Black magic, extortion, sorcery, blackmail, trickery, seducing rich men and women in order to obtain money or favors were all areas in which Aicha displayed certain talents and natural-born abilities. But cooking and the preparation of food remained incomprehensible mysteries to her.
There in the darkness, sitting on the tomb of Sir Reginald Lister, was Paul Bowles, in the form of yet another spiritual entity, puffing on a black and gold cigarette holder from which protruded a Benson & Hedges cigarette in which the tobacco had been replaced by some high-grade kif.
Zodelia tipped the basket of potatoes into the sink to start washing and peeling them for the evening dinner. Out of the bottom of the basket there tumbled a slithering knot of huge black centipedes, spilling out of the sink and dropping onto the floor.
“So, Aicha,” Burroughs said, sighting along the tiny barrel of the pearl-handled derringer. “I assume you’re familiar with the story of William Tell?”
He unwrapped the parcel and Burroughs and Dean and Brunhilde saw the papier-mâché replicas of Dean’s two-piece tombstone. “What the fuck?” Burroughs said as the three of them watched.
By the time Moustapha had reached the café he was out of breath and stopped, put his hands on his knees, and looked out over the harbor and the Bay of Tangier. His ears were ringing with the blood pulsing through his head. The effects of the majoun and kif had begun to lessen and his legs felt heavy.