"A white wiggle jig," said Roy. "And a hermit crab."
There was a ceremonial weighing-in on a pair of rusty scales someone found in the storeroom. Fifty pounds, said the scales. Obviously the scales were off. Roy went over and shook them, but the indicator stayed where it was. Still, the camp manager was ecstatic. The tarpon was the largest fish that had been caught there, which explains why Antonio had cleverly managed to misunderstand Roy's instructions to release it unharmed. "Tonight comes the gobernador of the province to visit us," the manager burbled. "He will be delighted to see this. Now he will stop those men coming from M�rida and dynamiting the fish."
Neither Art nor I dawdle around when there is a fresh alibi in sight.
"Flats been bombed, hey?" he said.
"No wonder the permit spook so easily," I supported him.
"Permanently in trauma," he said. "Roy must have hit on two just arrived from the open sea."
That night, while the governor, his aides and their ladies stood laughing gaily at the bar, we sat drinking again. "Might just stay on for another few days," Roy was saying. Bob, though still fishless, thought he might also. At least he'd actually seen a permit turn and pick up a crab. It was always possible that one would do the same for him.
Art gloomily swirled the ice in his glass. "Let's have some excitement," I said. "All we have to do is shout, 'Death to the gobernador!' " A very tiny Mexican, whose main function, it seemed, was to change our ashtray as soon as a single butt rested in it, and who was now engaged in this very task, looked up sharply. He was about 14 years old, I reckoned him, and everybody called him Mini.
"Don't stir it up," Art told me. At the same time, though, he was looking at Mini with a new interest.
"Remember that old Mayan temple we saw?" he said. I caught his drift instantly. The long flight of stone steps. The flat altar at the top.