ЭЛЕКТРОННАЯ БИБЛИОТЕКА КОАПП
и др. литературы.
THE CITY OF THE DANCING LIGHTS REPORT ON THE ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS by Frank Roger
It has been an exceptionally good year, but don't we say
that every time as we return from the vari©colored, multi©layered
cross©cultural extravaganza the Annual Festival of the Arts has
become? Once again we have seen exciting new trends, invigorating
new approaches, even stunning new art forms. Minimalist offerings
(such as Akira Yamamoto's "Smallest Desert in the Known
Universe", comprised of four minute grains of sand and only
visible through a microscope) were counterbalanced with
productions of mega©proportions too large to fit into the
Festival Center (such as the brilliantly conceived and dazzlingly
choreographed ballet of blizzards and hail©storms and tropical
rain©showers created by Roberta N'komo, images of which were
shown in the Center's special theater).
As was generally expected, the decline of Virtual Reality
art continued. This art form may well be on its way toward total
obsolescence, and most artists working in this area until recent
years seem to have channeled their artistic ambitions into other
forms of expression. Melinda DaSilva is a case in point. She used
to be Brazil's most original and prolific VR artist, flooding the
market with high©intensity, gut©wrenching, skull©splitting VR
art. "It's dead," she told me at one of the Festival's countless
parties, "forget all that old stuff of mine. I've entered a new
phase in my career, and I refuse to look back. I'm into sculpting
emotions now." Some of her recent work was demonstrated at the
Festival, and I must say it's quite gripping stuff. Her "emotionЄsculptures" are painstakingly concocted chemical substances,
injected into the bloodstream, allowing the user (or "beholder",
as Melinda puts it) to experience a head©spinning blend of
emotions. The impact on one's mind and soul can be ecstatic,
devastating or even permanently mind©altering. Two fellow
journalists literally succumbed to her art, and Melinda referred
to their deaths as "a fitting tribute to my artistic rebirth, a
richly symbolic act in praise of my new approach, rising phoenixЄlike from the ashes of my former way of self©expression."
As one art form is disappearing into oblivion, another seems
to be enjoying an unexpected revival. One of the most remarkable
new trends, indeed, is the surprising resurgence of an art form
considered dead and buried : literature. Prose printed on oldЄfashioned paper and assembled into books, to be read by turning
page after page by hand. The most prominent flag©carrier of this
revivalist movement, George MacLannan, conceded to me during his
"Publisher's Party" (another defunct tradition of bygone days
brought back to life) that there is no true audience for this
type of art anymore, as there are no traditional "readers" left.
"But this book of mine," he explained, "must be viewed as a
symbolical statement rather than some artsy mannerist joke. Art
has been lifted from its cultural niche and transferred to the
world of commerce. All too often these days art is being
consumed, like any other type of product. I wanted my book to tie
in with this deplorable situation, wanted it to be used by
consumers rather than purchased by collectors or "read", so the
book was given an expiry date. After this date the printed text
begins to fade away and the book slowly decomposes into dust.
This way I present art as an ephemeral consumerist need. Think
about it. But above all, enjoy the party!"
The creations of the twin brothers Jorge and Luis Casares y
Ramirez have become a mainstay of the Festival, and once again
both of them were represented with recent works.
Jorge Casares y Ramirez, the oldest by three seconds (as he
keeps repeating in every press conference), had chosen his "Human
Race Against Time" for this year's edition, a remarkable blend of
sports and modern ballet the artist himself labels "chronoЄchoreography". It consists of twenty©four men (each representing
an hour of the day) running an eight©shaped circuit (representing
the infinity of time) continuously, with interruptions for sleep
and meals only. At least sixteen of them (representing the
average person's regular active hours) are running together at
all times. These twenty©four actors (performers? participants?)
have signed very unusual contracts, to say the least. They are
contractually bound to run the circuit until they wear out, grow
ill or become too old, in which case their sons or grandsons are
to take their place. The contract extends to twenty©four
generations, so that this piece of art is destined to last for a
considerable length of time. The twenty©four families were picked
from different races and colors, in an effort to represent
mankind in all its diversity. The runners, and their future
generations, are personal property of the artist, who literally
"bought" them. "We all could use the money we were paid," one of
the runners told me in a short interview I managed to arrange
during one of his breaks. "Most of us come from poor countries,
and we all had run up insurmountable debts that we never could
have paid off. Jorge's contract relieves us from all that,
meaning he'll cover our debts in return for this job and lifeЄlong support of us and our families. You could say it was the
only way out for us. This was an offer we simply couldn't refuse.
