A traveler is murdered in Rio for the sake of a stuffed snake.
The man in white has money to fly, but he boards a bus instead. It takes hours for the rickety old bus to snake down the Brazilian coast, and the man arrives in Rio de Janeiro well after midnight. He is on his way to make his fortune when he spots the killers following him and knows is life is through. A few hours after dawn, the man in white is brought to the city morgue - another anonymous corpse to be inspected by Captain José Da Silva, liaison between Interpol and the Brazilian police. Da Silva knows he is on to something when he opens the package the man left at his hotel just before the killers caught up to him. In it is a stuffed coral snake, a bizarre sight that does not faze the detective. Da Silva knows that on a late night in Rio, even dead snakes can kill.