at QapfCs get off with its !Trystero! lineI "as there yet another edition& besides the Luarto& 'olio& and !"hitechapel! frag entI The editorCs preface& signed this ti e& by one . A ong the they had anaged to turn the young $edipa into a rare creature indeed& unfit perhaps for arches and sit>ins& but Eust a whiG at pursuing strange words in Jacobean te7ts. But the paperback was supposed to be a straight reprint of the book she now held. 6he pulled the * pala into a gas station so ewhere along a gray stretch of Telegraph Avenue and found in a phone book the address of John /efastis.2
warehouse in $akland and a receipt to show the people there. !ThereCs so ething about a little chick that age. " tro&. 6ale that the line is really a pun on CThis trystero #ies irae . !?a it&! she yelled& started the car and headed for the Berkeley ca pus& to find )rofessor BortG. !/o&! she protested aloud. +e had a crewcut and the sa e underage look as Joteks& but wore a shirt on various )olynesian the es and dating fro the Tru an ad inistration.nglish she was hearing as she crossed Bancroft "ay a ong the blonde children and the uttering +ondas and 6u>GukisH A erican .C! The pencilled note in the paperback had entioned a variant. $f course& $deipa thought& wry& where elseI 6he copied the address and walked away trying to re e ber whoCd put out the paperback. 6he then drove to a pseudo>(e7ican apart ent house& looked for his na e a ong the 5.!
. ailbo7es& ascended outside steps and walked down a row of draped windows till she found his door. !* like to watch young stuff&! he e7plained. "here were 6ecretaries Ja es and 'oster and 6enator Joseph& those dear daft nu ina whoCd othered over $edipaCs so te perate youthI *n another world.nglish office infor ed $edipa that )rofessor BortG was no longer with the faculty.! /efastis had been watching on his TF set a bunch of kids dancing so e kind of a "atusi. By the ti e sheCd collected the book& it was afternoon.nglish. )uGGled& she saw that this edition also had a footnoteA According only to the Luarto edition #23=B%. ?CA ico has suggested that "harfinger ay have ade a libellous co parison involving so eone at court& and that the later CrestorationC was actually the work of the printer& *nigo Barfstable. *ntroducing herself& she invoked the na e of 6tanley Joteks. . .. !+e said you could tell e whether or not *C a CsensitiveC.astern or Latin A erican universities you read about& those autono ous culture edia where the ost beloved of folklores ay be brought into doubt& cataclys ic of dissents voiced& suicidal of co it ents chosenKthe sort that bring govern ents down. But it was .A'Cs& F?CCs& suds in the fountain& students in nose>to>nose dialogue. . But the C"hite>chapelC edition& besides being a frag ent& abounds in such corrupt and probably spurious lines& as we have entioned elsewhere& and is hardly to be trusted. /o hallo&e# s-ein of stars can &ar#. The earlier 'olio has a lead inserted where the closing line should have been. *t was su er& a weekday& and idafternoonH no ti e for any ca pus $edipa knew of to be Eu ping& yet this one was.nglish at Cal& entioned none. ran the couplet& 'ho once has crosse# the lusts of Angela.>J. 23B:% has This tryst or odious awry& $ /iccolo&C which besides bringing in a 8uite graceless Ale7andrine& is difficult to ake sense of syntactically& unless we accept the rather unorthodo7 though persuasive argu ent of J.
As the ?e on sat and sorted his olecules into hot and cold& the syste was said to lose entropy. 6he had seen only a retinal twitch& a isfired nerve cell. !?o itI "hatI! !+ave se7ual intercourse&! replied /efastis.! John /efastis bea ed at her& si patico& and brought out his (achine fro a workroo in back. The forehead was round and s ooth& and there was a curious bu p at the back of his head& covered by curling hair. The ?e on collects data on each and every one. +igh>pitched& co ic voices issued fro the TF set.<
!6o does y husband&! she said. !The ?e on passes his data on to the sensitive& and the sensitive ust reply in kind. !"atch the picture&! said /efastis& !and concentrate on a cylinder. At the top edge of what she could seeA hadnCt the right>hand piston oved& a fractionI 6he couldnCt look directly& the instructions were to keep her eyes on Clerk (a7well. $edipaCs an7iety grew. * like to do it while they talk about Fiet /a & but China is best of all. *Cll be back. To keep it all cycling. . +is visible eye see ed ild and nonco ittal& but $edipa wondered what hangups& crises& spookings in the iddle of the night ight be developed fro the shadowed subtleties of his outh& hidden under a full beard. The e8uation for one& back in the C.oCs& had looked very like the e8uation for the other. 6o ething in his eyes& certainly& had changed . *f youCre a sensitive youCll know which one. Tee ing.! !But what&! she felt like so e kind of a heretic& !if the ?e on e7ists only because the two e8uations look alikeI Because of the etaphorI! /efastis s iledH i penetrable& cal & a believer. The true sensitive is the one that can share in the anCs hallucinations& thatCs all. *t looked about the way the patent had described it.! +e began then& bewilderingly& to talk about so ething called entropy. And there. The ?e on akes the etaphor not only verbally graceful& but also obEectively true. !*C sorry&! she called in& surprisingly about to cry with frustration& her voice breaking& !*tCs no use.ntropy is a figure of speech& then&! sighed /efastis& !a etaphor.! But had Clerk (a7well been such a fanatic about his ?e onCs realityI 6he looked at the picture on the outside of the bo7.! !+elp&! said $edipa& !youCre not reaching e.! !. The word bothered hi as uch as !Trystero! bothered $edipa.ngland whose light had been lost forever. 'or fifteen inutes ore she triedH repeating& if you are there& whatever you are& show yourself to e& * need you& show yourself. Are you there& little fellow& $edipa asked the ?e on& or is /efastis putting e on. $edipa sat through two . There are untold billions of olecules in that bo7. The (achine uses both. . That profusion of life. !+e e7isted for Clerk (a7well long before the days of the etaphor. *t connects the world of ther o>dyna ics to the world of infor ation flow.! /efastis ca e to her and put an ar around her shoulders. The two fields were entirely unconnected& e7cept at one pointA (a7wellCs ?e on. "e can do it there.ogi Bears& one (agilla 0orilla and a )eter )ota us& staring at Clerk (a7wellCs enig atic profile& waiting for the ?e on to co unicate. Leave your ind open& receptive to the ?e onCs essage. "hy worry& she worriedH /efastis is a nut& forget it& a sincere nut. But it was too technical for her.ou know how this worksI! !6tanley gave e a kind of rundown.! !*tI! said $edipa. ?onCt worry. But nothing happened. +e gaGed away& into so e vista of Fictorian . Clerk (a7wellCs hands were cropped out of the photograph. The sensitive ust receive that staggering set of energies& and feed back so ething like the sa e 8uantity of infor ation. 6he did gather that there were two distinct kinds of this entropy. !. But so ehow the loss was offset by the infor ation the ?e on gained about what olecules were where.ou think about all those Chinese. *t was a coincidence..! +e returned to his TF set& which was now showing cartoons. !(aybe thereCll be so ething about China tonight. . 5nless a piston oved& sheCd never know. !* understand. +ow wonderful they ight be to share. (inutes passed& pistons re ained froGen in place. $ne little ove ent& against all that assive co ple7 of infor ation& destroyed over and over with each power stroke. *t see ed& behind the beard& heCd begun& ever so faintly& to s ile. $n the secular level all we can see is one piston& hopefully oving. ?id the true sensitive see oreI *n her colon now she was afraid& growing ore so& that nothing would happen. $ne having to do with heat>engines& the other to do with co unication. !)lease donCt cry. At so e deep psychic level he ust get through. Co e on in on the couch. Clerk (a7well was in profile and would not eet her eyes. *t akes it se7ier& rightI!
. The news will be on any inute. !Co unication is the key&! cried /efastis. !*tCs $J&! he said. +e ight have been holding a book.
6he drove ore or less auto atically until a swift boy in a (ustang& perhaps unable to contain the new sense of virility his auto gave hi & nearly killed her and she realiGed that she was on the freeway& heading irreversibly for the Bay Bridge. *f you get propositioned itCll all be in fun& Eust part of the gay night life to be found here in fa ous /orth Beach.ither Trystero did e7ist& in its own right& or it was being presu ed& perhaps fantasied by $edipa& so hung up on and interpenetrated with the dead anCs estate. . But it took her no ore than an hour to catch sight of a uted post horn. 6o ebody blew on an athletic whistle and $edipa found herself being herded& along with other badged citiGens& toward a bar called The 0reek "ay. . +aGe& she corrected herself& is what it is& haGe. . But couldnCt. A ga e try& all one hourCs worth. To so e of you the e7perience ay see a little 8ueer& but re e ber& try not to act like a bunch of tourists.. /ow here was $edipa& faced with a etaphor of 0od knew how any partsH ore than two& anyway. $h& no& $edipa thought& not a fag Eoint& noH and for a inute tried to fight out of the hu an surge& before recalling how she had decided to drift tonight.! +e blew the whistle twice and the tourists& breaking into a yell& swept $edipa inside& in a frenGied assault on the bar. 6he knew a few things about itA it had opposed the Thurn and Ta7is postal syste in . 6he should have left then and gone back to Berkeley& to the hotel.M $edipa glanced around and saw a cherubic face vanishing with a wink in a ong natural shoulders and striped shirts& and away went Arnold 6narb& looking for a better ti e..7press and "ells& 'argo& either as outlaws in black& or disguised as *ndiansH and it survived today& in California& serving as a channel of co unication for those of unorthodo7 se7ual persuasion& inventors who believed in the reality of (a7wellCs ?e on& possibly her own husband& (ucho (aas #but sheCd thrown (uchoCs letter long away& there was no way for 0enghis Cohen to check the sta p& so if she wanted to find out for sure sheCd have to ask (ucho hi self%. "hen things had cal ed she was near the door with an unidentifiable drink in her fist& Ea ed against so ebody tall in a suede sport coat. Two drinks and when you hear the whistle it eans out& on the double& regroup right here. +ow can they have s og in 6an 'ranciscoI 6 og& according to the folklore& did not begin till farther south. !Let e lay this on you&! a voice spoke into her ear& !because * Eust left&! and she found being deftly pinned outboard of one breast this big cerise *? badge& reading +iM (. !"hat if * told you&! she addressed the owner of the pin& !that * was an agent of Thurn and Ta7isI!
. $edipa was appalled at the spectacle& having thought such traffic only possible in Los Angeles& places like that. 6he was oseying along a street full of aging boys in -oos Atkins suits when she collided with a gang of guided tourists co e rowdy>dowing out of a Folkswagen bus& on route to take in a few 6an 'rancisco nite spots.uropeH its sy bol was a uted post hornH so eti e before 2=4. All right& she told herself.ou lose. A id the e7haust& sweat& glare and ill>hu or of a su er evening on an A erican freeway& $edipa (aas pondered her Trystero proble . *f youCre well behaved weCll hit 'inocchioCs ne7t. 'or John /efastis #to take a recent e7a ple% two kinds of entropy& ther odyna ic and infor ational& happened& say by coincidence& to look alike& when you wrote the down as e8uations. !/ow in here&! their guide& sweating dark tentacles into his tab collar& briefed the & !you are going to see the e bers of the third se7& the lavender crowd this city by the Bay is so Eustly fa ous for. Then walked along Broadway& into the first crowds of evening. *t had to be the angle of the sun. "ith coincidences blosso ing these days wherever she looked& she had nothing but a sound& a word& Trystero& a to hold the together. !6ay hello to old 6tanley&! he called as she pattered down the steps into the street& flung a babushka over her license plate and screeched away down Telegraph.A 0$$? T*(. 6he got off the freeway at /orth Beach& drove around& parked finally in a steep side>street a ong warehouses. (ute and everything. All the silence of 6an /arcisoKthe cal surface of the otel pool& the conte plative contours of residential streets like rakings in the sand of a Japanese gardenKhad not allowed her to think as leisurely as this freeway adness.et he had ade his ere coincidence respectable& with the help of (a7wellCs ?e on. 6he had only to drift tonight& at rando & and watch nothing happen& to be convinced it was purely nervous& a little so ething for her shrink to fi7. Looking down at 6an 'rancisco a few inutes later fro the high point of the bridgeCs arc& she saw s og. /A(. *s Arnold 6narbM A/? *C( L$$J*/C '$. it had appeared in A erica and fought the )ony . *t was the iddle of rush hour.
!0ah&! $edipa screa ed& and fled& /efastis snapping his fingers through the dark roo s behind her in a hippy> dippy& oh>go>ahead>then>chick fashion he had doubtless learned fro watching the TF also. +ere in 6an 'rancisco& away fro all tangible assets of that estate& there ight still be a chance of getting the whole thing to go away and disintegrate 8uietly. *n the lapel of which she spied& wrought e78uisitely in so e pale& gli ering alloy& not another cerise badge& but a pin in the shape of the Trystero post horn.
ou hold eetings& then& like the AAI! !/o& of course not.! !6o ebody is about to fall in love&! $edipa said& !you go sit with the & or so ethingI! !-ight. But none of the rest& your 6inophile across the bay& or that sick play. +aving been since age B rigidly instructed in an eschatology that pointed nowhere but to a presidency and death& trained to do absolutely nothing but sign his na e to specialiGed e oranda he could not begin to understand and to take bla e for the running>a ok of specialiGed progra s that failed for specialiGed reasons he had to have e7plained to hi & the e7ecutiveCs first thoughts were naturally of suicide.ou canCt tell the I! 6he et his eyesC void for a second after all& and shrugged. 6.! Turned his back on her and ordered a drink. !6orry. !But *C not your ene y.ou have the wrong outfit& Arnold. But previous training got the better of hi A he could not ake the decision without first hearing the ideas of a co > ittee. *n the early C3oCs a .! .. * never thought there was a history to it. At the end of it the tourists had been whistled away and heCd bought two rounds to $edipaCs three. !"hat #o you knowI! 6he told hi everything. The assu ption was false. Because * really think * a going out of y head. +is shrewd assu ption being that no suicides would reply& leaving hi auto atically with only valid inputs. "hy notI +eld nothing back. !* guess not. (eetings would destroy the whole point of it. .! !"hat about the person who co es to sit with youI 6uppose you fall in love with the I! !They go away&! he said. * kicked it young. +e looked at her& blank.ou want to be that& ArnoldI! !* donCt know&! she thought sheCd better say. !.9& auto ated out of a Eob.! !. $edipa took off her badge& put it in an ashtray and said& 8uietly& trying not to suggest hysteria& !Look& you have to help e.A. Times.oyodyne e7ecutive living near L.! +ow did the post horn co e inI That went back to their founding. $nly so ebody in a bar whose na e you donCt knowI! 6he wouldnCt look at hi . Talk to your clergy an. * donCt want to be. The answering service dispatches the & and theyCre careful not to have any repeats. !And&! scratching the stubble on his head& !you have nobody else to tell this to. !The pin *C wearing eans *C a e ber of the *A. !.! !* think of nothing but&! she said& and a little plaintive.! 6he sought to bug hi A !*f itCs a ho ose7ual sign or so ething& that doesnCt bother e. ThatCs *na orati Anony ous. !*Cd heard about CJirby&C! he said& !itCs a code na e& nobody real. The whole idea is to get to where you donCt need it.! !/o husband& no shrinkI! !Both&! $edipa said& !but they donCt know. "eCre isolates& Arnold. But there are si7ty>year>old en& believe it or not& and wo en even older& who wake up in the night screa ing. asking whether anyone whoCd been in the sa e fi7 had ever found any good reasons for not co itting suicide. !+owCd you get a na e like Arnold 6narbI! !*f you tell e where you got your lapel pin&! said $edipa.! !.! !"hat about y friendI! +e ca e spinning around on the stool to face her again. +e placed an ad in the personal colu n of the L. * was lucky.4
!"hat&! he answered& !so e theatrical agencyI! +e had large ears& hair cropped nearly to his scalp& acne on his face& and curiously e pty eyes& which now swiveled briefly to $edipaCs breasts.ou get a phone nu ber& an answering service you can call.A.ou never see the twice. !.yes showing nothingA !* donCt swing that way&! he said. ThatCs the worst addiction of all. and located so eplace in the corporate root>syste above supervisor but below vice>president& found hi self& at age . (ail because * was never taught any different&! she pleaded.ours either.! !* use the 5. An ina orato is so ebody in love. !*Cll tell you what * know& then&! he decided. After a week of an7iously watching the ailbo7 through little Japanese binoculars his wife had given hi for a going>away present #sheCd left hi the day after he was pink>slipped% and getting nothing but sucker>list stuff through the regular deliveries that
. /obody knows anybody elseCs na eH Eust the nu ber in case it gets so bad you canCt handle it alone.! !.
