Extraordinary Stories (2008) - full transcript

In this adventurous experiment in storytelling, secret identities, missing persons, lost treasures, exotic beasts and desperate criminals are only a few of the elements woven into a grand tapestry of mysteries.

OK It's like this.
A man (we can call him X)

arrives in the middle of the night

at some town in the boondocks
We know he is there

to do a boring job run
of-the-mill and bureaucratic.

Meaning, he isn't a journalist
or a detective

or a writer or a scientist.

Nothing particularly exciting in the least.

We may imagine he is an inspector...

or a land surveyor. Something like that.

It doesn't really matter much yet.

All that matters about his work is this.

It takes him somewhere east town

at seven the following morning
Just a couple of hours later.

So time passes and X
is in the middle of the road.

There are no signs of the place
he was supposed to find.

X thinks "I got it wrong."

There's no one around
to tell him where to go.

He sees a tractor far away.

Before the tractor reaches him
the episode takes place.


Initially nothing happens.

It looks like he tractor driver.

Is waiting impatiently for something.

He stops suddenly and hides something

beneath a hay bale.

The tractor driver seems to be uneasy

he heads for the tractor.

And does something we cannot see

he removes something..

From his pocket and hides it as well.

It may have been a weapon
Then, he waits for something

truck pulls up.

And two men get out.

They greet as though they know each other

rather affectionately
but showing little trust.

The fat one nods hello
but is less friendly.

There is something amiss here,
something vaguely disturbing.

The fat man seems to be a dangerous person.

So this is what is going to happen.

Somehow the situation
is going to get tense.

Then, the fat one is going
to reach the truck.

Take out a shotgun.. and shoot the driver.

There he goes.

The other one is surprised..

And reproaches him. They argue.

The tractor driver looks dead.

The two men leave
They appear to be alarmed.

It seems like this wasn't planned.

They had not come here for this.

They leave.

X approaches the dead man.

He inspects the surroundings.

He grabs the shotgun..

But then looks
for what is hidden in the hay.

That thing the other two did not notice.

Things get tricky at this point.

X grabs the man's briefcase.

Without knowing why and leaves.

The men from the truck return
They are worried.

We have no way of knowing if they saw X.

But they do know someone else was there.

When the episode ends, X has killed a man.

He has witnessed a murder
and is wanted by two killers.

He has an envelope they want.

And doesn't know what's inside it.

He doesn't know the killers
or if they have seen him.

He knows nothing.

Second story.

The trigger. A man ho arrives in a town..

To take over someone's job.

That man, our mam character
is going to be "Z" for us.

And all we know about him.

Is it's his first time as a boss.

His first time in a high-ranking position.

The man who hired him tells him.

"Don't worry. It's a quiet job".

No decision making, nothing new

you won't have any problems...

It might be routine

but you get used to it quickly...

You should work there or a few months.

While you look for something better...

Just don't get too comfortable.

The guy before you stayed there

for over 20 years. Be careful"

I'm not like that." Z thinks to himself.

"I'm not like that".


The place is unremarkable.

It's a typical small town office.

It is used for some agricultural activity.

Farmyard birds or something.

Everyone calls it "The Federation."

Although he's the new manager.
Z's not sure about what they do.

What kind of problems they solve.

What each employee does.

And what is he supposed to do.

He is shocked to discover that he is seen

as an authority figure.

They meet him as though
he's there to give orders.

He thinks, "Take it easy.
It's two months, three max".

Amidst such confusion
he gets some good news.

Every month he gets to make that they call

a 'monthly regional inspection'.

Three or four days of driving around..

Visiting sites to sign documents.

The promise of travel calms Z.

You could almost say it excites him.

A few hours after arriving,
Z asks about Cuevas

his predecessor there
for the last 20 years.

They won?t give him many details.

He was shy solitary and methodical.

He was a doomed workaholic,
not particularly interesting.

Single no friends he dropped dead.

At a gas station while filling his car.

Two months ago.

No one came to claim his body.

It was as though he hadn't existed.

He didn?t even have a home.

All the time he was there,
he lived in a filing space..

On the floor above the Federation office.

The same place Z will stay.

Until he finds something better.

Some of Cuevas' things remain
Z looks at them with curiosity.

Books on veterinary medicine.

Detective books in other languages.

Souvenirs and exotic objects.

As if Cuevas had lived many years abroad.

Finally he sees a big picture
frame in which Cuevas

like a teenage girl

has put together photos
of different times in his life.

When the day ends, Z wonders.

"What kind of character
was this Cuevas guy?"

Okay third and last story.

