Saturday, November 29, 2008
Doña Bárbara - Friday, Nov., 28 - Santos goes farther to the dark side and throws Antonio out of Altamira
At Altamira, Marisela tells Gonzalo that she would die before having his baby. Lorenzo tells Gonzalo to leave his daughter alone. Then he sees that he and his friends are armed and ask what they are doing at Altamira.
DB sends Juan Primito to find out what is going on at Altamira.
Federica is hiding under the dining room table and Pernalete demands that she come out and tell him what they told Antonio. Federica stays under the table and wails that it's all lies.
When Lorenzo tells Gonzalo his name, he and the other rebels say that he is their idol. They produce a copy of Lorenzo's thesis: "A new constitution for a new country," and say that they are honored to meet him. Gonzalo says that he will be Lorenzo's son in law and Marisela leaves in disgust. Gonzalo explains to Lorenzo that he and his friends are fugitives from the tyranical government. Lorenzo replies that the local government is very corrupt but he and Santos will help them get over the frontier.
Carmelito drags Antonio out of the bar. "She betrayed me," he says, "she's going to have my baby and she married someone else." He borrows Carmelito's horse. The vaqueros are unable to prevent Santos from following.
Antonio comes into Cecilia's room. "How could you do this to me?" he says, "You're carrying my baby and you marry another man? What kind of a woman are you, Cecilia Vergel?" Cecilia says that when she found out she was pregnant, all she could see was the image of Federica carrying Antonio's baby. She says that she was too proud to beg for a father for her baby. Antonio says that he doesn't believe her and now they are even because she didn't believe him. The difference is that he didn't betray her. Antonio says that the truth will come out and she will repent what she has done to him but it will be too late. Cecilia says that she hasn't done anything to him. She married Lorenzo to forget Antonio and because she thought Lorenzo would be a good father to her baby.
Antonio says that he is the baby's father but if Cecilia wants to go ahead and get it on with that drunk Lorenzo, she should go ahead. Cecilia says that Antonio knows full well that there is nothing between her and Lorenzo. "Right, there's nothing between you and your ex-boyfriend. Tell me another one. ("A otro perro con ese hueso," literally, "to another dog with that bone.") Antonio says that he feels pity for her and he curses the day he met her.
Lorenzo brings Gonzalo and his buddies to a worker's hut where they can stay. Gonzalo tells Lorenzo that he has adored Marisela from the first moment he saw her and intends to make her wife however long it takes. Lorenzo warns him that will be difficult since Marisela has already taken against him.
DB waits for Santos to come to her. She tells Eustaquia to keep the men quiet and put flowers everywhere. She wants El Miedo to be a place of rest from Santos' domestic war.
Armed with a stick to protect herself, Marisela watches while Casilda feeds Gonzalo and his friends. Marisela asks why they have come to Altamira. After joking that he has come just to see her, Gonzalo explains that they are running from 'bad guys' ('malos tipos') from the government and need her help. He says that he will be killed if he is caught and she'll be a widow before she's a bride. Marisela pretends to attack Gonzalo with the stick
and he and his friends cower behind the table.
Santos returns to Altamira and yells for Antonio to come out. Juan Primito is observing the goings on from a tree. Santos comes out and says that he doesn't care if Santos beats him to death. Cecilia is right behind him and she begs them not to fight. Santos say that he won't dirty his hands with someone like Antonio. He tells him to leave Altamira. Santos tells Antonio to disappear from his sight forever. "I will leave here but before I do," says Antonio, "I'm going to tell you something. What I just saw today reminds me of what I saw in this house many years ago when we were children. I saw in your eyes the same hate and the same thirst for vengeance that I saw in the eyes of your father. Today you are the same as José Luzardo. Then, with only one blow, you lost your father and your brother. Today because of your arrogance and blindness, you are losing your best friend."
Antonio leaves and Cecilia goes after him. He tells her that he will do everything he can to take her baby from her because a woman like her doesn't deserve to be a mother. Cecilia says that he seems like a different person. Antonio says that he is a different person and soon she will hear about the new Antonio Sandoval.
