¡Lárgate y no vuelvas!

The next thing Milo recalled clearly was stumbling into Hacienda Casa Blanca, two-hundred-odd miles from Cerro de Pasco as the crow flies, and two vertical miles closer to sea level.

Milo had an impression that Callie and Furlonger had been someplace blessedly else since the bus crash. He'd taken no chances in any case. In the wreckage on the way out, he'd chanced upon a deeply dented canteen full of some incredibly powerful and foul local distillate. He had drunk deeply and started walking. It apparently had hallucinogenic properties.

So it was that, tattered and gaunt, still reeking deeply of stale alcohol and less strongly of rendered chicken and damp alpaca, he lurched into Casa Blanca. He clutched a battered stainless steel thermos to tight his chest like a tribal totem.

Casa Blanca's finest had immediately arrested him for vagrancy. There had been hot food, a lukewarm shower, possibly with de-lousing soap, and the guard had allowed him to keep his thermos. Expedient officialdom had decided it was easier than trying to pry it from Milo's locked, clutching fingers.

Sun greeted Milo when they sprang him, two days later.

Hola Milo!" she said.

The guard gave Milo a rough shove to the street, then glaring over his shoulder, snarled "¡Lárgate y no vuelvas!"

Milo blinked at the sun and his unaccustomed clearheadedness. He was not so clearheaded as to wonder why the sun had spoken. Then he sniffed the air and began to follow the smell of salt water.

In the evening of a day not long after, he found a small fleet of fishing smacks anchored at Chimbote. On one of them, thence up the coast, he reached the port of Bayovar, where desultory stevedores were loading and unloading a half-dozen highly assorted and very tired tramp steamers.

Asking around, he found that one was, after a long litany of crappy whistlestops along the way, ultimately headed for San Francisco, and needed deckhands.

Milo was suspicious of such providence. But he knew he had to get back north. He signed up.