Cyprian's first post was at Trieste monitoring the docks and the emigrant traffic to America, with side trips over to Fiume and newcomer's rounds at the Whitehead torpedo factory and the petroleum harbor, as well as down to Zengg, headquarters of the increasingly energetic Uskok movement, named after the sixteenth-century exile community who at one time had controlled this end of the Adriatic, then as much a threat to Venice at sea as to the Turks back in the mountains, and even today a dedicated cadre for whom the threat of Turkish inundation, immediate and without mercy, remained living and verifiable.
Cyprian's descent into the secret world had begun only the year in Vienna, in the course of another evening of mindless trolling about the Prater.
Within the week Ratty had set him up an appointment with Derrick Theign, a tall and careworn functionary, from his accent stationed out here, perhaps, actually, for a while now.
The Fiaker took them southward toward the reddened fraction of moon, lights of the city converging behind them, the driver humming to himself apprpriate Fiakerlieder but refraining from bursting into full song.
The Russians presented little problem.
In Trieste he could at least imagine himself growing to some sort of manhood, perhaps even into an Old Upper Adriatic Hand-a dangerous reverie, for he had soon grown fairly sensible of how little he had to say in the matter of where he was to be posted from then on.
One day Theign came in looking preoccupied.
As the petals of unreflective desire, those narcotic days on the Lagoon, began to curl up, lose aroma, and drop one by one to the unadorned tabletop of daily business, Theign half-invented a local operative, "Zanni," to resolve whose functional crises he then found brief but always welcome opportunities to get out of the house, even if it must be into the swarming calli of Venice.
Cyprian Latewood's return to Vienna was accompanied either in or outside of his head by the Adagio from the Mozart Piano Concerto in A Major, K. 488.
On weekday evenings Cyprian, appearing each time measurably fatter, even to the casual surveillant, came lurching out of the same back exit of the Klomser and made his way -his thoughts interrupted only by an occasional high C from Leo Slezak at the Opera House- sometimes by Fiaker, sometimes on the Verbindungsbahn if he sa a train coming, to his old sanctuary of the desire the Prater, though nothing much was than ever observed to take place.
Fresh flowers in the room, silver coffeepots and cream jugs, surrounding a darázsfészek, a somewhat oversize Dobos torte
After the interview with old Ratty, Yashmeen seemed to regain her spirit.
Summoned to Venice at last, Cyprian, with time on the train to think, kept reminding himself that it had not, after all, been the sort of thing one ought to be taking too romantically, indeed how fatal a mistake it would be to do so.
When Foley Walker returned from Göttingen, he and Scarsdale Vibe met at an outdoor restaurant in the foothills of the Dolomites near a river in clamorous descent, the surroundings filled with an innocent light not from Alpine snows but from man-made structures of some antiquity.
Up here in north Italy, as in France one might buy ordinary village wine hoping to find a few cases overrun from a great vineyard nearby, Vibe's theory was to buy all the school-of-Squarciones he could put his hands on in the hopes that someplace in there might be an unattributed Mantegna somebody had overlooked.
Early one morning the previous April, Dally Ridout had woken up knowing without being told the the new peas, the word in her thoughts being bisi, were in at the Rialto market.
At first she had wondered briefly at the readiness with which the Principessa Spongiatosta had taken her in, attributing it to some kind of a history between her and Hunter.
Someplace out on the Atlantic between New York and Göttingen, Kit had half come to hope that someday, in some dreamed future when his silence had grown plausible on Pearl Street, then would have been his moment in return, agent at last for Webb's vengeful ghost, return to daylit America, its practical affairs, its steadfast denial of light.
They were all out on the roof of the place in Cannareggio.
"How serious you think this kid is?"
The Principessa had finally talked Dally into going to the ball that night, and had also let drop the interesting piece of news that one of the guests would be Scarsdale Vibe.
"Now but what about that old Dahlia," said Reef later, when she'd gone back to Ca' Spongiatosta, "time comes to get out of town in a hurry, how you fixin to handle that?"
In the unrelenting drizzle, some five or six carabinieri were arranged strategically along the fondamenta, preventing people from crossing the bridge to the Palazzo.
