“A necessidade faz o sapo pular,” Manoel thought as he heard the shipping captain call the work day to an end. He huffed a bit to himself, momentarily amused at the thought of a frog moving a huge bushel of sugarcane on its small green back. Few things were truer than that. The only difference was where frogs hopped, men worked. He stood up from the shaded cove of crates he had hauled off the ship by hand. Arranging them on the back of a wagon and had decided to take the last part of the day to take it easy. He popped his back and stretched his sore muscles walking to the edge of the wagon and jumping off the end effortlessly as a panther leaping from a tree branch, making but a whisper of a sound as his feet contacted with the ground.
A week ago Manoel had scored a job on a boat loading and unloading various materials and crates at different ports along the coast of Bahia, reaching the port in Salvador just that morning. Unloading the cargo for this final trip had taken the majority of the day and though he was as large and strong as they come, working 14 hours took its toll on the man. He wasn’t afraid of hard work though and he didn’t mind the aches one bit. He had resolved to sleep-in the next day. He had family here in Salvador he intended to find quickly, having no intention of sleeping one more day in that damned cramped cabin with the other workers like himself. Sure the other sailors were great company and he shared quite a few laughs and stories with them along the route, but he much preferred the company of a woman over another sweaty marinheiro. This was his stop and after he collected his pay, he was hitting the road with a pocket full of dinhiero and a destination.
Manoel climbed up the ramp to the boat deck where a short line was formed near the captain’s quarters where the other workers waited for their weekly payout. He knew some of the men who worked this job regularly and would head back when the ship was stocked and ready to set sail back south along the coast. He spotted one of these men, the friend who had gotten him this job and means of quick passage. He was a short and Barrel chested man, with large arms and a bald head. His nickname was Balde, both for his features and his ability to shamelessly put away copious amounts of food at any party or celebration where there was food available. “Only a bucket could hold that much food at once”, they would laugh.
Manoel approached and clapped his hand on the Balde’s shoulder. “Ready to turn in for the night already?” he joked as the shorter man gazed at the head of the line before turning to see his friend.
“Ha. Damn right” he said. “While you were napping, I was still moving cargo around.”
“Hey, I finished my work. Long legs, shorter trips, comrade” Balde elbowed him sharply for the short joke and they both laughed.
“What’s the hold up? Line moving a bit slow ain’t it?”
“Looks like captains pulling pay for rations, again.” Balde replied sounding disappointed yet reserved.
“Rations? No, we worked all that out before we set off. Rations were already taken out of the wages. I don’t know what y’all were eating, but I didn’t get any churrasco with my meals.”
“Look, don’t make a big deal about it. Sometimes Captain Toni will…short the checks a bit. “Balde’s face was grim. “We still get paid and we get a job on the next go around. It’s best leave it alone for now.”
Manoel decided to drop the topic and they chatted about the day and plans for the night. Balde knew Salvador and had some ideas where to get a few cervejas and a good dinner. Something about the night life in a new city like Salvador seemed to make his tiredness from the full day of physical labor slide off his shoulders like a heavy coat on a summer day.
It wasn’t long before Manoel approached Captain Toni for his pay for the week of work. And as Balde predicted he saw he was shorted about a quarter of what he had agreed to work for. He glared at the captain, a shaggy-haired pale man, as he took his money. Then he smiled and much to the captain’s surprise said. “Obirgado for the job, my captain. A good job is hard to find, and debt is ever the trap of a man.” With that Manoel went below deck to fetch the few items he had all packed in a small duffle bag. Leaving the ship he was soon walking with Balde up the cobblestone street away from the dock and into the bustling living night of Salvador Bahia.
It wasn’t long before Manoel and Balde had found a lively little cafe Balde had apparently frequented on his previous stay in the city. They were both drinking beer and were eating a meal of Vatapa, Acarajé and sweet cocadas. They laughed as they ate, talking about incidents that had happened on the ship. Balde cursed as he laughed so hard beer came out of his nose when Manoel told him of a shipmate named Isaac and his painful run in with a crab on the beach while hiding in the sand to take a nap by the docks in Sao Paulo.
