Pithecanthropus was reassured by the radio broadcast of the message to his wife when he heard it. He sat on the floor of the cage with his hands on his knees. Watched the Amautas as they spoke. Gleam presided, with Eneas at his side. Now he had a sudden urge to begin a conversation with them. That would clarify a few doubts and, at the same time, let him air a few opinions. He himself was surprised at this impulse. Is my predicament affecting me? Or is it just the need to talk to somebody—whoever it may be? Control yourself, Jonas. Don’t give in. Remember they’re your enemies. Anything you say will be held against you. And if they revealed something that could help me elaborate an escape plan? Escape? Don’t be stupid, General. The only way you’ll leave here is feet first. If that’s the case, maybe there’s nothing to lose! Make up your mind. Of course, if I antagonize them they’ll treat me still worse, until my time comes. Could anything be worse than another few minutes of Tantalus’s tortures? Nothing could be more trying or horrible than that. It looks as though I’d better give them a piece of my mind. If they don’t like it, that’s their problem.
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