For this one imagine a river scene.

A river, which is not going to be named.

But it's the Salado River.

The one that crosses the entire province.

Typical river of the plains region,

broad and calm.

In the middle of that river there is a man.

Due to a complicated series of events.

He must travel along the river.

The first of these events
happened a few days before.

In a town 50 kilometers away

at the end of the year meeting..

Of the "Sol de Mayo" Association.


We can base the dredging plan
on this feasibility study.

We'll use a motor that revs ..

Between 1400 and 2000 horsepower.

Here is a map that is already marked up.

Yes, it's from the Town Hall,
but I did some work on it.

The first stage takes three months,

then the next nine months.

The "Sol de Mayo" Association
has twelve members.

Yanez. Fava, Factorovich,
Bagnasco, Gardehni Raulim.

Zavatarelli, Mazzuchelh. Laurmo Samoa.

Sorrento and Siri.

Agronomists, a civil engineer,
a couple of veterinarians.

A manager. and a machinery salesman.

What does the Association do? Nobody knows.

It's partly a village social club,

partly a group of friends...

given to technology and inventions

nee a month they meet.

To eat, drink, and argue for hours.

They each present projects.

For developing the city or district.

The project must be both
innovative and feasible.

Man, turn off that slide Turn it off!

No. I'm sa in that during
he three months of drought...

Here's the thing Yahez
is relatively new in town.

This is his fourth meeting,

and the first time
he has submitted a project.

His proposal s to channel water.

From the river to transport goods

on medium sized boats like
he traditional cargo rafts

of the Mississippi or the Danube.

Bagnasco (arrogant
disparaging, and mocking).

Enjoys destroying and humiliating Yanez.

Three years ago
one of Bagnasco's inventions.

Won the first prize at an Australian fair.

That deed gave him license
to poke at anyone and everyone.

It seems to me that we need to be.

A little more serious here.

Sure, we are eating and drinking.

Some people are even smoking.

But you can't even work with a projector.

How are you going to dredge a river?

One two, three hours go by.

The situation grows tense
due to alcohol and fatigue.

Bagnasco goes from open mockery
to personal aggression.

Fava the most like a group leader

tries to moderate people's moods.

But tonight nothing can stop Bagnasco.

Hey, stop cut it out. Let's be serious.

You can't get anything done with this team.

Not even the pool at my house1.

Not even his pool, and you're saying 45-80.

Where?d you get 45-809
You have to slow down man.

Factorovich had been silent all night.

Known for his explosive temper,

he has hated Bagnasco since childhood.

He has seen this scene many times.

Bagnasco enjoying himself
for hours with a new victim.

Playing with him s though he were.

The Emperor of Rome at the Coliseum.

The Lavalle-Cobo commission..

You don't know the Lavalle-Cobo commission?

Just go on.

Kid you have to know the commission...

that has been working for five years.

Factorovich tries to remain calm.

He knows this temperament.

Confronting him would be a mistake.

This has nothing to do with him.

At least, a 4500. Maybe a 45-16 or a 45-26.

You need a little
over one thousand horsepower

to get something done.

But 1500 horses in the middle will do.


Factorovich thinks, "Keep cool,
don't get ahead of yourself".

He'll get the best of you he always does".

Lavalle and Cobo held a commission.

To correct the river's drainage.

For five years they worked. Five1.

He's got it wrong.

He's talking about old machines."

With the new 327 you can do it easily

and he knows it...

He's tricking them as usual."

Two thousand horse power won't work either.

You need at least 2600.

There's no machine here that can do that.

A half hour goes by, maybe more

eventually the conversation.

Returns to the technical aspect.

At some point Yanez attacks
with his original argument.

Then, to fire things up,
someone proposes a bet.

Maybe it was Bagnasco, maybe somebody else.

Wait. When I bet, I bet for real.

What are you going to bet for real.

You know quarter 2, lot 6?

You know where I sold that land

he bet quickly turns.

Into the sole topic of discussion.

Yanez was enjoying himself at one point.

Now he wants to disappear.
Bagnasco, emboldened insists

I'm just saying this.

You get this project to work,
I'll put this money on it.

At that precise moment,
Factorovich makes a mistake.

Et me see that paper.

Look who we have here.

Yeah, I?m up for it
I'll bet you You got it?

I bet you1 In one month.
Right here. The bet is on.

Calm down

I am calmed! You got it?

The one who ain?t
gonna be calm is this guy1.

Let me go'

I'm sick of him!

Let me go1.

When he wakes up the next morning.

Factorovich doesn't remember a thing.