It's hard work and we're like tied up forever, but at least we've
left the slums behind and lives without hope. We've got financial
security now. And our wives and kids are fed." It appears these
people, perhaps understandably, fail to see themselves as an
integral part of an important work of art which is a brilliantly
spot©on commentary on the human condition in these ultra©hectic
times, marking the end of a turbulent period in mankind's history
as well as the dawning of a new era, opening up haunting vistas
and yielding chilling intimations about what the future has in
store for us.
Jorge's younger brother Luis never failed to surprise
critics and audiences with his architectural collages, and this
year's entry of his ("The Rise and Fall of Mankind") is no
exception. If anything his scope has become more encompassing,
his vision more awe©inspiring, his conceptualization more boldly
daring. Try to picture before your mind's eye an intricately
conceived and constructed mosaic of snapshots of world history.
The gates of Santiago de Compostella's cathedral swing wide open
to reveal a starving Third World child, its hand eagerly reaching
out, its swollen belly and huge staring eyes caught in a
blindingly white spotlight. The background darkens, as all at
once a mushroom©shaped cloud billows up, and both the cathedral
and the child are blown to smithereens. As the radioactive dust
settles, a radiation©scarred family becomes dimly visible,
scurrying among the rubble, desperately eking out a miserable
existence, clinging to lives barely worth living. The gray sky
turns blue and then black, craters appear in the barren ground,
the blue disc of the earth winks into existence, pouring vivid
light onto what has now become the lunar landscape, and two
astronauts come jumping into view. One of them is about to plant
the American flag he is clutching, claiming the moon for his
country, an act of patriotism carried out many miles away from
the nation that gave rise to and nurtured those feelings. A
guerrilla fighter in a tattered green uniform darts from behind a
rock and fires at one of the astronauts. The victim's spacesuit
is punctured, the air escapes and as decompression follows the
man dies in a hideous shower of blood and bones. More soldiers in
a variety of uniforms appear from all around and sheer carnage
ensues, transforming the moonscape into a corpse©strewn
battlefield. The sky turns blue again, sunlight floods the scene,
signalling that we're back on earth. From the mound of dead
bodies a slender green stem arises, and in one gracious movement
a bright©red rose springs into full bloom, majestically
dominating the landscape. Then its color slowly fades as the rose
metamorphoses into a poppy, which quickly crumbles into dust. The
dust actually turns out to be opium, and drug©users come rushing
towards it, eager to grab handfuls of their deadly wonder©stuff.
One by one the junkies drop to the ground, lifeless, as the scene
around them changes into the smoldering, lava©covered ruins of
Pompeii. A few more transformations occur in rapid succession :
the barracks of Auschwitz appear for a few seconds, to be
replaced by the library of Alexandria, being set on fire by
religious fanatics, the Taj Mahal, the Hollywood film studios,
ransacked by raging hordes of moral purists, and the Vatican,
bombed during the Great Religious Wars of the New Millennium.
From the smoking debris the cathedral of Santiago rises
triumphantly, and the whole cycle starts all over again.
This mind©boggling, senses©shattering kaleidoscope is
produced in a fascinating way : partly it is made with authentic,
physical props, combined with a variety of holograms, and
complemented by a well©balanced mixture of hallucinogenic
chemicals pumped into the air of the presentation hall. As the
artist considers the exact composition of his work, i.e. which
elements are to be attributed to holograms, hallucinogenic
chemicals or physical objects, to be a professional secret, we
can only contemplate it and marvel at its deeply resounding,
richly©textured meaning, and try to grasp its myriad allusions
and connotations and hidden meanings. This work, for sure, will
allow for as many interpretations as there will be viewers.
As usual the organising committee selected a very special
work of art for the crowning event of the Festival's closing
ceremony. Once again they stuck to tradition and kept the exact
nature of this piбЉбce de rб‚бsistance secret until its presentation.
To our surprise we were asked to board a zeppelin, and once
aboard we were told we would be presented with Michael d'Angelo's
newest creation, "The City Of The Dancing Lights", while hovering
over San Francisco. D'Angelo is well©known for his extravagant
art, and the mere fact that his latest effort could not be
presented at the Festival Center itself left us intrigued and
expecting something truly spectacular.
