Telenovela Alborada, #8
- Luis prepares for his trip to the mine. He and Cristóbal must deal with the families of the dead workers. The miners are on strike, furious at the terrible treatment they've received from Diego.
- Isabel complains to her innocent young ward: "Marina, you're as nervous as a scalded cat." Marina has been reminded by Gasco, the chief evil henchman, that tonight Diego will take her, and that she'd better not be a fool and cry in front of him. "If you reject him, he'll run Andrés off. But don't worry, Andrés can have you when Diego has had his fill."
- The brutal Francisco, who has reluctantly been looking for work, stalks angrily through a small collection of very clean pigs in the plaza. He tells his wife Asunción: "Either Catalina is going to marry Cristóbal or Hipólita is going to [...] with Luis, because I'm sure as hell not going to be a pig farmer."
- Hipólita tells Luis she could bake pies for a living, or maybe sew. He says decent women would rather die than work. "The poor become prostitutes - hunger is a terrible thing." "But I don't want to depend on you." "But Rafael is my son, I want to take care of him." "He isn't really your son." "I'll buy a house for him -- and pay you and Adalgisa to take care of him. He needs to live in a manner becoming to my station."
- Closed captions: "Música de suspenso!" Night has come! Gasco, Diego's henchman, escorts poor virginal Marina into the Diego's labyrinth. She's crying.
Diego appears in a red satin dressing gown and grabs her bottom. She cries and begs him to leave her alone. "You're a virgin, all women have a first time, better with me than anybody else" He strips, picks her up, she screams and screams. [...]
Later she leaves, wretched and sobbing. Gasco is sitting in the dark listening. Is that a look of human compassion on his face?
Isabel can't understand why Marina is so miserable next morning as they dress to attend the baptism. She sweetly says she loves Marina and will keep her as long as she likes.
- The obsessed and jealous Martin stalks in and out, bad-mouthing Luis, using the formal "usted" with his dad. He visits his mom and neglects to tell her he's moving to Spain soon.
- Catalina and Cristobal cross paths often since she is now living in his palace. She has a hat like a lampshade. They gaze at each other with suppressed adoration.
- The morning of the baptism. Luis's jealous ex-whore Perla shows up at the Guevara estate and asks Luis for a lot of money. She spins some story about a friend in jail - but she actually needs the money to pay for Hipólita's kidnapping! Ironic, eh?
The kidnappers she's hired are the same guys whom Diego hired to kill Luis - a botched job - and then to kidnap baby Rafael - another botched job - why do these guys keep getting work?
- Everybody dresses up and goes to the baptism. Felipe and Isabel are the godparents. Many in the congregation are surprised to hear Luis attest, for the record, that he doesn't know who the mother is! He says he'll explain later.
- Juana tells Diego: "Isabel will not give you Marina." He laughs: "Gasco is efficient, I've already had her. But I didn't like her, she was like a doll." Juana says she doesn't want to hear this. Diego, callously: "I never thought of you as a principled woman."
- At the post-baptism bash, held at Cristóbal's palace, those who know Luis is truly Rafael's father make many slips and cover them awkwardly.
Luis asks Hipólita to slip away from the bash with him: "This time, let's leave the chaperone home and go alone." They go, in a romantic carriage, to a huge luxurious house he plans to buy for her.
They get kissy amongst the dustcovers. They stand in front of a huge crucifix as if they were getting married (it's pesky about each of them already being married to others).
He takes her to the bedroom and they sink to the floor. [...] Then they go back to the party.
- Antonio (Hipólita's actual, impotent husband) and his friend Rodrigo arrive in Mexico City. They get out of their carriage, coincidentally right in front of Cristóbal's palace, and not fifteen seconds have gone by when the baptism attendees pull up and Antonio looks in the direction of, but evidently does not see, his wife Hipólita enter the palace with Don Luis. Cymbals crashing!