He isn't even sure of where he is.

He slowly begins to realize.

He's at his friend Fava's house,

after a drunken night.

He quickly realizes
that he's made an absurd bet.

He doesn't fully understand it

but Fava comes to calm him down.

Don't worry I have good news!

The La Plata River Company,

with more than 15 years' involvement.

In the development of Argentina's rivers.

Has begun a project of the future.

The Pampas River Canal1.

International in scale,

it's the future of fluvial cargo transport.

An 800-kilometer project

from the very heart of the humid Pam pa.

Today the river runs towards the sea.

With no regard of the future.

It will be transformed into a bridge.

For development and progress.

It's all thanks to a project
of untold proportions...

using materials for irrigation,
canal building,

and domestic development

in short. 30 years ago.

A company started Yanez's same project.

Measurements had been taken,
feasibility studies were made.

The course had been drawn up.
The first phase had concluded.

The company had gone bankrupt
as Fava soon discovered.

One owner had killed himself,

and the rest had left the country.

The project ad been left unfinished

and no one had touched it since.

Nothing was left but the rums
created by the land surveyors.

But that was enough to prove
that Yahez was right.

You've got him with this,
Fava told Factorovich

I knew it was somewhere
They had it at the barracks

I asked Novoa and he sent it to me.

You can kill him with this...

Factorovich thinks It's not enough

I know him all too well
He ll want hard evidence.

Recent proof This isn't enough...

Connecting he most fertile lands.

Of South America with the world.

The Pampas River Canal.
A straight line to development.

Listen do you have the taffeta?

Take a look!

A week later, a strange man calls H.

He wants to hire him
for a very strange job.

To travel the river in search
of forgotten monoliths,

check on their condition,
and take photographs.

Monoliths9 H doesn't fully understand.

The upset man who hired him says

I don't understand either.
Just don't ask me questions,

and don't cause trouble ?.

He is on the river in an hour.

His journey has begun.


Second story. Z is at work.

The 0-8 corresponds to
the Leghorn and Rhode mix.

The 7-5 was suspended,
and the 12-0-3 replaced it.

In the 24-32 circular Remember that.

No, but that was replaced by 12-03.

But remember that one
of these forms is mixed.

You used it for the Leghorn
as well as the Creole.

Z?s first day at the Federation
is overwhelming.

He is drowning in a sea of names

forms, balance sheets.

Certificates, finance checks and balances.

All the names seem the same.
the processes are indistinct.

Ne certification procedure

is indistinguishable from another.

The rules are incomprehensible,

completely inaccessible.

He hears the explanations.

He repeats and writes down

the differences between certifications.

But he can't help thinking,

This is a mistake I want out...

Weren't we using this form
for the Creoles as well.

However as days go by things become easier.

The indecipherable cosmos of rules.

Mysteriously thins out.

All he has to do is sign
what he is told to sign,

check what he is told to check

surrender control to his subordinates.

The strange science of the first day

isn't necessary anymore.

The Federation s like a machine.

Repeating the same motions each day.

He is nothing ut a small piece

of that machine.

No one expects decisions.
ability, or wit from him.

When the first week of work ends

is clear to him.

That apart from some
signatures and phone calls

he hardly has to do a thing.

As time goes and the days pass,

Z begins to get acquainted
with his co-workers.

They each have.

An almost involuntary
relationship with their work.

Nothing, not the smallest bit
of their lives or interests.

Has anything to do
with what they did there.

They just work like students
doing homework -detached.

They don't ask why they must do it.

They just do it.

Strangely like some of those students

they all seem to like it there

here's something about it..

That reminds us of a home or a family.

Mrs Gavilan is methodical.
soft, and overly nice.

She has a hint
of condescension in her voice,

like a nurse or a teacher.

She is the kind of woman
who remembers everyone's names

their birthdays

their boyfriend's and girlfriend's names,

and the names of their grandchildren.

She appears to have
no life outside the Federation.

But she doesn't seem to need one.

No one knows much about her,

except that she sings
in a choir on Thursdays

and has grandkids
living in some other city.

She is a widow.

She has never missed a workday

never arrived late or been sick.

Then there are some more minor characters.

A girl that hardly talks
and always gets calls

from an older man.

An accountant who only comes
a couple of times a week.

Z can never remember his name.

A gay couple around Z's age,
Griffa and Carlos Dorado

with whom he rarely speaks
and can't quite make friends.

They are two minor; ore boring characters.

Who don't matter at all.

Palomeque's story is different.

From the beginning Z notices
that Palomeque is overly shy.