Santos is muttering to himself about what a traitor Antonio is when Lorenzo comes out to speak to him.
L: If you want, you can hit me to relieve your fury.
S: Leave me in peace. What do you want?
L: Let us see the 'different Luzardo' ('el Luzardo distinto'). The centaur of violence is inside you, Santos. You are the same as your father. Are you going to kill Antonio with a bullet?
S: You too? Is everyone here trying to destroy my life?
L: No one is destroying anyone else's life. Everyone is resonsible for his own misfortunes. Do you remember how many times you've told me that?
S: I don't want to talk to you or to anyone right now. Go away.
Lorenzo tells Santos that Gonzalo and his friends are at Altamira. He says that he has put them in a worker's hut until Santos decides what to do with them.
Marisela says that Casilda likes Gonzalo. Casilda says that Marisela likes him too. She protests but Casilda says that it is a short step between love and hate. Marisela gives Casilda a look.
Santos tells Gonzalo and his friends that they should rest up at Altamira for a few days and then he will help them get over the border.
Antonio comes back to the Sandoval house and tells Melesio and the terneras that Santos has thrown him out of Altamira. Antonio tells his family that Santos was offended that he didn't tell him about his relationship with Cecilia. Melesio says that Santos was right - they went behind his back but Genoveva doesn't agree. Melesio asks where they will go. He has lived on these lands his entire life. There has always been a Sandoval at the side of a Luzardo.
Back at the hut, it's decided that Gonzalo and his friends will pretend to be workers at Altamira. For that they will need clothes and tools. Lorenzo agrees to see to that. Santos then tells them that he isn't living at Altamira.
Antonio tells Melesio and the terneras that he will find them new land where they can live without bowing their heads or calling anyone, 'boss.' Sandovals don't need a Luzardo to live. He tells them to pack up their stuff. "It's not right!" says Genoveva and runs out.
The Altamira vaqueros are patching themselves up after the fight with Antonio when Genoveva comes in. She attacks Pajarote saying that it's all their fault and they are cowards and liars and Pajarote is the worst.
Santos return to El Miedo. He tells DB that she was right. Everyone lied to him. He can't trust anyone. DB says that he can trust her, only her.
Pernalete is giving Mujiquita orders to search evertwhere for Gonzalo and his friends. Antonio comes in and says that they have to talk.
Marisela comes breezing in to the Sandoval house and sees the terneras packing up all the stuff. She asks if something happened. They tell her that they have to leave the house since Santos threw Antonio out of Altamira. Marisela doesn't believe that Santos would kick his best friend out. She says that they are as close as a fingernail and dirt ("ellos son uña y sucio"). Repeating that she doesn't believe it, Marisela leaves the room but she comes back in a second. "He really did it?" she asks. The terneras nod yes. Marisela tells them to stop packing. She says that this won't happen.
Pernalete refuses to believe Antonio that Federica had sex with the vaqueros. Antonio calls Mujiquita to verify that Federica and Josefa laid a trap for him.
DB lies down on the bed with Santos. She tells him to rest. Tomorrow he can decide how he will punish those who betrayed his trust. DB says that this is his refuge, her love will protect him from all bad things.
Antonio helps Pernalete drag Federica out from under the table. He asks to be left alone with her.
There is one more revelation necessary before everyone knows all the secrets. Genoveva brings the vaqueros to Cecilia.
She orders them to, "Tell it to her!" ("¡Díganselo!"). She has a right to know. Cecilia says that she has a headache and doesn't want to hear any more. The vaqueros look for a way to escape. They say that Cecilia is ill and this will make her feel much worse. Genoveva won't be denied. When the vaqueros won't speak, she tells Cecilia that the vaqueros slept with Federica and one of them is the father of her child. Antonio was telling the truth. Federica trapped him. Cecilia is impactada.