"According to the police, Anarchists specialize, Foley, did you know that?"
"Where'n the hell'd all 'em pistoleros come from?"
They might have imagined some effortless departure into a golden fog, but as it turned out, the brothers did not part on what you'd call affectionate terms.
Off on the night steamer for Trieste, the lights through the fog apt to slide off into spectral effects, billowing like cloaks flourished by sleepless masquerades, Giudecca invisible ... likewise the shrouded Stromboli and the other Italian warships at anchor ...
I write in uncertainty as to whether you shall ever read this-so, paradoxically, in a kind of faith, now made perhaps more urgent by doubts which have arisen concerning those to whose care you entrusted me, so long ago.
Afterward people would ask Kit why he hadn't brought along a hand camera.
"Like damned Stanley and Livingstone all over again," Kit was heard to mutter more than once in the next few days.
The chief item of concern in this paradise of the dishonorable was a prophet known locally as "the Doosra," operating somewhere north of here, who had been driven-according to those, naturally, with the feeblest grasp of the concept-"mad" by the desert.
One day the noted Uyghur troublemaker Al Mar-Fuad showed up in English hunting tweeds and a deerstalker cap turned sidewise, with a sort of ultimatum in which one might just detect that difficulty with the prevocalic r typical of the British upper class.
"I shall never understand them," Halfcourt plaintively confessed to Prokladka.
Beyond Kashgar, the Silk Road split into northern and southern branches, so as to avoid the vast desert immediately to the east of the city, the Taklamakan, which in Chinese was said to translate as "Go In and You Don't Come Out," though in Uyghur it was supposed to mean "Home Country of the Past."
Lieutenant Dwight Prance had shown up one night unannounced, like a sandstorm.
One evening shortly after his arrival, Kit was sitting out in the courtyard with the Lieutenant-Colonel.
The Doosra was younger than Kit had imagined and lacked gravitas.
Around midnight Mushtaq looked in.
Some weeks later Auberon Halfcourt appeared at a book-dealer's in Bukhara, clean, trimmed, and pressed-respectably turned out, in fact, except for the insane light in his eyes.
There are places we fear, places we dream, places whose exiles we became and never learned it until, sometimes, too late.
Back at the beginning of their journey, though it lay only a short distance from Kashgar, near the village of Mingyol, and could sometimes be seen from odd angles looming in the distance, the great stone Arch known as the Tushuk Tash was considered impossible actually to get even by the local folks.
Throughout the journey, then, Kit had dreamed of the moment he had stepped through the Gate.
After passing through the Prophet's Gate, they had proceeded along the southern foothills of the Tian Shan, one Silk Road oasis to the next-Ak-su, Korla, Kara-shahr, guiding on the otherworldly white pyramid of Khan Tengri, Lord of the Sky, from which light poured
"So this is Irkutsk."
Keeping mainly to riverbanks, they made their way among wildcat coal-mining works, thickets of willow and wild cherry, meadows full of wild-flowers that seemd to Kit enormous, violets as big as your hand, yellow lilies and blue veronica you could shelter form the rain under, looking for word of the shaman Magyakan, if not the man in person.
A heavenwide blast of light.
As of 7:17 A.M. local time on 30 June 1908, Padzhitnoff had been working for nearly a year as contract employee of the Okhrana, receiving five hundred rubles a month, a sum which hovered at the exorbitant end of spy-budget outlays for those years.
"I am a warrior, not a scientist," protested Ofitser Nauchny Gerasimoff.
Padzhitnoff convened a meeting of the officers, which, as it turned out, would not be adjourned for weeks.
Meantime, in another part of the taiga, Kit and Prance were going round and round as usual, on the interesting topic of which one was constitutionally able to clean up after himself, when with no announcement, everything, faces, sky, trees, the distant turn of river, went red.
Two small black birds who had not been there now emerged out of the light as it faded to everyday green and blue again.
And soon the drums began.
"I was shot at today," Prance announced. "Again."