He's extremely quiet
and respectful. It saddens him.

He suspects he's timid and boring,

a man of few words or interests.

For some reason, he feels
the need to cheer him up.

He tries to become friends
with him, cracks jokes.

And makes small talk.

He shows that he is interested
in learning all about him.

After a short while, Z realizes
he's made a huge mistake.

Palomeque becomes what he has always been

an unstoppable chatter box.

After years of coexistence

his fellow employees came to tame him.

They made him a silent type
ho fears conversation

the way an alcoholic fears the bottle.

Like Aladdin. Z frees that locked up demon.

And must resign himself to being his slave.

What kind of ice is there?

The interesting thing about ice...

is that the winds keep making
different kinds of ice.

Palomeque' memory seems infinite.

He's the kind of guy that loves
asking unnecessary questions

world capitals, scientific names
of plants and animals...

the dates of battles
and historical figures.

He's capable of unerringly naming

the rivers of Europe,
the Egyptian dynasties

constellations, dinosaur species.

He lives for lists and often
hears him listing places..

With the same dreaminess...

of someone reciting a poem.

Crassula, Arrhenatherum, Parrotiopsis.

Slowly Zs routine begins to come together.

As soon as he discovers
that the new job leaves him

with plenty of free time
Z takes walks around the town

which is still new to him.

He imagines life of lon walks.

In the outskirts of the city

looking for strange architectural features

or turn-of the-century relics.

But the day of these
grand excursions never comes

must resign himself.

To the area near the Federation.

He spends the weekends
wandering around the plaza

reading the local newspaper..

Doing whatever there is
to do at night in the town.

Rarely more than a movie or a circus.

He has no friends.
His only friend is Palomeque,

He meets him in the plaza
at the comer store,

at the restaurant at supper time.

Invariably, they get involved
in long conversations.

Realizes more than once...

that these are not chance meetings.

He is Palomeque s only friend too.

It's a lonely but quite calm life.

Whenever he talks about
how boring village life is.

Z knows that he isn't being honest.

He's not really bored.

At this point in the story.

Z isn't worried any more about Cuevas.

To Z, he is nothing else than a forgotten,

sad and lonely person.

Nobody has ever noticed him.

Nobody ever speaks of him.

He is not an enigma. not even a loose end.

If Z has not still removed
Cuevas' things from his room

it's because Cuevas s so invisible.

That he is not even a nuisance.

Around Z's third week on the job,

Cuevas' ghost begins to appear

he day

of the first "Monthly Regional
Inspection" finally comes.

It's the day that Z has been waiting for.

For three days he must travel the province

in a Federation vehicle.

Signing up controls and certifications.

The same trip that Cuevas made
monthly for almost 15 years.

Disciplined and obsessive,
Cuevas planned this trip.

A year in advance.

The hotels, meals and car tune-up

have been paid for.

The trip is organized
with clockwork precision.

Z only needs to follow the plan.

The situation is somewhat creepy.

These are dead man?s plans.

Here?s the entire itinerary.

That man was like a calculator,
so you won?t have any problems.

It's all written out in detail,
all the stops everything.

Let me help you with your bags.

Z begins to feel uneasy.

This trip he had been waiting for.

As if it were a gust
of freedom and adventure

in the middle of the monotony
he Federation...

began to get tinged
with the shadow of Cuevas.

For the first time.

He feels he is living someone else's life

he thinks about this man..

That spent 15 years in that miserable room.

He thinks of all those books and photos.

For the first time he realizes,
Something is wrong...

But the first day passes Then the second.

Cuevas' name appears everywhere.

But without causing any problems.

He is barely an isolated
obligatory reference.

Perhaps a Such is life" remark
and nothing else.

Cuevas doesn't matter to anyone.

Thinks Isn't someone..

So invisible, something of a mystery?"

But he also thinks.

What a tale I am spinning I must be bored...

On the third day of his trip
the story changes.

What's your car registration'?

Z arrives at a hotel
after a day on the road.

One of Cuevas' many hotels.

While looking for the registration,

Z goes through Cuevas' belongings.

He finds a notebook A red notebook.

It's a notebook with Cuevas' notes.

From then on, nothing will be the same.

Let's see. What comes next is complex.

One must go slowly and pay close attention.

Z reads the small notebook.
Then reads it again.

He doesn't understand anything.

A series of names dates and words.

Joined by no logical connection.

Looks like some type of code.

The 25th in the Ramona

7 Napoleons, 6 Mona Lisas.
40 Pharaohs. 1 Samurai.

The sixth, in the Noa Noa.
12 Marco Polos, 12 Cleopatras

3 Mona Lisas. Carefull No Napoleons.

The list continues
seeming to cover many months.