*t was his wife and so e an& who he soon recogniGed as the very efficiency e7pert at . 'inally one day he noticed a front page story in the Times. !0roovyM! cried the e7ecu> tive. !* s ell gasoline&! said the efficiency e7pert.! *f heCd been a religious an he would have fallen to his knees. The sta ps on so e of the letters in his suit pocket had turned al ost white. 6till the e7ecutive ditheredA spent another week with pieces of paper on which he would list& in colu ns headed !pro! and !con&! reasons for and against taking his Brody. A kidsC ga eI )laces on a. !Think of it&! he went on& also drunk. . 'ro what he could gather& the efficiency e7pert wished to have se7ual intercourse with the wife on the (oroccan rug in the living roo . *dly& he peeled off a sta p and saw suddenly the i age of the uted post horn& the skin of his hand showing clearly through the water ark. The wife was not unwilling. +e took his tie out of the gasoline and started to snigger. +e opened his door and found an aged bu with a knitted watch cap on his head and a hook for a hand& who presented hi with a bundle of letters and loped away without a word. !A whole underworld of suicides who failed.oyodyne who had caused hi to be replaced by an *B( B:94. And spent the rest of the night finding the i age of the Trystero post horn. (ost of the letters were fro suicides who had failed& either through clu siness or last> inute cowardice. 6he gauged the spectru of feeling out there as running fro really violent hate #an *ndian>looking kid hardly out of his teens& with frosted shoulder>length hair tucked behind his ears and pointed cowboy boots% to dry speculation #a hornri ed 66 type who stared at her legs& trying to figure out if she was in drag%& none of which could do her any good. *ntrigued by the irony of it& he sat in the kitchen and listened& leaving his necktie dipped in the gasoline as a sort of wick.4
ca e each noon& he was Eolted out of a booGy& black>and>white drea of Eu ping off The 6tack into rush>hour traffic& by an insistent banging at the door. co plete with A) wirephoto& about a Buddhist onk in Fiet /a who had set hi self on fire to protest govern ent policies. 'ro this day * swear to stay off of loveA hetero& ho o& bi& dog or cat& car& every kind there is. +e was about to ake the farewell flick of the wheel on his faithful Qippo& which had seen hi through the /or any hedgerows& the Ardennes& 0er any& and postwar A erica& when he heard a key in the front door& and voices. +and in hand& naked& the two proceeded to the kitchen. !* hear laughing&! his wife said presently. *n Chinatown& in the dark window of a herbalist& she thought she saw it on a sign a ong ideographs. +e closed the top on his Qippo. +e went to the garage& siphoned all the gasoline fro his BuickCs tank& put on his green Qachary All suit with the vest& stuffed all his letters fro unsuccessful suicides into a coat pocket& went in the kitchen& sat on the floor& proceeded to douse hi self good with the gasoline. 6tory of y life& she thought& (ucho wonCt talk to e& +ilarius wonCt listen& Clerk (a7well didnCt even look at e& and this group& 0od knows.ou know how long it wouldCve taken the *B( B:94I Twelve icroseconds.! And he did.! The e7ecutive threw back his head and laughed for a solid ten inutes& along toward the iddle of which his wife and her friend& alar ed& retired& got dressed and went out looking for the police. Then he noticed a curious thing. All keeping in touch through that secret delivery syste . /one of the & however& could offer any co pelling reasons for staying alive. * will found a society of isolates& dedicated to this purpose& and this sign& revealed by the sa e gasoline that al ost destroyed e& will be its e ble . Later& on a sidewalk& she saw two of the in chalk& <: feet apart. +e found it i possible& in the absence of so e trigger& to co e to any clear decision.C! !But * donCt know how to use it&! she said.. ap& dates fro a secret historyI 6he copied the diagra in her e o book. ?espair ca e over her& as it will when nobody around has any se7ual relevance to you. As it was& he only declared& with great sole nityA !(y big istake was love. A
. !* was about to do the Buddhist onk thing&! e7plained the e7ecutive. "hat do they tell each otherI! +e shook his head& s iling& stu bled off his stool and headed off to take a leak& disappearing into the dense crowd. Between the a co plicated array of bo7es& so e with letters& so e with nu bers. 6he thought she saw a turned>around collar but took no chancesH headed back the way sheCd co e& pulse thundering. But the streetlight was di . 6o she got up after awhile and left The 0reek "ay& and entered the city again& the infected city. +e didnCt co e back. The e7ecutive heard lewd laughter& Gippers& the thu p of shoes& heavy breathing& oans. !A sign&! he whispered& !is what it is. +e realiGed that the gasoline ust have dissolved the printing ink. /o wonder you were replaced. The e7ecutive undressed& showered and hung his suit out on the line to dry. syste I 6ay C'ounder& *A. !"hy not write to hi through your "A6T. $edipa sat& feeling as alone as she ever had& now the only wo an& she saw& in a roo full of drunken ale ho ose7uals. !/early three weeks it takes hi &! arvelled the efficiency e7pert& !to decide. $edipa& by now rather drunk& said& !"here is he nowI! !+eCs anony ous&! said the anony ous ina orato. *t was late on a 6unday afternoon. "hen she looked up& a an& perhaps a an& in a black suit& was standing in a doorway half a block away& watching her.
Are you still with that gringo who spent too uch oney on youI The oligarchist& the iracleI! !+e died.ach clue that co es is su!!ose# to have its own clarity& its fine chances for per anence. To ake up. They knew about the post horn& but nothing of the chalked ga e $edipa had seen on the sidewalk.! !Ah& pobrecito. !. She &as meant to remem(er. 6he faced that possibility as she ight the toy street fro a high balcony& roller>coaster ride& feeding>ti e a ong the beasts in a GooKany death>wish that can be consu ated by so e ini u gesture.! *n the years intervening $edipa had re e bered Jesus because heCd seen that about )ierce and she hadnCt. The night was e pty of all terror for the & they had inside their circle an i aginary fire& and needed nothing but their own unpenetrated sense of co unity. *n (e7ico the privilegiado is always& to a finite percentage& redee ed K one of the people. /othing of the nightCs could touch herH nothing did. But your friend& unless heCs Eoking& is as terrifying to e as a Firgin appearing to an *ndian. Later& possibly& she would have trouble sorting the night into real and drea ed. "ent on war ing their hands at an invisible fire.3
bus stopped at the ne7t corner& and she ran to catch it. "hat frag ents of drea s ca e had to do with the post horn. !+ey&! he greeted $edipa& !you were the lady in (aGatlan. But that the drea was really no different fro being awake& because in the ornings when they got up they felt tired& as if theyCd been up ost of the night. )ierce& because of his neutral anners when in the presence of ill>will& had nothing to tell ArrabalH he played the rich& obno7ious gringo so perfectly that $edipa had seen gooseflesh co e up along the anarchistCs forear s& due to no )acific sea>breeGe.! +e beckoned her to sit. And yet& sena& if any of it should ever really happen that perfectly& * would also have to cry iracle. The city was hers& as& ade up and sleeked so with the custo ary words and i ages #cos opolitan& culture& cable cars% it had not been beforeA she had safe>passage tonight to its far bloodCs branchings& be they capillaries too s all for ore than peering into& or vessels ashed together in sha eless unicipal hickeys& out on the skin for all but tourists to see. Like your friend. /ot what Bakunin said.UforWher having lost the direct& epileptic "ord& the cry that ight abolish the night. As if
. !And you. $edipa& to retaliate& stopped believing in the .ou see.. "here revolutions break out spontaneous and leaderless& and the soulCs talent for consensus allows the asses to work together without effort& auto atic as the body itself. +e is too e7actly and without flaw the thing we fight. *n 0olden 0ate )ark she ca e on a circle of children in their nightclothes& who told her they were drea ing the gathering. 6o he fell to talking to *nverarity& the ene y he ust& to be true to his faith& learn. *n an all>night (e7ican greasy spoon off <4th& she found a piece of her past& in the for of one Jesus Arrabal& who was sitting in a corner under the TF set& idly stirring his bowl of opa8ue soup with the foot of a chicken. +e was part>owner here with a yucateco who still believed in the -evolution. An anarchist iracle. 6oon as )ierce went off to sport in the surf& Arrabal asked her if he was real& or a spy& or aking fun of hi . . But then she wondered if the ge like !clues! were only so e kind of co pensation. At so e indefinite passage in nightCs sonorous score& it also ca e to her that she would be safe& that so ething& perhaps only her linearly fading drunkenness& would protect her. "hen their others thought they were out playing they were really curled in cupboards of neighborsC houses& in platfor s up in trees& in secretly>hollowed nests inside hedges& sleeping& aking up for these hours.on know what a iracle is. . (ost of the ti e we coe7ist peacefully& but when we do touch thereCs cataclys . But another worldCs intrusion into this one. *n e7ile&! waving his ar around at the place. $edipa didnCt understand. . Like the church we hate& anarchists also believe in another world. !. 6he touched the edge of its voluptuous field& knowing it would be lovely beyond drea s si ply to sub it to itH that not gravityCs pull& laws of ballistics& feral ravening& pro ised ore delight. 5n iraculous. !Thurn and Ta7is& you eanI! TheyCd never heard it that way. The repetition of sy bols was to be enough& without trau a as well perhaps to attenuate it or even Ear it altogether loose fro her e ory.ou used only one i age and it was a Eu p>rope ga e& a little girl e7plainedA you stepped alternately in the loop& the bell& and the ute& while your girlfriend sangA Tristoe& Tristoe& one& two& three& Turning ta7i fro across the sea . 6he tested it& shiveringA * a eant to re e ber. +ow is your C*AI! 6tanding not for the agency you think& but for a clandestine (e7ican outfit known as the ConEuration de los *nsurgentes Anar8uis>tas& traceable back to the ti e of the 'lores (ag3n brothers and later briefly allied with Qapata. 6he stayed with buses after that& getting off only now and then to walk so sheCd keep awake. .! They had et Jesus Arrabal on the beach& where he had previously announced an anti> govern ent rally. /obody had showed up.ou re e ber everything&! $edipa said& !JesusH even tourists. !. Their -evolution.
*f you -no& &hat this means. But unlike "A6T. *n one of the latrines was an advertise ent by AC>?C& standing for Ala eda County ?eath Cult& along with a bo7 nu ber and post horn. the note said& you -no& &here to fin# out more. !Love the dolphins&! she advised hi . !Always Eust that little percent on the wrong side of breaking even. "hy donCt * 8uitI! /obody answering. Catching a T"A flight to (ia i was an uncoordinated boy who planned to slip at night into a8uariu s and open negotiations with the dolphins& who would succeed an.AT+. Twenty>three years. !ThatCs averaging it out& over <. T+.! 6o it went. $ut at the airport $edipa& feeling invisible& eavesdropped on a poker ga e whose steady loser entered each loss neat and conscientious in a little balance>book decorated inside with scrawled post horns. -iding a ong an e7hausted busful of /egroes going on to graveyard shifts all over the city& she saw scratched on the back of a seat& shining for her in the brilliant s oky interior& the post horn with the legend ?. . $edipa did not copy the nu ber.. *t was enough& a coded warning. years&! he went on& trying a s ile. The date was 29:4 and there was no sta p ne7t to the cancellation& only the handstruck i age of the post horn. "as The +orn so dedicatedI "ould it AntagoniGe The +orn to askI "ho could she askI *n the buses all night she listened to transistor radios playing songs in the lower stretches of the Top <::& that would never beco e popular& whose elodies and lyrics would perish as if they had never been sung. !+ave they been in the ails that longI +as y na e been substituted for that of a e ber whoCs diedI +as it really taken si7ty yearsI *s it a reprintI *dle 8uestions& * a a footsoldier.& so ebody had troubled to write in& in pencilA ?$/CT .. A (e7ican girl& trying to hear one of these through snarling static fro the busCs otor& hu ed along as if she would re e ber it always& tracing post horns and hearts with a fingernail& in the haGe of her breath on the window. $nce a onth they were to choose so e victi fro a ong the innocent& the virtuous& the socially integrated and well>adEusted& using hi se7ually& then sacrificing hi . The dead an& like (a7wellCs ?e on& was the linking feature in a coincidence.. !"rite by "A6T.! !* love you& a&! he said. They had all been s oking& snuffing or inEecting so ething& and perhaps did not see her at all. The higher levels have their reasons.F.7cept for $edipa the place was deserted& and the fluorescent bulbs see ed to shriek whiteness& to which everything their light touched was dedicated. !*Cll write& a&! he kept saying. $edipa played the voyeur and listener. *Cll never get ahead of it. Around her the odor of chlorine bleach rose heavenward& like an incense.! 6he carried this thought back out into the night with her. The govern ent will open it if you use the other. +e was kissing his other passionately goodbye& using his tongue. !"rite by "A6T. ?ecorating each alienation& each species of withdrawal& as cufflink& decal& ai less doodling& there was
.. "ithout hi neither she nor Jesus would be e7actly here& e7actly now. !They arrive&! said Arrabal.