Thursday: Don Luis doesn't want to go to the mine, leaving Hipólita for three days, especially right after he laid her on the floor and [...].
Asunción reclines, a compress on her forehead. She's had it with Hipólita and the trouble and shame she's brought upon the family, and is embarrassed by her husband Francisco, who after his distasteful visit to the pig farm has developed Plan B: to mooch off whatever situation Luis provides for Hipólita.
Cristóbal scolds Luis, who is getting deeper in love with Hipólita but STILL has not told her he is her son's father. "Don't build a house on a foundation of mud."
- Perla's kidnapping scheme unfolds. She fires her maid, Margarita - without paying her! - so there will be no witnesses. She sends Hipólita a letter: "I have important things to tell you about Luis. Also, I want to meet your son."
Hipólita doesn't want to go, but her maid Adalgisa says it's better to know as much as possible about the man she is committing herself to. So she goes to Perla's, taking Ada but at the last minute leaving Rafael behind with her half-sister Catalina.
Perla tells Hipólita Luis will never leave his wife; he has many women but will always come back to her (Perla); he pays her (Perla) a monthly retainer and loves her best.
Hipólita leaves Perla's in high dudgeon and is grabbed and stuffed into a coach which takes off pronto. Ada, left in the dust, recognizes the kidnappers as Ramón and the mute, guys from previous bad escapades.
- Antonio is cheerfully sightseeing as his buddy Rodrigo meets with Count Diego's money man. Rodrigo submits his bill for damages caused by Diego's adulterated cochinilla.
UPDATE: One commenter told me cochinilla were crushed bugs used to dye fabric. Yesterday another commenter disagreed and said it was metal. More ideas, anybody?UPDATE: Here's another vote for bugs, from Catalina:
The red cochinilla dye, largely supplanted by late nineteenth century synthetics, is indeed made from an parasitical insect which makes its home on "tuna" plants (red prickly pear). The bugs are brushed off the plants, dried out and ground up. Don Diego's adulterated cochinilla was probably mixed up with some kind of starch to make it seem like more. The trick was probably discovered when the dye was tested on cloth.
The "Las Tunas" farm is a valuable property because it produces both the fruit of the red prickly pear and the cochinilla or grana for dying cloth.
Some information on "tunas": Prickly Pear Cactus have been a staple food of Native Americans for many centuries. Their large, colorful blossoms appear in yellow, pink, red or purple and grow from the tip of cactus nodules, which later ripen into delicious red fruit. Many varieties of prickly pear cactus grow wild throughout the deserts of the Southwest, but many are not native.
Rodrigo's proposed settlement is much more expensive than Diego's accountant Malquiades had estimated. Perhaps an "arrangement" can be made... Doña Juana and Diego agree to meet with Rodrigo next day. Rodrigo asks Antonio to go, too, saying "you're better at business than I am." Antonio would prefer to visit the pre-Columbian cave paintings.
- Adalgisa heaves herself, panting, back to Guevara's and sobs: Hipólita has been stolen by Gasco's men!
Martin, who realizes Perla knew these guys, goes to Perla's house. He shouts: "Rafael is Luis's son, you'll rot in jail forever!" Perla, sobbing and kneeling and begging Martin not to tell Luis she did this, says Ramon and the mute are heading for a settlement of fugitives where Hipólita will be stuffed on a pirate ship and sent away.
Martín puts a red bandanna on his head - the better to be seen by the men he is pursuing - and says goodbye to his mother, who blesses him with foreboding.
While Ada sobs "it's my fault, she didn't want to go and I made her," elsewhere there is a meeting of team Guevara. Isabel and Juana think Diego commissioned the kidnapping; he denies it. Gasco says his guys freelance for whomever they choose.
Aunt Isabel hits Diego and shouts in his face. He later tells his mother he's going to run Isabel off the estate. Juana reminds him Isabel is his father's sister. He doesn't care: "She leaves or I do." He pours booze on the nose of his creepy brown mask.
