Gigantic Beasts of Death and Destruction Stalk a Mysterious Island in this Tense, Fantastic Story of Santo Domingo
I have always been immensely concerned about a number of obscure things, especially about what I have come to regard as the invisible telephone wires which connect our conscious thoughts with our dreams, our nightmares, our waking flights of fancy in which we see things no man has ever seen-at least in recorded history.
Whence come our figments of imagination in which we soar vicariously to heights which no man has ever attained except in similar flights? Where does the subconscious leave off and the conscious begin? Where is the thin dividing line between waking and sleeping, knowing and dreaming?
I confess that I do not know, and even the incident of Cabritos has not given me a clue. It is set down here in the hope that perhaps where I have failed to find the clue, others may be more fortunate-or, perhaps, unfortunate. I say unfortunate because it may be that it is forbidden for us to know exactly where to set up the invisible wall which separates the known from the unknown.
I was doing some work for the Museum of Natural History, and had set up a one-man camp at La Descubierta, on Lake Enriquillo, in the Dominican Republic. The man who had hired me was Curator of Herpetology for his museum, and he was deeply desirous of procuring two things for the organization which had sent him to Santo Domingo.
He wished to procure a crocodile or alligator-I was never even scientist enough to know which was which unless I saw a specimen of each, side by side-twelve feet in length, because such reptiles had been seen in the lake. And he wanted to find a rhinoceros iguana exceeding five feet in length, because native hunters had reported them fairly numerous in the more inaccessible parts of the Republic. There was a story that they flourished in Isla de Cabritos, which is almost in the mathematical center of the lake, opposite La Descubierta. Lake Enriquillo is some forty feet below the level of the Caribbean, and its waters are said to be four times as salty as the sea. The lake is some sixty miles long, and is separated by a rocky rampart from the much higher lake called Lago Del Fondo by Dominicans, and Etang Sumatre by the Haitians.