The two novellas that comprise Angels & Insects share a common minor character, Captain Arturo Papagay. At the end of the first novella, he is the captain of the Calypso, the ship taking William and Matilda to the Amazon. It is the captain's first command, and his words conclude the novella as he tells William and Matilda, to whom he has brought an unusual butterfly, that what is important is simply to be alive. Ironically, the second novella opens with his wife, ten years after his supposed death at sea, receiving what she believes to be messages from his spirit....
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