The sun was setting as we arrived in San Francisco, tinting
the clouds coming in from the ocean orange and copper, colors
constantly changing hue as nightfall approached, as if nature's
forces had decided to enrich the Festival with their own artistic
endeavors, in competition with the puny humans struggling with
their comparatively primitive material. As the zeppelin hung
motionless over Union Square, we were provided with a splendid
view of the city sprawling beneath our feet, a tapestry of lights
fighting back the darkness coming from above. At our left we
could see the Golden Gate Bridge, at our right the Oakland Bay
Bridge, both glimmering with pinpoints of light, the heavy
traffic contributing a patchwork of red and white lights
streaking past to the overall picture. The city's major hotels,
towering light©encrusted columns, rose up toward us as if eager
to grab us and pull us down. Then the Festival committee's
chairman finally decided to address us.
"We hope that you have enjoyed what you have witnessed so
far," he said, "and we know for a fact that all that will pale
into insignificance next to what you are about to experience.
D'Angelo is not simply offering a major contribution to modern
art here. He is modern art. "The City Of The Dancing Lights" will
set new standards. Everything that follows will be judged against
it for years to come. You who are about to behold this
masterpiece cannot possibly realize how privileged you are in
having been selected. In only a few moments everything will be
disclosed to you. Be prepared for the truly sensational." He
gestured, and the lights were dimmed. "I hope to see you all
again at next year's Festival," he concluded.
We all looked down at the by now night©enshrouded city
beneath us. For a moment nothing happened. Silence hung heavily
among us. Only our agitated breathing could be heard. Then
d'Angelo's creation was finally unveiled, step by carefully
measured step. Understanding dawned. We peered outside, afraid to
miss the smallest of details. A new chapter in the history of art
was being written in our very presence.
It began with small tremors, sending faint ripples across
the cityscape. It appeared as if this modest overture to the
undoubtedly grand proceedings went unnoticed by the city's
unsuspecting population. Not one single light winked out of
existence. Not one car seemed to do so much as slow down. People
didn't yet realize they were to participate in a major work of
art. The second set of tremors was more powerful, without
therefore causing any serious damage. Only this time there were
some visually attractive reactions. On the two bridges, and in
various parts of downtown San Francisco, a large number of
drivers slowed down or stopped, resulting in a bonfire of bright
red braking lights flaring up. As a number of lights, scattered
all over the city, went out, an equal number were switched on,
perhaps by people already asleep who were now rising from their
slumber, wondering what was going on, or, perhaps more likely, as
emergency back©up systems were activated.
At that point d'Angelo's carefully orchestrated choreography
of explosives embedded in key locations under the city being
detonated slipped into full gear. Our appetite had been
sufficiently whetted. The main course was about to be served.
After a minute©long interlude, which seemed to last hours to us
sensation©starved spectators, the first serious quake shook the
city on its foundations. Thrilled and breathless with
anticipation, we watched as several segments of the Oakland Bay
Bridge collapsed, crushing a number of cars in the process, and
some shabbier buildings could be seen to topple. Now the city
came truly alive. Panic finally reared its ugly head. In some
districts the lights went out, whereas in others small explosions
occurred and buildings erupted into flames, illuminating the
areas of interest. All traffic came to a standstill. Screaming
and yelling crowds slowly started to fill the streets and
The dust had barely settled as three short but powerful
quakes hit the city in rapid succession. The screams of the
crowds thronging the streets, desperately looking for a shelter
from the seismic onslaught, were drowned by the rumblings of
explosions and collapsing houses. Virtually all artificial
lighting had disappeared from view now, but the rapidly
increasing number of fires provided sufficient illumination for
us to follow how the situation was evolving. The thought crossed
my mind that this replacement of the artificial by the natural
might symbolize the return to a more primitive state in mankind's
evolution, expressing perhaps d'Angelo's cyclical view of
history. The crazed hordes clogging the streets in a frenzy of
panic©ridden despair could then be viewed as man's return to
barbarism, accompanying or possibly mirroring the return to the
forefront of nature's forces. D'Angelo had pressed the rewind
button of mankind's history, making the city and its inhabitants
revert to their earlier stages.
A volley of "oohs" and "aahs" went up all around me as,
directly beneath our feet, Macy's crumbled into ruins. Somewhat
further down, several buildings along Market Street had also
succumbed to the quakes. Dust was billowing up, partly obscuring
the orange and red flames increasing in size and numbers
everywhere. Ironically enough, the tall columns of the major
hotels and the Financial district's skyscrapers behind us were
still standing. Was this part of d'Angelo's scheme? Was he trying
to indicate that ultimately technology would provide the key to
survival, that man, if only he chose the right way, could emerge
victorious from this battle? In a certain sense, this would echo
interpretations given by knowledgeable critics to other recent
works by the same artist, but then again d'Angelo has been known
to veer off in unexpected directions on more than one occasion,
intentionally misleading critics and audiences alike, and
obsession, dominating my every move, my every thought. However, I
knew very well I could only turn this obsessive desire into hard
reality if I was granted another holiday. I would have to bide my
time until that moment.
