Seven American Nights -- Timeline
Here is my reconstruction of what really happened, day by day.
Nadan arrives in Washington.
Angers Mr. Tallman by pointing out yellow water.
Begins to be fearful, but will not admit it in journal for Yasmine.
Has dream about moldy bread.
- Palm Sunday
Nadan heads north to see the buildings.
Visits the National Art Gallery.
Writes of his intent to steal miniatures.
Late that night, writes of his fears.
Nadan goes back and visits the ruined buildings.
The beggar with no lower jaw shows him the Smithsonian room.
The beggar boasts "Sunday we will be great again," knowing that he will be misunderstood as saying "Someday we will be great again."
Nadan's visit is noticed by F.E.D. informers among the beggars.
Nadan seeing the face of the "curator" along with the forging machine is a problem.
The police tail him to the theater.
The "curator" goes in, sits in his row, and draws him into conversation. Curator can tell he was recognized.
Curator pretends to be ill. Nadan escorts him home.
Nadan is sold poison, which he is told is a hallucinogenic. (It might be an overdose of a recreational drug.) He is supposed to take it and die that night, with any letters he might have written during the day still unmailed.
Nadan doses the eggs. Unknown to himself, he is playing real Russian Roulette.
Police are now in a bind. Nadan didn't take the poison. Where is it?
Why didn't he take it? Could he be a spy? They have to be cautious.
If he dies some other way and the poison is found, the plot may be revealed.
Nadan visits the park during the day.
Police following him save his life from a dog-pack attack. The howling was not because the dogs were "mourning their fallen leader" but because the police were killing more dogs.
Nadan could have been aware of their assistance but chose to omit it to make himself look more heroic.
Nadan attends the theater again and sees "Mary Rose."
Eats egg one.
Goes out to try to find Ardis.
Police follow him and save him from the werebeast. The "flicker of scarlet" he saw was the targeting laser of his shadower's gun on the beast. Nadan had no time to aim, so the shot that killed the beast was probably not his own.
Police clean up the body of the beast and remove other traces as much as possible.
Buys gift for Ardis at the Washington Monument fair.
Police have given up on his taking the poison on his own. They contact Bobby and Ardis with a plan.
Nadan eats egg two.
Attends first part of "Mary Rose."
Bobby fakes an attempt to pickpocket Nadan, gets arrested.
Ardis comes to Nadan's room to intercede for Bobby.
She is prepared to have sex with Nadan, but not spend the night. She must make her report to the police.
She leaves a scented note promising future favors.
Nadan spends most of the day trying to get Bobby out of jail.
While he is occupied, the secret police search his room. They are experts and leave no trace.
They make a copy of his journal and get it translated.
Nadan returns home, eats egg three.
He goes out to the play, where he ends up performing.
The police return while he is absent.
They found the mention of the eggs in the journal.
Using a sniffing dog or other detector, they find the poisoned egg and remove it. They are no longer concerned that Nadan will see his room is disturbed.
Nadan goes to Ardis' apartment.
Ardis falsely promises that the next day will be a picnic in the park. She says the theater will be closed for Easter, but tomorrow is actually Good Friday.
Nadan returns, finds the journal disturbed. He tears out the incriminating section about the Art Museum visit (shortening the record for Sunday).
Nadan writes his last entries in the journal.
Police arrive and arrest him.
- Good Friday
Nadan is interrogated, probably tortured, and killed.
Police now know he is connected to Ahkon Mirza Ahmak, of the Iranian nobility. There is certain to be an inquiry.
They also know that Nadan showed his family the journal before he left.
His journal is fed to the story-composing computer to create a false ending.
The ending is added to the journal by the forging machine.
Since the ending calls for the death of Ardis, they kill her that night with Nadan's gun.
The reader of the forged ending is supposed to conclude that Ardis was a werewolf (or the hallucinogen made Nadan think so), and that Nadan killed her and went into the interior of America alone.
- Easter Sunday
The American government will pull some kind of stunt. They may use a hidden stockpile weapon (say from under Mount Rushmore) that still works to create a terrorist incident, and use forged documents to put the blame elsewhere.
A possible target is the Iranian moon colony, New Tabriz. A bomb smuggled into a grain shipment there (by Golam Gassem) could cause great devastation.
Good ones to blame would be Turkey ("bloodthirsty race") or China (Iran had a recent war with them, as shown by the reference to a modern version of "Rustam Beg").
It may start a war (As Kreton wanted to do in "Visit to a Small Planet").
The intent may be to bring America back to more power in world, but mainly to bring down countries they hate, like Iran.
"Sunday we will be great again" is about the power to bring about destruction. They have nothing to lose.
"When we feel cheated we are ready to kill; and maybe we feel cheated all the time."