Bartholomew: Have you ever been to China?
Alonso: I don’t know.
Here Christopher would surely say: “You don’t
know? Have you any reason to believe that you
might have been there at some time?”
Bartholomew: Were you, for example, ever near to
the Chinese border, or were your parents there at
the time when you were born?
Christopher: Normally Europeans know whether
they have been to China or not!
And so it is that, many years later, in their apart-
ments in the city of Lisbon, Columbus and his
brother Bartholomew mete out the thin soup...