Page 36. " Once the Parasite's larvae hatch, the victim's brain becomes a maggoty cauliflower. "

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.

Page 37. " 'I once heard of a sailor who showed the touch of leprosy a week out of Macao on the long haul back to Lisbon,' recalled Henry, 'and the whole company prodded the wretch overboard without a hearing.' "


Slaves thrown overboard circa 1830
Public DomainSlaves thrown overboard circa 1830

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.


Page 38. " I rest in my coffin until Homer lulls me into dreams-a-billow with sails of Athenians. "
John William Waterhouse - 'Ulysses and the Sirens' (1891)
Public DomainJohn William Waterhouse - 'Ulysses and the Sirens' (1891)
A reference to Homer's Odyssey. Odysseus embarks on an epic ten year journey home following the fall of Troy. The text is said to be the second oldest known in Western literature and dates back to around the late eighth century BC.
Page 39. " Oh, Shenandoah, I long to see you, "

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.   

Page 44. " I, a Caius Man, teetering on the brink of destitution. "
Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeGonville and Caius College, Cambridge - Credit: Jdforrester

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.   


Page 46. " R.V.W. conducted Sea Symphony in the Orchestra of the Mind "

Ralph Vaughan Williams' A Sea Symphony is a choral work based on texts by Whitman. (1903–1909)