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    A tall, brutish figure, his mouth masked by the fringe of his bushy moustache, said to another haggard individual ravaged by malaria and malnutrition, with a few stiff hairs at the corners of his lips and on his protruding chin, ‘So, the deal is done…we understand each other, right? You no longer owe me anything and you have to leave Maibi with Sergio.’

    ‘Yes sir’, replied the scrawny man, holding back a sob.

    This dialogue was taking place at the counter in the warehouse between Lieutenant Marciano, owner of the Soledade, and one of his customers, Sabino da Maibi.…