They quickly tend to get repeated.

Cleopatras Nefertitis,
Napoleons, Marco Polos,

Mona Lisas Charlemagnes.

Every once in a while a Samurai appears.

Sometimes a Nebuchadnezzar.

What were these names? The first ones..

Seem to match ships.

What about the rest?
There's no way to know.

At one point things
get even more complicated

notices that one sign.

Gets repeated more than the others.

It is strangely familiar.

In the notebook he finds a scrap of paper.

It has an old phone number
and the same sign.

Z vaguely remembers the sign.

He seems to have seen it many times

but never paid attention.

Then he has a hunch.

In the notebook there's also a map.

The old map of Cuevas' route.

Again, there's the sign with his initials,

on a nowhere country road.

He suddenly finds..

Smaller crosses with other names.

He looks at the notebook
and sees the names.

With others next to them. Names of people.

What is going on?

What are these inscriptions...?

And what do they have to do with Cuevas?

Z gets the feeling..

He has stepped into another world.

A parallel and supernatural dimension.

He is confused and excited.

At 5 am, he finally closes the notebook.

He turns off the light. but he can't sleep.


A blond man?

He has not come round for quiet a while.

This is for Krugger, see?

These are very old. I don't know if

I think I put them somewhere,
since no one came to get them.

If you give me a moment, sir.

The result is 10 or 12 items
addressed to a Krugger guy.

These are mostly letters
of no importance, circulars,

specials on real estate, mostly Paraguayan

or from countries that Z cannot identify.

Of all these letters.

There is only one that draws Zs attention.

The letter is in English
and from some African country.

As far as Z can tell
it?s from a bank employee.

It's about some routine movements..

In Krugger's bank account.

Z sees the account balance

1200000 Sterling pounds.

Back at the Federation.

Z searches the room or more information...

On this Kruger.

Finally, he finds a box.

Behind some tiles in the bathroom.

In the box there are some
letters some family souvenirs

a few wads of one hundred dollar bills,

and an assortment of passports.

One of them is Paraguayan.
Christian Alberto Krugger

Christian Alberto Krugger
Krugger is Cuevas.

Back to the first story.

X in the middle of the road
the tractor the truck

the briefcase the murder
the two strangers. X's shot.

The escape to run and hide.


rom now on.

The story takes place
in a hotel, in this hotel.

This is the night before the incident.

X arrives at the hotel.

He checks in and takes
a room for five days Room 301.

The next morning he gets up early.

He has a shower.

Then he asks the concierge ow to get.

To where he needs to go.

He listens to directions,
he doesn't fully understand

and he leaves.

When he returns to the hotel
has killed a man

and is wanted by two murderers.

He returns almost running,

making sure he's not being followed.

Once there he gives an excuse.

He says he must work or a few days..

And must not be disturbed.

He announces he will stay
much longer than planned.

He locks himself away in 301
like it's a bomb shelter

that X doesn t know now.

Is that this sight s all he will see.

For a very long time.

For weeks on end and even months.

Why does X lock himself up?

At first because he thinks.
I can't go to the police.

My story is too implausible.

I am really the one that killed him.

The gun has my prints on it.

If train and bus stations
are guarded. I'm lost

I have a reservation for five days

I can't leave earlier

I have an alibi in here. I am safe...

But after those five days why does he stay?

He thinks. The killers are at large.

Did they see me? Are they watching for me?

What if this affair is more complex?

Over time the reason or locking himself up

becomes less clear.

There will be time to discuss that later.

For now we have
a character hiding in his room,

determined to stay put.

Until he can understand what happened.

Like a castaway on a desert island.

X quickly finds ways to survive.

He has breakfast at the bar.
while his room is cleaned.

He sometimes has lunch there
but he mostly eats in his room.

The laundry and cleaning are taken care of.

No one suspects a thing.

The employees are on rotation.

No one knows whether he is there.

The morning shift starts work.
he leaves in the afternoon.

The afternoon shift thinks
he goes out at night.

The night shift never sees him.
No one thinks about him.

Nobody worries about him,
and many don't know he exists.

He is simply room 301

he quickly realizes..

There is no better
hiding place than this one.

If he wanted he could remain
here unnoticed.

For the rest of his life.

He returns to the crime scene
over and over in his mind.

He tries to understand what happened.

He first concludes

that the tractor driver was waiting...

for something dangerous.

That's why he hid his briefcase.

That's why he kept looking
from side to side all the time.