“You tell great stories!” Balde said between ruckus snorts, of laughter. He pulled out a handkerchief and blew his nose.
“A good story tells itself.”
“Yeah, so says any good story teller. But why don’t you tell me the story of how people got to calling you by that nickname of yours. You’re a popular guy at home, but most people don’t know your real name. Hell, I wonder if I’d ever have found out if we didn’t work together.”
“Ha ha, well you have been a great help to me Balde. Come to think of it, I only recently came to know your real name. The story of why they call me after the Beetle is probably not much more interesting than anyone else’s nickname.”
“I somehow doubt that’s true. I guess that’s up to the person hearing the story. The difference is you’re talked about all over the town in Santo Amaro. The word is you’re fast. Very fast… They also say that you can fly.” Balde added hesitantly. Balde looked at the man known in Santa Amaro as Besouro over the rim of his beer mug, gauging the man’s reaction to his implication of flight. Noticing his friend’s sudden seriousness, Manoel burst out laughing so hard that he knocked his knife and fork to the floor in the sudden uproar. Balde frowned and looked away, pretending to be distracted by something outside the cafe until Manoel calmed down a bit.
“Don’t believe everything you hear, comrade,” he choked out trying to contain another outburst. “No man can fly. People will say anything, to make an exciting story. But hey if they want Besouro to fly, let them believe what they want. There could always be worse things said about a man behind his back.”
At that Balde laughed and then they both laughed together at the hilarity of the idea of a black man flying in Brazil.
After another round of cervejas, the two men parted ways in good spirits, with both good alcohol and good company to blame. Balde made his way to an inn he knew of and Manoel, looking at the moon high overhead, headed his way to the place he would meet his cousins just after midnight. Not really knowing the city he asked a few local inebriated vagabundos wandering the streets like him, where he could find a place called the Casa Branca de Deus. One old man knew the place he was speaking of as the others shrugged of the question and asked him for money. Following the directions he received as best as he could for about an hour he found himself at an intersection in an unusually quiet part of the city. Uncertain of what to do and nobody to ask he decided to take a short rest and sat down with his back against a brick building. He pulled out his patua amulet, which he always wore around his neck. The amulet was given to him by his teacher back home, Tio Alipio. It was a shiny Piece of carved Ivory said to have come from his teacher’s home in Africa he had kept hidden. The precious piece was inscribed with very old symbols even his teacher couldn’t read. Manoel had always believed it smelled of a different world. His teacher had told him it had special powers and would guide him wherever he needed to go. He smiled at the thought of his old teacher, a tall stout dark African man, with tight curly white hair and an undeniable presence. Tio Alipio was different from many other ex-slave men. He was known as a trickster, a story teller, a spiritual guide and a finder of lost items. Tio Alipio was a teacher of life and to his precious student he was always kind, even when he was being punished. He made a quick prayer to Yemaya that his old teacher was doing well and safe while he was gone.
It was in the middle of this calming reflection that Manoel felt eyes watching him and looked up to see a white bird with what seemed like an orange crown atop its head. At that same moment of seeing this bird,( he believed was called a cockatoo) he heard the deep thumping rhythm of drums in the distance. He stood up, placing the patua back inside his shirt.
He momentarily looked in the direction he heard the sound of the drums, and back to the bird. He was not at all surprised to see it had gone. It had delivered the message and likely had other things to attend to. Lifting his small duffle he stretched momentarily and started his decent down the dark street. Not long after he heard the Dum Dat Dum- Dum Dat Dum of a distant drum and it caused his steps and shoulders to sway in time. But hearing wasn’t the full truth of it. He felt the ritmo of the drums. The rhythm got louder with each step and before long, he had found his destination. From the outside it looked like a small white plaster coated brick house, situated at the end of the long shaded street, but the house itself seemed to glow in the moon light. He smiled and sauntered up to the door and knocked in time to the drum beat he heard. The door opened and he was immediately pulled into the room by faceless brown hands.
