The Magi left the park at five, watched the football game at the club, and dined at Murry’s. Charles, in a celebratory mood, surprised even himself by insisting that dinner was on him. Innocent of any knowledge of camels, other than that gained from the dubious essay, he allowed his imagination free reign, as he regaled George and Bill with advice on camel riding, camel nutrition, camel psychology, and camel history.
The harangue didn’t sputter to an end until dessert. Sloshing with wine and overcome with the urge to sing during the drive back to the amphitheater, Charles launched into songs that made him think of camels. It was a regrettably extensive list. He was braying through “The Sheik of Araby” when he drove past the entrance to the amphitheater.
He wasn’t in a hurry to correct course until Bill said he was feeling nauseated and hoped the leather seats would be easy to clean. Charles whipped the car through a U-turn and had them back at the amphitheater to pick up their cars faster than Bill could say “woofing cookies.”
Bill watched the tail lights of Charles’s car fade in the distance. He thought a moment and turned to George. “Is your brother still practicing law?”
“I’ll need a lawyer if I hear Charles say another damned word about his ‘inspiration’ for this pageant or how to ride a camel.”
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