I’d gone to the place of the hermit not too many years before expecting the usual. Dusty brushes with horse hair at the end of a stick, ash from an old cigar and some crushed shell thrown around the room, the Ace, the Queen, the Five of Hearts and Two of Spades on the table next to a glass ball and a chicken foot.
He had found it almost by accident, the strange stone monkey, an artifact worth a lot to an old guy in Chicago. Three days later he was on a cot in a hut in Fortaleza in the depths of something a lot like malaria. It was the monkey – the Gypsy Monkey, they called it – and it spoke to him in his twisted dreams. Make your choice, make your sacrifice.
I am always impressed when writers can channel a different time.