He saw no faces only hearing call and response singing of many voices and felt many hands push and pull him though the room. At one moment he thought saw the Cockatoo fly overhead. The next moment he was kneeling before a large brown man holding a long heavy berimbau and singing a beautifully ballad of the sea. Manoel looked to his left and saw a woman kneeling in the same position he was before the …singing man. Besouro felt his body and arms swaying to the rhythm of the drum and berimbau playing together. Just then the man changed the song.
“Ê me leva na Bahia
Ê leva na Bahia”
The other people standing in the surrounding circle sang back
“Ê me leva na Bahia
Ê leva na Bahia”
An almost imperceptible gesture from the man singing is what initiated the following exchange. In a second Besouro and the woman were in flight. This is the place where his wings grew from his body and he was truly himself. He was Besouro above all other things when in the game. He kicked and fought then he danced and dodged. The two of them flowed around each other with kicks and broke through each other with expert movements. He had matched against very few women in his life when in these circles of violent dance known as capoeira. He found this woman particularly adept in her style and Besouro made no hesitation in sweeping her to the ground as soon as the opportunity presented itself. The sweep was clean she was down for but a split second and quickly had re-initiated their exchange, and in his surprise he nearly found himself swept to the floor if not for his agility. The beautiful exchange of kicks and doges went on for a few more moments and soon another had broken between them for his turns, buying out the other player and focusing on Besuoro. This man was slightly slower in his movements around the roda. His extremely fast kicks blazed about the circle as he played a much more direct angle of attack against Besouro.
He was tall with long arm and legs and moved around surprisingly easy in the confined circular area for someone of his size. When he kicked they were extremely fast and seemed to cover the entire ring making closing space between them difficult for Besouro at first. In short time he had a strategy to get in close and the next time the long man kicked Besouro feinted an incorrect dodge and baited the long man, at the last moment rotating under the kick and flowing into another step where he was in proper range to break Long man’s balance with a hip throw, sending the man but first to the floor. Like the woman he quickly recovered and again they were engaged in flashing combat, but only momentarily.
The man singing had stopped and summoned the two to the front and called another set of players two young men to the front to replace them. Exiting the circle he spotted, among the many brown faces in the crowd watching the exchange of the next two, an old tan skinned woman with curly grey hair and wearing an all-white and gold gown that looked considerably out of place in this place of brown loose clothing and loud sweating bodies. She waved him over with a smile and he saw she was holding his duffle that he had completely forgotten about in the rush. She handed it to him….
"Bem-vindo a Salvador, Besouro! Welcome my son!" Her smile was bright and true. It made her almost look young again.
“Obrigado Mae. You are the Mae de Santo of this house. Did you send the cockatoo bird to guide me?”
“Exu governs the crossroads, Besouro. I know you from your Teacher Tio Alipio. We spoke recently. You move with no less malandragem than that old man says. I would’ve thought he was exaggerating.”
“You know Tio Alipio? How? ”
“This world is much older than you’d ever imagine boy.” The old woman patted his cheek. “I’ve met Tio more times and place than i can count. And I believe I’ve met you before as well at one point in time or another.”
Before Besouro could ask what she meant she interrupted him. “A story for another time, Besouro. It’s apparent you are itching to re-enter the roda. When you quiche your flaming axe and are looking to retire you may accompany Gafanhoto and Perigosa to their home. They will provide you good shelter for your stay.”
She indicated the man and woman whom he had contested against just moments before in the circle. They were standing in the crowd of people singing and clapping with the energetic bataeria. Seemingly sensing her name being spoken the woman looked up and nodded at him with a smile before she returned her attention to the game at hand.
“Tomorrow we will talk about why your teacher felt you should come visit me in Salvador.” with that she clapped him on the shoulder and walked out of a side door to another room he had not seen there previously.