6o ewhere near 'ill ore she found the sy bol tacked to the bulletin board of a laundro at& a ong other scraps of paper offering cheap ironing and baby sitters.A/TA0$/*Q. /ow& drinking thick lukewar coffee fro a clay pot on the back burner of the yucatecoCs stove and listening to Jesus talk conspiracy& she wondered if& without the iracle of )ierce to reassure hi & Jesus ight not have 8uit his C*A eventually and gone over like everybody else to the aEority priistas& and so never had to go into e7ile.
+$-/.&! she said& !re e ber. (achines chugged and sloshed fiercely. ?own at the city beach& long after the piGGa stands and rides had closed& she walked un olested through a drifting& drea y cloud of delin8uents in su er>weight gang Eackets with the post horn stitched on in thread that looked pure silver in what oonlight there was. The others& strangers& looked at hi & so e blank& so e annoyed.B4 percent return& fellas&! she heard hi say. *t was a /egro neighborhood. "hat& tonight& was chanceI 6o her eyes did fall presently onto an ancient rolled copy of the anarcho>syndicalist paper ?egeneraci#n. !*C averaging a 99.B
he were& in so e unse7ual way& co petition. A ong her other encounters were a facially>defor ed welder& who cherished his uglinessH a child roa ing the night who issed the death before birth as certain outcasts do the dear lulling blankness of the co unityH a /egro wo an with an intricately> arbled scar along the baby>fat of one cheek who kept going through rituals of iscarriage each for a different reason& deliberately as others ight the ritual of birth& dedicated not to continuity but to so e kind of interregnu H an aging night>watch an& nibbling at a bar of *vory 6oap& who had trained his virtuoso sto ach to accept also lotions& air>fresheners& fabrics& tobaccoes and wa7es in a hopeless atte pt to assi ilate it all& all the pro ise& productivity& betrayal& ulcers& before it was too lateH and even another voyeur& who hung outside one of the cityCs still>lighted windows& searching for who knew what specific i age. The dolphins will be ad.
'or here were 0od knew how any citiGens& deliberately choosing not to co unicate by 5. !* canCt help&! she whispered& rocking hi & !* canCt help. Ca ed each night out of that safe furrow the bulk of this cityCs waking each sunrise again set virtuously to plowing& what rich soils had he turned& what concentric planets uncoveredI "hat voices overheard& flinders of lu inescent gods gli psed a ong the wallpaperCs stained foliage& candlestubs lit to rotate in the air over hi & prefiguring the cigarette he or a friend ust fall asleep so eday s oking& thus to end a ong the fla ing& secret salts held all those years by the insatiable stuffing of a attress that could keep vestiges of every night are sweat& helpless overflowing bladder& viciously& tearfully consu ated wet drea & like the e ory bank to a co puter of the lostI 6he was overco e all at once by a need to touch hi & as if she could not believe in hi & or would not re e ber hi & without it. 6o long ago& * donCt re e ber. * canCt go out there. Both hands& s oke>white& covered his face.! !?oes he have to co e upI! she said. !Can * helpI! 6he was shaking& tired. Just before the orning rush hour& she got out of a Eitney whose ancient driver ended each day in the red& downtown on +oward 6treet& began to walk toward the . !The sailorI! !+e has a tattoo on his hand. But it was a calculated withdrawal& fro the life of the -epublic& fro its achinery. syste . !5p thereI!
. 6he grew so to e7pect it that perhaps she did not see it 8uite as often as she later was to re e ber seeing it. barcadero. 6ince they could not have withdrawn into a vacuu #could theyI%& there had to e7ist the separate& silent& unsuspected world. They knew her pressure points& and the ganglia of her opti is & and one by one& pinch by precision pinch& they were i obiliGing her. 6. !*Cd help you but * got a little arthritis. +e hardly breathed but tears ca e as if being pu ped.! +e waved her on in the direction sheCd been going.! The eyes closed. But the private eye sooner or later has to get beat up on. !* left her.! 6he turned and saw an even older an& shorter& wearing a tall +o burg hat and s iling at the . !But *C new in town. +e wore an old double>breasted suit& frayed gray shirt& wide tie& no hat. 6he felt wetness against her breast and saw that he was crying again. "hen she was three steps fro hi the hands flew apart and his wrecked face& and the terror of eyes gloried in burst veins& stopped her. 'ascinated& she ca e into the shadows and ascended creaking steps& hesitating on each one. 6he knew she looked terribleK knuckles black with eye>liner and ascara fro where sheCd rubbed& outh tasting of old booGe and coffee.! +e gave $edipa a letter that looked like heCd been carrying it around for years. "hatever else was being denied the out of hate& indifference to the power of their vote& loopholes& si ple ignorance& this withdrawal was their own& un> publiciGed& private.7hausted& hardly knowing what she was doing& she ca e the last three steps and sat& took the an in her ar s& actually held hi & gaGing out of her s udged eyes down the stairs& back into the orning. !?rop it in the&! and he held up the tattoo and stared into her eyes& !you know. (ail. This nightCs profusion of post horns& this alignant& deliberate replication& was their way of beating up. *t was not an act of treason& nor possibly even of defiance. /ow this is for her. *f iracles were& as Jesus Arrabal had postulated years ago on the beach at (aGatlan& intrusions into this world fro another& a kiss of cos ic pool balls& then so ust be each of the nightCs post horns. $r too uch.! !* know&! she said. Last night& she ight have wondered what undergrounds apart fro the couple she knew of co unicated by "A6T. "here was the $edipa whoCd driven so bravely up here fro 6an /arcisoI That opti istic baby had co e on so like the private eye in any long>ago radio dra a& believing all you needed was grit& resourcefulness& e7e ption fro hidebound copsC rules& to solve any great ystery.ouCll see it. 6he busrode and walked on into the lightening orning& giving herself up to a fatalis rare for her. !*s that hi I! a voice asked behind her& up the stairs.! *t was already too any iles to 'resno. * donCt know where it is. *tCs too far now& * had a bad night. $n the back of the left hand she ade out the post horn& tattooed in old ink now beginning to blur and spread. By sunrise she could legiti ately ask what undergrounds didnCt.. A couple>three ti es would really have been enough. .! !5nder the freeway. Through an open doorway& on the stair leading up into the disinfectant>s elling twilight of a roo ing house she saw an old an huddled& shaking with grief she couldnCt hear. !Always one.! !Can you bring hi up $JI ThatCs hi . . !(y wifeCs in 'resno&! he said.=
so ehow always the post horn.
Behind the initials was a etaphor& a deliriu tre ens& a tre bling unfurrowing of the indCs plowshare... 6he woke to see a kid dropping a bundle of letters into the can. The act of etaphor then was a B thrust at truth and a lie& depending where you wereA inside& safe& or outside& lost.! *n the little roo were another suit& a couple of religious tracts& a rug& a chair. !Co e on&! she said. 6he ay have doGed off. *tCs a thing he does& off and on. *t was as if she had Eust discovered the irreversible process. That stuffed e ory. $edipa did not know where she was. !"hy didnCt you wait till he was goneI! $edipa watched hi ake adEust ents so heCd fit easier against the attress. 6he knew that the sailor had seen worlds no other an had seen if only because there was that high agic to low puns& because ?TCs ust give access to dtCs of spectra beyond the known sun& usic ade purely of Antarctic loneliness and fright. 6he stared at it in wonder. 6he knew& because she had held hi & that he suffered ?TCs. But with a sigh he had released her hand& while she was so lost in the fantasy that she hadnCt felt it go away& as if heCd known the best o ent to let go. !Just ail the letter&! he said& !the sta p is on it. !6aid he was going looking for his old lady.A. The old an followed the stiffly. +e reached out the tattooed hand and she took that& and that was how they went the rest of the way up that flight& and then the two oreA hand in hand& very slowly for the an with arthritis.ou donCt want to stay here. But at last in the shadows she did co e on a can with a swinging trapeGoidal top& the kind you throw trash inA old and green& nearly four feet high. But at the top of the do e stood a tiny figure in deep black& with its ar s outstretched. The attress& waiting.. !-e e ber your friends&! said the arthritic& watching the ten.! 6he looked and saw the fa iliar car ine =V air ail& with a Eet flying by the Capitol do e. !+e disappeared last night&! he told her. !*Cll spend it on booGe&! he said. 6he re e bered John /efastis& talking about his (achine& and assive destructions of infor ation.6.! They entered a warren of roo s and corridors& lit by lo>watt bulbs& separated by beaverboard partitions. !+eCs going to die&! she said. 'or an hour she prowled a ong the sunless& concrete underpinnings of the freeway& finding drunks& bu s& pedestrians& pederasts& hookers& walking psychotic& no secret ailbo7. $edipa settled back in the shadow of a colu n. The saint whose water can light la ps& the clairvoyant whose lapse in recall is the breath of 0od& the true paranoid for who all is organiGed in spheres Eoyful or threatening about the central pulse of hi self& the drea er whose puns probe ancient fetid shafts and tunnels of truth all act in the sa e special relevance to the word& or whatever it is the word is there& buffering& to protect us fro . Tre bling& unfurrowed& she slipped sidewise& screeching back across grooves of years& to hear again the earnest& high voice of her second or third collegiate love -ay 0loGing bitching a ong !uhs! and the syncopated tonguing of a cavity& about his fresh an calculusH !dt&! 0od help this old tattooed an& eant also a ti e differential& a vanishingly s all instant in which change had to be confronted at last for what it was& where it could no longer disguise itself as so ething innocuous like an average rateH where velocity dwelled in the proEectile though the proEectile be froGen in idflight& where death dwelled in the cell though the cell be looked in on at its ost 8uick. Toward idday a rangy young wino showed up with a sackH unlocked a panel at the side of the bo7 and took out all the letters. -egis>terA . A picture of a saint& changing well>water to oil for Jerusale Cs . . The arthritic looked around on his rusty neck. *t astonished her to think that so uch could be lost& even the 8uantity of hallucination belonging Eust to the sailor that the world would bear no further trace of. !0o on now. !Bitch&! said the sailor. The bed.! 6he looked in her purse& found a ten and a single& gave hi the ten. At last he said& !+ere.aster la ps. 6he gave hi goodbye& walked downstairs and then on& in the direction heCd told her. Another bulb& dead. !* know you got one. . $n the swinging part were hand>painted the initials ". . !)lease&! the sailor said. 6he went over and dropped in the sailorCs letter to 'resnoH then hid again and waited. $edipa wasnCt sure what e7actly was supposed to be on top of the Capitol& but knew it wasnCt anything like that. 6he had to look closely to see the periods between the letters. Congratulating herself on having thought to wear flats& at
. !"ho isnCtI! said -a ireG. $edipa gave hi half a blockCs start& then began to tail hi .! "ould it be todayI !-a ireG&! she cried. !0ive e a cigarette& -a ireG&! the sailor said. 6he let go of hi for a o ent& reluctant as if he were her own child& and he looked up at her. 6he ight find the landlord of this place& and bring hi to court& and buy the sailor a new suit at -oosRAtkins& and shirt& and shoes& and give hi the bus fare to 'resno after all.9
!"here else& ladyI! 6he didnCt know. 6o when this attress flared up around the sailor& in his FikingCs funeralA the stored& coded years of uselessness& early death& self> harrowing& the sure decay of hope& the set of all en who had slept on it& whatever their lives had been& would truly cease to be& forever& when the attress burned.T. But nothing she knew of would preserve the & or hi . 6he ran through then a scene she ight play.
But how long& $edipa thought& could it go on before collisions beca e a serious hindranceI There would have to be collisions. At length he cli bed on a Berkeley bus. 6he dashed up to the glass doors& found the locked& the lobby inside dark. 6he pulled into the drive at +ilariusCs clinic a little after sunset. *n a street close enough to the drab& stone openness of the Civic Center to be infected by its gray& he rendeGvoused with another carrier& and they e7changed sacks. $edipa& withno na e for it& wasXonly de oraliGed. * tried to call the police& but he took a chair and s ashed the switchboard with it.! !?r +ilariusI! !+e thinks so eoneCs after hi . cancellations. "ith her own eyes she had verified a "A6T. The wo an was close to hysterical. 6he followed hi for hours along streets whose na es she never knew& across arteri>als that even with the afternoonCs lull nearly urdered her& into slu s and out& up long hillsides Ea ed solid with two> or three>bedroo houses& all their windows giving blankly back only the sun. That was no insect& thought $edipa& at which point& hearing another shot& she ade the connection. !+urry&! she chattered& as $edipa slipped inside. $edipa picked up a rock ne7t to a flower bed and heaved it at one of the doors. Jesus Arrabal would have called it an anarchist iracle. The carrier led her across (arket then over toward City +all. $ne by one his sack of letters e ptied.& fro the war& $edipa recalled& that he kept as a souvenir.! A 0ewehr 4. ?o you think anybody will report itI! !"ell heCs shot at half a doGen people&! replied /urse Bla & leading $edipa down a corridor to her office. !.ach couple on the floor danced whatever was in the fellowCs headA tango& two>step& bossa nova& slop. *n the fading light she was a clear targetH the only way to go was toward the clinic. *t was +elga Bla & +ilariusCs so eti e assistant. !+eCs gone craGy. 6he tried to struggle out of the silent& gesturing swar & but was too weak. 6o did $edipa. They were every one of the drunk& and a few of the en grabbed her& thinking to bring her along to a party in the grand ballroo .! Tear streaks had eandered down over the nurseCs cheekbones. 6he followed her partnerCs lead& li p in the young uteCs clasp& waiting for the collisions to begin. syste A seen two "A6T.