For a while after the Event, crazed Raskol'niki ran around
Kit had almost gotten used to riding Kirghiz horses, or more often their shaggier pony-size cousins, his feet all but dragging along the ground, when one day he and Prance came across a band of reindeer herders, moving the herd to new pasture, and he immediately caught sight of one reindeer, pure white, who seemed to be looking back at him pretty intently, before disengaging himself from the herd and trotting over.
They had entered a strangely tranquil part of Siberia, on the Mongolian border between the Sayan and Tannnu-Ola tanges, shich Prance had briefly through and said was known as Tuva.
After a bit, Lieutenant Prance thought he'd begun to detect a presence overhead, which was neither eagle nor cloud, and which slowly drew closer until he could make out a vast airship, from which a crew of animated youngsters were regarding him with great curiosity.
Kit meantime had fallen in with a band of brodyagí, former hard-labor convicts who had been sentenced uears before to internal exile in Siberia.
Kit proceeded through the dark forests as if there were no doubt as to his way.
Kit proceeded through the dark forests as if there were no doubt as to his way.
Having journeyed eastward through the day, the Inconvenience had set down beneath a blank sunset with the menacing flank of a sandstorm not far off.
They arranged a sky-rendezvous with the Bol'shaia Igra, over Semipalatinsk.
Slowly as God's justice, reports began arriving out of the East, from what seemed incomprehensilby eastward, as if the countless tiny engagements of an unacknowledged war had at last been expressed as a single explosion, in an almost-musical crescendo of a majesty usually encountered only in dreams.
Dally Rideout, still moping around about Kit, not that she expected any word from him, had gone on maturing into an even more desirable young package, negotiable on the Venetian market as a Circassian slave in old Araby, pale redhead's coloring, bruisable skin inviting violent attention, hair gone beyond the untamed spill she had hit town with, now a blasing announcement of desire about which no one was ready to be convinced otherwise.
Back on the Trieste station, no longer welcome in Venice, in a warren partially below street level, seething with tobacco smoke, most of it Balkan in origin, Cyprian Latewood conferred with a newly-arrived cryptographer named Bevis Moistleigh.
After leaving Venice, Reef had caught up with Ruperta at Marienbad, and for a while the old sad routine recommenced.
Yashmeen was in Vienna, working in a dress shop in Mariahilf which had been gathering some celebrity for designs not yet quite discovered by the midinettes in Paris and so not yet dispersed into the greater market of the World.
It went on for a month.
Toward the end of October, all hell broke loose over the Austrian announcement that they were intending to annex Bosnia.
Yashmeen arrived one morning at the shop in the Mariahilfe Straße to find the door locked, in fact chained shut, a municipal notice of confiscation plastered across those windows that weren't broken.
The Annexation Crisis had everybody in motion, and even Ratty McHugh, his life like everyone else's these days run more and more by train schedules, was dislodged from Vienna far enough to meet Cyprian in Graz, in the garden of the Elefant Hotel.
Leaving the Südbahn, she gazed backward at iron convergences and receding signal-lamps.
And as for any assistance from Theign's shop with her predicament, Yashmeen would not, after all, be able to count on much.
"Hardly the most hopeful news I could bring you."
They met at the Caffe degli Specchi and she was all, it seemed defiantly, in white, from kid boots he must make an effort to keep from gazing at to her draped velvet hat and the white egret plume on it, though the year was darkening and taking on a chill, and the modish ladies in the Piazza Grande were giving her looks.
After he had disappeared behind the breakwater, Yashmeen strolled down the Riva Carciotti, found a spot. lit up a cigarette and lounged awhile, beaming mindlessly upon the shifting scene.
It wasn't exactly the Hotel de Ville, nor was she sleeping too frightfully well.
One day they took the train to Fiume and boarded the mail steamer for Zengg, with a dozen Geman tourists and a small herd of goats.
Cyprian, embarking from the Molo San Carlo on the Austrian Lloyd express steamer John of Asia, found the decks aswarm with butterfly-hunters, bird-watchers, widows and divorcées, photographers, schoolgirls and their guardians, all of whom, without undue exercise of the organs of fantasy, might be supposed foreign spies, it being clearly in the intersts of Italy, Serbia, Turkey and Russia, and Great Britain to know what was afoot at the Austrian installations at Pola and the Bocchie di Cattaro and the coastline approaching infinite length which lay in between.
