Book Two--Past and Present in St. Lucia


l. The scene shifts to the events surrounding the Battle of the Saintes in the past. We encounter Plunkett, a midshipman spy from Holland, aboard The Marlborough.
ll. Plunkett is delivering war intelligence for the fort that Admiral Rodney is building.
lll. The black slaves and white engineers work to bring the cannon to the fort. Afolabe is renamed Achilles.


l. The battle of Les Saintes itself. 
lI. Plunkett reaches for his sword as the Ville de Paris rams The Marlborough.
lll. Plunkett falls on his own sword, and wine bottles float from the ship, connecting with the material from Book One.


I. Plunkett plans his "ances-tree, " even as he admits that he has no heir.
Il. The Major marks maps, while Maud stitches her shroud.
Ill. Plunkett reflects on his failed secular pilgrimage to the battles of the Empire.


I. Plunkett researches the battle at Fort Rodney, talks to a lizard, and realizes that history has been rewritten by the colonials.
Il. Plunkett continues his research in the Ordnance, and he uncovers midshipman Plunkett.
Ill. Plunkett believes that he has found a kind of namesake.


I. Plunkett reflects on the causes of the battle, and wonders how history can rework time.  He contrasts passionless history with Helen's beauty.
Il. Plunkett explores the vows of empire and see himself in them.
Ill. Plunkett finds two buttons on a dig.


I. Plunkett takes joy in telling Maud of midshipman Plunkett, finds Homeric connections, and asks forgiveness for the midshipman's involvement in the colonial enterprise.
Il. Plunkett imagines the past of places he observes from his Land Rover.
Ill. Plunkett's project of a local history is a kind of infidelity for Helen.  He recalls his school essay.


I. Maljo, nicknamed Statics or the Professor,  decides to start a third political party with Philoctete's involvement.
Il. Philoctete acts as a frontman for Statics, who indulges in political rhetoric. Philoctete reflects on his love of the island.
Ill. Statics' block fête is rained out, and thus die his political aspirations.  Philoctete is left to clean up.


I. Achille at the No-Pain Café reflects on the corruption and ravages of tourism to St. Lucia, as well as his loss of Helen.
Il. Failing at prayer, Plunkett attempts to but cannot make out the constellations that Achille sees.
Ill. Achille recalls when he had confronted Helen about Hector.


I. Helen moves in with Hector and leaves her hairpin in soap dish, a move which Achille interprets as her eventual return.
Il. Hector buys The Comet, his Western ("Space Age") van with "African" leopardskin on the plastic seats.  He believes that Helen still loves Achille.
Ill. Months pass, days pass, and a government "that made no difference to Philoctete" arises.


I. A section of setting--the Church of the Immaculate Conception's bells announce the Angelus and the lunch hour.
Il. Maud sees Achille's canoe from her porch, "[h]eaded for Africa, probably."
Ill. Helen comes to borrow money from Maud, and Maud reflects on Helen's impact on others.


I. The swift, "the bait of the gods" guides Achille and his partner out to sea.
Il. Achille and partner recover the body of a dead fisherman, which Achille suffering from sunstroke sees as the ghost of his ancestor.  Achille wonders who he is.
Ill. The swift makes Achille question his identity and guides him out into the ocean.

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"All manner of thing shall be well/ When the tongues of flame are in-folded/ Into the crowned knot of fire/ And the fire and the rose are one." -- T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding