Telenovela Alborada, #9
Monday: After 72 hours of standing in the mine with his mouth open, Don Luis finally snaps out of it. He tells the miners he has to leave without signing the agreement they'd drafted. He says they'll have to trust him.
One of the miners knows where La Poderosa's beach hideout is - the place fugitives wait for pirate ships to spirit them away, the camp to which the kidnapped Hipólita has been taken.
Luis and all jump on horses and ride way. We see them periodically through the episode, riding, riding...
Meanwhile, Martin has been skulking behind the palm trees for 72 hours, in his bright red bandanna which blends in so well with the scenery.
Martin sneaks up to tell Hipólita he's there, and she assaults him with questions like, "But when will LUIS get here?", which must annoy him greatly. He says HE will rescue her, she points out there are lots of ruffians and only one of him.
At the Guevara Estate, we witness the arrival of Rodrigo de Rivera, businessman from Panama who has sued Diego for selling adulterated cochinilla, and his best friend, Antonio de Guzman - who, coincidentally, is Hipólita's husband from whom she fled (for reasons you will have to read previous recaps to discover).
You can find it in some natural juice drinks as a coloring. It's a beautiful fuschia color. I'll send you some if you want - it grows on cactus here in L.A. I have been told that there was a time when it was "worth more than gold."
In lieu of the cash payment Rodrigo has demanded, Count Diego's old moneyman Malaquias offers "Las Tunas," the plantation from which the brutal Francisco and his wimpy wife Asunción were recently evicted.
Rodrigo later points out Las Tunas is too far away from Panama for him to manage. Changing the subject, Diego says: "Let's go out on the town this evening!" He plans to get the new guys drunk and happy. He calls them "de medio pelo," anybody know what that means? He takes them to his favorite bordello.
In related news, this same Panamanian Rodrigo drools over Catalina, Hipólita's half-sister.
Diego tells the Panamanians that his cousin, Don Luis, is dissolving the family partnership to do other things. He says he's glad to be rid of such a cousin, an incompetent, a rebel always getting into scandals!!!
Malaquias takes Rodrigo aside and says Diego lacks, not money, but "liquidity," as a response to the Crown's having increased taxes on money but not on property. Not true! Diego is in debt, spending his last ready shekels, and doesn't really even own his own estate - it's mostly Isabel's money.
Back at the beach, we discover that the woman in charge, whom I've been calling the "Pirate Queen," is La Poderosa's daughter, Victoria.
Martin rides up through the surf on his fine horse and tells all and sundry that he, too, is a fugitive sent to the camp by La Poderosa.
The ruffians don't believe him. Victoria is suspicious too: "People of your class (with fine clothes, horses, and firearms) are not usually fugitives - their families get them off." He tells her his father rejected him because he, Martin, "stole their patron's lover away."
In a nice speech Victoria says: "We have both the innocent and the guilty here; we don't judge, that will be God's job." The next boat won't arrive for weeks. Martin trades his horse for food.
She takes his sword and gun, leaving him his "estileto" which looks like an epée, presumably because a man is at a loss without some long pointy thing to wave around. All the ruffians have them too.
Martin whispers to Hipólita (who is hurriedly stuffing hard-boiled eggs in her mouth) that he'll rescue her tonight. (A foreboding scene: Martin's mother praying to the Virgin that he be brought home safely.)
When Victoria the Pirate Queen leaves to buy food in town, the ruffians make their second attempt to rape Hipólita. Sadly for her, her palm-trunk cage doesn't lock from the inside. "The dove is ours!" As she screams, Martin comes to save her. "Let's fight for her, outside!"
Martin whispers to her, "Escape!" but she stays, bosom heaving, to watch the fight in the surf.
Martin swirls his epée with fancy ninja moves, pinky extended. He has the look on his face which is called in Russian "out from under the eyebrows." He kills Moncho, the head dude, but Moncho's buddies immediately set upon him and stab him right back! A mortal wound!
