The entire book appears at this link with chapters added after appearing online:
Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)
Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)
Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/
Mac discusses his visit to the beach.
Tyger and Armor’s talk about environmentalism and abortion
rights. Tyger investigates a topless club owner and others in
Morgan City. Then, the most amazing revelations concerning the
Mildred Baker case become public knowledge thereby solving many
of the riddles in the case and creating additional puzzles. Tyger
is acknowledged as the savior of Suriname. Upon revelation of the
fate of Armor’s cats, Sandy Alexander organizes a final
disposition of their fate.
“Savior of Suriname”
“Fun fun in the summer time. Fun fun in the summer time.
“And those are the Beachy Balls, all you summer bummers out
there. This is the Mighty Tool. WTUL-FM N’awlins and I am not
telling you who I am.”
Tyger, sitting at Mac’s house on Tuesday July 19, 1988;
turns the radio heat up a notch. “I know who you are asshole,”
Tyger informs the black boom box. “And I know where you live.”
“Oh what the hey line. You have reached the fun zone. I am
Mr. Milty to those uninitiated coming right at you babies.
You remember Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters album, I am sure.
Here goes Robert Calvert again with something more
appropriate to the heat wave that never ends. Viking aryans on
surfboards doing their worst Beach Boys imitation.
It is noon and I am out-a-here.”
So that is where Milty has been. He was hiding out in
plain sight at the least likely of places, ye olde public airwaves.
“I have some good news and some bad news
about our trip to Pensacola Beach,” Mac tells Tyger.
“Good news first,” Tyger says. “I simply live for the good news.”
“Good news is Sarah and I went to Dainty Del Restaurant,
had the best Oysters Rockefeller in the free world.
Then, we went to the beach all day, had an incredible amount of fun.
We swam to the sand bar for a starfish and rum. We danced
to the B-52’s. We barbecued on the beach. Everyone was jealous
that two people could have so much fun. It was great.”
“Ah, and the bad news?” Tyger asks.
“We decided to sleep on the beach, had a bottle of liquid acid,
maybe 60 hits worth. Got so loaded on rum drinks
we forgot all about it and swallowed nearly the whole bottle.”
“That’s the bad news?”
“That is bad news. We wasted so much good clean ‘L’, but that was not
the worst news. The wind that was blowing in from the Gulf all day suddenly
died about midnight. We were attacked by swarms of killer mosquitos,
biggest damn mosquitoes I ever has seen. We had to run for dear life
away from the beach to the car beating ourselves with towels. I must have
been stung a million times. Just when we were coming on
to the megadose. Oooh, hum baby.. Hurts still to think about.”
“Maybe,” Tyger notes, “you ought to file an insurance claim, hahaha
You probably had too much fun. What goes up must come down
Primary astrophysical principle of ars fortuna particles.”
“Remind me not to hang around there again when the wind dies,” Mac says.
“Put a damper on the evening.” He smiles, grinning like the dog
who caught the squirrel. “What you gonna do,” he laughs. “Going
back to the beach next weekend. Can’t have too much fun.”
Good to see Mac taking full advantage of the summer.
Armor’s, however, has been acting a bit stranger than usual
following the departure of Igor for the Big Apple.
Perhaps Armor’s feels the shallowness of the Big Easy’s cultural shores
and has become a little antsy. Maybe the heat is getting to him.
Armor’s, like Tyger, takes a macho approach to the summer inferno.
Neither uses air conditioning at home. Each has large fans set up
at their respective spaces. They sneer at the weaklings who must chill out
constantly in artificial cool-down mode, or as Henry Miller noted
on a trip to New Orleans, the air conditioned nightmare.
Tyger drops by Armor’s on Wednesday, July 20 during visiting hours.
He engages the dear lad in friendly discourse over a couple of cups of blended espresso.
They definitely strike the sweet spot.
Number one point made during the ensuing conversation:
Those assholes are destroying the ozone layer for future
generations just so they can feel temporarily comfortable.
Mention that to them. They pretend you are crazy.
Number two point: They use hardly any electricity, but the surrounding
pigs use so much in their artificial cool-house environment
that the horrible NOPSI Nazi system constantly overloads,
causing frequent brown and black outs.