. sta ps& "A6T. $edipa decided to stick with the one sheCd been following. But none ca e. 6hould it have been ore or lessI Back in the hotel she found the lobby full of deaf> ute delegates in party hats& copied in crepe paper after the fur Chinese co unist Eobs ade popular during the Jorean conflict. 6he was danced for half an hour before& by ysterious con> sensus& everybody took a break& without having felt any touch but the touch of her partner. !6o ebody better report it. .ucalyptus branches blew in a great strea of air that flowed downhill& sucked to the evening sea. 6he also wanted to know why the chance of its being real should enace her so.et she wanted it all to be fantasyKso e clear result of her several wounds& needs& dark doubles. 6he was back where sheCd started& and could not believe <4 hours had passed. *t bounced off. 6he ight well be in the cold and sweatless eathooks of a psychosis. !+e shot at e. The carrier got off in a neighborhood $edipa couldnCt identify. And the i age of the uted post horn all but saturating the Bay Area. $edipa followed. 6he curtsied andfled. John /efastis lived here. . They rode over the bridge and into the great& e pty glare of the $akland afternoon.4:
least. ailbo7& "A6T. The light in his office didnCt see to be on. 6he was looking around for another rock when a white shape appeared inside& fluttering up to the door and unlocking it for her. 6o ething they all heard with an e7tra sense atrophied in herself. /ot once had he looked behind hi . 6he had decided on route& with ti e to think about the day preceding& to go see ?r +ilarius her shrink& and tell hi all. post en& a "A6T. 6he tailed hi all the way back down the littered& shifty& loud length of (arket and over on 'irst 6treet to the trans>bay bus ter inal& where he bought a ticket for $akland. +alfway along the flagstone path& she was startled by an insect whirring loudly past her ear& followed at once by the sound of a gunshot. 6he wanted +ilarius to tell her she was so e kind of a nut and needed a rest& and that there was no Trystero. They swept her on into the ballroo & where she was seiGed about the waist by a handso e young an in a +arris tweed coat and waltGed round and round& through the rustling& shuffling hush& under a great unlit chandelier. !"hatCs happeningI! $edipa said.ou couldCve run&! she said. . The landscape lost all variety. The only alternative was so e unthinkable order of usic& any rhyth s& all keys at once& a choreography in which each couple eshed easy& predestined. +er legs ached& her outh tasted horrible. !+eCs locked hi self in the office with that rifle. +alfway up Telegraph the carrier got off and led her down the street to a pseudo>(e7ican apart ent house.! $edipa noticed that the window opened on a safe line of retreat. M /e7t day& after twelve hours of sleep and no drea s to speak of& $edipa checked out of the hotel and drove down the peninsula to Jinneret.
! !. * have only ade it once in y life& and perhaps today in central . .ou know& with the L6?& weCre finding& the distinction begins to vanish. !*C unar ed. +e couldnCt cope. +e would be& now& about your age. 5nearthly siren>sounds converged on the fro all over the night. !?o you think anyone can protect e fro these fanaticsI They walk through walls. Jinneret is full of nothing but.ou couldnCt guarantee where theyCd take e if * surrendered& could you. Tried to cultivate a faith in the literal truth of everything he wrote& even the idiocies and contradictions. +is na e was Qvi.! !?o e a favorI! $edipa said. "ith linear obstinacy they grew louder.42
Bla & running hot water fro a washbasin tap into cups and stirring in instant coffee& looked up& 8uiGGical.! !"hile you karate>chop e in the spine& no thank you. $ne you havenCt seenH no one in this country has.! 6he gave $edipa a hostile look. !There is a face&! +ilarius said& !that * can ake. . There is e& there are the others. +opelessly insane. The office door opened then. !+e ight need so ebody. !* tried&! the shrink behind the door said& !to sub it yself to that an& to the ghost of that cantankerous Jew.ou can frisk e.! The sirens had reached the front of the clinic. They replicateA you flee the & turn a corner& and there they are& co ing for you again. !6tart telling hi your troubles and heCll probably shoot you. * wanted to believe& despite everything y life had been.! *n front of his door& which she could never re e ber having seen closed& $edipa stood hipshot awhile& 8uestioning her own sanity. !6o now *C a hostage&! $edipa said.! !*Cve been away for a while&! $edipa said.es& * hear the &! +ilarius said. !. +ilarius grabbed her by the wrist& pulled her inside& locked the door again.! Bla burned her outh on the coffee. )erhaps that is why you also refused to participate& (rs
. 6he heard car doors sla ing& cops yelling& suddenly a great s ash as they broke in. That the dark shapes would resolve only into toy horses and Bieder eyer furniture. *t was the least * could have done& nicht wahrI A kind of penance. syste .! !"hy are you resisting every suggestion * akeI! !Listen&! +ilarius said after awhile& !have * see ed to you a good enough 'reudianI +ave * ever deviated seriouslyI! !. +e started breaking up the )BD. .! !"ell who did you think youCd beenKK! !?iscussing y case withI Another.! 6he heard hi pacing around his office.
!And part of e ust have really wanted to believe Klike a child hearing& in perfect safety& a tale of horror Kthat the unconscious would be like any other roo & once the light was let in.our *sraeli has access to every unifor known&! +ilarius said.! +is response was a long& bitter laugh. "ill you tell the Cpolice&C or whatever they are calling the selves tonight& that * can ake that face againI That it has an
effective radius of a hundred yards and drives anyone unlucky enough to see it down forever into the darkened oubliette& a ong the terrible shapes& and secures the hatch irrevocably above the I Thank you. !$h&! said +ilarius& !itCs you. 'ar away she now heard sirens& the electronic kind the local cops used& that sounded like a slide>whistle being played over a )A. !* canCt guarantee the safety of the Cpolice. (aybe *Cd be less of a threat for hi . $edipa waited.C .ou ade faces now and then&! said $edipa& !but thatCs inor.! !(ay 6peer and his inistry of cretins rot eternally in hell. ?o you realiGe that half these rounds are dudsI! !(ay * co e inI Could we talkI! !*C sure youCd all like that&! +ilarius said. But * never took the drug& * chose to re ain in relative paranoia& where at least * know who * a and who the others are. !Too any nutty broads& thatCs what did it. !(rs (aas. That therapy could ta e it after all& bring it into society with no fear of its so eday reverting.! !"hoCs supposed to be after hi I! !Three en with sub achine guns& he said. "hy hadnCt she split out through Bla Cs window and read about the rest of it in the paperI !"ho is itI! +ilarius screa ed& having picked up her breathing& or so ething.gos lose their sharp edges. !?onCt shoot at the cops& theyCre on your side. Can you i agineI! 6he could not& having no idea what +ilarius had done before showing up in Jinneret. !(aybe * could find out what it is. Terrorists& fanatics& that was all * got.urope there still lives& in whatever vegetable ruin& the young an who saw it.
A catatonic Jew was as good as a dead one. !"hyI "hat did you do at BuchenwaldI! !* worked&! +ilarius told her& !on e7peri entally>induced insanity. 'ro the .! $utside& as a nu ber of nervous patrol en approached +ilarius& holding up strait Eackets and billy clubs they would not need& and as three rival a bulances backed snarling up onto the lawn& Eockeying for position& causing +elga Bla between sobs to call the drivers filthy na es& $edipa spotted a ong searchlights and staring crowds a JC5' obile unit& with her husband (ucho inside it& spieling into a icrophone. !*snCt that what youCve been sent to doI! +e crossed and uncrossed his eyes at herH stuck out his tongue tentatively. !Just arv&! said $edipa. !Bust it down&! roared $edipa& !and +itler +ilarius here will foot the bill.ouCre outnu bered and they have superior firepower. !"ell& then.ou were supposed to deliver a essage to e& * assu e. TheyCve co e like angels of death to get e& despite all * tried to do. 6he picked the rifle up& pointed it at hi & and said& !* ought to kill you. !"hat else do any of you haveI +old it tightly by its little tentacle& donCt let the 'reudians coa7 it away or the phar acists poison it out of you.! Then in his earnest broadcasting voice& !+ow do you feel about this terrible thingI! !Terrible&! said
.ou think&! said $edipa& !then& that theyCre trying to bring you back to *srael& to stand trial& like they did .! !/ice act you all have there&! nodded +ilarius. !+ow do you spell that first na eI! +e also took down her address& age& phone nu ber& ne7t of kin& husbandCs occupation& for the news edia. "e were outnu bered there too. Cops began ha ering on the office door. At AuschwitG the ovens would be converted over to petit fours and wedding cakes& and the F>< issiles to public housing for the elves. !"hereI! !"here * ade that face. (ucho thrust the ike in front of her& u bling& !. . * slept three hours a night trying not to drea & and spent the other <2 at the forcible ac8uisition of faith. !+e has a gun&! $edipa called& !and *C in here. *t see ed odd.! Then she saw that +ilarius had left the 0ewehr on his desk and was across the roo ostensibly trying to open a file cabinet. !TF folks would like to get so e footage through the window.! !Co e on in&! $edipa yelled. !. !* ca e&! she said& !hoping you could talk e out of a fantasy. !'ace up to your social responsibilities&! she suggested. * tried to believe it all. !*Cll let you know if itCs hopeless. Liberal 66 circles felt it would be ore hu ane. Tears sprang to +ilariusCs eyes.! (ucho pressed his cough button a o ent& but only s iled.! !+owCs it goingI! the cop in8uired.ou begin to cease to be.4<
(aasI! +e held the rifle at sling ar s and bea ed at her. But didnCt * try to atoneI *f *Cd been a real /aGi *Cd have chosen Jung& nicht wahrI But * chose 'reud instead& the Jew.! +e watched her with a coy look. . "here * did y internship. !*tCs locked& hey&! he said.es& you hate e. +ow could they hear a s ileI $edipa got in& trying not to ake noise.! !Cherish itM! cried +ilarius& fiercely.ouCre on& Eust be yourself. !Accept the reality principle. And yet y penance hasnCt been enough.! 6o they had gone at their subEects with etrono es& serpents& Brechtian vignettes at idnight& surgical re oval of certain glands& agic>lantern hallucinations& new drugs& threats recited over hidden loudspeakers& hypnotis & clocks that ran backward& and faces. !+i.! !Ah& outnu bered. !. !Buchenwald&! replied +ilarius.! !"ho are you& ladyI! 6he told hi .! +e s iled at the e7pression on her face. 6he oseyed over past snapping flashbulbs and stuck her head in the window. !Can you talk hi out of itI! the cop wanted to know.! 6he knew then appro7i ately what he was talking about& but to narrow it said& !"here&! again. Could you keep hi occupiedI! !+ang tough&! $edipa advised& !weCll see. . !The Allied liberators&! he re inisced& !arrived& unfortunately& before we could gather enough data.ichinannI! The shrink kept nodding. "hat were you supposed to sayI! $edipa shrugged.! 6he knew he had wanted her to get the weapon. +ilarius had been put in charge of faces. "hatever it is& hold it dear& for when you lose it you go over by that uch to the others. 'reudCs vision of the world had no Buchenwalds in it. Buchenwald& according to 'reud& once the light was let in& would beco e a soccer field& fat children would learn flower>arranging and solfeggio in the strangling roo s.ou arenCt going to shootI! The cop tried the door. !. +ilarius all the while was ru aging in his desk for ore a o. Apart fro the spectacular successes& like Qvi& there wasnCt uch we could point to in a statistical way.
!"ell& &hat5* $edipa asked after a couple
.! Cops ca e over and they
chatted awhile. *t has been seeping in& in its subli inal& unidentifiable way since theyCd entered the place& all strings& reeds& uted brass. !* could tell that when you were talking into the ike. !ThereCs nothing&! she said.dna& how else can * put itI ?ay by day& "endell is less hi self and ore generic. * wonder what they can observe. !+ow are you getting on with (etGgerI! he said.! !"hy should you want toI! !+e was real.es&! said (ucho& and fell silent. !. string&! (ucho said& !itCs a few cycles sharp.! !$h& call e . !"onderful&! said (ucho. At length she returned to her rented car and followed (ucho back to the studio.C! !-ich& chocolaty& goodness&! said $edipa. "hat do you eanI! !Behind his back&! )unch was whining& !theyCre calling hi the Brothers N.! !And who&! said $edipa& working herself into a rage because )unch was right& !pray& has he been& -ingo 6tarrI! )unch cowered. (ucho ca e downstairs carrying his copy& a serenity about hi sheCd never seen. !6ure glad youCre back&! he greeted her& clearly at a loss for her first na e. 'igure out what his ear is like& and then the usculature of his hands and ar s& and eventually the entire an. "ho else worries about hi I! 6he sat alone then on a bench outside 6tudio A& listening to (uchoCs colleague -abbit "arren spin records. * can break down chords& and ti bres& and words too into all the basic fre8uencies and har onics& with all their different loudnesses& and listen to the & each pure tone& but all at once. *f there arenCt any& heCs craGy.dna (osh&! he wrapped up& !for your eyewitness account of this dra atic siege at the +ilarius )sychiatric Clinic.. 6ay Crich& chocolaty goodness. !There are seventeen violins on that cut&! (ucho said& !and one of the K* canCt tell where he was because itCs onaural here& da n.! !. Listen to anything and take it apart again. 6he scrutiniGed hi fro behind& trying to see iridescences& auras. 6he couldnCt figure the e7pression on his face. ?o you think so ebody could do the dinosaur bone bit with that one string& $edI "ith Eust his set of notes on that cut. !. 6pectru analysis& in y head.dna. They told her to stay around Jinneret in case there was legal action. !*tCs e7traordinary&! said (ucho& !everythingCs beenKwait. ?onCt ock e. 0od& wouldnCt that be wonderful. )ut together all the right overtones at the right power levels so itCd co e out like a violin. Like * ..! !+ow can you do thatI! !*tCs like * have a separate channel for each one&! (ucho said& e7cited& !and if * need ore * Eust e7pand. !Chubby CheckerI! she pursued hi toward the lobby& !the -ighteous BrothersI And why tell eI! !All of the above&! said )unch& seeking to hide his head& !(rs (aas. Listen.4. !* was allowing for the distortion on these rigs& and then when they put it on tape. Tonight he had the one>to>si7 shift on the air.ouCll see. +e had her go on to give listeners a su ary of whatCd happened in the office. +eCs losing his identity& .! !ThatCs pretty good&! $edipa said.! he hesitated before breaking into a radiant s ile& !youCll think *C craGy& $ed. !+is .! *t dawned on her that he was talking about the (uGak. !Thank you& (rs . !. They could dispense with live usicians if they wanted.ouCve been s oking those cigarettes without the printing on the again. They drove downtown to a piGGeria and bar& and faced each other through the fluted gold lens of a beer pitcher. +e used to hunch his shoulders and have a rapid eyeblink rate& and both now were gone& !"ait&! he s iled& and dwindled down the hall.
$edipa. !$hI! said $edipa& !and why is that. *n the hallway outside the loud ratcheting teletype roo & (ucho upstairs in the office typing out his story& Ledipa encountered the progra director& Caesar )unch.! !'rankly&! confided )unch& !since you left& "en>dell hasnCt been hi self.! !*sraelis&! $edipa said& !co ing in the windows. This is JC5' (obile Two& sending it back now to C-abbitC "arren& at the studio. 6o ething was not 8uite right. !/ot any ore& at least&! said (ucho.! !*tCs your i agination&! $edipa said. +e enters a staff eeting and the roo is suddenly full of people& you knowI +eCs a walking asse bly of an.! 6he heard nothing unusual. > +e canCt be a studio usician. That wasnCt synthetic. "e have to stick together. * donCt know how it works& but lately * can do it with people talking too. !*tCll co e out the right way&! (ucho said. Add on what * need. But * can do the sa e thing in reverse. They had so e ti e before he was on. !"hat is it&! she said& feeling an7ious.! +e cut his power.dna (oshI! $edipa said.! !"here are they taking hi I! !Co unity hospital& * guess&! (ucho said& !for observation.
