This translates roughly from the Spanish and Latin as coconut brain worm or bogeyman brain worm. The clumsy nomenclature, the second definition of coco and the credible but made-up names of the medicines prescribed by Goose may have been among some of the suspicious details that lead Robert Frobisher (see next story) to surmise that the doctor is not all that he seems.
The types of sea diseases to which sailors were most subject at this time were scurvy, typhus fever, pulmonary tuberculosis, as well as tropical diseases like yellow fever, malaria and dysentery. Despite this horrible role call there was a huge reduction in the incidence of sea disease in the nineteenth- century. In the Royal Navy, for example, the death rate between 1856 and 1860 was less than 1.5%. Rarely would European sailors be thrown overboard, although the manner in which slaves were treated was of an altogether different order.
An early nineteenth-century American folk song that is said, among other interpretations, to voice the love of a roaming trader for an Indian chief's daughter.
Gonville and Caius College, referred to sometimes as simply Caius, is a college of Cambridge University. It was established in 1348 and is one of the oldest and wealthiest of the Oxbridge colleges, as well as the most successful in terms of producing Nobel Prize winners.