Eight Finger Eddie’s legacy needs the whistle blown on him. Back in Katmandu, this was the man we all (the Bandit Sister buddies) were told we had to meet. This patron saint of the anti-materialist Goa commune of South India, spent his summers in Nepal, probably to escape the heat. We had a precise address of where to find him, thanks to Jasper® and his unfailing ability to tie dubious connections together throughout South Asia. Eddie was not at home, having returned to Goa something like ten days previous to our arrival at his door, or so we were informed by the very well dressed lady who came to quell the commotion in front of the gate; at a posh townhouse in a very upscale neighborhood of Nepal’s capital city. Eight Finger Eddie sounded like a name of some pool shark who’d hustled the wrong people. Anti-materialism? Enough said.

When our Katmandu days had run out after this last (aborted) misadventure, we flew back to Delhi. This departing Katmandu is where two amazing but very suspect characters, Jasper® & Socket™ (and constant aroma of ‘herbal’ chillums), drop out of our story. Jasper® is now known as ‘The Late Lord Whatever’, born an English aristocrat destined to a next life as a dope dealer running a chai shop in Almora.

At the airport, on arrival in Delhi, an Indian Army major asked my nationality. “USA” I answered. He kept staring at me, but now with a skeptical look and I stated “American.” He accepted my second answer, even if it did not seem wholly satisfactory. Back at the Hotel Imperial, I had a by this time urgent medical matter to attend to. My innumerable sins determined to leave my body by the route of my ear in the form of a fungus (initiated with my ‘cleansing’ bath in the Ganges) had to be addressed. I called the American embassy to ask who they sent their people to, for ear problems. I took this measure because the hotel’s doctor on call had prescribed antibiotics to the Canadian minister for his malaria, at the beginning of our trip. They connected me with a Sikh trained in the USA and I made an appointment.


After a couple of days in Delhi, the Bandit Sister took Sensible Sue, the Montana dyke & Bummer John south, to some baba’s ashram. The Guardian Angel Sister and Old Babette stayed in Delhi. The Tibetan headed north to Dehradun and I was supposed to catch up with him there, in a few days, after I’d resolved the sins in my ear. I’d seen the Sikh doctor and he’d used something like a tiny ball on a wire attached to a power device that made it spin. Inserting this tiny ball into my ear, he powered on the device and beat the sins out of my head. Now I was to use anti-fungal drops in my sinful ear but he wanted me back in a few days, to make certain I was clean. I never returned to the doctor or Dehradun. This was on account of the next day, Indira Gandhi was shot.


My Madcap Adventure (all episodes)

Letter to the De Sousa clan of India