The John of Asia had begun to pass among island cities, variations on the theme of Venice, domes, villas, and shirnes arpeggiated along the irregular Croatian coastline, white campanili and towers less explicable, older, grayer, put up against some ancient approach no longer definable, and all-but-uncharted strange miniature islets holding antique structures too small for worship, sentry duty or imprisonment.
Though Cyprian and Bevis had decided to go in by way of the Herzegovina, Metković having for e few seasons now implausible as a tourist destination because of the fever, they continued down to Kotor before debarking, Jacintha's company being a useful pretext for not getting off earlier at Ragusa.
In Sarajevo pale minarets rose above the trees.
It was a commonplace among Balkan hands that if one was keeping an eye on liberation movements, and looking for members to turn double-agent and betray their own, the South Slavic population would provide slim pickings, if any at all.
Danilo, who knew everything, showed up at Cyprian's room with a warning.
Two weeks later things had desperately deteriorated.
Cyprian and Danilo made their way along a valley, leaves on the steep hillsides changing color, willows down by the water gone leafless and broodful, small waterfalls loud in the autumnal withdrawal of humans and livestock, the air cool and still, and no sign of unwelcome attention since they had left Batko and Senta, faces furrowed in sad farewell, by the chlorine works outside of town.
They were caught one night on a nameless black mountainside, by a storm that had descended from the north and a premonitory silence.
The rain blew down the valley, at the verge of snow, stinging, thin, a white European rover witch vicious intentions.
When they got back again to steel and parallel tracks, they found the lines nervous with an all but portal appetency, bands of irregulars carrying ancient long rifles whose brass fittings were incised with holy verses from the Quran.
In Pljevlje they stopped for a day just to get their bearings.
Cyprian and Danilo had arrived at Salonica to find the city still reverberating like a struck gong from the events of the preceding spring and summer, when the Turkish sultan had been obliged to restore the constitution, and the insurgents known as the Young Turks had come to power in their country.
News had filtered through at last on the status of the annexation crisis and the doings of the great.
"Here is the plan," said Cyprian next evening, at the Café Mazlum down by the Quay, where it seemed the whole town had turned out to hear the great Karakas Effendi sing.
Though Vesna was deeply involved with a gangster from Smyrna named Dhimitris, she and Cyprian said good-bye as if each were a part of the other.
On the way back to Trieste, Cyprian, having quite enough of railways for a while, took Aegean, Ionian and Adriatic coasters and mail-steamers, spending as much time as he could chatting, smoking and drinking with the other passengers, as if alone he might be jumped by something unwelcome.
After picking up a modest sum at the tables, Reef drifted around Nice for a while, sitting in cafés drinking no-name wine, or in hotel bars drinking pineapple Marquises with trois-six chasers.
Though the outlook for Anarchists in a shooting revolution is never too promising, Flaco was determined to go back to Mexico.
Should I know better? she wondered.
In their visits to Venice, they had gotten in the habit of going to the movies.
Reef was back in Venice before he knew why.
When the Campanile in the Piazza San Marco collapsed, certain politically sensitive Venetian souls felt a strange relocation of power.
Later, at Cimiez, with the northeast wind driving the seasonal visitors indoors, when Yashmeen began to hear reports of a shootout near the Arsenale, between what might've been Austrian mercenaries and what might've been Dalmatian revolutionists, she put her faith, like a good Emotional Anarchist, in the Law of Deterministic Efficiency.
One day she remembered the schoolbook Vlado had given her, stuffed into her luggage and forgotten.
Cyprian came churning back at last in to a winter mirage of Venice, no sleep to speak of for weeks, bedraggled, squinting at the tarnished city through the rain on the Lagoon, shivering in the wind's raking assault, eyes scratchy, hair all jagged and drastically in need of attention from Signor Fabrizio-he longed for some time in a staming tub with a cold bottle of anything alcoholic with bubbles.