! +e gaGed at her& perhaps having had his vision of consensus as others do orgas s& face now s ooth& a iable& at peace. Then youCd have this big& 0od& aybe a couple hundred illion chorus saying Crich& chocolaty goodnessC together& and it would all be the sa e voice. !+ilarius.44
inutes& with an edge to her voice.ouCre an antenna& sending your pattern out across a illion lives a night& and theyCre your lives too. /o atter whoCs talking& the different power spectra are the sa e& give or take a s all percentage.?. "hen those kids sing about C6he loves you&C yeah well& you know& she does& sheCs any nu ber of people& all over the world& back through ti e& different colors& siGes& ages& shapes& distances fro death& but she loves. !* noticed it the other night hearing -abbit do a co ercial. And herself.! +is eyes bri ing& reflecting the color of beer. $edipa sat with her forehead resting on the steering wheel and re e bered that she hadnCt asked hi about the Trys>tero cancellation on his letter. /. *t was only that sign in the lot& thatCs what scared e. $edipa wanted to hit hi in the outh. But by then it was too late to ake any difference. !. !*s this what )unch eans when he says youCre co ing on like a whole roo ful of peopleI! !ThatCs what * a &! said (ucho& !right. )anic started to cli b out of a dark region in her head. *tCs not like youCre so e hophead. $edipa& the hu an voice& you know& itCs a flipping iracle. At the station they kissed goodbye& all of the . As (ucho walked away he was whistling so ething co plicated& twelve>tone. (ore than that. 6o ething new.ou could have those. At that age& you know& they need all the sleep they can get.! !$h& goodo. The bad drea that * used to have all the ti e& about the car lot& re e ber thatI * could never even tell you about it.ouCre going back to 6an /arcisoI! !Tonight& yes. !.! !But the cops. (ucho s iled back. !The songs& itCs not Eust that they say so ething& they are so ething& in the pure sound. Let e tell you.! 6he re e bered. !ThatCs L6?I! she said. 6he didnCt know hi . But * can now. *t doesnCt bother e any ore. 6o you and -abbit have so ething in co on now. 6he stared at the pills in it& and then understood. +e put a little clear plastic bottle on the table between the . !"hereCd you get itI! Jnowing. Because you hear and see things& even s ell the & taste like you never could. 6o uch of hi already had dissipated. !Baby&! she said& helpless& knowing of nothing she could do for this& and afraid for hi . 6o your latest little friend& whoever she is& she really ade out. .! But she couldnCt even tell what the tune was. * used to wake up hollering.verybody who says the sa e words is the sa e person if the spectra are the sa e only they happen differently in ti e& you digI But the ti e is arbitrary. .! !$ed&! looking at her puGGled& !you donCt get addicted.! !ThereCs no girl& $ed. 6he could not 8uite get it into her head that the day sheCd left hi for 6an /arciso was the day sheCd seen (ucho for the last ti e.ou take it because itCs good.! 'lipping her hair a couple ti es& furious& !/o night ares any oreI 'ine. .verybody is. And y drea s have changed. .A. *n the drea *Cd be going about a nor al dayCs business and suddenly& with no warning& thereCd be the sign. /ow he would never be spooked again& not as long as he had the pills. !But there ay be a chance youCre not addicted yet.! !Look then&! $edipa said& trying to be businesslike& !how long has it been& that youCve been on thisI! +e honestly couldnCt re e ber. !"henever * put the headset on now&! heCd continued& !* really do understand what * find there.A.ou pick your Gero point anywhere you want& that way you can shuffle each personCs ti e line sideways till they all coincide. "e were a e ber of the /ational Auto obile ?ealersC Association. "hen it was ti e for hi to go back to the station& he nodded toward the pills. And the CyouC is everybody. !$h& listen&! he was saying& !$ed& dig.! 6he shook her head no.! !*Cll be a fugitive. /o end to it& baby. Just this creaking etal sign that said nada& nada& against the blue sky.! !(ucho&! she said& i patient but also flirting with a wild suspicion.
.! +e had this patient& otherly look now. +e broadened his progra to include husbands. . Because the world is so abundant.! Later she couldnCt re e ber if theyCd said anything else.
'irst thing after unpacking she was on the horn to -andolph ?riblette& the director.ust li-e me. /o word to recall that $edipa and (etGger had ever been ore than co>e7ecutors. !"hatCs happeningI! said $edipa. ThereCll be a state ent at noon to orrow. !This is his other. An# it%s as groovy as it can (e. So you can fin# us any night u! on the foot(all fiel#. !*tCs a highly organiGed Eoke thatCs been going on since about April. (a7ine& why donCt you throw that at your brother& heCs ore obile than * a . Doh.ust another nym!het/ 'hy #i# they run aroun#.um(ert . An# she%s a s&inger .!
6. 6erge& on close 8uestioning& ad itted the bit about the eight>year>old was so far only i aginary& but that he was hanging diligently around playgrounds and should have so e news for the any day. !+eCs pouring a patio&! she told $edipa.! !+eCs right& issus&! said 6erge.! !"ell whoCs this&! $edipa said. 6igh. !.! 6he hung up. They gave it to her then in prose. !. "hich ust ean& thought $edipa& that thatCs all we were. /ow what the hell& $edipa wonderedA what had happened to ?ribletteI 6he decided to call later. "n (ac. An# get me so u!set5 'ell. $ur lawyer will read it. +e sits in the sun& drinks beer with students& lobs beer bottles at seagulls.of P.44
"+. &hy #i# she !ut me #o&n. yeahE. &oman. "%ve ha# to fin# some(o#y ne&. !$h& 0od.!
.. !* even wrote a song about it& whose arrange ent features none other than e& and it goes like this. my (a(y &as a. ?id you know . 6he found )rofessor . oryCs done a new edition of "harfingerI *tCll be outKK! but the date was obliterated by a great crash& aniacal childish laughter& high>pitched s8ueals. (etGger and 6ergeCs chick had run off to /evada& to get arried. ory BortGCs nu ber in the book and had better luck.ouCre trying to tell e so ething&! said $edipa. as long as she%s gone a&ay yay.as taught me &hat to #oC " ha# a #ate last night &ith an eight year ol#.S. The lad is crackers with grief. After about ten rings an elderly lady answered.cho Courts& she found (iles& ?ean& 6erge and Leonard arranged around and on the
at the end of the swi ing pool with all their instru ents& so co posed and hidden fro $edipa& ight have been shooting the for an albu illustration. !*C sorry& weCve nothing to say.our young an&! replied (iles& !(etGger& really put it to 6erge& our counter>tenor. .C6 6$/0
diving board otionless that so e photographer&
'hat chance has a lonely surfer (oy $or the love of a surfer chic-. 'ith all these . +ave you ever et an infanticideI Co e on over& it ay be your only chance. $or him she%s .ouCd better talk to hi before it gets that far. 6he should have felt ore classically scorned& but had other things on her ind.um(ert cats Coming on so (ig an# sic-5 $or me. . $n top of the TF set in her roo (etGger had left a note telling her not to worry about the estate& that heCd turned over his e7ecu>torship to so ebody at "arpe& "istfull& Jubitschek and (c(ingus& and they should be in touch with her& and it was all s8uared with the probate court also./ she got back to .-0. A wife na ed 0race answered& backed by a group of children. An# the ol#er generation .
! !"hatCs your na eI! $edipa said. They only put up this co ple7 here to last five years anyway. !Asha ed to sign it.A. This is A erica& you live in it& you let it happen. 6he stopped and went into the govern ent surplus outlet ne7t door.! .! !)ick so e words&! said BortG.ork. 'ella was in Eust this forenoon& bought two hundred for his drill tea . !.B longs& you know& teenage kid siGes. !$ffset. * guess not.C CourierCs Trage#y. *f she was ine *Cd drown her.! +e flipped to the front& to see whoCd re>edited his edition of "harfinger.43
$edipa showered& put on a sweater& skirt and sneakers& wrapped her hair in a studentlike twist& went easy on the akeup. !(y 0od&! he announced& !*Cve been pirated& e and "harfinger& weCve been BowdleriGed in reverse or so ething. The historical Jesus. Act *F& 6cene =. $edipa located a full one and seated herself on the grass. da Chingado and Co panyI . This season now itCs your rifles. !The historical (ar7. !"inthrop Tre aine&! replied the spirited entrepreneur& !"inner& for short. !And how&! he said& !did you get into the Fatican libraryI! $edipa showed hi the paperback with the line in it.! !+eCs right&! shrugged BortG& !theyCre dead.! BortG blinked at her. There had been no witnesses. !Any kind of a wind&! snarled this worthy& !it would have taken e with it. "hatCs leftI! !"ords. to see how 66 unifor s go for the fall.! Brought his nose close to the te7t.ou want to sell so ething used&! he advised $edipa& !find out what thereCs a de and for. !+ow did they get into the Fatican&
.ou ever heard of the I /ew . By the ti e sheCd pulled into BortGCs subdivision& a riparian settle ent in the style of 'angoso Lagoons& she was only shaking and a little nauseous in the sto ach. * couldCve sold hi two hundred of the swastika ar bands too& only * was short& da it. 6he drove savagely along the freeway& hunting for Folkswagens. ory BortG lay half in a ha ock& surrounded by three graduate students& two ale& one fe ale& all sodden with drink& and an astounding accu ulation of e pty beer bottles. BortG& s8uinting at the page& groped for another beer. !The & we can talk about. "hy hadnCt sheI . !+ell no. The owner infor ed her that Qapf& the da n fool& has set fire to his own store for the insurance. /ot so uch the verbal one.ouCd be a aGed how that little nu berCs selling. +ow would that strike youI! !*Cll let you know&! $edipa said. !Co e on in. Corrupt. 6he threw one of ?addyCs beer bottles at Charles and it went through the window and (a a spanked her good. !ThereCs a certain harassed style&! she said& !you get to recogniGe.! 6he left& wondering if she shouldCve called hi so ething& or tried to hit hi with any of a doGen surplus& heavy& blunt obEects in easy reach.! ! C/o hallowed skein of stars can ward& * trow&C! 8uoted $edipa& ! C"hoCs once been set his tryst with Trystero.! +e looked at the sun through a page or two.! .ouCre chicken& she told herself& snapping her seat belt. There was still the s ell of burnt leather. !+i&! said $edipa& !you ust be (a7ine. !*Cll keep you in ind.! +e gave her an insiderCs wink. 6he was greeted by a s all fat girl with so e blue substance s eared all over her face. -ecogniGing with a vague sense of dread that it was not a atter of BortGCs response& or 0raceCs& but of The TrysteroCs. .ou had the feeling that it was only his good upbringing kept hi fro spitting.! !The historical 6hakespeare&! growled one of the grad students through a full beard& uncapping another bottle. But could Qapf waitI Books. 0race looked surprised. ?riving over she passed by QapfCs 5sed Books& and was alar ed to find a pile of charred rubble where the bookstore only a week ago had 6tood. !0ot this little factory down outside of 6an ?iego&! he told her& !got a doGen of your niggers& say& they can sure turn the old ar bands out. * took so e space in a couple of the girlie agaGines& and * had to hire two e7tra niggers last week Eust to take care of the ail. "eCre working it in with the back>to>school ca paign& lot of .! !/ever thought of doing it that way&! said 0race BortG& aterialiGing fro the di living roo .! !0overn ent surplus swastikasI! $edipa said. /e7t season we ay go all the way and get out a odified version for the ladies. *Cll have to write the publishers. Listen& now weCre getting up an arrange ent with one of the big ready>to>wear outfits in L. Let it unfurl. !* would like to find out&! she presently plunged& !so ething about the historical "harfinger. !(isprints. * thought only kids caused it.! "ith a wet washcloth she started to clean off her childCs face. ?a n. J. !+ow did you anage to get away fro yours todayI! !* donCt have any&! said $edipa& following her into the kitchen. 0ah.! !(a7ineCs in bed.! +e dropped the book on the grass and looked at it with loathing.
!*n his 0ennaro suit. !+adnCt you heardI! They all looked at her. +er eyes had been red all along. * didnCt get to see it till C32& or * wouldCve given it a note in y old edition. BortG drew shades& riffled through a bo7 of slides& selected a handful& switched on a proEector and ai ed it at a wall.! !But youCre using the past tense&! $edipa said& her heart pounding& re e bering the old lady on the phone. They are stripping fro e& she said subvocallyK feeling like a fluttering curtain in a very high window&
oving up to then out over the abyssKthey are stripping away& one by one& y en. !?id he use only that&! pointing to the paperback& !for his scriptI! !/o.
. . +eCs dead& and this is a wake. 'ar away in the house children screa ed& a vacuu whined. The ending C"ho once has crossed the lusts of AngeloC was put in by the printer of the 23=B Luarto.! Too uch sunlight shone on the bottles& silent all around the .! !"hat * saw out at the Tank Theatre wasnCt pornographicI! !-andy ?ribletteCs productionI /o& * thought it was typically virtuous. !+ow did he end the fourth actI "hat were his lines& ?ribletteCs& 0ennaroCs& when theyCre all standing around at the lake& after the iracleI! ! C+e that we last as Thurn and Ta7is knew&C! recited BortG& ! C/ow recks no lord but the stilettoCs Thorn&RAnd Tacit lies the gold once>knotted horn.! +e looked sadly past her toward a stretch of sky. . +e felt hardly any responsibility toward the word& reallyH but to the invisible field surrounding the play& its spirit& he was always intensely faithful. *f anyone could have called up for you that historical "harfinger you want& itCdCve been -andy. 6 uggled out in C32.C ! !-ight&! agreed the grad students& !yeah. The book in the Fatican is only an obscene parody.4B
thenI! !"hatCs in the FaticanI! asked $edipa. !A pornographic Courier%s Trage#y. The C"hite>chapelC version is corrupt. !+e used the hardcover& y edition.! !But the night you saw the play.ven a onth ago& $edipaCs ne7t 8uestion would have been& !"hyI! But now she kept a silence& waiting& as if to be illu inated. !-andy walked into the )acific two nights ago&! the girl told her finally. $edipa stayed with it. +e ight have looked at a lot of versions& to develop a feel for the spirit of the play& not necessarily the words& and thatCs how he ca e across your paperback there& with the variation in it. !*llicit icrofil s of the illustrations in that Fatican edition.ou think a anCs ind is a pool tableI! !* hope not. "here a *I !*C sorry&! BortG had also said& watching her. +e was both director and actor& rightI! !But would it be Eust&! she gestured in circles with her hands& !Eust so e whi I To use another couple lines like that& without telling anybodyI! !-andy&! recalled the third grad student& a stocky kid with hornri s& !what was bugging hi inside& usually& so ehow or other& would have to co e outside& on stage. 6o -andy did the best thing Kleft the doubtful part out altogether. (y shrink& pursued by *sraelis& has gone adH y husband& on L6?& gropes like a child further and further into the roo s and endless roo s of the elaborate candy house of hi self and away& hopelessly away& fro what has passed& * was hoping forever& for loveH y one e7tra> arital fella has eloped with a depraved 24>year>oldH y best guide back to the Trystero has taken a Brody. !+e was a peculiarly oral an.! !* tried to call hi this orning&! was all $edipa could think of to say.! !(aybe&! said BortG& ! aybe not. !*t was right after they struck the set of The Courier%s Trage#y.! BortGCs face stayed neutral. 0race and * were there on a grant. ?eath glided by& shadowless& a ong the e pties on the grass. !*t was up to hi . They left the students drinking beer. /obody else * ever knew was so close to the author& to the icrocos of that play as it ust have surrounded "harfingerCs living ind.! They entered a co bination workroo and study.! 'rowning.! !Co e in and see so e dirty pictures&! BortG invited& rolling off the ha ock.! !ThatCs allI "hat about the restI The other coupletI! !*n the te7t * go along with personally&! said BortG& !that other couplet has the last line suppressed.! !But the night * was there&! said $edipa& !?riblette did use the Fatican lines& he said the word Trystero.* BortG said.! !Then&! $edipa concluded& !so ething ust have happened in his personal life& so ething ust have changed for hi drastically that night& and thatCs what ade hi put the lines in.
