I am convinced this is autobiography, in much the same way as was The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein. If it isn't, then ""R.S."" -- whose story this is supposed to be, was surely Hans Zinsser's alter ego. Remember Rats, Lice and History, which turned out to be a best seller, though it started out to be a scientific study of the influence of plague on world history. Zinsser, scientific crusader against plagues, the world over, knows how to spin a tale, and to build a character. Adventures and his profession took ""R. S."" (or Hans Zinsser?) into all corners of the world; he was philosopher and commentator. For the American Doctor's Odyssey market.