(One little piggy with a Ray-Gun/Shrub bumper sticker on her
Japanese minivan said between puffs on a “You’ve come a long way
baby” Virginia Slims cancer death-shtick “Why don’t you run your
air conditioner? You are only hateful because you’re overheated.
That stuff about the ozone layer is a bunch of lies from limousine liberals.”
Armor’s had only one reply to make. “Liberal this bitch,” flipping
her a bird as she flew away horrified at his “rude” behavior.)
Yeah, and it isn’t too rude to ruin everything for future generations.
Like the Louis Armstrong song relates, “I’ll be glad when you’re dead,
you rascal you.”
Unfortunately, it is not soon enough to save the planetary
environment. All we can do is our best for as long as possible to
keep from losing it completely.
Number three point: In a related topic of discussion, the
subject of the recent sit-in by anti-abortion hotheads at the
Delta Women’s Clinic on St. Charles Avenue.
Those pigs won’t let women go in for abortions. They have to
be dragged away from the clinic entrance by the storm troopers,
for once on the side of natural law as well as order.
Armor’s makes the salient point that they give a shit until
the unwanted baby pops out.Then, their attitude is “I am out
of here. Yeah. They care about the unborn,
but the born are another matter.”
(“That damn crime and those shiftless negroes,” an antiabortion
fruit-and-nut-cake states in another persona on Eyewitless
News-Fake playing at Armor’s. “They the reason everything is disgusting here.”)
Armor’s fiddles around the shotgun apartment, producing
interesting items for Tyger’s approval. One is a detailed hand-drawn
map of the Pinnacles National Monument where he wants to go for a while.
Another is a flyer from the Earth First! “environmental freedom fighters.”
Armor’s wants to join an Oregon sit-in to stop the pig Ray-Gun
commercial bulldozer buddies from destroying ancient legacy trees
harboring the wise and wonderful endangered Northern Spotted Owl population.
The rape of the Spotted Owl is repeated throughout America
during the waning years of the Ray-Gun rip-off scam. Same bad deal
at the Sportsman’s Paradise, hahaha, of Lousyana where the
beautiful and ancient sea turtle is threatened by the wide nets
of brain dead commercial redneck fish exploiters.
Which would you prefer in your face — owls, turtles and
natural wonders — or assholes, losers and a scorched earth for eternity?
Tough choice. Tell the fishermen to get a real job not harming
innocent wildlife to feed their fat consumptive lofe-style.
They are not after a decent living. Just an easy living.
Tyger walks into the kitchen area to grab a little skim milk
for his black chicory coffee that the boys alternate with espresso.
He innocently opens the freezer compartment.
Two unusual brown paper objects sit in the back of the freezer.
Tyger looks with the eyes of a child not thinking too much of them.
He returns to the main room.
“Hey Armor’s,” Tyger mentions, oh by the way casually no big whoop.
“You eating gourmet now? What are those wrapped objects in the back of the freezer?
They look like Cornish hen wannabees or something. Planning a special super supper.”
“Ahhh,” Armor’s sudden eloquence concerning the environment dissipates
with this line of questioning. “What do you mean?”
“You know, the things that are wrapped and look like cornish hens,” Tyger says.
“Taste like chicken, eh?”
“Oh those,” Armor”s hesitates a one-two-three spell, then blurts out missing information.
“Those are the kittens.”
Tyger does not quite grasp the moment.
“The kittens? What kittens?”
“The kittens from MacLand.” (Tyger spit take.)
What? Tyger had completely forgotten about the cute little kitties
Armor’s took under his wings all those months previously
for what turned out be some kind of not so safe keeping.
“You have the kittens wrapped up in the freezer?” Tyger asks at long pointed last.
“Ahh yeah,” Armor’s replies. “Had to. Remember that real cold spell in February?”
“They caught a horrible fever, cat pneumonia or something,
died suddenly. I put them in the freezer,
so they would keep until I could bury them properly.”
“Why don’t you bury them right now? We’ll go out in the yard.”
“No, Can’t bury them.”
Pregnant pause by Sir Armor’s Tungsten, performance artist,
before delivering the ultimate punch line.
“Don’t have a shovel.”
Ka-boom! Knock out.
Tyger takes under advisement this bizarre turn of events finally disclosed.
