In the book I am reading there is a river leading ever deeper into an ever more malevolent jungle. There is an untrustworthy soldier and a pair of criminals. A drunken captain. An autistic engineer.
Above the lumbering steamer, a rusting, ancient seaplane circles, its engine coughing and intermittently going silent.
Under a canvas shade, a man scribbles notes on ancient bills of lading with the nub of a blue pencil.
Startled by the noise of the low-flying airplane, a flock of parrots erupts from the trees and crosses in front of the steamer.
The man with the pencil knows that all things are provisional and untrustworthy, and that he must keep his wits about him.
I am utterly in love with this book.