The town feels strangely deserted, except for the Cantina, where a handful of LOCALS suck on cervezas -- as Lara passes, naturally the conversations stop, all eyes fixed on her. TEMO 25 , a shifty-eyed local, is the first to his feet and makes a beeline for Lara, flashing his cherubim smile. TEMO Senorita need guide? Lara keeps walking, projecting disinterest very well.
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TEMO You two hours late. Everyone here buyed out. But if you hire Temo as guide, I get you supplies. Lara finally stops, turns around and faces Temo. How much? Temo sizes Lara up. Very much likes what he sees. TEMO For you? Only five hundred. Temo carry everything. Temo graciously takes the backpack from Lara. Save you money! He's only jealous cause I here first. Dodge sips his beer, sauntering towards Lara and Temo. Once you get up river he'll sell you to the banditos for fair market value.
Then trade your lingerie for a one nighter in Iquitos. Lara looks at Temo, who shakes his head adamantly. LARA How very entrepreneurial. Dodge finally reaches Lara and Temo, enjoying the last swig of his beer before he responds. Temo drops the backpack and takes off Acting quickly, Lara scoops up her backpack, takes a couple steps after Temo Hitting Temo in the legs, tripping him up. Before Temo can scramble back to his feet, Lara stomps one of her hiking boots down on his back, pinning him under. LARA Don't make me search you. I haven't had my Rabies shot.
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Fumbling a hand through his pocket, Temo holds up the bracelet -- Lara kicks his hand, sending the bracelet into the air, where she catches it with ease. Temo picks himself up, dusts himself off. But before he leaves, he curses and spits in the general direction of Dodge, who's gotten a good chuckle out of this incident. Dodge meanders over to Lara, clearly intrigued by her.
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It'll pass. LARA Is that so? But I've never seen anybody burn all the supplies in town just to throw off followers. LARA Got my own copy actually.
Most of them never come back. LARA I take it this is your fine establishment? She glances back to Dodge. Lara opens the screen door, but stops before entering. LARA Enough foreplay. What to do you say we get down to business? LARA Where there's a twinge, there's still hope. Lara disappears inside, leaving Dodge to ponder his next move with an uncertain smile. Dodge, steering the trawler from inside his small cabin, takes his eyes off the river ahead for only a moment.
Largest gators in the world. Just one of the many obstacles between you and El Dorado.
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Probing the river and shoreline ahead. Carlos gestures to "stay right. LARA Made this trip a few times, have you? You've got to take her slow, be real gentle. Or she'll grind you up and spit you out.
LARA Aren't you the romantic. You gotta be a realist down here. The search for El Dorado is a fool's errand. LARA I've read all the stories.
But just because no one's found El Dorado, doesn't mean it's not out there. About ten years ago this National Geographic cover boy came down here with a sure-fire map and six-figure trust fund.
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Predicted he'd find El Dorado in a week LARA finishes his story This draws a surprised look from Dodge. He looked much different then. Quite dashing, actually.
Always wondered what happened to him. Both of them know exactly who they're talking about. With a begrudging smile, Dodge turns his eyes back to the river. He wised up. Finally figured out he was better off selling the dream than buying into it. All three Boatmen start shouting urgently, but only Carlos seems to speak English.
Lara rolls her eyes as Dodge hurries from the cabin. Following his orders, the boatmen work frantically to push the trawler to safety. Carlos and Luiz start shouting. Dodge rushes to join Carlos and Luiz at the railing, where they all stare into the swirling water until Paolo resurfaces gasping for air! Give him something to grab!
Sensing easy prey. But just as the first gator is about to reach Paolo But Paolo is not out of trouble yet.
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He loses his grip on Carlos' pole as the trawler keeps spinning in the whirlpool. And the second gator is closing in To compensate for the continual spinning, Dodge leads the two Boatmen over to the other side of the trawler where: LARA is already hanging bravely over the edge of the deck, her legs clamped onto the railing. LARA Take my hand! A floundering Paolo reaches up and grabs onto Lara's hand while Dodge and the two boatmen help pull them both to safety until Massive jaws chomp down on Paolo's forearm!
Disgusted, she shakes the limb loose. Carlos and Luiz move back to the railing, staring despondently down at the calming waters where the Caiman feeds on Paolo. Dodge angrily picks up the hand and tosses it into the river. A singular WEDGE cut into one section of the rim is testament to some explorer's long ago attempt to drain this mysterious lake.
These winds up here are nasty! As Larsen struggles to keep the plane steady, Malvern, in the passenger seat, stares down transfixed at Lake Guaranita. Malvern finally acknowledges Larsen with a dismissive "Do what you have to" gesture. Drop anchor and rig the ramp!
Related The Cave of Visions (The Legends of Chyron Book 2)
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