Chronology of Events
Thursday, November 24
Went to the Vatican to see Father Anselmo's brother about arrangements for our wedding, and the Monsigneur assured me he'd need little more than a few day's notice. His hospitality seemed unending, and was a great comfort.
In the afternoon I walked into a café and saw a girl who was the image of Marta, the only difference being her obbious sophistication and blonde hair.
I felt a need to talk to her, born out of the longing to make some kind of contact with the girl who'd held me captive, shot at me, but still won my heart before she died in my arms.
While the young lady at the table didn't have that effect on me, I clearly did on her, and she's already made plans for us covering the next week. But I warned her about having an appointment in Athens on the 9th.
Friday - Thursday, November 25 - December 1
Don't know where these days have gone. Have felt so lifeless and unmotivated - not really sick, but not right, and just drifted from one day to another with Valerie. Rang Kate every day, and know that she is getting concerned that I've not come to Paris, but I don't want her to see me this way.
Friday - Thursday, December 2 - 8
Another week, and I don't really know how to describe it, it's as if there were some kind of warfare going on in my body. Not pain or soreness, but no inch of me feels right. If it weren't for Valerie's ever-cheerful company, I'd have gone downhill fast mentally.
An extra negative was the appearance of Alex Ryder in town. Of all the Coloseums in all the world he had to visit the one in Rome when I was there. He's involved in some real estate scheme, and even thought I'd like to travel to Africa with him.
But looks like I'm going there anyway, as Valerie has booked a flight to Nairobi via Athens for us to join her father on safari.
Paul travels to Rome to make final arrangements for his wedding to Kate as he feels symptoms of extreme lethargy coming on. He meets a girl who organizes activities for them, and goes along without spirit.
After two weeks of drifting, Valerie announces that she's booked tickets to Africa for them - via Athens where Paul has an appointment.
Friday, December 9
Although he ordered even additional tests, the morning with Dr. Papagapoulos was not all bad. He gave me an enormous amount of time over coffee in his study, saying he'd cancelled all his appointments the rest of the day.
He answered all possible questions of what may lie ahead - things I never wanted to hear before, but for which I now know I must be prepared.
Under ordinary circumstances, lethargy and dizziness are the precursors to end-stage symptoms, but Dr P said, as with the vertigo after driving the Olympus, the lassitude of the last two weeks might mean nothing.
He explained that any indications could be deceptive with the extraordinary complications of my case - now some two dozen exotic viruses and other conditions picked up all over the world, making it nearly impossible to predict the trajectory of the main illness and symptoms
But he was quite fascinated and puzzled by the “warfare in my body” syndrome experienced in the last five days.
We didn't get to talk much about that, as the doctor admitted having similar symptoms to mine right now - a kind of dreariness and dizziness had hit him, and he was going home early.
Athens - Nairobi - On safari in Kenya
Saturday, December 10
[ Anomaly in journal - Paul says he was in Kenya six months previously. On the other hand, this episode appeared two years after the first safari episode. ]
Too tired to write, am now too frightened to sleep. The first night here, and I had one elephant dream after another - so many of the bad experiences of the last year and a half replayed with the creature usually trying to be kind - but everything turning horrible.
Paul sees the Greek doctor again and describes his unusual symptoms.
He and Valerie then fly to Kenya where her father is on safari
on safari in Kenya
Sunday, December 11
The nightmares were just a curtain raiser for the nasty encounter staged by Valerie's father, attacking me for my lifestyle and telling me to leave his camp.
He thinks I'm trying to marry his daughter. I haven't been so riled in months, and would have loved to have told his guy who imagines himself a business mogul what a pain I found his daughter.
Moreover, that I was about to marry Kathryn Pierce of the Armand de Martignac billions to whom I've been engaged since she had less money than I did.
But I just issued the usual line about spending the rest of my life single, and started to wonder if Valerie, with whom I've had the most casual of relationships, was like Katerina, imagining that I was about to propose.
Am going to be very careful about the night netting. The old geser got a taste of the poison he was dishing out, courtesy of one of the local insects.
Valerie's father challenges Paul's lifestyle, believing Paul wants to marry his daughter.
Monday, December 12
With all the will never to kill any animal again, I was forced to shoot a lion who was about to attack Valerie's father this morning.
Though horrified at the deed, I'm further disappointed in the immaturity still in my system that makes me smug in the knowledge that he is still alive only because I challenged him when he told me to leave.
Glad to be out of the bush now, but would have liked to get a flight to Rome tonight. As it is, have to wait till tomorrow afternoon.
Valerie, who was helpful company when I was down in Rome is quickly turning parasitic, and I can't wait to get away from her.
But then when it comes to parasites, who could top Alex Ryder? He's here and on the make with that Shasta real estate scheme, and looked for my sanction to talk to Valerie's father.
I'd love if the whole lot would take a dive into Lake Shasta. But like some kind of idiot, when Valerie asked me about my plans to be in Rome for Christmas, knowing her family expected her to be in Detroit, feeling the opposite but wanting to be nice, I said I wished she could be with me.
She answered straight back that she would come to Rome instead.
Tuesday, December 13
Valerie came to my room and admitted that she trapped me into inviting her to Rome, and I almost caught myself letting her off the hook, and pretending I wanted to be with this girl when I can barely stand her company now.
She even started talking about New Year's. but at least I had the presence of mind to mention the fishing date with Ramon - which I must remember to cancel.
("It Could Only Happen in Rome")
Paul saves the father's life by killing a lion that was attacking the man. They return from safari to Nairobi, and Alex Ryder, fiance of Kate's sister shows up, pushing a real estate scheme. But the father is more interested in information about Paul who asks Valerie to come to Rome for Christmas with him when it is the opposite of what he wants.
The next day Valerie admits tricking Paul into getting him to invite her for Christmas. Her father has found out through Alex that Paul is dying.