One day, on the Riva, in front of the Metropole, Cyprian came unexpectedly face-to-face with Yashmeen Halfcourt, on the arm of a battered and rangy individual from whom, having been for some time in a state of unsatisfied desire, Cyprian found himself struggling to keep his eyes averted, not to mention a minute and a half's worth of disorientation at seeing Yashmeen again.
On looking into Theign's Austrian connections, Cyprian was fascinated to discover how intimate he had grown with the military Chancellery of Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand, who from the Belvedere in Vienna directed a web of intrigue aimed at refashioning the map of Europe, by way of protégés such as the current foreign minister Aerenthal, architect of the annexation of Bosnia.
As the crisis approached, he found himself less able to tolerate the everyday.
"It will be tonight, then, if all goes well," the Prince said, with a smile whose bleakness had more to do with inconvenience than regret.
The moment he emerged from the station and set foot on the Ponte degli Scalzi, Theign understood that he ought to have remained in Vienna.
One day Cyprian had a message from Yashmeen, which began "I must see you."
In the scales of the average working day, Cyprian's self-regard, almost uniquely among gentleman ops of the day, had seldom accounted for much more than than a newborn gnat's eyelash.
Late at night they would lie together watching lights, moving and still, reflected in the canals.
It was mid-April, Carnevale had been over for weeks , and Lent was coming to a close, skies too drawn and pallid to weep for the fate of the cyclic Christ, the city having slowly regained a maskless condition, with a strange dull shine on the paving of the Piazza, less a reflection of the sky than a soft glow from regions below.
Near midnight, Cyprian, all decked out in a black taffeta ball toilette borrowed from the Principoessa, an abbreviated mask of black leather over his eyes, his waist drawn in to an impossible circumference, his small painted face framed by Signor Fabrizio's re-imagining of Yashmeen's hair, curled, powdered, sculpted, woven with seed pearls and Parma violets, was making a devastating high-heeled entrance dwon marble stairs and into the sea of masks and flesh below.
From then till Ascension Day, the day Venice got remarried each year to the sea, as the two young men, one who had never imagined the other, one who had gone beyond imagining and now only hoped that nothing would turn out to be too "real," made firm the third connection in their triad, both wondering how close to "love"any of this might be venturing.
"Happens in jail sometimes," Reef theorized.
Now, after years of avoidance, it was Reef's turn to dream about his father.
Their plan had been to flee up into the Garfagnana and live among their kind, among the wolvesm the Anarchists, and road agents.
One day in Monte Carlo, who should show up but New Orleans Anarchichist bunkmate Wolfe 'Tone O'Rooney, on his way to Barcelona, which was all about to explode, as it had been doing periodically, with Anarchist unruliness.
They accompanied the Irish Anarchist as far as the French border with Spain, and took and end-of-the-season pass around the French casinos.
Hunter and Dally showed up one day in London, having come by express from Venice, where accostment by Bodeo-packing coglioni was showing no signs of dropping off, the Pprincipessa Spongiatosta seemed eager to pimp Dally to some doubtful parasitic creeper upon the tree of the Italian nobility, and Dally had concluded that Kit Traverse wasn't coming back from Asia anytime soon, if ever.
"Do come along darling," Ruperta one day appearing out of nowhere as usual, "today your life changes, for you've ever such a treat in store."
Meantime 'Pert, who had been busy trying, with little success, to plant doubts about the girl in Hunter's mind, had also learned through elements of the T.W.I.T. something of his earlier adventures and the frailties resulting, and appointed herself a sort of anti-muse, hoping out of meanness to provoke Hunter at least into work unlikely to endear him to the British public.
Well, it was that Principessa all over again, it seemed to Dally.
Dally happened to meet Lew Basnight at a weekend party at Bananas, the sumptuous Oxfordshire manor of Lord and Lady Overlunch.
She ought to have felt worse about her espionage expeditions, at least that she was "betraying"him, but somehow she couldn't get that deep about it.