And so I did. As time went by, my obsession took on
pathological proportions. My work suffered from it. I could
barely think rationally, could scarcely function normally.
When I was finally granted some days off, I welcomed them as
a gift from heaven. I would at last be able to devote my time
exclusively to my obsessive love for Conchita.
I hurried to the RelaxaTravel agency where I had booked my
first trip, leafed frantically through their brochures, but to my
utter dismay I found no reference to La Isla de San Felipe.
Fighting off the feeling of oncoming doom, I turned to the man
sitting behind the desk (too bad the gorgeous blonde wasn't
working today © although she was no match for Conchita anyway)
and told him my problem.
"I'd like to book a trip to La Isla de San Felipe," I said.
"The Tropicana Hotel. I've been there a few months ago and I'm
aching to get back. I can't seem to find it in this brochure,
"Let me see," the man said. "These are our Fall and Winter
holidays. They're slightly different from the Summer selections.
When did you book that earlier trip of yours? Did you book it
through us? And what was your name again? Just a moment, please."
The man leafed through some papers, consulted his computer
database, then turned to face me again.
"I'm afraid I can't seem to find a reference to either this
San Felipe island or your earlier booking, mr. Chapman. Of course
we don't keep our records indefinitely, and we may choose to
alter our selections for a variety of reasons. If a certain hotel
or island or region is booked by only a handful of customers,
we're likely to drop it from our roster. If we've had problems
with a particular hotel on more than one occasion, we'll be
tempted to discontinue our©©"
"I understand all that," I interrupted him angrily, feeling
anger and frustration welling up. I hadn't come here to discuss
the intricacies of company policy. "Look. Even if San Felipe is
no longer featured in your current brochure, you must at least
remember its name, right?"
"I'm new here, mr. Chapman. I'm afraid I'm not familiar with
I sighed, fighting down an urge to punch this punk in the
nose. "When I came to book this earlier trip, I was served by a
blonde woman. Do you by any chance happen to know her?"
"Oh, yes," the man said, nodding. "That must have been miss
Lifeson. She no longer works here. She left soon after I got this
job." There was silence for a few moments. Then the man spread
his hands wide, and said apologetically, "I'm afraid I can't
help you, mr. Chapman."
"No, I don't think you can," I admitted, and left the
RelaxaTravel office. I tried all the other travel agencies in
town, but nobody seemed to have heard of La Isla de San Felipe or
the Cadena Turquesa Archipelago for that matter. Needless to say,
I was getting desperate.
In a last©ditch effort to find a way to get back to Conchita
I went to Westport's public library, and consulted maps, atlasses
and encyclopedias. I didn't find as much as one single reference
to La Isla de San Felipe. The name was not featured in any
index. I could not locate the island or the archipelago it was
part of on any map, although I must admit there seemed to be no
really detailed maps of the Caribbean Sea and its plethora of
archipelagoes, islands and islets. Maybe San Felipe was simply
too small, too unimportant, too insignificant to be featured in
general reference works. Maybe there was a very simple
explanation for all this. There probably was no reason to erupt
into a bout of hysteria or to give in to sheer madness.
There was no reason to become paranoid, I kept telling
myself. Nobody had said that
THE KILLER CLAUSE
by Frank Roger
"This had better be of tremendous importance," Rough Diamond
said to the CEO of his record company, facing him sternly from
behind the impressive mahogany desk. In thought, he added, I can
imagine a lot of things infinitely more fun than sitting here in
your ultra©mega©posh office and listening to you. For instance,
pal, I could be devoting my attention exclusively to the two
incredibly well©shaped chicks in my hotel room who were so
determined to generously share their gorgeous shapes with me.
Hungry lips, fluttering eyelashes, heaving bosoms... and those
would merely be the starters. Even simple post©gig parties would
be more fun than sitting here, or signing autographs to starЄstricken fans, or...
"I can see you're lost in thought," the man in the threeЄpiece suit said. "Let me convince you that there were pertinent
reasons for me to arrange this meeting."