Besouro placed his duffle bag in a place he could easily find and re-joined the roda. He played and fought all night. Game after game, he entered with burning axe. Sweeping and tossing other players and getting swept and tossed also. He could not remember the last time he had contested such a variety of capoeira fighters in Santa Amaro. The event went on all night and ended just before day break.
After the festivities had ended and acquaintances had been made Besouro joined Gafanhoto and Perigosa on the walk to their home. They chatted heartily about the roda and life in Salvador. He learned they were newly married and their names were Joao and Liza De Carvalho and both learned capoeira from the man playing the berimbau and singing. His name is Macaco, an ex-slave of a plantation in the south, they told him. By the time they had reached the small apartment shared with other members of their family, it had been nearly an hour and the sun was beginning to gain some height in the cool morning sky. They ate a light breakfast of some eggs and biscuits and Perigosa gave him a mat and a spot in the corner to lay and rest before they left saying they had errands to run in the market.
As he lay, he thought about what the old Mae De Santo wanted to speak to him about. The fact that she knew he would be there when he had spoken to no one of his intention of attending the underground capoeira event since his teacher told him where and when it would be was proof that she was the “family” he was to meet up with. He decided that as soon as he awoke he would head directly there. With that thought he slipped into exhausted sleep.
During the day, the streets he had wandered the night before in the dark looked and completely different. The places before where before he saw boding darkness and deep alleys now he saw homes and children playing in the streets. The after-midnight silence he had experienced was now replaced with laughing and bargaining. Maybe this surprised him because Santo Amaro rarely experienced such extremes in the same small local areal. The difference of night and day here was large enough he had nearly gotten himself lost on the way. Guiding himself by memory in such a variant environment was a challenge, but ultimately he enjoyed the experience and he had purchased a cold drink as he walked and spend a lot of his trip people-watching.
After about an hour and a half he spotted Casa Branca de Deus and saw the Mae-de-santo sitting outside under a large lovely jacaranda tree. He was again shocked that he had not noticed something as huge and lovely as a Jacaranda tree with its lavender flower petals scattered upon the ground in front of the bright white house. As he approached he noticed that the Mae was looking at him from afar, and assumed she probably spotted him before he spotted her, and not necessarily by sight.
When he got closer he took one hand out of his pocket and waved nonchalantly, as he often did. His face wore a welcoming grin.
“Ola’, Mae.” Besouro said grinning. “I was overcome with love when is saw you from the street corner. You look quite lovely sitting under this Jacaranda”
“Oh hush boy.” The Mae de Santo said swatting him with the thin fan she held. “I’m old but not that old I need to have my pride stroked with silly complements.”
They both laughed and he offered his hand to help her up. She took it rising slowly form the makeshift wooden bench she sat upon.
“Venha, lingua de prata. Let’s go inside. We have some things to discuss.” She said, leading the way towards the white house.
Upon his second entry he noticed the atmosphere was almost completely the same as it was the night before. Somehow the building seemed to hold all of Axe energy from the roda the night before and keep it fresh. The only time he had noticed that before was many years old Tio Alipio’s house when local the Capoeistas would come and have a roda in his home once a month. No other locations, neither outside on the beach or grass nor inside a building or home retained the same energy after a roda. Besouro never thought much about it but once his teacher asked him if he could feel a difference of atmosphere in a room after a roda. Besouro told him that he could tell Tio Alipio’s house kept the same atmosphere after a roda as if an event was happening in that moment. Old Tio clapped him on the shoulder and told him to remember that feeling. He remembered all of that an instant and it occurred to him that this was perhaps what he was here about. The room was rearranged and situated with chairs, shrines, drums and cowrie beads and many decorations along the walls. It was very beautiful, and the energy from the previous roda made him feel a little buzzed.
The Mae de Santo guided him to a seat at a table with a round straw beautifully endowed mat covered with African decorations. Next she pulled out a small Knit bag of cowries she had in her sleeve. Saying a prayer she began the process of casting the cowries onto the straw knit mat and reading them.