Juana next decides Hipólita has been stolen for profit: "There are many white women in harems." She is supremely unconcerned and says the robbers did Luis a favor by removing her.
Isabel sets off to drink chocolate with the regidor's wife and insinuate it was Diego who did this deed. This way of reaching the regidor's ear was very effective last time.
- The robbers' coach hurtles through woods and over greenswards, but it must have EXCELLENT shock absorbers, because the ride is very smooth.
Hipólita first flatters the mute ("you seem like a kind man"), then sympathizes with him - his throat was cut with a knife and that's why he can't talk - then begs him to let her go ("Don Luis is my protector, he'll pay anything") then shouts and hits him ("I have a son, don't separate me from him! Do you have a mother? Are you a stone?"). He says nothing.
- Doña Juana arrives at Cristóbal's palace and demands Rafael be handed over to her to live at the castle, since he's obviously not safe where he is. She informs them coldly that Rafael is Luis's son "by blood - Luis is the one who bedded your daughter in Santa Rita." Frowns, astonishment, and cymbals crashing.
Friday: Juana and Modesta take Rafael back to the estate, where Modesta plays very awful ukulele music for little Rafael and even THAT doesn't make him cry. No kid I ever saw would go through even one kidnapping without screaming and sobbing.
Luis, Felipe and Cristóbal face the angry miners and work on a settlement plan through their leader. They suggest retiring all debts, payment to the families of the dead miners, more security in the mine, etc.
Aunt Isabel returns from the capital where she spent four hours and consumed 2 liters of chocolate with the wife of the regidor. Next day the regidor sends a letter summoning Diego.
Servants recap amongst themselves; Hipólita's mother, sister, and maid recap amongst themselves and profess astonishment that Luis could have been such a "ruin" in Santa Rita; Doña Juana and her son Diego remind each other they would prefer Hipólita not be found.
Diego and his mom also remind each other that Luis will supposedly stop to visit his wife Esperanza (who went home to her brothers to recuperate after the death of their father Agustín) on his way back from the mine. "Will Esperanza be pregnant?" Juana: "of course not, she made all that up about the Virgin, and Luis never touched her."
Diego, who bonked Esperanza secretly many times, titters madly behind his white mask.
Then Modesta and Juana recap together that the preternaturally silent little boy Rafael looks like Luis, and that he may be the key to undoing the damage Guevaras have done themselves in heaven with their many evil shenanigans.
Ever since she was raped by Andrés' boss Diego, Marina can't look her sweetie in the face. Andrés asks what's the matter but she just slips away sadly.
Francisco tells his son Andrés: now that we share a grand-child with Juana, she will not be able to refuse what I want. To wit: the return of Las Tunas so Francisco can continue stomping around and threatening his wife and avoiding work of any kind.
On the road, the huge mute saves Hipólita from rape but is unwilling to help her further.
She and her captors arrive at the beach encampment, where we see corpses being robbed as they lie on the sand. She is presented to the pirate queen, who says (I think) that the boat scheduled to leave for Panama has been shipwrecked (sounds like Dulles airport) she'll need money for the food Hipólita will consume before the next boat arrives. The captors complain.
Hipólita is put in a palm-tree cage. Corpse-robbing gang-rapists break in and attack her! Luckily, the pirate queen arrives in time to run them off. She has sympathy for Hipólita but says she can't help, because she's already been paid to put her on a boat to Panama and doesn't have the luxury of giving money back. Martin has arrived and is watching from the bushes. Why hasn't anybody spotted him in that red bandanna?
Marcos finally reaches the mine and shouts to Luis that Hipólita has been stolen. Long, long views of Luis as he says and does ... absolutely nothing. That's thinking on your feet!
All Alborada recaps are now listed in the sidebar to the right - below the small picture of Modesta and Doña Juana, just above the elephant. Click on the numbers (ONE TWO THREE ... ETC) to find them!
Entre el Amor y el Odio
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