!But why spare an insufferable ass like ?iocletian BlobbI!
.* *t was full of words ending in eCs& sCs that looked like fCs& capitaliGed nouns& yCs where iCs shouldCve been. ?iocletian Blobb had chosen to traverse a stretch of desolate ountain country in a ail coach belonging to the !Torre and Tassis! syste & which $edipa figured ust be *talian for Thurn and Ta7is. But one part of it& the 6curvha ite part& ran off the will of 0od& its pri e over. *t was their way of putting the play entirely away fro the & into hell. The rest ran off so e opposite )rinciple& so ething blind& soullessH a brute auto atis that led to eternal death. "ithout warning& by the shores of what Blobb called !the Lake of )iety&! they were set upon by a score of black> cloaked riders& who engaged the in a fierce& silent struggle in the icy wind blowing in fro the lake. "lluminate# &ith E7em!lary Tales from the True . . /othing for a 6curvha ite ever happened by accident& Creation was a vast& intricate achine. AngeloCs only a an. !"hy should they do a dirty version of his playI! !As a oral e7a ple. "hat better way to da n it eternally than to change the actual words. "eCve since co e across so e interesting old source aterial. They were not fond of the theatre. * ean& say you only talked about crossing the lusts of Angelo& hell& thereCd be any nu ber of ways to get out of that.! And disappeared& to leave $edipa before the tabernacle. (y updated edition ought to be out& they tell e& ne7t year so eti e. /o )uritan ever got that violent.ight she wanted& a report of the authorCs own encounter with the Trystero brigands. !"hat did -ichard "harfinger have to do with the I! asked $edipa.! !But the line about Trystero isnCt dirty. -e e ber that )uritans were utterly devoted& like literary critics& to the "ord. !* keep y "harfinger>iana locked in here so the kids canCt get at it. Charles could ask no end of 8uestions *C too young to cope with yet.! The book was titled An Account of the Singular Peregrinations of <r <iocletian Blo(( among the "talians. The idea was to woo converts into the 0odly and purposeful sodality of the 6curvha ite.! 6he had nothing ore then to put it off with. !. * think itCs around Chapter 6even. (eanwhile. $edipa didnCt know. !Try&! said BortG.! +e scratched his head.nglandI! BortG suggested& days later. As it turned out it was Chapter . Their central hangup had to do with predestination. True pornography is given us by vastly patient professionals. The oral rage& itCs a throwback& itCs ediaeval.4=
The illustrations were woodcuts& e7ecuted with that crude haste to see the finished product that arks the a ateur.! +e went looking in a glass case full of ancient books.7cept possibly the 6curvha ites. !Lucky for e&! said BortG& !"harfinger& like (ilton& kept a co onplace book& where he Eotted down 8uotes and things fro his reading. All e7cept for ?r Blobb and his servant& who had dissociated the selves fro the hassle at the very outset& proclai ed in loud voices that they were British subEects& and even fro ti e to ti e !ventured to sing certain of the ore i proving of our Church hy ns. !The artist is anony ous&! BortG said& !so is the poetaster who rewrote the play. !+ere&! producing one with a dark brown& peeling calf cover. But the brute $ther& that kept the non>6curvha ite universe running like clockwork& that was so ething else again. Again with the light& vertiginous sense of fluttering out over an abyss& she asked what sheCd co e there to ask. ThatCs how we know about BlobbCs Peregrinations. But so ehow those few saved 6curv> ha ites found the selves looking out into the gaudy clockwork of the doo ed with a certain sick and fascinated horror& and this was to prove fatal. +ere )as8uale& re e ber& one of the bad guysI actually does arry his other& and thereCs a whole scene on their wedding night.istory of That 0utlan#ish An# $antastical ?ace. !"as Trystero trying to set up shop in . !*t fits& surelyI The Challowed skein of starsC is 0odCs will. But even that canCt ward& or guard& so ebody who has an appoint ent with Trystero. ?CA ico thinks this edition was a 6curvha ite proEect. . !"hat was TrysteroI! !$ne of several brand new areas&! said BortG& !that opened up after * did that edition in C4B. !* canCt read this&! $edipa said.! +e changed slides.vidently they felt Trystero would sy boliGe the $ther 8uite well.ou get the general idea& notice how often the figure of ?eath hovers in the background.! Their escape surprised $edipa& in view of what see ed to be TrysteroCs passion for security. The arauders used cudgels& har8uebuses& swords& stilettos& at the end silk kerchiefs to dispatch those still breathing. $ne by one the gla orous prospect of annihilation coa7ed the over& until there was no one left in the sect& not even -obert 6curvha & who& like a shipCs aster& had been last to go. Leave the country.! !6curvha iteI! -obert 6curvha had founded& during the reign of Charles *& a sect of ost pure )uritans. !* have to see those kids off. There were two kinds.
The postal onopoly belonged to $hain by right of con8uest& and $hain belonged to Tristero by right of blood.states>0eneral& controlled by the privileged classes& no longer represented the skilled workers& had lost touch entirely with the people. badger& referring to hats of badger fur the early Berga ascan couriers wore%. 'ro obscure philatelic Eournals furnished her by 0enghis Cohen& an a biguous footnote in (otleyCs ?ise of the <utch ?e!u(lic. Jan +inckart was dispossessed by 'arnese& and Leonard *& the Thurn and Ta7is 0rand (aster& rein>stated. +e styled hi self . +is constant the e& disinheritance. The postal operation plunged deeply into the red. an =o>year>old pa phlet on the roots of odern anarchis & a book of ser ons by BlobbCs brother Augustine also a ong BortGCs "harfingeriana& along with BlobbCs original clues& $edipa was able to fit together this account of how the organiGation beganA *n 24BB& the northern provinces of the Low Countries& led by the )rotestant noble "illia of $range& had been struggling nine years for independence fro Catholic 6pain and a Catholic +oly -o an .l ?eshe>redado& The ?isinherited& and fashioned a livery of black for his followers& black to sy boliGe the only thing that truly belonged to the in their e7ileA the night.ven in the cold& even with your blood>lust up. *f * wanted word to get to . Tell the that we prevail. Trystero enEoyed counter>revolution in those days. peror. peror& -udolph **& had for a ti e withdrawn his patronage. A ong these was Leonard *& Baron of Ta7is& 0entle an of the .! The leader of the brigands& after collecting the ail sacks& had pulled Blobb fro the coach and addressed hi in perfect . That neither te pest nor strife& nor fierce beasts& nor the loneliness of the desert& nor yet the illegiti ate usurpers of our rightful estate& can deter our couriers. 6he feared a little for their security in view of what was happening to everyone else she knew. *t ay have been so e vision of the continent>wide power structure +inckart could have taken over& now o entarily weakened and tottering& that inspired Tristero to set up his own syste . ory BortG and 0enghis Cohen. !. peror in (arch& 24=4& Tristero kept up what a ounted to a guerrilla war against his cousinKif +inckart was his cousin.ighteen. )erhaps her ind would go on fle7ing psychic uscles that no longer e7istedH would be betrayed and
. 6oon he had added to his iconography the uted post horn and a dead badger with its four feet in the air #so e said that the na e Ta7is ca e fro the *talian tasso. There was no oon& s og covered the stars& all black as a Tristero rider. This was a Eunta of Calvinist fanatics who felt that the . 'ro 24B= until Ale7ander 'arnese took Brussels back again for the .states>0eneral& and threw out any holders of high position in Brussels. They controlled the police& dictated all decisions of the . Tell your king and )arlia ent what we have done. +e see s to have been highly unstable& apt at any ti e to appear at a public function and begin a speech.49
!. Being 6panish& he got little support. The Co ittee set up a kind of Brussels Co une.! And leaving the and their purses intact& the highway en& in a cracking of cloaks like black sails& vanished back into their twilit ountains. 6till& he tried four ti es to assassinate $rangeCs post aster& though without success. Jnow that we are not without ercy. Look at .ngland& to sort of pave the way& * should think heCd be perfect. +e was replaced by one Jan +inckart& Lord of $hain& a loyal adherent of $range. But it had been a ti e of great instability for the Thurn and Ta7is onopoly. Leery of strong )rotestant leanings in the Bohe ian branch of the fa ily& the . Tristero clai ed to be Jan +inckartCs cousin& fro the 6panish and legiti ate branch of the fa ily& and true lord of $hainKrightful heir to everything Jan +inckart then possessed& including his recent appoint ent as 0rand (aster. (ost of the ti e& fro one 8uarter or another& his life was in danger. 6o& in the days following& was $edipa. But he was able to collect a few frag ents. *n late ?ece ber& $range& de facto aster of the Low Countries& entered Brussels in triu ph& having been invited there by a Co ittee of . +e began a sub rosa ca paign of obstruction& terror and depredation along the Thurn and Ta7is ail routes. The day after reading BlobbCs Peregrinations she& with BortG& 0race& and the graduate students& attended -andolph ?ribletteCs burial& listened to a younger brotherCs helpless& stricken eulogy& watched the other& spectral in afternoon s og& cry& and ca e back at night to sit on the grave and drink /apa Falley uscatel& which ?riblette in his ti e had put away barrels of. Blobb in8uired around about the Trystero organiGation& running into Gipped ouths nearly every way he turned. $edipa spent the ne7t several days in and out of libraries and earnest discussions with . A set>up. At this point the founding figure enters the sceneA +ernando Joa8uin de Tristero y Calavera& perhaps a ad an& perhaps an honest rebel& according to so e only a con artist.ou can spot a outh like that a ile off&! BortG said. perorCs )rivy Cha ber and Baron of Buysinghen& the hereditary 0rand (aster of the )ost for the Low Countries& and e7ecutor of the Thurn and Ta7is onopoly.ngland& the king about to lose his head.nglishA !(esser& you have witnessed the wrath of Trystero. $edipa sat on the earth& ass getting cold& wondering whether& as ?riblette had suggested that night fro the shower& so e version of herself hadnCt vanished with hi .
. TheyCre eeting in the back roo of a tavern& all these broads in peasant blouses carrying steins around& everybody Euiced and yelling& suddenly Jonrad Eu ps up on a table. The crowd hushes& CThe salvation of . )rivate local posts had encroached so far on the * perial licenses that the two cities shut down their Thurn and Ta7is offices.4:
ocked by a phanto self as the a putee is by a phanto li b. $nly bring e that e ory& and you can live with e for whatever ti e *Cve got. 6o * propose that we erge with our old ene y Thurn and Ta7isKKC Cries of no& never& throw the traitor out& till this bar aid& little starlet& sweet on Jonrad& cold>conks with a stein his loudest antagonist. That network so eday could unify the Continent. "e could refuse service on any but an * perial
. ?ribletteM But as with (a7wellCs ?e on& so now. They were wrong. But should BortG have e7foliated the ere words so lushly& into such unnatural roses& under which& in whose red& scented dusk& dark history slithered unseenI "hen Leonard **>'rancis& Count of Thu and Ta7is& died in 23<=& his wife Ale7andrine of -ye succeeded hi in na e as post aster& though her tenure was never considered official. The actual locus of power in the onopoly re ained uncertain until 234:& when the ne7t ale heir& La oral **>Claude>'rancis& took over. 'or .urope&C Jonrad says& Cdepends on co unication& rightI "e face this anarchy of Eealous 0er an princes& hundreds of the sche ing& counter>sche ing& infighting& dissipating all of the . pireCs strength in their useless bickering. $r if you have to keep down your payload& the last five inutesKthat ay be enough. * needed you. 6he waited for the winged brightness to announce its safe arrival. There ight also be& say& a few visionariesA en above the i ediacy of their ti e who could think historically. CTogether&C Jonrad is saying& Cour two syste s could be invincible. )erhapsKshe felt briefly penetrated& as if the bright winged thing had actually ade it to the sanctuary of her heartKperhaps& springing fro the sa e slick labyrinth& adding those two lines had even& in a way never to be e7plained& served hi as a rehearsal for his nightCs walk away into that vast sink of the pri al blood the )acific. ory BortG it see ed to turn into a species of cute ga e. Beyond its origins& the libraries told her nothing ore about Tristero. +e held& for instance& to a irror>i age theory& by which any period of instability for Thu and Ta7is ust have its reflection in TristeroCs shadow>state. 6he tried to reach out& to whatever coded tenacity of protein ight i probably have held on si7 feet below& still resisting decayKany stubborn 8uiescence perhaps gathering itself for so e last burst& so e last scra ble up through earth& Eust> gli ering& holding together with its final strength a transient& winged shape& needing to settle at once in the war host& or dissipate forever into the dark. Blobb. But whoever could control the lines of co unication& a ong all these princes& would control the . This had its perils. *f they got rid of you for the reason they got rid of +ilarius and (ucho and (etGgerK aybe because they thought * no longer needed you. A hundred hangups& per uted& co binedKse7& oney& illness& despair with the history of his ti e and place& who knew. pire& the co ing descent into particularis . (eanwhile& in Brussels and Antwerp signs of decay in the syste had appeared. ?riblette& she called. At least one a ong the hip enough to foresee the end of the Thirty . +ow& BortG asked& would Tristero have respondedI )ostulating then so e ilitant faction proclai ing the great o ent finally at hand. But so *Cll know if your walk into the sea had anything to do with Tristero. To find the rest& she had to approach fro the Thu and Ta7is side. *f you co e to e& prayed $edipa& bring your e ories of the last night. There was the sa e whi sy to both. !+e looks like Jirk ?ouglas&! cried BortG& !heCs wearing this sword& his na e is so ething gutsy like Jonrad. But there was silence. 6he retired in 2344. 6he re e bered his head& floating in the shower& saying& you could fall in love with e.earsC "ar& the )eace of "estphalia& the breakup of the . The signal echoing down twisted iles of brain circuitry. +e applied this to the ystery of why the dread na e should have appeared in print only around the iddle of the 2Bth century. Changing the script had no clearer otive than his suicide. 6o eday she ight replace whatever of her had gone away by so e prosthetic device& a dress of a certain color& a phrase in a C letter& another lover. +ad they been in loveI ?id she know why ?riblette had put in those two e7tra lines that nightI +ad he even known whyI /o one could begin to trace it. But could she have saved hi I 6he looked over at the girl whoCd given her the news of his death.ither she could not co unicate& or he did not e7ist. )erhaps the sa e that kept the fro taking the life of ?r. Advocating a takeover by force& while their ene y was vulnerable. +ow had the author of the pun on !this Trystero #ies irae* overco e his reluctanceI +ow had half the Fatican couplet& with its suppression of the !Trystero! line& found its way into the 'olioI "hence had the daring of even hinting at a Thurn and Ta7is rival co eI BortG aintained there ust have been so e crisis inside Tristero grave enough to keep the fro retaliating. 'or all they knew& it had never survived the struggle for ?utch independence. But conservative opinion would care only to continue in opposition& e7actly as the Tristero had these seventy years.