It was a tall building, taller than any in London, taller than St. Paul's, and yet no one had ever been able to make it out with enough clarity for it to qualify as a "sight" tourists might be impressed by-more a prism of shadow of a certain solidity, looming forever beyond the farthest street one knew how to get to.
"I may have to go to Constantinople for awhile," he said smoothly.
The idea in Clive Crouchmas's mind of shopping Dally into a harem had been fine as far as it went, but revenge for some is not as sweet as profit, and it had soon occured to him that she might more constructively serve as a bribe to somebody useful.
"Zaharoff girl!" "No--who, me?"
Pera was a consummate border town, a little state, a microcosm of the two continents, Greeks, Jews, Syrians, Armenians. Bulgarians, Persians, Germans up to their mischief.
The operetta, all the rage in Vienna at the moment, was called The Burgher King, in which the ruler of a fictional country in Central Europe, feeling disconnected from his people, decides to go out among them disguised as a member of the urban middle class.
Best bet, it seemed to them, was to stay clear of the Szeged station, go up the river by steamer instead as far as Szolnok, catch the local there to Budha-Pesth, and from there take the Wagons-Lits via Lake Balaton to Pragerhof, where they would pick up the Graz-Trieste train and ride second class to Venezia.
"Somebody'll be out looking for you, won't they?" Kit said.
The light didn't come in exactly the way it was supposed to in churches-not mediated by sacred images of stained glass but by new leafage on trees outside, holes broken in the adobe by federal artillery, accidentally passing shadows of birds and clouds.
Next day she showed up again, and it took Frank about a minute to identify her new companion. owing to a beard and a growth of hair his sombrero was having trouilbe staying on top of.
Next evening Frank woke up into some long dissertation, Ewball was handing Stray about Anarcho-syndicalist theory and praxis to feel a strangely familiar melancholy in the twilight that he couldn't for a minute locate, till down the aisle between the wounded, her small face warmly illuminated by a cigarette in her mouth, came his favorite back-east anthropologist, Wren Provenance.
"Say, remember those little cactuses?"
The harsh hum filled the valley. Everybody looked up.
El Espinero brought Frank a cane shaped from a nice piece of oak from farther up in the Sierra, "A gringo might call it a 'walking stick,' but the Tarahumare use these as running-sticks, when our legs get sore and we can't run any faster than a galloping horse."
Wren had a little house at the edge of town with a vegetable patch and scarlet madreselva climbing up the walls and a nice view off the ridge, with the Casas Grandes ruins an easy mile or so down the road.
Reef, Yashmeen, and Cyprian, having passed a few profitable weeks at Biarritz and Pau before the seasonal lull as English tourists gave way to those from the Continent, returning now eastward to the casinos of the Riviera, wandered across the Anarchist spa of Yz-les Bains, hidden near the foothills of the Pyrenees, among steep hillsides covered with late-ripening vines, whose shoots were kept away from the early frosts by supporters that looked like garlanded crucifixes.
The next day Reef, Cyprian, and Ratty were out on the Anarchists'golf course, during a round of Anarchist's Golf, a craze currently sweeping the civilized world, in which there was no fixed sequence-in fact, no fixed number- of holes, with distances flexible as well, some holes being only putter-distance apart, others uncounted hundreds of yards and requiring a map and compass to locate,
Later in the evening, owls known here as "hooting cats" went calling up and down the little valley.
Just after his return from Bosnia, Cyprian had sworn to himself that he would never go back to the Balkan Peninsula.
So the idea-"whose" idea was a meaningless question around here-was for them to be deployed into Thrace among a party of less than worldly song-gatherers, out late in the European twilight, far from safety, accosting local peasantry and urging them to sing or play their grandparents had sung or played to them.
After a send-off party that went on all night, to be remembered for an innocence in which everything was still untouched by cause and effect, they came out into a stormy dawn and walked together arm in arm the slick cobbles of the little streets, under pedestrian bridges and up and down sets of steps in the wet light to their rooms to try and catch a few hours'sleep before departure for the Peninsule.