Besouro watched her work silently, wondering but not really daring to interrupt her. Finally she looked up at him with an amused look in her time withered eyes.
“You are a favorite of the Orisha. I can determine nothing definite about your path though these 16 cowrie shells.” she said bemused. “The Orisha …dispute over your…path…”
Besouro sat silently in response. Better to be assumed dumb than open your mouth and remove prove it he had been told.
“Fair enough. I suppose now is a good time to tell you why your teacher requested you come see me all the way across Bahia.” Again, Besouro sat silently yet attentive.
“Alipio is my brother and we were born free in a quilombo in Tocantins. It was destroyed and many of our family killed. We were spared along with others who surrendered to the Os homens brancos. We were slaves again and it was tough but that is a story for another time. My brother Alipio was told in a dream by Exu himself, that a child would come to learn to be a hero from him. Many years later Tio Alipio believes that student is you. “She looked at him trying to gauge his reaction to this news. There was little.
“Ah so that’s why Tio Alipio always tells me stories of the Orixa. He told me once he was the Pai-de-Santo of a house at one point. I’ll be honest; this is not too surprising to me. I often feel as if Exu has guided me to and through many…experiences in my life. This patua, was given to me by Tio Alipio.” He took the pendant out of his shirt to show the priestess. “Whenever I touch it I’m never lost or confused.”
The Mae de Santo burst into laughter. “Very well then Besouro. You seem to have more sense than you’re old teacher. He sent you here because he wanted me to confirm what it seems you already knew.”
“Well, that the thing. I don’t know about being a hero. My father said, heroes are mostly dead men people talk well about after the funeral. Not a bad thing, but I’m not planning on dying. I’ve got too much capoeira to play.” He replied, smiling but stern.
“Between the beginning and the end there is always the middle, eh? You have a bit of wisdom for a youngster. I believe you will do quite well. The best heroes are the ones that live by their instincts and without thoughts of heroism. ”
The two of them rose and she embraced him tightly, as a mother would embrace her son after a long distance had been closed between them. He hugged her back and only then realized how frail and fragile the old woman really was.
“Go back home and tell your old funky teacher i said everything will be well. And then tell him to come visit his old funky sister.”
Besouro laughed then with a pause he asked. “Mae de Santo. I never asked you’re name. You knew me from the beginning but I don’t know what to call you other than by your title of Mae.
“Mae De Santo is good enough. But for you my nephew in spirit, I’ll tell you name is Maria. But my nickname is only for the smallest of capoeira rodas though. The police may still want payback from so long ago, should they catch wind of it so near.
Manoel walked the streets of Salvador, lost in thought. Questions whirled in his head. The Mae De Santo Senhora Maria had just told him he was destined to be a hero. A hero of what? A hero to who? What was use was a hero to a negro man in Brazil in 1919? The word hero meant nothing to him or anyone he knew. Being a hero for a negro in this time meant to have a death wish. He was going to have to talk to Tio Alipio about this whole thing. He had never heard his teacher speak of such absurd ideas of heroism.
Manoel found himself in a familiar area, near the docks. Looking at the darkening sky saw that the sun has descended low to the skyline in distance and saw clouds painted fiery yellow and red just over the horizon. He walked to the cafe where Balde and he had feasted the other day. He hoped to see him there again and was half-surprised to see Balde most-way though his second beer when he arrived.
“Hey there Old Sailor.” he said as he approached. He sat across and signaled the garconete to bring him a beer.
“Ah I was wondering what happened to you. Looks like you know your way around Salvador already” Balde quibbled jokingly.
“Not the whole city, but I’ve found a few interesting places here and there.”