but she didnCt& and never asked BortG if he had& either. !$r aybe they havenCt approached us. * want to talk to this one. "hen he spotted $edipa he gave her the wide grin and waved her over. !?id you read that so eplaceI! !"ouldnCt so ebody have brought it upI! BortG said. pire. Lest& possibly& it grow larger than she and assu e her to itself. 6he knew she ought to write to J. "e& who have so long been disinherited& could be the heirs of . pire fro falling apart&! $edipa pointed out. !. To Eog hi a little& she said& !*C surprised you people arenCt using the syste too. *t bothered her. !+owCs your 8uestI! 6he gave hi a 8uick status report.. $r aybe we are using ".42
basis. +e was surrounded by broads& drinking cha pagne cocktails& and bellowing low songs. 6he found (ike 'allopian& a couple weeks into raising a beard& wearing button>down olive shirt& creased fatigue pants inus cuffs and belt loops& two>button fatigue Eacket& no hat. !6uggested by who& though&! said $edipa.! +ostile looks fro the girls twined around what parts of 'allopian were accessible.7pert Co ittee had ever reported back on the sta ps heCd sent the . 6o uch that& by 2B94& it is even suggested that Tristero has staged the entire 'rench -evolution& Eust for an e7cuse to issue the )rocla ation of gth 'ri aire& An ***& ratifying the end of the Thurn and Ta7is postal onopoly in 'rance and the Lowlands. !(aybe not. Like youCre all on the ove. *t is their ti eCs ghost& out to put the Thurn and Ta7is ass in a sling.! Then& as electronic usic began to percolate into the roo & !But thereCs another angle too.ou look&! she said& !wow. /obody could ove troops& far produce& anything& without us.! !Are we an undergroundI! he ca e back& ild enough. But over the ne7t century and a half the paranoia recedes& as they co e to discover the secular Tristero. "hen BortG asked her one evening if he could bring in ?CA ico& who was at /. "hatever it is& it has the power to urder their riders& send landslides thundering across their roads& by e7tension bring into being new local co petition and presently even state postal onopoliesH disintegrate their .uropeMC )rolonged cheering. da Chingado& publisher of the unaccountable paperback Courier%s Trage#y. 6he hadnCt asked 0enghis Cohen& for e7a ple& if his . )ossibilities for paranoia beco e abundant.5& $edipa told hi no& too fast& too nervous. 6he did go back to The 6cope& though& one night& restless& alone& leery of what she ight find. !+as it ever occurred to you& $edipa& that R so ebodyCs putting you onI That this is all a hoa7& aybe so ething *nverarity set up before he diedI! *t had occurred to her.T. !/o&! she said&
. !6o&! BortG backing off& !the ilitants and the conservatives fight to a standstill& Jonrad and his little group of visionaries& being nice guys& try to ediate & the hassle& by the ti e they all get s8uared away again& everybodyCs played out& the . Training rebels up in the ountains. !0o on& now& all of you. pireCs had it& Thurn and Ta7is wants no deals. But like the thought that so eday she would have to die& $edipa had been steadfastly refusing to look at that possibility directly& :2 in any but the ost accidental of lights. 6he knew that if she went back to Fesperhaven +ouse to talk again to old (r Thoth about his grandfather& she would find that he too had died. pire& the fountainhead of Thurn and Ta7is legiti acy is lost forever a ong the other splendid delusions. But left it alone& an7ious that her revelation not e7pand beyond a certain point.& only itCs a secret.! "hen they were out of earshot he swiveled on her a look sy pathetic& annoyed& perhaps also a little erotic.! 6he didnCt press the argu ent. )ower& o niscience& i placable alice& attributes of what theyCd thought to be a historical principle& a Qeitgeist& are carried over to the now hu an ene y.! And with the end of the +oly -o an .6.A. "orst of all& she found herself going often to absurd lengths to avoid talking about -andolph ?riblette. Any prince tries to start his own courier syste & we suppress it. +aving begun to feel reluctant about following up anything.! 6he sensed what he was going to say and began& refle7ively& to grind together her back olars. +e kept 8uiet while she talked& his e7pression slowly changing to so ething she couldnCt recogniGe.! !But they #i#n%t keep the . "henever the girl showed up& the one whoCd been at the wakes& $edipa found e7cuses to leave the gathering. !Are we reEectsI! !* didnCt eanKK! !(aybe we havenCt found the yet&! said 'allopian.. !*tCs a revolutionary secret&! he laughed& throwing up his ar s and flinging off a couple of ca p>followers. +e didnCt ention it again and neither& of course& did she. 6he felt she was betraying ?riblette and herself. A nervous habit sheCd developed in the last few days. *f Tristero has anaged to aintain even partial secrecy& if Thurn and Ta7is have no clear idea who their adversary is& or how far its influence e7tends& then any of the ust co e to believe in so ething very like the 6curvha >iteCs blind& auto atic anti>0od.
carriers sheCd seenKthat all of the were )ierce *nverarityCs enI Bought5 $r loyal& for free& for fun& to so e grandiose practical Eoke heCd cooked up& all for her e barrass ent& or terroriGing& or oral i prove entI Change your na e to (iles& ?ean& 6erge& and Ror Leonard& baby& she advised her reflection in the hallH light of that afternoonCs vanity irror. $J& $edipa told herself& stalking around the roo & her viscera hollow& waiting on so ething truly terrible& $J. !*f you need any ar bands or ore weapons& do try "inthrop Tre aine& over by the freeway.ork% and 24: #5nion )ost& also of /ew . !6ure&! Cohen protested. 6ure enough& the whole shopping center that housed QapfCs 5sed Books and Tre aineCs surplus place had been owned by )ierce.uropean and colonial. !* knew youCd be different&! she said& !(ike& because everybodyCs been changing on e.ither way& theyCll call it paranoia. !$dd.! !+ating you.! 6he left hi & in his odified Cuban ense ble& watching the floor& waiting for his broads to co e back. At least that. Anybody could paste in an addendu .A. "ell& what about her sourcesI 6he was avoiding the 8uestion& yes.()*-. ory BortG& with his copy of BlobbCs Peregrinations #bought& she had no doubt heCd tell her in the event she asked& also at QapfCs%& taught now at 6an /arciso College& heavily endowed by the dead an. But then write down what youCve only speculated& assu ed. $edipa& off on a kind of intuitive high& went i ediately to the end>paper in back and found the sticker of QapfCs 5sed Books. 6. 6ee what youCve got. +e said he couldnCt find the sta p listed. . $r a plot has been ounted against you& so e7pensive and elaborate& involving ite s like the forging of sta ps and ancient books& constant surveillance of your ove ents& planting of post horn i ages all over 6an 'rancisco& bribing of librarians& hiring of professional actors and )ierce
. This is the 6cott 6pecialiGed& you see& for A erican sta ps& a catalogue * donCt generally keep up on. (eaning whatI That BortG& along with (etGger& Cohen& ?riblette& Joteks& the tattooed sailor in 6an 'rancisco& the ".! !0o ahead&! she said& cold& !at least that.very access route to the Tristero could be traced also back to the *nverarity estate.! As usual she did not go on to ask for any na e or address. !"here did you get thisI! !A friend&! Cohen said& leafing through a battered 6cott catalogue& !in 6an 'rancisco. (etGger& while you were up north. "rite down what you canCt deny. !. $r you are hallucinating it.ither you have stu bled indeed& without the aid of L6? or other indole alkaloids& onto a secret richness and concealed density of drea H onto a network by which D nu ber of A ericans are truly co unicating whilst reserving their lies& recitations of routine& arid betrayals of spiritual poverty& for the official govern ent delivery syste H aybe even onto a real alternative to the e7itlessness& to the absence of surprise to life& that harrows the head of everybody A erican you know& and you too& sweetie.! *n the front of the book a slip of paper had been pasted in. !)lease donCt be ad..6. (y field being .our hard intelligence. !-ightI! +e didnCt say any ore. . (ention y na e.ou ought&! 8uietly& !really& you ought to think about it. *tCs unavoidable& isnCt itI .! !"eCre already in touch& thanks.-$C6 ... But here it is. $ne day 0enghis Cohen called& sounding e7cited& and asked her to co e see so ething heCd Eust got in the ail& the 5.9 #the Third Avenue )ost $ffice& of /ew .4<
!thatCs ridiculous.T.ork%. *t turned out to be an old A erican sta p& bearing the device of the uted post horn& belly>up badger& and the ottoA ". 6he drove back to 6an /arciso to have another look at the list of *nverarityCs assets. A"A*T 6*L. . But y curiosity had been aroused& soKK! !6ure&! $edipa said. 6he stood up& wondering if her hair was in place& if she looked reEected or hysterical& if theyCd been causing a scene. /ot only that& but the Tank Theatre& also./T T-*6T.! +e shook his head and laughed.! !Ferify y sources& * suppose&! $edipa kept on& pleasantly. An addendu & look.! 'allopian watched her& nothing if not co passionate. The sta p& designated 23.22&2& was reproduced& under the title !Tristero -apid )ost& 6an 'rancisco& California&! and should have been inserted between Local listings 2.ven . !* drove out there one day to see (r. They. Tre> aineCs 6wastika 6hoppe. "hat else& after thatI! +e s iled& perhaps now trying to salvage whatever was going soundlessly s ash& its net of invisible cracks propagating leisurely though the air between the . But it hadnCt gone as far as hating e. . (ail. !6o thatCs what it stands for&! said $edipa.
ho&ever. By far the greatest num(er.to e7tinguish the flame of ?evolution. 6he didnCt like any of the & but hoped she was entally illH that thatCs all it was. 6he would spend nights staring at a ceiling lit by the pink glow of 6an /arcisoCs sky. According to the recently discovered and decrypted Eournals of the Co te -aoul Antoine de FouGiers& (ar8uis de Tour et Tassis& one ele ent a ong the Tristero had never accepted the passing of the +oly -o an .
*nverarity only knows what>all besides& all financed out of the estate in a way either too secret or too involved for your non>legal ind to know about even though you are co>e7ecutor& so labyrinthine that it ust have eaning beyond Eust a practical Eoke. pire& and saw the -evolution as a te porary adness. They were all on so ething& ad& possible ene ies& dead. "hile the )ony . 2=49>4: was no ti e for any i igrating Tristero to get ideas about picking up where theyCd left off back in . ?isguised as *ndians their essengers osey westward.AFA. Colu bian . 'or this& oh 0od& was the void. By the CyoCs and C=oCs& any independent carrier that tried to co pete with the govern ent was i ediately s8uashed. Those& now that she was looking at the & she saw to be the alternatives. govern ent had carried out a great postal refor & cutting their rates& putting ost independent ail routes out of business.4. !Trouble.& picked a doctor at rando fro the phone book& went to her& told her she thought she was pregnant. Ba-unin. -each the Coast every ti e& Gero attrition rate& not a scratch on the . $r you are fantasying so e such plot& in which case you are a nut& $edipa& out of your skull.7press is defying deserts& savages and sidewinders& TristeroCs giving its e ployees crash courses in 6iouan and Athapascan dialects. At the end of it a resolution to subsidiGe Thurn and Ta7is failed. Less e7cited than she ight have been even a week ago& $edipa showed the piece to . !All the Tristero refugees fro the 2=49 reaction arrive in A erica&! it see ed to hi & !full of high hopes. !re!aring them for the coming of M. Later& as the 'eds cracked down& they went over to sta ps that were al ost kosher>looking& but not 8uite. in Bu#a Pesth at the (arrica#es.! !"hat about that sta p of CohenCsI "e Await 6ilent TristeroCs . 6.! $edipa knew the by heart. !6o they si ply stay on&! BortG said& !in the conte7t of conspiracy. *t was supposed to be a translation of an article fro an 2=34 issue of the fa ous Bi(liotheque #es Tim(ro!hiles of Jean>Baptiste (oens. There was nobody who could help her.! Around 2=44 the 5. But clearly not the Tristero.H one day a typescript& sent hi by another friend in /ew . $ld fillings in her teeth began to bother her.A. That night she sat for hours& too nu b even to drink& teaching herself to breathe in a vacuu . "aves of nausea& lasting five to ten inutes& would strike her at rando & cause her deep isery& then vanish as if they had never been.urope. There were headaches& night ares& enstrual pains. $ne day she drove into L. (any conservatives& taking this as a (illennial Eudge ent against the & ended their association with The Tristero. the Tristero #rifte# on.! !They were ore open in their youth. Those sy etrical four. $edipa gave her na e as 0race BortG and didnCt show up for her ne7t appoint ent.ork. #e!rive# of nearly all the no(le !atronage that ha# sustaine# them/ no& re#uce# to han#ling anarchist corres!on#ence/ only !eri!herally engage#Cin +ermany &ith the ill fate# $ran-furt Assem(ly. ory BortG.7position *ssue #!Colu bus Announcing +is ?iscovery!%& the faces of three courtiers& receiving the news at the right>hand side of the sta p& had
. $rom the (attle of Austerlitz until the #ifficulties of . *n the . fle# to America #uring 2=49>4:& &here they are no #ou(t at !resent ren#ering their services to those &ho see. By 2=32 theyCre well established& not about to be suppressed. 'eeling obliged& as fellow aristocrats& to help Thurn and Ta7is weather its troubles& they put out probes to see if the house was interested at all in being subsidiGed. They arranged for tests. This ove split The Tristero wide open. $ther i igrants co e to A erica looking for freedo fro tyranny& acceptance by the culture& assi ilation into it& this elting pot. All theyCve done is to change oppositions. -eading like another of BortGCs costu e dra as& it told of a great schis in the Tristero ranks during the 'rench -evolution. Thus. !erha!s even among the &atchma-ers of the 1ura. the article s ugly concluded& #i# the organization enter the !enum(ra of historical ecli!se. pire. 0enghis Cohen& once so shy& now see ed to co e up with new goodies every other dayKa listing in an outdated Qu stein catalogue& a friend in the -oyal )hilatelic 6ocietyCs di e ory of so e uted post horn spied in the catalogue of an auction held at ?resden in 29<. At a convention held in (ilan& argu ents raged for a week& lifelong en ities were created& fa ilies divided& blood spilt.24 dark green fro the 2=9. $nly what do they findI! /ot really askingH it was part of his ga e. *n conferences with the keen& fast>talking old an who was new counsel for the estate& her attention span could often be easured in seconds& and she laughed nervously ore than she spoke. Their entire e phasis now toward silence& i personation& opposition as8uerading as allegiance. Civil "ar co es along& ost of the & being liberals& sign up to fight to preserve the 5nion. /obody in the world. $ther nights she could sleep for eighteen drugged hours and wake& enervated& hardly able to stand.