Rough Diamond nodded. He would listen to what the man had to
say and then get back to business in his hotel room.
"I'm not sure if you're aware of clause 17 of your contract.
I'd like to know about the status of your preparations, if any,
regarding this matter."
"I'm not sure what exactly you're talking about," Rough
Diamond said. Contracts? Clauses? He was a rock star, dammit, not
some accountant fooling around with stacks of paperwork. He was
happy to deal with the music and the money and the glorious
chicks coming his way, and he gladly left the business side of
things to the business types.
The business type facing him closed his eyes for a second,
sighed with resignation, and leaned back in his chair. "I can
see," he continued, "that a little explanation is in order here."
"Keep it short and snappy," Diamond retorted. "I've got
urgent matters to attend to in my hotel. Those poor chicks must
be withering away in my absence."
"Please, Mr. Diamond, take the issue at hand seriously. As
you don't seem to know, the band you're fronting has reached a
stage in its career where clause 17 of your contract comes into
"And what is this stage we have reached?"
"Our statistical data indicate that CD and concert ticket
sales are beginning to decrease. This is clearly the start of a
downhill slide in the band's career. It has happened many times,
with many bands, and thorough analysis of this phenomenon has
enabled us to deal with this problem in a satisfactory way. That
is exactly what clause 17 of your contract is all about. A
guaranteed boost of the band's career, a method by which we turn
this downhill trend into an uphill one."
"Aw, come on, boss. We're still doing well. There's no
reason to be worried."
"We're dealing with hard facts here, Diamond. This is the
beginning of the long way down, unless we take drastic measures.
The statistics don't lie."
"I don't care about statistics."
"But the statistics care about you. You can't ignore the
evidence. And don't forget that you're bound by your contract."
"Alright, spill me the news. What am I supposed to do?"
"It has been proven that, at the stage your band has now
reached, a spectacular suicide of the band's frontman will
catapult the band into the top league. Record sales will
skyrocket to unprecedented levels. There will be tribute tours
and events, massive press coverage, a full©fledged re©release
plan and a worlwide advertising campaign. It's either that or
quickly going down the drain. As you can understand, we prefer
the first option."
"You're out of your mind."
"I can assure you that I'm not. And let me remind you that
you signed the contract. By doing that, you agreed to all the
terms therein, including, of course, clause 17."
There was silence for a few moments. Of course he hadn't
bothered to read the contract properly. Anyway the legalese the
contract was written in was totally beyond him. No doubt the guy
was serious. They were after all only out to make a buck. And
they were determined to achieve that goal by whatever means
necessary. Such as stipulating in his contract that...
"Wait a minute," he said. "What if I refuse to go in a
colorful big bang?"
"I'm afraid you can't," the well©groomed business type with
the expressionless face said. "You're bound by your contract.
That same contract allows us to stage your suicide if you fail to
fulfill your obligations yourself."
Bastards, he thought. You filthy sons©of©bitches. They had
thought of everything. Well, maybe not quite everything...
"I have a plan," he announced, "but I'm not sure if it's
spectacular enough for your purposes."
His opponent raised his eyebrows. "Well, let me see. I'll
let you know my thoughts."
Rough Diamond never found out what his boss's thoughts were
about his improvised©on©the©spot suicide plan. The man merely
yelled and screamed while Diamond pulled him toward the window of
his office on the forty©second floor of the Nakashita Company
headquarters building, pushed him through it and took him along
all the way down to the street. When they arrived there, the man
was no longer in shape to express his thoughts.
THE DAY THEY CAME BACK
by Frank Roger
"Good evening. I'm Susan Bayley. Could I speak to Mr.
"I'm sorry," the middle©aged woman who had opened the door
said after a moment's hesitation, eyeing her warily. "I'm afraid
my husband is very busy right now and I don't think he can see
"Please, Mrs. Bruford, this is really very important." She
smiled her most imploring smile, and noticed to her relief that
it proved effective once again. The door wasn't slammed shut in
her face. Mr. Bruford wasn't so busy after all, she thought as
she was ushered in.
Bruce Bruford had at first looked surprised and mildly
annoyed as they were introduced to each other, but he quickly
appeared to be willing to talk about his discovery. This might
well turn out to be a fruitful encounter. If only they were all
like this, Susan thought, as Bruford told her to follow him into
his "office" as he chose to label the patio at the back of the
house. The place had the right degree of chaos to be called
"So you're a freelance reporter," Bruford said as they had
taken position in a pair of rickety chairs. "You're not the first
one to present yourself here. And I must say I wasn't too happy
with the others. They usually came unannounced, walked all over
me and basically just invaded my privacy."
