Caracas, cascaras, Cedula Id card, cowbell post, De Sousa, disambiguation, Eguie Castrillo, hip-hop, jam blocks, Maiquetia airport, One Direction, Sabian cymbal, Salsa, snare drum, Stars and Stripes, timbales, timpani, Tito Puente, Tower of David, windsurfer
(* get in the car, my friend!)
The secretary at Bunbury, Quincunx and Quatrefoil had typed a label
and was sticking it on an envelope. It read:
Hugo de Sousa
19 Chavez Road
As her brother was a keen windsurfer, she had read some
of his magazines and thought she recognised the name.
However, she rationalised that it must be a case for
disambiguation. De Sousa was a fairly common name. There
was a Portuguese footballer so-named and a bandmaster who
had written The Stars and Stripes and so, this must be yet another
of the tribe.
But, Dear Reader, you remember who Hugo is, don’t you?
Yes, he is/was the blood nephew of Great-Aunt Augusta,
whereas Gus was only an adopted nephew.
Snod had supplied the address, glad that Hugo had sent him
new contact details after his eviction from The Tower of David,
some months previously. The squatter had been able to rescue
his timbales, cowbell post and other percussive instruments,
without any of them sustaining damage. He would put the tools
of his trade in storage, as Mr Poskett had written to assure
him that the school had plenty of timpani and snare drums.
Hugo was to receive the largest portion from Great Aunt Augusta’s
will. Gus had paved the way for him to come over to St Birinus’ in order
to take up a temporary teaching post. The school would sponsor him,
but Gus would stand guarantor. Virginia, from the School Office, had
spent quite a bit of time researching work visas, restrictive foreign
exchange currency controls and Cedula ID cards. She was becoming
familiar with the girl on the end of the phone at The British Embassy,
Caracas. She received advice to the effect that Hugo should not take
more than 10,000 dollars out of the country, unless he declared it to
customs officials. He would need to remain calm as his flights may be
cancelled at short notice, or the price might increase rapidly. He should
pay for his flights in pounds sterling- the school would help with this-
and he should be discreet lest someone find out that he was going to
inherit some money. Kidnapping was a serious hazard. An armoured
car was the recommended transportation to Maiquetia Airport.
Until 1983, a child born to a British mother and a foreign father outside
the UK, had no claim to British citizenship. But, if Hugo registered and
paid £540, things might be arranged, eventually. Actually, the
extortionate admin. fee had been abolished, as of 2010, Virginia was
told subsequently. She now understood it to be £80.
The Willoughby twins, Castor and Pollux, were becoming excited. They
had been listening to Eguie Castrillo and Tito Puente, when most of the
rest of the class had been listening to One Direction. A new percussion
teacher was good news. They were keen to learn some Salsa, whereas
the other boys thought that was something to pour over salad. They
unwrapped their hickory timbale sticks, took out their mambo bells,
Sabian cymbals and cascaras and plagued their parents for jam blocks
and mounted tambourines.
Hugo and hip-hop were going to receive a wonderful welcome.