In Beograd they joined up with Professor Sleepcoat and his party, which included the technician Enrico, the student volunteers Dora and Germain, and an accountant named Gruntling who was there at the University's insistence owing to budget overruns on the last trip out here, most of them in a column titled "Miscellaneous" whose details Professor Sleepcoat could somehow not recall.
The main task for Reef, Cyprian, and Yashmeen right now was locating the Interdikt line, and disabling it.
Despite having known that it would happen at some point in the journey, when they announced that the time had come for them to take off on their own, Professor Sleepcoat was devastated.
Even to the indigenous, used to twittering fools from the north and west in tourist attire, the three seemed gravely passionate, as if behaving not as they wished but as they must, in answer to unheard voices of duty.
The baby was born during the rose harvest, in the early morning with the women already back from the fields, born into a fragrance untampered with by the heat of the sun.
For much of that summer, Reef and Cyprian were out in search of the elusive "Austrian minefield."
When they got moving again, Reef was delighted how easily this baby took to being out on the road.
Up in the Balkan Range one day for the first time, defying the predators above, they heard birdsong, some kind of Bulgarian thrush, singing in modal scales, attentive to pitch, often for minutes at a time.
The convent belonged to a sect descended from ancient Bogomils who did not embrace the Roman Church in 1650 with most of the other Pavlikeni but chose instead to go underground.
With no resources to express his feelings to Cyprian, Reef settled for practical planning.
Cyprian came with them as far as the river.
For days Reef and Yashmeen each latched into a separate sorrow, couldn't even talk about it.
They made their way up off the Plain of Thrace, into the Rhodopes and then the Pirin range, over toward Macedonia.
The fighting had been moving obliquely away from them, from Philippopolis, toward the Turkish border and Adrianople.
According to rumor the Serbians had defeated the Turks at Kumanovo, but had been slow in following up their advantage.
"There's fighting out ahead of us now, so best we step careful," Reef reported.
One morning at first light they awoke into a firefight the likes of which few had ever encountered and would never have expected in the antiquated world of bolt-action weaponry.
The winter coming down. The war unpredictably everywhere.
They looked across the lake, up at the black peaks, already with some snow on them.
Before setting off down the shore of the lake, as if they werre only out here on holiday, they bought postal cards illustrated with scenes of the War, and stamps each printed in two or three languages, not to mention Turkish and Cyrillic alphabets, with provisional overprints in these as well as Roman face.
Reef had once been notorious all over Colorado as the most luckless fisherman west of the Great Divide, but this trip he'd brought along a fishhook all the way from Yz-les-Bains, which he began now to drop and somehow, contrary to all expectation, manage every other day or so to pull out some kind of trout from ome of the rivers.
Once through Gjirokastra, they began the long switchback out of the mountains and down to the Adriatic Sea-mingling part of the way with Turks still headed south.
They found Reef in a taverna, down by the harbor in Garitsa.
By the time they agreed to part, Stray and Ewball had forgotten why they ran off in the first place.
Despite warnings from the U.S. State Department to all gringos to get their backsides across the border immediately, Frank stayed in Chihuahua.
Frank noticed how immoderately, and at what length, El Espinero had laughed when he'd heard Frank was headed down to Jímenez.
One prong of the government attack was headed straight up the Mexican Railway.
In the Capital, at a dark, out-of-the-way restaurant near the train station, Frank ran into Günther von Quassel, whom he hadn't seen since Tampico.
They ate in a dining-room lit from above through an ancient sky-light of wrought-iron trusswork and weathered panes.
For this particular stretch of Pacific slope, Tapachula was town-you wanted to relax or raise hell of both at the same time, you went in to Tapachula.
Frank was in a bar on Seventeenth Street one night when who should he run into but Dr. Willis Turnstone, onetime disappointed beau of Frank's sister Lake, just off his night shift in the hospital nearby.
Doc Turnstone's office was a block and a half from Mercy Hospital, and three flights up.
They met up, as arranged, in Pagosa Springs,
Scarsdale Vibe was addressing the Las Animas-Huerfano Delegation of the Industrial Defense Alliance (L.A.H.D.I.D.A.) gathered in the casino of an exclusive hot-springs resort up near the Continental Divide.
