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The Germans finish their meal and speed up the hill toward Sintra in a brand-new Audi. João watches as Amalia waves sadly out of the back window and the big German’s bald head glistens through the open sunroof. João gets his tuk-tuk going again and finally arrives in Sintra, looking for tourists to take up the mountain to the bright yellow and red Pena Palace monastery. But still nobody is interested. João has nothing else to do so he visits the Quinta da Regaleira and trudges around the vast palatial gardens. He stops at the base of the Initiation Well where there is nobody else around. He stares up the steep spiral staircase as the child Amalia suddenly comes tumbling down. João breaks her fall and catches her at the bottom of the concrete stairs, and the child is saved. She blinks twice at João, still in shock and a little bruised. Far at the top of the well, the big German rushes down the stairs, his golden crucifix swaying wildly. João catches his eye briefly before scurrying out of the Quinta da Regaleira just as an urgent crowd begins to gather. Nobody needs to know what happened. Now João feels like the king of Sintra. All the big powerful cars are stuck in a traffic jam all the way to the top of the mountain. Instead, he putters his rusted tuk-tuk along toward Convento da Peninha and finally, all the way to Cabo da Roca. At the Refúgio da Roca, João savors a bowl of vegetable soup. The sun sets as Madredeus sings about boats burning in the sea.

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Profile for Mojave River Media

Mojave River Review spring/summer 2019  

The Mojave River Review spring/summer 2019 issue spotlights superb poetry and prose by brilliant contributors from around the globe. Enjoy 2...

Mojave River Review spring/summer 2019  

The Mojave River Review spring/summer 2019 issue spotlights superb poetry and prose by brilliant contributors from around the globe. Enjoy 2...

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