He began to tell the story of his previous day’s adventure with tenacity yet vague in certain particular details leaving out locations meant to be secret and a certain prophecy. He told him of the orange crowned bird, and of the capoeira event and the friends he is staying with and the friendly Mae De Santo who is antiquated with Tio Alipio. When they exited the cafe the moon was high overhead peaking though a partially cloudy sky. They both had a few beers between the two but Balde was considerably more since his Inn was closer than the home Manoel was staying. They parted ways, agreeing to meet again before the shit departed on its shipments towards Santo Amaro. He watched Balde stumble a bit as he walked away before heading off in his own direction again. The laughs and conversation with his friend had lightened his mood. It was usually at times like this he felt antsy. As luck would have it, he found some entertainment
The laughs and conversation with his friend had lightened his mood a bit. The night air was cool and he was feeling a buzzed from the beers he had drunk. Had Manoel been in Santo Amaro with his friends, Paulo or Canario on a night like this they would’ve been playing music, singing and dancing with the locals and flirting with the pretty girls. Salvador was far from dead at night, but the atmosphere was different and he didn’t seem to find much activity outside of the taverns. He figured the heavier presence of the white Brazilian police may something to do that that, though he didn’t see much of them in the more negro areas he had frequented in the last day.
In this moot speculative daydreaming as he walked he reached up to scratch his chest absentmindedly. It was then he felt the patua he wore slip from his neck, the rope somehow broken and fall towards the ground. Reflexively he took a couple of swipes at it trying to catch it in its decent only to end up batting it down a shaded alley between two buildings that had closed for the night. Immediately he dived after it into the darkness again his just missing catching it yet closes enough that his fingertips launched it again deeper into the alley. Besouro, used to moving quickly low to the ground caught himself easily on his hands never taking his eye of his patua’s unique glint, and saw it land softly on a oddly discarded blue and yellow scarf on the ground. He walked over and knelt beside it. It didn’t look like it had been there long he noted before picking is patua off it and looking at where the string had come apart. It look like it had been cleanly cut right off of his neck. He retired the two ends and looped the magic piece back around his neck.
He picked up the scarf and smelled a flowery scent of a woman’s perfume. This had not been here long at all. Besouro leapt to his feet as he heard a brief shriek of a woman further in the dark. The sound was immediately followed by meaty thud that is the sound of a fist hitting flesh. He then heard muffled stiffing of sobbing and cursing whispering of men. He quietly crept to the end of the alley and peered around a corner where he saw three men and a woman nearly fifty feet away down the cobblestoned dead end. Two of the men had the woman pinned on the ground trying to strip her and one was standing looking out into the alley. They all wore black handkerchiefs hiding most of their face yet Besouro could tell they were all homens de pele branca and their clothing gave them away as sailors.
Besouro could hear the two men hitting and holding the woman down. Their intention was clear and Besouro felt intense rage climb up his throat from deep within him, and seemed to set his entire head on fire from the inside. He tied the blue and yellow scarf over his face and stepped into the alley.
He began chanting over and over again under his breath as he approached. “Ochosi Ode mata obá akofá ayé o unsó iré o wa mi Ochosi omode aché”
With every step he grew angrier. With every vocalization of the chant he felt less like himself and more like a deity. The sailor on lookout had not seen Besouro approach although he walked directly up to him through the dark chanting aloud. Not until Besouro was within an arm’s length before him that the lookout sailor seemed to register his presence. Lookout sailor gasped and raised a machete he carried in reflex to strike the ghostly negro apparition. The strike was far too late as Besouro closed the slight gap between them. With one low powerful kick he swept both the sailors legs out from under his body, hearing a loud pop as the sailors popped out of the socket and he slammed head first to the street with a loud thwack, like the low end of a seesaw.
The other two sailors looked up and saw the lookout flat and still on the ground. They did not see Besouro who had moved into another part of the shadows closer yet more concealed than the lookout had been standing.
“The hell’s is wrong with you Batista?” One sailor said pulling out a large knife and pointing it at the woman implying she stop struggling, before he stops her once and for all. Besouro’s rage flared and in a flash he was beside the knifed sailor his foot crashing into the man’s chest before the sailor was entirely certain he was there. Knife sailor’s blade clacked to the stoned street just as his back found the wall stopping the momentum of the forceful body kick with unforgiving bricks.