That's why he was armed.

He was afraid of something
He was waiting for something.

But was he waiting
for the two men in the truck?

Maybe not.

The meeting didn?t seem planned.

The tractor driver was tense.

Those guys were the last people
he expected to meet.

Yet they did know each other.

Though the tractor driver was distant,

they were no strangers.

What had they gone there for^
Why were they there?

Did they want the briefcase he had hidden?


At least that's the only theory
he has for the time being.

And then? What happened9
Something got out of hand.

They were nervous Something
in the briefcase worried them.

They feared the other guy
was carrying a gun.

In fact he was carrying a gun.

Then the fat guy freaked out,

lost patience and made a mistake.

Clearly, they hadn't gone there
to kill him.

Killing him ruined their plans.

They didn't expect he briefcase.

To be there either.

They didn?t even look for it.
They didn't even search around.

There is no doubt they were clumsy.

They were amateurs.

They did nothing but make mistakes.

If X hadn't appeared,
if they hadn't heard the shot,

if they hadn't realized
there was someone else there,

they would have disappeared
never to be heard from again.

X soon begins to learn things
through the newspaper and TV.

The tractor driver s name was Orlando Rey.

He was a widower, no children.

He had lived in the village
or less than four years

and had no criminal record,
ut he had been a jailer..

For a long time, years before.

On the day of the murder t least two people

broke into Rey's house.

They searched it from top to bottom.

A few days later, neighbour of the field

where Rey was killed reports
suspicious red truck...

loitering around the area.

The next day. The truck
is found abandoned across town.

It's proven to have been stolen.

Then someone sneaks into the house..

Of one of Rey's old co-workers.

The guard dogs rip him apart
and he dies immediately.

The dead man is Salvador Armas.

X recognizes him as the fat man
that shot Rey first.

The police announce...

the search to capture
Salvador's brother Carlos.

From Carlos Armas' identikit.

X recognizes the other man
involved in the incident

vaguely, though. The identikit is terrible.

So the situation is as follows.

An ex jailer Orlando Rey, dead.

Another ex jailer. Salvador Armas

the one that shot Rey also dead

Carlos Armas Salvador's brother

is at large, a dangerous man
who looks for something X has.

There is only one loose thread
the briefcase.

It is time to open the briefcase.

"Down to work." X thinks.


It ?s around three in the afternoon.

He's been in the river for six hours.

Anything he could have worried about

has disappeared.

Factorovich had given him
all kinds of advice

the current the whirlpools the wire fences

the tree trunks, the water level.

Nothing's gone wrong.

He's seen them vanish one by one.

The river s as calm and still...

as a path in the middle of a field

thinks, "If this continues.

It will be the easiest money ever".

And the most boring.

And the most ridiculous...

Before he left, someone had said.

Don't expect much from the river.

It's not what you imagine.

It's not a fast flowing river
like the ones in the south.

Nor an enigmatic and deep one
like those of the north.

Don't expect adventures
It's a river from the plains.

Just a body of warm brown water.

That runs slowly to the sea.

Its a deserted river,
just a line on the map.

Just a puddle for loose cows
to drink from, just that.

Don't expect surprises Maybe
an occasional grove or a mill.

Maybe an old bridge a tram
once passed over Nothing else.

You will feel like you're sleeping.

Or sleepwalking.

You almost stop thinking like the cattle.

It's like an abandoned path
nobody uses any longer.

No one uses the river either
Why would they? Remember.

Don't expect anything big
There's nothing in the river...

That's the scene that awaits H.

A boring, silent indifferent scene.

Around 5 pm the first day
H gets to a place known as.

The river bend...

The river becomes narrow, deep.
surrounded by large ravines.

Factorovich had told him

100 meters before the first bridge

you ll see the first monolith.

It is a cement monolith, about 15m tall,

10 meters from the shore
You can't miss it...

H doesn't lose his head.

He thinks, There must be a mistake.

It must be another bridge.
In any case, I can't be far."

Two hours pass. The river bend ends.

The ravines end There's no other bridge.

The next day he goes on

hoping to find the place he was told about.

He fears he has missed it.

Finally he arrives at a place
marked in the notebook.

As "Bagual Corner".

The description is a perfect match.

There under some trees

is supposed to be the second monolith.

Again, H finds nothing,
except for some remains.

Remains of human presence.
pieces of destroyed cement.

The monolith.

What's going on?

H begins to miss the moment
just a few hours earlier

when everything seemed easy
and even monotonous.


The briefcase contains a dossier.

It's an internal investigation
of the Penitentiary Service.

