"Have you been to Tangiers?"


"Have you been elsewhere in Morocco?"

"Fez. Marrakesh. I lived six months in Marrakesh." Aleck paused. His forehead creased. "At dawn the mountains beyond Marrakesh are as clean as wet rocks, until they disappear in the heat haze." The two climbed in silence.

Phil and Maureen, framed beneath two gnarled trees, sat on the verge of a bluff overlooking the windy hillside treetops below and the hillside opposite, which grew out of the ground in a massive mirror image that crowded the town below against its riverbanks to leave no exit except the sea--and the white beach. Phil's mouth covered Maureen's. As Aleck and Pelle approached Phil withdrew and pulled his wet tongue above her upper lip, to her nostrils, along the ridge of her nose, to one eyelid, then the other. Maureen's throat laughed lasciviously, but when Phil looked up towards Aleck she wiped her face on her sleeve.


Phil waved both arms in greeting. "You take you time, man. Toss me your purse."

"And smash all the bottles, I suppose."

Pelle said, "This is a very fine view." All sat.

Phil rummaged in the purse, clinking and rustling. "Christ, how do you find anything in here? How does it look?"

Aleck lay back to watch the sky. "It's that little brown paper package. And the papers always fall to the bottom."

Maureen cautioned Aleck, "Don't lie down. There's these big black ants."

Aleck set up brushing himself vigorously. "God damn you! Now I'll feel ants all over me." He scowled at the sea as his hands still wandered over his clothes.

"Got it." In pulling the drawstring of the purse. Phil dropped a brown paper package, a packet of cigarette papers, and a box of matches. As he fumbled among them he muttered, "Christ. Papers. Christ." He pulled several papers fluttering from the packet like confetti. As he grabbed at the papers to keep them from blowing away, he said to Pelle, "We can give you a matchbox full for three hundred pesetas."

"That is expensive."

"But, man! Spain! Spanish Gestapo! Limited Supply! It's what it cost us, and you're smoking now, too." Phil began to slaver the papers together, making them too wet to stick well.