cho Courts to drink bourbon until the sun went down and it was as dark as it would ever get. These bids would be entered in a special book by the auction fir & hence the na e. 6hortly after idnight she found herself in a phone booth& in a desolate& unfa iliar& unlit district of 6an /arciso.! !"hat do you thinkI! said $edipa& already knowing pretty uch. (orris 6chrift& a very reputable& good an.! $edipa went back to . 6. !This is Arnold 6narb&! she said& choking up. To run into e by accident& and tell e your story about the post horn. !"ell& itCs interesting&! she said& !if the articleCs legiti ate.ouCre free.! 6he told hi & 8uickly& using up no ore than a inute& what sheCd learned about The Tristero& what had happened to +ilarius& (ucho& (etGger& ?riblette& 'allopian. . (orris was in touch with the auctioneers yesterday to tell the his client wanted to e7a ine our forgeries& lot 49& in advance. But * have to know whether they arranged it with you. There was a long stretch of bar noise. Because it ay be a practical Eoke for you& but it stopped being one for e a few hours ago.7cept that as far as (orris knew& he was an outsider. But (orris got 8uite ysterious about the whole thing& wouldnCt tell his clientCs na e or anything else about hi .! !That ought to be easy enough to check out. !Then how do you know heCs a strangerI! !"ord gets around. And wants to keep evidence that Tristero e7ists out of unauthoriGed hands. +elp e. That hardly ever happens. .! !A whatI! Cohen e7plained how there were floor bidders& who would attend the auction in person& and book bidders& who would send in their bids by ail. +eCs being super>secretiveK working through an agent& C. 'or the love of 0od& hu an life& whatever you respect& please. Then she went out and drove on the freeway for a while with her lights out& to see what would happen.! BortG gaGing straight into her eyes.7hibition *ssue of 294= included in its aerial view of the 5. +alf a inute of clinking glasses& bursts of laughter& sounds of a Euke bo7. *n the . !'or eI!
.:= air ail sheCd seen on the tattooed sailorCs letter in 6an 'rancisco. But angels were watching. There were also the )ony . 'ro here on *Cll only close the out. !And saw the description of the lot in the auction catalogue. !And so ething rather disturbing& (iG (aas. /e7t ti e * ay be ore deliberate. -eleased. !The enCs roo was full. .:4 with !5.:.:. . 6o being a conservative house& naturally& they apologiGed and said no. !6o you are&! she said& !the only one * have. !* was in the little boysC roo &! he said.4& the flowers to the lower left of "histlerCs (other had been replaced by FenusCs>flytrap& belladonna& poison su ac and a few others $edipa had never seen. regular issue of 2944 had a faint& enacing s ile on the face of the 6tatue of Liberty.7press rider at the lower left was set at a disturbing angle unknown a ong the living. !"hy donCt youI! The toothaches got worse& she drea ed of dise bodied voices fro whose alignance there was no appeal& the soft dusk of irrors out of which so ething was about to walk& and e pty roo s that waited for her. The Brussels . pavilion at Brussels& and set slightly off fro the other tiny fair>goers& the un istakable silhouette of a horse and rider. Then he ca e on. (others of A erica *ssue& put out on (otherCs ?ay& 29.! !Arnold&! he said. !That our ysterious bidder ay be fro Tristero&! Cohen said. 6. * donCt know your na e& donCt want to. *n the 294B )ostage 6ta p Centenary *ssue& co e orating the great postal refor that had eant the beginning of the end for private carriers& the head of a )ony .! !*tCs too late&! he said. 6he put in a station call to The 0reek "ay in 6an 'rancisco& gave the usical voice that answered a de> scription of the acned& fuGG>headed *na orato Anony ous sheCd talked to there and waited& ine7plicable tears beginning to build up pressure around her eyes. * wonder what kind of a price theyCll offer. /or ally thereCs no obEection if they know who wants to see the lot& and if heCs willing to pay all the postage and insurance& and get everything back inside of <4 hours.7press sta p Cohen had showed her on her first visit& the Lincoln .ou can tell e.44
been subtly altered to e7press uncontrollable fright. The deep violet . )otsage&! the sinister . The Tristero !forgeries! were to be sold& as lot 49. * got drunk and went driving on these freeways. A new book bidder has appeared on the scene& who neither * nor any of the fir s in the area have heard of before. $ne day Cohen called to tell her that the final arrange ents had been ade to auction off *nverarityCs sta p collection.our gynecologist has no test for what she was pregnant with. There would be& as was custo ary& no public disclosure of persons for who !the book! would be bidding. !*tCs over&! she said& !theyCve saturated e.
6he had no ore coins. "ho knewI )erhaps sheCd be hounded so eday as far as Eoining Tristero itself& if it e7isted& . 6he stopped a inute between
. /o one knew yet how to draw the . There was the true continuity& 6an /arciso had no boundaries. +e ight hi self have discovered The Tristero& and encrypted that in the will& buying into Eust enough to be sure sheCd find it. *f 6an /arciso and the estate were really no different fro any other town& any other estate& then by that continuity she ight have found The Tristero anywhere in her -epublic& through any of a hundred lightly>concealed entranceways& a hundred alienations& if only sheCd looked. Though he had never talked business with her& she had known it to be a fraction of hi that couldnCt co e out even& would carry forever beyond any deci al place she ight na eH her love& such as it had been& re aining inco ensurate with his need to possess& to alter the land& to bring new skylines& personal antagonis s& growth rates into being. 6he Eust didnCt know. By the ti e she could get so ewhere to break a bill& heCd be gone.! +e ust have known& writing the will& facing the spectre& how the bouncing would stop. 6he turned& pivoting on one stacked heel& could find no ountains either. 6he re e bered drifters she had listened to& A ericans speaking their language carefully& scholarly& as if they were in e7ile fro so ewhere else invisible yet congruent with the cheered land she lived inH and walkers along the roads at night& Goo ing in and out of your headlights without looking up& too far fro any town to have a real destination. in its twilight& its That it was all true. 6an /arciso at that o ent lost #the loss pure& instant& spherical& the sound of a stainless orchestral chi e held a ong the stars and struck lightly%& gave up its residue of uni8ueness for herH beca e a na e again& was assu ed back into the A erican continuity of crust and antle. But did it atter now if heCd owned all of 6an /arcisoI 6an /arciso was a na eH an incident a ong our cli atic records of drea s and what drea s beca e a ong our accu ulated daylight& a o entCs s8uall>line or tornadoCs touchdown a ong the higher& ore continental sole nitiesKstor > syste s of group suffering and need& prevailing winds of affluence. $r he ight even have tried to survive death& as a paranoiaH as a pure conspiracy against so eone he loved. first install entI $boy. 6uppose& 0od& there really was a Tristero then and that she ha# co e on it by accident. "hat was left to inheritI That A erica coded in *nverarityCs testa ent& whose was thatI 6he thought of other& i obiliGed freight cars& where the kids sat on the floor planking and sang back& happy as fat& whatever ca e over the otherCs pocket radioH of other s8uatters who stretched canvas for lean>tos behind s iling billboards along all the highways& or slept in Eunkyards in the stripped shells of wrecked )ly ouths& or even& daring& spent the night up so e pole in a line anCs tent like caterpillars& swung a ong a web of telephone wires& living in the very copper rigging and secular iracle of co unication& untroubled by the du b voltages flickering their iles& the night long& in the thousands of unheard essages. And the voices before and after the dead anCs that had phoned at rando during the darkest& slowest hours& searching ceaseless a ong the dialCs ten illion possibilities for that agical $ther who would reveal herself out of the roar of relays& onotone litanies of insult& filth& fantasy& love whose brute repetition ust so eday call into being the trigger for the unna able act& the recognition& the "ord. +e ight have written the testa ent only to harass a one>ti e is tress& so cynically sure of being wiped out he could throw away all hope of anything ore.:: years of the houseCs disinheritanceI 6urely theyCd forgotten by now what it was the Tristero were to have inheritedH as perhaps $edipa one day ight have. )ierce *nverarity was really dead. !Jeep it bouncing&! heCd told her once& !thatCs all the secret& keep it bouncing. But sheCd lost her bearings. Bitterness could have run that deep in hi . 6purs ran off here and there into factory property. As if there could be no barriers between herself and the rest of the land.! Before she could ask what he eant& heCd hung up. 6he had dedicated herself& weeks ago& to aking sense of what *nverarity had left behind& never suspecting that the legacy was A erica. +eCd be on her ass in a icrosecond& revoke her letters testa entary& theyCd call her na es& proclai her through all $range County as a redistributionist and pinko& slip the old an fro "arpe& "istfull& Jubitschek and (c(ingus in as ad inistrator #e (onis non and so uch baby for code& constellations& shadow>legatees. 6he walked down a stretch of railroad track ne7t the highway. +ow any shared TristeroCs secret& as well as its e7ileI "hat would the probate Eudge have to say about spreading so e kind of a legacy a ong the all& all those na eless& aybe as a.44
!'or e. "ould that breed of perversity prove at last too keen to be stunned even by death& had a plot finally been devised too elaborate for the dark Angel to hold at once& in his hu orless vice> presidentCs head& all the possibilities ofI +ad so ething slipped through and *nverarity by that uch beaten deathI "ere the s8uatters there in touch with others& through TristeroH were they helping carry forward that . )ierce ay have owned these factories too. 6he stood between the public booth and the rented car& in the night& her isolation co plete& and tried to face toward the sea. That *nverarity had only died& nothing else. (ight $edipa (aas yet be his heiressH had that been in the will& in code& perhaps without )ierce really knowing& having been by then too seiGed by so e headlong e7pansion of hi self& so e visit& so e lucid instructionI Though she could never again call back any i age of the dead an to dress up& pose& talk to and ake answer& neither would she lose a new co passion for the cul>de>sac heCd tried to find a way out of& for the enig a his efforts had created.et she knew& head down& stu bling along over the cinderbed and its old sleepers& there was still that other chance.
!There were so e lovely (oGa bi8ue triangles * couldnCt 8uite resist. !+e decided to attend the auction in person&! was all 6chrift would tell her. They watched her co e in& trying each to conceal his thoughts. !)lease donCt call it a conflict of interests&! he drawled earnestly. Another ode of eaning behind the obvious& or none. +e stared at her& s iling& as if saying& *C surprised you actually ca e. 6he stood in a patch of sun& a ong brilliant rising and falling points of dust& trying to get a little war & wondering if sheCd go through with it.! !"eCre in luck. At Fesperhaven +ouse either an acco odation reached& in so e kind of dignity& with the Angel of ?eath& or only death and the daily& tedious preparations for it. An assistant closed the heavy door on the lobby windows and the sun.43 aloofness& its waiting. *n the songs (iles& ?ean& 6erge and Leonard sang was either so e fraction of the truthCs nu inous beauty #as (ucho now believed% or only a power spectru . The auction was duly held& on a 6unday afternoon& in perhaps the oldest building in 6an /arciso& dating fro before "orld "ar **.! 6he ight. The waiting above allH if not for another set of possibilities to replace those that had conditioned the land to accept any 6an /arciso a ong its ost tender flesh without a refle7 or a cry& then at least& at the very least& waiting for a sy etry of choices to break down& to go skew. The auctioneer cleared his throat. $edipa settled back& to await the crying of lot 49.ither $edipa in the orbiting ecstasy of a true paranoia& or a real Tristero. (orris 6chrift& and in8uired after his ysterious client. Loren )asserine& the finest auctioneer in the "est& will be crying today. $nes and Geroes. 6o did the couples arrange the selves. (ay * ask if youCve co e to bid& (iG (aas. Loren )asserine& on his podiu & hovered like a puppet> aster& his eyes bright& his s ile practiced and relentless. !. Tre aine the 6wastika 6ales anCs reprieve fro holocaust was either an inEustice& or the absence of a windH the bones of the 0*Cs at the botto of Lake *n>verarity were there either for a reason that attered to the world& or for skin divers and cigarette s okers. )asserine spread his ar s in a gesture that see ed to belong to the priesthood of so e re ote cultureH perhaps to a descending angel. 6he had only so e vague idea about causing a scene violent enough to bring the cops into it and find out that way who the an really was. /e7t day& with the courage you find you have when there is nothing ore to lose& she got in touch with C.! !/o&! said $edipa& !*C only being a busybody.ou ight run into hi there. !. . !*tCs ti e to start&! said 0enghis Cohen& offering his ar . 'or there either was so e Tristero beyond the appearance of the legacy A erica& or there was Eust A erica and if there was Eust A erica then it see ed the only way she could continue& and anage to be at all relevant to it& was as an alien& unfurrowed& assu ed full circle into so e paranoia. The en inside the auction roo wore black ohair and had pale& cruel faces. $edipa arrived a few inutes early& alone& and in a cold lobby of glea ing redwood floorboards and the s ell of wa7 and paper& she et 0enghis Cohen& who looked genuinely e barrassed. 6he heard a lock snap shutH the sound echoed a o ent. 6he had heard all about e7cluded iddlesH they were bad shit& to be avoidedH and how had it ever happened here& with the chances once so good for diversityI 'or it was now like walking a ong atrices of a great digital co puter& the Geroes and ones twinned above& hanging like balanced obiles right and left& ahead& thick& aybe endless.
. Behind the hieroglyphic streets there would either be a transcendent eaning& or only the earth. $edipa sat alone& toward the back of the roo & looking at the napes of necks& trying to guess which one was her target& her ene y& perhaps her proof.our fly is open&! whispered $edipa.! !"ill be whatI! !"e say an auctioneer CcriesC a sale&! Cohen said. 6he was not sure what sheCd do when the bidder revealed hi self.