Strange behavior by Armor’s true, but dead kittens will keep
a bit longer lying in frozen state. They’re not going anywhere.
The investigative merry-go round is a different matter entirely.
Tyger goes to Lockport in Lafourche Parish on Thursday, July 22.
He sets up the system in a very nice location about 30 yards away
from the Albert Indelicato green with white stripe house trailer.
Thank goodness. The trailer is set aside in a large dirt and gravel area,
no inconvenient nay-bores. What’s more, a small pleasant cafe sits
about 50 yards away from the trailer. It has a large glass window fronting the big picture.
Looks like Tyger can spend much of the surveillance pelicana experience
inside the cafe drinking coffee, yet keep a close eye on subby-poo.
Frozen freezer kitties inspire Tyger to order up the luncheon special,
a very tasty barbecued chicken entree.
What is with that Armor’s anyway, Tyger considers while munching
lunch, watching the wonderful wide world of Indelicato.
Subject, white male, 30 years old, 5’11”, 190 pounds,
stinkers around the trailer proper for a while, exhibiting no
particular signs of the debilitating right knee injury he claims.
Tyger runs the system for three hours as authorized before calling it a day.
Two days later on Saturday July 23, Tyger visits Morgan City
in the oil patch where he conducts a background investigation of
one James Nelson Norton; lately of the Honeymooners, right?
Wrong, Jackie Gleason breath.
Turns out the good Norton is a well known local “club” owner.
The clubs, in his case, are exotic dancer lounges at the
edge of town on Highway 90. Check, please, maitre-d’.
Norton’s most recent entrepreneurial venture is named,
appropriately, the “Hot Stuff Lounge.” Like the other four strip
joints at Morgan City’s red light district, Hot Stuff is a small nondescript
one-room shack hosted by an Oriental babe looks Filipino in short slit dress.
Tyger tells her the truth in this instance. He is a po’ boy of an investigator
just doing his job, conducting a routine background check of the owner.
an’t say why ’cause he don’t know himself. Nobody
knows anything about anything, of course. Tyger goes
about the immediate vicinity performing his duties in a perfunctory
fashion. This isn’t really his cup of java. Besides, not to belabor the all too obvious,
the very name “Hot Stuff Lounge,” more or less says it all.
In a nutshell, Tyger determines Norton had two similar clubs,
each mysteriously burned to the ground. He has been telling
associates he plans to open a new improved version of the Hot
Stuff in the near future. He got the bucks. Just won’t say how he got it.
Only clues Norton has furnished associates is that the money
is coming from unnamed silent investors. Yeah right, probably
by the name of Mutual Insurance Corporation’s fire protection fund.
Norton also has told a nearby car repair shop owner that the
Hot Stuff has been losing money which does not matter because he
is living on a tidy, but vague “allowance.” Tyger concludes his investigation.
He files a report to that effect through the U.S. mail to Dorothy.
Hope it gets there by the end of the World Series.
Ensues the usual weekend frolicking, baseball viewing and lifestyle functions.
No more sleazy strip show clubs, thank you very not.
Then, on a day like any other day except for it being
officially designated for our purposes as Tuesday, July 26, 1988,
Tyger continues in the usual way. First stop after morning dress
rehearsal, an out of business real estate office down the street
where for some bizarrely inexplicable the reason the
Slimes-Picayune delivery person continues to leave a newspaper.
Tyger, good boy, retrieves it, then hikes around Audubon Park.
He returns home abut 10:40 a.m.
At 11:15 a.m. “subject” pours a cup of coffee, sits down
at his feeding table watching a Saturday Night Live re-run.
Hmm, it is from one of the good SNL’s. Jesse Jackson hosts. Hahaha.
At 11:19 a.m. Tyger unwraps the newspaper rubber band, removing
the front section, which he then unfolds with gusto.
At 11:20 a.m., glancing down Page One, usual pack of lies beginning with
smiley yellow sun forecasting sunny skies, temps in the mid-90s.
Considering fake is real, that can only mean torrential rains. Forewarned?
Today’s top story, man bites dog, “Hansen’s Sno-Bliz great for summer.”
At 11:22 a.m., Tyger army half-notices a photograph.