"I understand," Susan said. "My apologies for coming
unannounced myself too. I hope I won't take up too much of your
precious time. I suppose you already know why I came here."
"I think I do. It's those funny fish I've seen. How did you
"I spotted this." From her pocket she produced a newspaper
clipping, unfolded it, handed it to him.
"Oh, yes," he said. "I should have known."
"It says here in this piece that you took some pictures of
the creatures you saw. It's also mentioned that the creatures
"I never said that. The guy who wrote that piece assumed
they were trilobites from the description I gave him. I myself
don't know an awful lot about those extinct animals."
"I understand. Could I see the pictures you've taken?"
"Well, I guess there's no harm in that." Not without some
difficulty Bruford rose to his feet and rummaged among a stack of
papers and files on a nearby table. He returned with a manilla
envelope which he handed her, nodding by way of encouragement to
take a look at the pictures.
What she saw didn't tell her much. The six pictures showed a
pond, viewed from different angles, and in the water vague shapes
could be seen. It was impossible to determine what the shapes
were. They could have been any type of ordinary fish or even
debris floating underwater. The pictures were clearly taken by an
amateur. This was another case without any hard evidence to back
up the conclusions reached by the newspaperman © there was no way
you could consider Bruford's descriptions and impressions as
having any scientific value. There was only one possibility left
to find out if she was onto something here. She would have to go
and look for herself, hoping there would still be anything that
provided some evidence towards a 'confirmed reemergence' as it
was officially referred to.
"Well?" Bruford asked, as she had been silently studying the
pictures for longer than his patience could hold.
"I'm afraid these aren't totally convincing," she answered.
"Would it be possible to go and take a look where you've taken
these pictures? Could you show me around?"
Bruford thought for a moment, ran his hand through his hair,
and finally said, "I suppose I can do that. But not tonight. I
don't like the idea of going out there this late. It'll be
growing dark soon anyway. There wouldn't be a lot to see."
"I understand. What about tomorrow?"
"That should be fine. Can you be here tomorrow, say around
two o'clock in the afternoon?"
"Well then." Bruford seemed somehow relieved. Some of the
tiredness had left his features and he sat back comfortably. One
moment she had thought he was about to ask her to leave, but
apparently he felt like talking some more. She must have made a
better impression on him than the ones who'd come before her. "I
take it these extinct animals mean something special to you. Are
you always after them?"
"As a matter of fact I am," she admitted. "They're a hot
topic, of course. Lots of papers and magazines pay good money for
serious reports on these reemergences. Or for less serious
reports, for that matter. Not everybody's interested in
scientifically correct coverage of this phenomenon."
"What do you mean?"
"Some folks simply want to cash in on it, earn a quick buck.
They'll print anything that's sensational enough to shift more
copies of what they're putting out."
"I see. I guess you don't work for those magazines?"
"Not really. I don't think they would show a lot of interest
in a story about trilobites. What they're going for is the kind
of thing that tickles people's imagination. They want dinosaurs
and mammoths and sabertooth tigers to reemerge. The odd
pterodactyl might be considered. Anything less grandiose won't do
© even if it happens to be a confirmed reemergence, complete with
solid evidence to back the story. Of course most extinct species
of animals and especially plants are totally unknown to the
public at large. Most people wouldn't recognize a reemerged
extinct animal if they fell over one. I met this guy once who had
discovered a platypus and was convinced this definitely was
another reemergence. By the way, did you immediately recognize
the trilobites for what they were, assuming that's what they were
"No, I didn't." Bruford shook his head. "I just thought they
were funny©looking fish. I hadn't seen anything like them around
here. I happened to have my camera with me, so I took some
pictures. That's about it. Then the local paper here did the
piece that you just showed me."
"You must have come across reports on these reemergences."
"Oh, I sure did. But to me they were just wild stories. Too
far out to be taken seriously. I never paid much attention to
them. Maybe after what I've seen now and what with you guys
turning up here one after another I'll take a different attitude
towards them." Bruford cast down his gaze, seemed lost in thought
for a moment.
A silence was building up, and Susan grabbed the opportunity
to tell him she had taken up enough of his time by now and
tomorrow they would no doubt have the chance to discuss all these
matters in more detail. Bruford nodded approvingly, and showed
her out, politely telling her how much he was looking forward to
showing her around tomorrow.