had sailed the Caribbean under the Jolly Roger.
But that, of course, is pure fantasy--the Caribbean doesn't exist, no
desperate buccaneers sail it, no corvette ever chases them, no puffs of
cannon-smoke ever roll across the waves. Pure invention. Look at that
scraggy tree, look at the iron railings, the boulevard. . . . And the ice is
floating in the wine-bucket and at the next table there's a man with
ox-like, bloodshot eyes and it's pandemonium. . . . Oh gods--poison, I need
poison! . . .
Suddenly from one of the tables the word ' Berlioz!! ' flew up and
exploded in the air. Instantly the band collapsed and stopped, as though
someone had punched it. ' What, what, what--what?!! '
Everybody began rushing about and screaming.
A wave of grief surged up at the terrible news about Mikhail
Alexandrovich. Someone fussed around shouting that they must all
immediately, here and now, without delay compose a collective telegram and
send it off.
But what telegram, you may ask? And why send it? Send it where?
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