The author introduces us to four fictional adventurers besides his hero – Albuquerque, Jim Carter, Diego Alvarez and Attilio Gatti.
Curiously enough, two of these names have some historical significance, although far removed from the roles they played in Bibhutibhushan’s story.
Diego Alvarez is one of the names of a tiny inhabited island in the South Atlantic Ocean. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:
“The first recorded discovery of Gough Island was in 1505 or 1506 by the Portuguese explorer Gonçalo Álvares. Maps during the next three centuries named the island for him. On some later maps, this was given as Diego Alvarez.” For more, read on here.
Attilio Gatti, on the other hand, was a real explorer! According to Wikipedia, “Gatti was among the last great safari expedition men. He led ten expeditions to Africa over 23 years before 1945. He became one of the Europeans to see the fabled Okapi, and the Bongo, a brown Lyre horned antelope with white stripes. He was an enthusiastic amateur radio operator, OQ5ZZ, and tried to operate from the Congo deep inland regions. He knew the Pygmy peoples of the Congo Regions very well. He wrote many books on his expeditions, including Killers All!, The New Africa, Here is Africa, Saranga the Pygmy, Africa is Adventure, Kamanda the African Boy, Great Mother Forest, Mediterranean Spotlights, Here is the Veld, Tom Toms in the Night, and South of the Sahara, (Robert McBride & Company 1945). Gatti’s books contain invaluable anthropological material from his descriptions of the native peoples he met. Gatti also took good photos of Pygmys and Watussi. He met an important female python shaman. He became experienced with African magic and an entire world that no longer exists.”
You’ll find a list of his books here. This picture below is that of Attilio and Ellen Gatti.
Doubtless Bibhutibhushan must have read about Gatti’s exploits in contemporary newspapers and journals.