Clear went back behind the bar with a pissed face. She returned with warm water, served it and stayed planted next to my table with her arms akimbo.
—Have you seen him? —she repeated less friendly.
—How did you know I was looking for the Mayor?
—This is a small place.
—I was at City Hall when you asked for him. I serve breakfast there —she clarified.
—And how it comes you know he was dead when the City Hall even ignored it?
—When I got back here a policeman was commenting the murder.
—It was an accident, he slipped down the mountain.
—An expert mountaineer does not slip off a ravine.
She had her point here, if that was true.
—Let’s assume you’re right, why revenge?
—Wanting to sell the same thing to two different guys is not a good idea —she added enigmatically.
—What thing and what two? —I began to get impatient.
—The gold mining concession, to the Chinese and the Canadians.
—Damn! How do you know that?
—I have… had a friend, a geologist, an American like you. He told me about a few weeks ago.
—I’m not American. Where I can find the geologist?
—He’s not with me anymore.
—I didn’t ask you that.
—I’m not sure. I heard he’s coming out with one of the bitches of the brothel.
—His or the whore’s?
—Fuck Clear, both. And the brothel’s.
She gave me the names and I asked for the bill. When she returned with the change, I inquired why she told all that to me.
—You look as a good man —she said.
I though to recommend her an ophthalmologist, but I finally kept it for myself.
I was heading to Alcatraz to collect my laptop when a sudden rainstorm blew up the sky in millions of thick drops. I fled soggy from the dry revelations of Clear, and as I ran through the abruptly flooded streets I saw that the water was carrying lots of beetles into the sewers. Apat from them I was the only one crossing that ghost town under the temporal, but I had the necessity to get out and get wet, to discover I was still alive, although if I kept getting into that business, perhaps, in the near future, I could not vaunt of my vital signs. Like the chafers.
My first day at Alcatraz would be also the last. The owner rejected my advance payment for a second day in prison, saying he expected the next morning a contingent of tourists who will fill the hotel for a week.
—I can sleep in a smaller room —I suggested with the humility of a Franciscan in search of penance—, or share a room with someone who doesn’t snore.
Cornered by my objections, he pointed his thumb to a filthy sign; the house reserves the right to refuse admission and permanence.
—Surely someone is paying you this favor.
My guess was right on spot. First he turned white and then blushed like a schoolgirl with moustache.
—Tomorrow morning you leave —he said—. Get away from town; it’s for your sake.
I didn’t know if hugging him or break his jaw. Nor I replied him because I don’t like being rude before lunch. I went up to my cell to pick up the laptop.
Where to go? If I would have been a reasonable fellow, should have go back to my holidays in Porto Alegre and send an e-mail to the company. Instead, I went out to find an internet café. The rain had stopped.
In the “Diula” language in Mali, the term « dugutigui » (chief of the village), literally translated, means: «owner of the village»; «dugu» means village and «tigui», owner. Probably the term is the result of the contraction of «dugu kuntigui» (literally: chief of the village).