Hipólita drags him out of the surf. Victoria (back already?) asks what happened, and hearing the story says she's glad Moncho is dead. She says there's no doctor close enough to save Martin. Martin makes a lovely speech with his head in Hipólita's lap - he's always loved her and he's happy, because at this moment of dying he has her all to himself. Victoria, who has brewed an herbal infusion to stanch Martin's bleeding and ease his pain, overhears him talking about Luis and Cristóbal and realizes Hipólita has some very powerful friends.
Martin tells Hipólita: "Don Luis is a good man, he'll move oceans and mountains for you." He looks up lovingly at her and whispers that he's thirsty.
Tuesday: Anybody who's watched telenovelas knows the death of a major character precipitates a very, very long dying speech - even villains who are shot and then pushed off huge buildings onto slate patios below live long enough to give long speeches. Then, every important character gets a chance to emote with shouts, sobs, falling to the knees, etc. And so it was today. I'll give you the general idea and omit the details.
After Martin's soliloquy, Hipólita stumbles out into the sand to find Doña Victoria, but everybody is gone! The camp is empty. She sits with Martin all night. At daybreak Luis and his cronies arrive magnificently on horseback. Felipe gets to have a last scene with his son Martin, who dies in his arms. Luis sends for a coffin, a wagon, and a carriage for Hipólita. They begin the long sorrowful journey home. Luis tells Hipólita, who doesn't want to eat the nice bacon they cooked over the fire: "Each of us decides his own destiny. [I'm not sure I agree -- editor] We must live with our errors and accept them." Is he softening her up for her eventual discovery that he was the one who violated her in Santa Rita?
Back at the Guevara estate, where nobody knows what's going on at the beach, Doña Juana and Modesta actually get sort of cute with baby Rafael, whom Juana stole from Asunción and Ada after Hipólita's kidnapping. They give him toys and dress him up like a little doll. Modesta actually GIVES him the awful ukulele after banging out a few more hideous chords. He STILL doesn't cry.
Doña Juana is distressed to discover that Antonio de Guzman - who is hanging out with Diego and possibly investing with him - is Hipólita's husband. Her maid Modesta thinks it's a boon: "He'll take Hipólita back to Panama and leave the boy with us." Juana says: "Nothing is that simple."
Wealthy whiskey-voiced Aunt Isabel (my favorite character, she kind of reminds me of my OWN dear aunt) tells Aurelio (Cristóbal's master housekeeper and accountant) that she needs a new "man of confidence;" her doddering previous one has died, leaving her affairs very jumbled. Aurelio says he himself will do it; he has free time now that Cristóbal is living at home.
The brutal and lazy Francisco won't stop harping on his smarmy little plans for living off the fat of the land without having to be a pig farmer. He goes to Juana and demands that she give him back Las Tunas; she replies, Diego won't do it. He then sends his unwilling wife Asunción back to ask again. This time Juana says "Las Tunas is sold, why don't you get rich ol' Cristóbal to marry your daughter Catalina?"
Francisco likes that idea and tells his wife to go right back and say yes. She says it's too humiliating and she won't do it; he hits her; she runs into the street, then meekly goes right back to Juana's with him. They ask Juana to ask Cristóbal to marry their daughter.
Catalina actually loves Cristóbal but is horrified by these machinations; she says she doesn't want to be married out of charity. Her mom says, "We have to do as your father says, and anyway why not marry a rich Godly man? At least he won't beat you." Catalina says, "Hipólita didn't obey!" and Asunción says: "Yeah, and look what happened to her!"
Ramon and the mute discover that Perla, the jealous whore who hired them to kidnap Hipólita, is gone. She's stiffed them! They scowl and grunt respectively.
Gasco tells the no-longer-innocent Marina that Diego wants to ravish her again this night. She refuses, he says: "are you crazy?" She runs away. Andrés her handsome dimwitted sweetheart rushes up and asks what's going on. Gasco tells him Marina is no longer innocent. Andrés is crushed and yells. Gasco fires him.
Marina, trying to hide from Diego and Gasco, asks Isabel if she can sleep in Isabel's room with her. Isabel finally squeezes out the secret!
Isabel goes to Diego and screams at him! He says, "Respect me!" She says, "I wiped your bottom when you were a baby!" She calls him a lot of names! He says she has to leave the estate for good! Cymbals crash!
Entre el Amor y el Odio
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