After dropping the shipment off at Walsenburg, Frank Ewball rode down to Trinidad for a look.
In Trinidad Frank noticed a figure out on the porch of the Columbian Hotel, big, unsmiling, sun-darkened and slouched against the siding watching the traffic in the street with a look of unreachable contempt.
There were always rooms in these shootout resorts, small and spare, side rooms, anterooms for their mortal business, wheere members of the troupe might go to get ready-greenrooms without lines to remember, chapels without God...
Two facing rows of storefronts receded steeply down the packed-earth street.
"Just too embarrassing," muttered Ewball.
Stray had been in Trinidad for a while before she'd heard about the tent colony at Ludlow.
Stray found the Colony had maybe 150 tents and nine hundres people living in them, mostly families, except for bachelor neigborhoods like the Greeks, who tended to keep to themselves, and their own language.
Company searchlights set up on towers began sweeping the tents all night long.
Frank was in Aguilar, on the rail line between Walsenburg and Trinidad, in the 29 Luglio Saloon-named for the date back in 1900 when an Anarchist named Bresci assassinated King Umberto of Italy-to see about a perhaps imaginary machine gun, said to be an air-cooled Benet-Mercier, still in shipping case, fallen somehow off a supply wagon in Pueblo.
They took shelter with hundreds of others, at least for a few minutes, in the wide arroyo north of town, waiting for some letup in the shooting to get someplace safe.
That summer had been memorable for its high temperatures.
It was like their Harmonica Marching Band days all over again.
The two airships reached Geneva in convoy.
One morning in Geneva, out in the street, Padzhitnoff, after a long night in the taverns down by the riverside quays, and Randolph, a resolutely early riser in search of a brioche and cup of coffee, happened to cross paths.
Once hostilities were over, contract offers, which had previously so eluded the boys began to pour in.
Crossing the Rockies, they found aloft an invisible repetition of the material terrain beneath them.
While crossing the Continent the boys had expressed wonder at how much more infected with light the night-time terrains passing below had become-more than anyone could ever remember, as isolated lanterns and skeins of gas-light had given way to electric street-lighting, as if advanced parties of the working-day were progressively invading and settling the unarmed hinterlands of night.
As it turned out, the check sent by the lawyers bounced and their mailing address, upon investigation, did not exist.
Inside the shop, Chick stared in amazement.
Lew's offices in L.A. were in one of those swank new buildings going up along Braodway, with elevators and electricity throughout, looking into a vast nterior court below a domed skylight which admitted blues and golds somehow more intense than the desert-bleached ones you usually saw around town.
"It seems to be some sort of Negro," announced Thetis.
It was in the days just before the earthquake, and Santa Barbara still reflected a lot less light than it was about to under the stucco-and-beam philosophy of the rebuilding to follow.
Back at the office, Lew found Thetis in a dither.
Merle had been out here since before the War, and realized at some point that he'd been slowly mutating into a hyprid citrus with no commercial value.
Cici became Merle's favorite of all the kids, though over the years he tried to keep his visits to a considerate level.
For such a calm-looking fellow, Merle sure took some nervous precautions,
"And not only can we unfold the future history of these subjects," "Roswell was saying, "we can also reverse the process, to look into other pasts."
It was late afternoon by the time Lew motored over to the address Emilio had given him.
All he'd dropped in for really was a beer and a quick shave, and soon enough he was off again,
Lake has dreamed more than once of a journey north, always to the same subarctic city and a chill eternal rain.
A day or two later, Lew went up to Carefree Court .
The next time Lew went out to see Merle at the beach, he brought a photograph of Troth, an old silver-gelatin studio portrait.
And at the end of the working day, when all sources of light seemed to have withdrawn as far as they were going to, making shadows as long as they would be and Roswell was off to a circuit of freandly speakeasies, as was his habit most every night, Merle cranked up the Integroscope one more time and took one of the photos he'd kept of Dally, taken when she was about twelve years old, back at Little Hellkite in the San Juans, standing out by the pipeline in the snow, not just smiling for the camera but laughing out loud at something Merle had since tried to remember but couldn't.