18 December 2006

Ranger - Through the lens

What a strange turn we have taken. We continue towards Devil’s Island. Indications so far are good that we have picked up a trail. Unfortunately, the jungle has collected its toll. Heath and Wilson now fight malaria.

There is no civilization within a 80 kilometers of our current position and so we have had some time to speak freely. Guiana is an inhuman place indeed. And our communication itself is bad air. I would liken it to Conrad, but I cannot disabuse myself of the notion that it is we who have brought evil to this place and not the converse. Wilson, perhaps affected by his malaria, questions me – “Is it possible we have escaped from the dark canopy of the jungle and found only more darkness?” I think our night vision supports his conclusion.

Every night at dusk we enter our shadow world, gathering the information we can and destroying the rest on the edge of a machete. Every hour is filled with long shadows and long knives. Thoughts erupt like muzzle flashes, how do we gain knowledge when we have come to kill rather than ensnare? Though I recognize that men like Devenuelle, Deseilligny, and Mercerier cannot be left alive long enough to bite down hard on the cyanide capsules I have no doubt they carry. In the case of Devenuelle, as you know, I hope the last thing he remembers was your face. Standing next to his assassin, the sand beginning to sting his eyes, the warmth of his essence running down his chest and out of his extremities with not even the desert sun able to restore it. And that he choked on that memory.

We brush past leaves, past signs of archaic encampments and I find my mind drifting back to training in Yellowknife. And most unusual of all, longing for a dime store Scotch Egg. Hope things are well with both of you. Once we have cleared here, we will conduct our own investigation of the cold trail in Oaxaca.

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