The woman shrieked at the suddenness of the attack and in another flash Besouro laying into the man with kick knees and punches until the sailor was clearly unconscious. He slumped to the ground on jellied legs and fell over, blood dripping from his broken nose and teeth. Besouro looked to the woman with sad eyes she could see clearly though his face was masked with her own blue and yellow scarf.
Besouro cut his eyes back to the third masked sailor. He was old and short with white shaggy hair that covered most of his face. Again, Besouro’s rage was powerfully re-ignited and approached the old sailor. Seeing what the blue and white scarfed negro demon did to his partners, the old man turned on his heels and ran bow-legged down the alley and out into the street from which Besouro had been walking just moments before the encounter. He looked to the woman and in a word told her to go home. After a momentary lingering gaze, she obliged an ran out of the alley in another direction, the impact of what had happened all at once breaking her spell of shock allowing her cries of pain and fear to come unhindered.
As the bowlegged old sailor ran away he pulled off his mask hollering that he was being chased by a demon. Besouro followed at a distance, still not done with this man, still not released from his contract of retribution. Also he realized that he recognized the old bowlegged curly haired sailor. When the old sailor encountered three policiais patrolling the area, he ran right at them panicked and sweating, screaming about some strange violent ghost. As they tried to calm the bowlegged sailor down, Besouro watched and then walked out in plain sight of the four of them. The man squealed in terror pointing as Besouro stood at a corner just in the shadow of a passing cloud. Startled by the scream and ready to shoot the police turned to see what the man was pointing and screaming about. But the sailor was the only one who could see Besouro, a silhouette standing just outside of the moonlight.
The sailor took off running again leaving to police even more confused. Besouro pursued and soon he had him cornered at the pier as the bowlegged man tried to run to his ship, but Besouro cut him off before he could get close. The two stood facing each other on the pier in the intermittent moonlight, Besouro still masked in the Yellow and blue scarf, standing between the sailor and his ship. The sailor was exhausted, scared and desperate and finally pulled out a large fishing knife from his boot. He attached with large slashing movements, which were easily enough evaded. Before the man could attack anymore Besouro kicked and put heel squarely in the man’s stubbly chin, knocking him backwards off of his feet. The man wailed in pain and spit out a bloody broken tooth onto the wooden planks.
“Puh-Please leave me alone!” the man sobbed. “I won’t do nothin’ like that ever again! It was a big mistake.”
Besoruo said nothing, his eyes seeming to glow dully above the bright colored mask. He struck the sailor with another hard kick to the gut this time doubling him over retching alcohol and bile onto the dock.
“H-here! Take this” The man pulled a money clip of bills and threw it at Besouro, who caught it unexpectedly. Besouro smiled under the scarf satisfied. He pocketed the money clip and walked past the doubled over sailor. Of course, just as he anticipated the sailor noisily rushed him from behind just as soon as Besouro has turned his back. With a pivot Besouro sidestepped the tackle and began beating the man all over again.
“Thanks for the wages my Captain. I knew you wouldn’t let me down.” Besouro said before spinning a hard kick into the cheating captain’s side shooting him off the edge of the pier into the water below. He walked away from the docks leaving the cursing beaten man to make his way back to land.
The rest of the night was wholly uneventful and Besouro made his way back to the home of the De Carvalho’s stopping only to replace the Blue and yellow scarf where he had found it. He placed it neatly wrapping a portion of the money with in it. He split the “donation” in half and kept one part for himself. He felt if the woman somehow found this scarf then she could at least get some compensation for what he had gone though. But ultimately the he would let the Orisha decide. When he got back the house, he greeted the family and lay atop his mat. Just as he was falling asleep, he decided that his reason for coming to Salvador was more than a fortune reading by the Mae de Santo for his teacher. He was here to experience life. Knowing he would spend a few more days there in this city, he found himself anxious for what other towns, cities and experiências were awaiting him once he left.