It was ordered by a local judge, Saverio.

The report has two parts.

The first part is a summary of an incident.

That took place three years ago.

Saverio had investigated it.

Judging by the newspaper clippings.

Included in the report,
t was widely publicized.

And caught the public
attention for some time.

The newspapers had dubbed it.

The Massacre of the San Martin Mill."

Apparently the facts
and details of the case.

Had been as follows.

The main character was Chilean.

Victor Hugo Oyarzun, aka Nestor Oyarzo,

aka Valentin Sepulveda,
aka Monsignor' aka "Pancake",

aka "Spark Maker".

Oyarzun was famous nd respected

throughout the penitentiary system.

A long-time resident of the country,

he was serving a 10-year sentence.

He had robbed he five branches.

Of the "Epecuen Cattle Ranch."

The crime ad been a combination.

Of audacity and shrewdness.

This time the plan was as follows.

Oyarzun had somehow found out
about a big deal to be closed.

Between the San Martin Mill
and some gram importers

an Arabian-funded company based in London.

The contract was.

For a 15 year exclusive grain supply.

It was worth hundreds
of thousands of dollars.

Escorted by two Scotland Yard agents

a corporate representative
would carry a suitcase.

Filled with 8 kg of pure gold
as a permanent deposit.

But Oyarzun had some bonus data.

A man from the insurance company...

must act as a witness to the transaction.

This man who would travel to the mill..

To witness the gold delivery was Chilean.

Oyarzun's plan was.

To leave the jail for a couple hours.

Having some of the guards as accomplices.

He would intercept the Chilean
and take his place.

He d present himself at the mill..

And take part in the transaction.

With or without violence.
he d steal the gold.

Later he would run away..

And return to jail with the loot.

A perfect hiding place
for the gold and himself.

No one in the world

would look for the gold in a jail.

But everything goes wrong.

Oyarzun intercepts the Chilean.

But he finds out that he is traveling

with his wife and her mother.

Oyarzun. Who hadn't planned to kill anyone,

has to murder three people.

He finally arrives at the mill
and notices something strange.

The operation proceeds normally.

But the people there
are acting a little funny.

A few minutes later,

the whole local police force
arrives at the mill

yarzun reacts quickly...

and kills the Scotland Yard agents.

He takes the rest hostage.
Including the Arab.

They all hide in a storehouse.

Oyarzun's holed up there.
pinned down under gunfire.

Or forty long minutes.

When the shoot out ends yarzun realizes

he has lost sight of his hostages.

He knows he is lost.

When the police decide to get in.

Oyarzun shoots a fuel tank.

The flaming storehouse
becomes a death trap.

In a matter of minutes.

As a result. twenty-three people die,

fifteen of them are cops.

There's also a Saudi noble.

His nephew. He head of security

two British police agents,
he owner of the mill.

His wife and her sister
and Oyarzun himself.

He newspapers call it..

The worst massacre
in the history of the district

and one of the worst of the province."

The gold, mysteriously, is never retrieved

7 he second part of the folder
contains prison documents.

How did Oyarzun escape?

Did he have accomplices?
Was the prison staff involved?

The prison management was dismissed.

All of the jailers were fired.

However, none was prosecuted.

The only person arrested
in the case was an Ardiles guy

also Chilean.

Ardiles was Oyarzun's relative-in-law

who was caught at the border.

The report maintained Ardiles' innocence

remanded his freedom..

And recommended he investigation..

And trial of the two prison guards

suspected of having let Oyarzun out

having guaranteed
the logistics of the operation,

and maybe even of having conspired

in the murder of the Chilean
insurer and his family.

These guards were the brothers
Carlos and Salvador Armas.

The pieces begin to fall into place for X.

Clearly, the report
had never been disclosed.

Perhaps the person in charge
of doing that had died.

Maybe it had been replaced
with another report.

For sure, Saverio
had never seen this dossier.

The folder had ended up
in the hands of Orlando Rey.

The Armas brothers knew about the folder.

They knew it could put them in jail,

but they didn't know who had it.

Rey had kept the folder secret

waiting for the commotion to subside.

But eventually. Ot having heard

from the Armas brothers or a long time...

and in need of quick money,
he had decided to sell it.

To whom? Who knows.

To an enemy of the Armas brothers

or to some friend
of Ardiles, the Chilean...

unfairly imprisoned9
Nobody knows The point is,

he was going to sell it. for sure.

That's why he had it with him that day,

and was armed and on guard.

The Armases had somehow
found out about the sale.

They show up confront Rey
and ask for the folder.

Rey denies having it
and everything goes so wrong.

