Sanibel Flats Short Essay - Answer Key

Randy Wayne White
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1. How does Dr. Marion Ford emerge from the Presidential Palace at the opening of the novel?

At the opening of the novel, Dr. Marion Ford is crawling through a tunnel underneath the Presidential Palace. He is covered in dirt and is not wearing any pants. He did, however, manage to grab his shoes before diving into the tunnel.

2. How does the old man outside the Presidential Palace treat Ford when he sees him emerge?

The old man is outside the Presidential Palace praying to the Mayan gods. When he sees Ford he is initially confused and speaks to him in the ancient language of his people. Ford has to correct the man and say he is an American and therefore does not speak Tlaxcen.

3. What deal does Ford make with the old man outside the Presidential Palace?

Because Ford is wearing no pants, he offers to buy the pants the old man is wearing. He doesn't have any money with him, but he promises to bring money back the old man the next day. The old man is suspicious and wonders if Ford was harassing nuns up at the convent, but decides to sell his pants anyway.

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