It is the tattooed man from Mildred Bakers apartment.
Tyger sips some coffee.
THE TATTOOED MAN FROM MILDRED BAKER’S APARTMENT. Ugh.
Stop the presses!
Forget about the how for now.
This is the who, what, where, when, and why of all time.
Larry Bob Henley, 45, of Senatobia, Mississippi,
is identified as the tattooed man as revealed by the Slimes-Picayune.
Is this some kind of sick joke?
Tyger motor controls his full attention span to the inside
story of insane explication now introduced for your consideration.
The picture shows Henley along with “James Michael Baker, 17, of New Orleans East”
being taken from a Ford minivan with Mississippi plates at the
Bogue Falaya Commercial Airfield near Hammond, Louisiana.
Two burly U.S. federal marshals escort our good buddies
An additional notation is appended: see story, Metro B-1. D’uh. Seen.
Henley and Cook are among 14 persons charged in an alleged plot
to overthrow the government of Suriname.
Suriname? What the hell is that? Pancake syrup?
“Suriname is on the northeast coast of South America.
It gained independence from the Netherlands in 1975,
and is governed by Lt. Col. Desi Bouterse
who came to power in a 1980 coup.
He has been the target of four overthrow attempts.”
Fair enough. But, what the hey-line.
“All but one of the 14 were arrested July 25 on their way to
the Hammond airport where they were to board a plane for Suriname
to overthrow the military government, according to an indictment
filed by the U.S. Attorney at New Orleans.
Five men along with alleged ring leader Henley were charged
with conspiracy to violate the U.S. Neutrality Act which bars
United States citizens from invading countries with which the
U.S. is at peace.
They also are charged with conspiracy to carry a concealed
and deadly weapon onto an airplane, a misdemeanor that carries a
maximum of one year in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Evidence against the group consists of videotape recordings
and wiretaps of recorded conversations, as well as statements by
undercover agents and some of the defendants themselves upon arrest.”
Videotape recordings? Videotape recordings? Videotape recordings?
Yeah, right. A lot of what Tyger witnessed during those three weeks in
June suddenly make a whole lot more sense. Like the meetings.
Like the weird redneck guys. Like the insane comings and going.
But one part of the story doesn’t yet jibe. Mildred Baker’s connection?
And now, comrades, as Paul Harvey says, for the rest of the story.
The Marx Brothers, Three Stooges, aided, and abetted by
Laurel and Hardy; Lewis and Martin, Bozo the Clown, W.C. Fields, Buster Keaton
attempt to invade a bizarre Third World kleptocracy. Dat-Man to Baker’s Rob-in,
came up naturally enough with a no-brainer. He intended to launch an all-out
night assault using mercenaries recruited through Soldier of Fortune Magazine.
What could possible go right? Henley’s Dutch oil executive overlords
planned to arrange a meeting with — please refrain from snickering —
the Surinamese Minister of Finance to discuss instituting a Swiss-style
banking system with super-secret confidential numbered accounts.
Henley’s mercenaries would pose as — stop us if you heard of this before —
financiers. They then would bring Bouterse into the meeting, take him
hostage or liquidate him and voila’ Suriname at your pleasure, sir.
Not one to rest on his dubious laurels, Henley signed contracts with
other private individuals and foundations, including the Ansus Foundation
of the Netherlands, that would pay him a large amount of money if
the plan were successful. Or maybe it was the Anus Foundation, which
which would have been more appropriate to this mission. Henley also
planned to bring in-country a large yacht filled with Miskito Indians from Nicaragua
acting as support troops. The same Miskitos that fought alongside the Contras.
(Not the ones that attacked Mac and Sarah at Pensacola Beach.)
The coup lite leader promised $500 a week for those Americans who
helped him in the operation with a $1 million bonus for any who
stayed to see it through. Maybe he had watched one too many reruns
of the movie “Walker,” or something. Tyger had seen “Walker”
plus the as-yet not released version of the Larry Henley show,
live on tape from Morrison Road. One might even consider the Tygermeister
to be the world’s leading expert on that particular score. Henley, true
to American democratic values, and/or a desire to max out on looting,
planned to hold “elections” shortly after taking over, then install a Surinamese
puppet official who would follow his bat-shit cracker orders.