Antonio tells Federica that she is a disusting cockroach on the inside ("cucaracha asquerosa") and an insignificant mouse ("ratona insignificante") on the outside but he has the perfect way to get vengeance for what she did to him. He will marry her and make her suffer every day that she is by his side.
DB continues to pour poison into Santos' ear by repeating all the bad things that the folks at Altamira did to him when Marisela's voice is heard outside demanding to talk to Santos. Santos comes out and asks why she is yelling like a rude uneducated person. Marisela says that is what she is but he is a heartless wretch. She tells Santos that he has been converted into a monster like DB. Santos replies that it is he who should be annoyed with Marisela. Marisela says that she doesn't care. Her conscience is clear but his is black like that devil. She says that because of him Melesio and the terneras have to leave their land and don't have a roof over their heads. "Where is the Santos I knew? Where is he?" she asks hitting him.
I'll describe another chapter in the novel entitled El Espectro de la Barquereña or The Ghost of La Barquereña. Santos is riding over his property and comes to the area called La Chusmita. It's said to be a cursed place - a Luzardo murdered a Barquero there. But there is a hut there, the hut to which DB sent Lorenzo and the child Marisela. Santos goes inside and finds Lorenzo in a hammock. The book's description is much worse than the telenovela portrays. Lorenzo is thin, haggard, physically ruined. He can barely stand. He is amazed that an enemy, a Luzardo, would visit him. Santos father, José Luzardo, killed Lorenzo's father, his brother-in-law, over ownership of one cow. This was the reason Lorenzo egged on Félix, Santos' older brother, to defy his father.
Santos tells Lorenzo that he remembers looking up to him as his idol when he was a boy. Lorenzo had so much promise and was considered a great scholar at the university. Everyone told Santos: learn to be a man from your cousin Lorenzo. Santos clearly remembers meeting Lorenzo and José telling Lorenzo that Santos was a good horseman. In reply Lorenzo gave a moving oration to the boy the gist of which was: "es necesario matar al centauro que todos los llaneros llevamos por dentro". We must kill the centaur that all plainsmen have within us.
When Santos was at the university, he based some of his work on this. He also discovered a copy of a paper written by Lorenzo in which he writes: the centaur represents barbarism and, consequently, we have to finish him off. Apparently this theory did not go over well with the "traditionalists", but Santos recognized it immediately as truth. But Lorenzo tells Santos that his life as a scholar came to an end when he got a message from his mother: vente y vengar a tu padre. Come and avenge your father.
I don't know if the novel is going to be like the novela in that Lorenzo comes to live with Santos at Altamira. I have only finished Part 1, but in the chapter I just described Santos gets nowhere with Lorenzo. He drinks constantly the whole time Santos is there, warns him about DB, and tells him at last: "Esta tierra no perdona!" This land doesn't forgive.
I don't think that exposure to DB is the explanation for why Santos is reverting to being his father. When it comes to things he holds sacred, like Cecilia, the veneer of civilization isn't very thick and DB skillfully exploits this to isolate Santos.
DB's manipulation and the happiness she got from seeing Santos in pain was a peek at her extreme dysfunction.
Antonio marrying that pig face is what's really concerning me...
I'm with JB on Antonio. Wonder if he'll go from a sweet and loving young man to a side villain who becomes power-hungry (already agreed to marry ugly Fred if dad gives him and hacienda) and makes the lives of both the woman he loves and the woman he married miserable.
You're right about Santos' issues Jean. It is true that machismo and the whole saint or whore image of women is very much alive and well in Latin America. Santos placed his aunt on an altar (and Marisela on one almost as big) and the fall from grace was too much for him to bear. These are not women, they're saints in his mind.
I barely can wait for the new chapter to see if Santos will continue to fall in the abyss or he will finally touch the bottom
I hate DB... she remembers me the biblical snake who tempted Adam and Eve and made them loose the Paradise
It's also true that there seems to be a fairly obsessive focus on the virtue of female members of their families in Latino men. About 15 years ago I was working with a man who fell in love with a young woman in Mexico. One or more of her brothers accompanied the pair every time he took her somewhere!