We Dine With Cannibals

We Dine With Cannibals by C. Alexander London Page A

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Authors: C. Alexander London
answer before he turned to leave. Just before he walked out, he stopped in the doorway.
    â€œOne more thing.” He turned to Oliver. “My lizard, please.”
    Oliver looked at Beverly and then looked at Sir Edmund. He thought about how she had saved him from the bat, and shared a snack cake with him, and how she had jumped on Greg Angstura’s face. He was about to protest when he remembered she was a lizard. And he didn’t like lizards. He went over to the easy chair she had occupied and picked her up.
    â€œLater, Beverly,” he said.
    She hissed, but Oliver didn’t think she meant itto be mean. Sir Edmund tucked her under his arm and marched out, the servants lugging his bags behind him. He slammed the door as he left.
    â€œOuch!” they heard him yell as the moon rock fell off its shelf for the second time that day.
    Oliver and Celia saw their father smirk.
    Across the street, from a high balcony, a woman in black held a telescope and watched through the apartment window. She chewed on a jade toothpick as she read their lips and made out every word the Navels and their guest said. As Sir Edmund stormed out of the apartment, the notorious grave robber Janice McDermott chuckled. Everything was falling into place.
    â€œEl Dorado,” she said to herself. She wrote the word
in her notebook, followed by three exclamation points.
    Revenge was so close she could taste it.


    BENJAMIN CONSTANT had never seen anything like this expedition before. They arrived on two single-engine seaplanes. One was for people and one was for the dozens of bags, boxes, trunks, and pieces of equipment that they brought with them. There was a trunk filled with different outfits for Sir Edmund and a trunk filled with Corey Brandt’s hair products.
    Oliver and Celia had just a backpack that they shared between them. They liked to travel light. Even better would be not to travel at all.
    Before you grow concerned that there is yet another disreputable character involving himself in the trials and tribulations of Oliver and Celia Navel, we should observe that Benjamin Constantis not a man but the name of a sleepy logging town on the southern bank of the Amazon River. There have been several men in history called Benjamin Constant, but they are about as well known as the town in the Amazon that bears their name. Visitors rarely arrive and when they do, they do not stay long.
    So it came as quite a shock to the residents of Benjamin Constant when two seaplanes buzzed overhead and turned in a tight swirl to land in the river. It came as even more of a shock when a handsome teenager with a handheld video camera and perfect hair leaped from the airplane and swam, fully clothed, to the shore. He climbed out, soaked in the waters of the Amazon River, and squatted on the ground. He pointed the camera at himself and looked dramatically into the lens.
    â€œWe have survived a perilous journey through wind and rain, across the great expanse of South America,” Corey Brandt told the camera. “We’ve arrived at this isolated town at the very end of civilization. From the sky, all we could see in any direction was the great Amazon River snaking through the thick green canopy of the rain forest, which has claimed the lives of countless explorersbefore me. I hope that I, Corey Brandt, will not be its next victim.”
    A crowd of townspeople gathered. Children hid behind their parents and peered out from between their legs. Fishermen hauled in their nets and stood to watch. Some of the burly loggers laughed and whispered crude comments about the young man.
    He furrowed his eyebrows in a look of serious concern and then gave the camera a smirk and a wink. Several village girls would later recall feeling weak in the knees for reasons they could not explain. A few of the burly loggers too. It was a heck of a smile.
    â€œCut!” Corey Brandt said and dropped the camera back

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