Henley had lifted a play straight out of the Gipper’s Grenada game plan.
How fitting in the age of Ray-Gun with the great leader urging Americans
to exercise private initiative. Yup, Henley figured he had it made in the shade.
Suriname would become his personal piggy bank. And what an opportunity.
Consider the tale of the tape: Suriname had 480,000 residents, 63,037-square miles,
slightly larger than the state of Georgia. Guyana, a former British colony, to the west;
Brazil to the south, Atlantic Ocean to the north, French Guiana, former home of Devil’s Island,
due west. Suriname’s coast is flat where dikes permit agriculture. Inland is a rain forest
built with about 75 percent of the country consisting of unexplored areas. About one-third
of the population live in the capital city of Paramaribo. The small nation’s wealth consists
of offshore oil and inland bauxite attracting considerable interest and attention.
Not aiding the political security of the indigenous Creole, East Indian, Bush Negro populace
was the fact that Bouterse sought to keep all the wealth at home, that is to say
in his and associates’ pockets while international interests wanted a, shall we say,
larger piece of the pie.
Talk about a bad trade, sports fans. You thought the
Cubs made some losers. Consider the origins of Suriname.
The Netherlands acquired the property in 1667 from Britain
in exchange for that well known slice of pie from Hell’s Kitchen
drum roll please — New Netherlands, known currently as New York City.
That’s right. Believe it or nuts. A straight-up one-for-one transaction ,
Suriname for the Big Apple.
No doubt still smarting from that apparent bad bad bad deal,
20th Century Dutch descendant uncles finally succeeded in forcing
the reluctant Surinamese into independence on Tuesday November 25, 1975.
Nearly 40 percent of the colony’s nationals then fled the new nation,
and the rest, as they say, is history.
Kind of makes one misty-eyed, don’t you think?
The next day’s follow-up story, rudely pushed inside by the
evil newspaper demigods to Metro Section Page B-3, provided the
final missing pieces in the Mildred Baker jigsaw puzzle.
Baker was charged with conspiracy and violation of the
Neutrality Act and arrested at her Morrison Road apartment.
She claimed no knowledge of a plot. Root a toot hoot. Knew nothing,
her fat circus trapeze insurance fraud ass.
The conspirators were meeting all that time at
Baker’s apartment. She was using insurance company
money to finance the revolution. Or something like that.
After all, comrades, an infinite possibility of conspiracy
theories were available. Joe Fine was a former member of the
Israeli Defense Forces. Could it be involved? What was Joe Fine
actually, insurance investigator or spy under separate cover?
Maybe, the FBI somehow was involved in the set-up, or the CIA
working with Dutch interests to remove a hostile foreign
government in this hemisphere? (Reports had circulated recently
that the erratic Bouterse, a non-commissioned officer before
leading the coup, might go so far as to ally with Cuba.)
Or, these persons could just be complete loons, buffoons,
and fools. Otherwise known as occam’s razor.
Best available explanation of the scenario was that Baker
first decided to fake the injury. The rest was lagniappe.
Tyger’s tapes were part of the evidence of a three-pronged
investigation also using wiretaps and informants culminating
in the arrest of the Baker’s dozen cum 14. Hmmm. That type of sitc
directly harked back to Joe Fine’s explanation of the use of ghosts.
Tyger is relieved his name has in no way been associated publicly
with any aspect of the investigation. He feels confident the authorities
want to grab all the credit, so they will never mention his “contribution.”
While being the sub rosa the savior of Suriname might be a very nice
honor to enjoy, those efforts had saved the evil Bouterse who continued
to oppress his people and steal the nation blind. Oh well, comrades,
can’t have everything. Tyger was a mere technician hired under pretense.
He was only following orders. In the final analysis, however, one might conclude
Tyger had performed a good deed after all. He saved the poor unwitting
citizens of Suriname from a fate possibly worse even than the horrible Bouterse,
a government of Mississippi rednecks masterminded by the incredibly moronic Larry Bob Henley.
Like these idiots ever were going to overthrow a Third World nation.
They couldn’t even tie their shoelaces, or apparently, keep Mrs. Baker in line.
(Final footnote comrades in “Dragnet”: They all pleaded
no contest to the charges. Nine of the 14 received suspended
three year sentences, three years probation, and small fines.
The young Baker was placed on 30 months probation with no fine.
Henley was slapped with two concurrent 30 month prison terms and $10,000 fine.
Mrs. Baker was sentenced to one year and one day in prison,
followed by three years probation. U.S. District Judge Lansing Mitchell was
”particularly angry with Baker because she involved her 17-year-old son in the plot.”
“I’ve been on the bench for 20 years,” Mitchell said, “this is about as far out a case as I’ve heard.”)
No shit, Sherlock.
But you know what they say about unstable Third World military governments.
Sixth coup attempt is the charm. Bouterse was toppled the next try by a
successful coup plot. Following 11 years in a Dutch prison, he eventually
resurrected his drug smuggling and political career, returning
to the presidency by election from 2010 to 2020. Tyger’s phone
rang soon after the initial discovery of the public side of Larry Bob’s
tattooed activities. Dorothy hanging on the line discussing details fantastical.
“Can you beat that?” she says. “By the way, Joe gave your tapes to the FBI.”
“”At least I understand the Baker case,” Tyger says. “Sure didn’t last month.”
“By the way,” Dorothy continues. “Joe needs the equipment back. Said something
about fine tuning. Feeling there won’t be any jobs for a while.
Joe has been acting kind of funny again.”
“Funnier than usual?” Tyger asks not haha.
“Funniest ever,” Dorothy notes. “Having a mid-life crisis or something.
Hopefully, just needs some rest.”
“Who doesn’t,” Tyger says. “Say no mo’.
I’ll bring the system back tomorrow.”
Understandably, Tyger is excited by the current news fake items concerning
his Mildred Baker misadventure. He drives by Sandy Alexander’s house to share
the latest in eye-witless new up-fakes, in this rare case the real fake real item.
Sandy, cat and dog front door greet. Sandy is watching the Braves-Expos game.
“Don’t blame me,” he says. “I’m from Atlanta.”
Details, details. Mulling over the Surinamese news. In an unrelated news item,
Tyger drop kick mentions what was discovered in Armor’s freezer. Sandy plays aghast.
“Hold that thought,” he says, walking towards a closet. “I got a shovel right here. Let’s go.
We got to bury those pussies. They had faces.”
Word. Sandy transports Tyger and shovel toot sweetly to Armor’s pad.
Sleepy keeper of the frozen kitty mausoleum eventually answers loud
poundings of the grim burial reapers on his door.
“We have come to bury those cats,” Sandy notes, bristling
with righteous outrage. “Uhhh, uhhh,” Armor’s stutters while
wiping nappy-time cobwebs from his opening eyes. “Don’t have a shovel.”
“You do now,” Sandy says. “Where the kittens?” Missing information.
“Uhh, freezer.” “Good.” Sandy followed by Tyger followed by Armor’s
second line in funereal procession march to freezer doorward.
Sandy flings open the metal door, retrieving the shrouded kittens.
“What were their names?” he asks in order to provide a brief ceremonial eulogy.
“Didn’t have names,” Armor’s replies. “They died before I could name them.”
“Fine.” Sandy leads the processional outdoors to the weed overgrown
yard. He digs a three foot wide, four foot deep, hole in the sad black dirt.
“Why don’t we say a few words,” Sandy directs.
Armor’s watches from the nearby back porch in silence.
“For you, the noble unnamed two who are about to meet your,
and our, maker,” Sandy reverentially observe. “We salute you.
Good luck and appropriate karma in all that inevitably follows. Amen.”
Tyger and Armor’s agree with “ahem,” “ahem,” as the tall
thin lover of truth covers dead kittens with the rich Cajun Creole soil.
“Thank God,” Sandy says as the three mourners return indoors.
“Couldn’t have slept knowing about this.”
Let us conclude this chapter, therefore, with the elevated
hope that perhaps a higher force considers our ultimate
well-being from cradle to grave.
Sandy took care of kitten disposal as such a higher power.
Perhaps powers higher even than Sandy Alexander, Tyger Williams,
and Armor’s Tungsten, to name but three poor wandering souls,
will take care of their earthly disposal and heavenly disposition.
At least, we can pray for as much, and let the chips fall
where they may. Say hey.
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