That they end up killing him.

And so they lose he only way they had.

To find the dossier.

The blunders get worse and worse.

They continue looking or the folder.

In places visited by Rey.

Then it is revealed
that one dies in an absurd way.

And the other ends up
s the most wanted fugitive

in the province. X is caught in the middle.

When X closes the folder

he feels he's just read a long crime novel.

It's like he's emerged from a high fever

or awoken from a nightmare.

Something doesn't yet make sense.

Why is Armas still looking for the file?

Why does he risk his neck hen he knows..

That having killed Rey
is a much more serious crime.

Than having helped Oyarzun?

What is the dossier good for,

now that he is wanted for murder?

There is only one possible answer.

Armas no longer wants the folder.

He wants the buyer of the folder.

He doesn?t want the information
but the person.

Why? To get even? Because he has the gold?

For some other reason?
Who's the buyer? Man or woman?

"This is as far as I go" thinks X.

He knows he can't do anything.

But wait for the paper or the radio

to bring some news.


Story three.

H has been on the river for several days.

He still hasn't seen ny of the monoliths...

he is supposed to find.

Instead it's always the same

a bunch of rubble
signs of recent destruction

Paraguayan tea leaves, tobacco.

He has made a decision.

If he doesn't find a monolith
in the next few hours

he will turn around..

And tell the guy that hired him.

H wonders if maybe someone else

is doing the same thing as he.

He suddenly realizes he has no idea.

What it is he is doing.

If someone asked him why he was traveling

or what the monoliths are,
who is Factorovich

if what he is doing could bother someone,

if it is right or wrong
he wouldn't know what to say.

At about 6 pm he arrives
at a place called "El gateado".

The river loses its way there.

For two or three kilometers,

it becomes a maze full of reeds and rushes.

"Well" H thinks, resigned
"The story changes course."


Second story. The life of Cuevas.

Almost two months have gone by.

In this time, Z has been busy
with one thing only

assembling the puzzle pieces
of Cuevas' life. The pieces?

A notebook, a map some fake passports,

some letters, photos, bank notes,

an African bank account..

Worth 1500000 Sterling pounds,

and some symbols
Z is still unable to decipher.

That's it Nothing else.
This is Cuevas' treasure map.

First, Z unravels the system.

That Cuevas built to hide behind.

For three months he takes to
he roads of the province.

Meticulously repeating
the diagrams drawn by Cuevas.

He goes to storehouses, hotels,

gas stations canteens, and schools,

always guided by Cuevas' map.

In each place, a certain name.
In each storehouse, another.

In each gas station. yet another.

He never has problems
No one ever mistrusts him.

No one asks questions.

The mechanism created by Cuevas.

Is so precise it works without him.

What does he find? Letters.

Letters from Holland Belgium,
South Africa, Senegal. India.

Australia and Singapore.

Letters for ridiculous names
Nelson Patrick Nelson Roberts

Roberto Nelson, Benito Alvarez Garcia.

Alvaro Garcia Benitez.

Juan Giovanni, Santiago Jacques.

It is like a game and Z feels
he understands

some of the rules now.

If these letters and trips

begin to reveal
some details of Cuevas' life.

Cuevas' youth and childhood
don't seem to be so special.

A boy born in the 50's,
in some city suburb.

Nothing else.

At some point he begins to travel.

From age 30 on he lives
mostly outside the country.

He travels the world. He meets people.

He becomes a different person
from the boy of his adolescence.

He lives a more bohemian life,
almost an adventurer.

At middle age. He moves
to some African country.

He works in some activity
concerning wild animals.

He is some kind of a manager..

Or a consultant with a foundation.

He lives there until he turns 45 or 50.

It is the most important part of his life.

Around the age of 25,

Cuevas meets a young German
or Swiss man named Eric.

He's a geologist an oil engineer.

Or something like that.

They live together for 30 years.

He is most likely,

the reason why Cuevas moves to Africa

Eric (who Cuevas refers to
s Enrico or Pierrot.

(in most of his letters) links
him to his circle of friends.

They are mostly European
diplomats and professionals.

This African Cuevas
s quite a different person..

From the Federation Cuevas
that Z is used to.

He has many friends
and is a sophisticated man.

Apparently, he is a happy man.

In the mid 80's, Eric gets sick.

For a year or so his letters
are not so frequent.

He can't pinpoint when Eric dies,

but from a certain point on
letters from friends

are filled with tragedy
irreparable damage fate

things like this.

In the same period, Cuevas returns

having left Africa forever.

At first he is still in touch
with his African friends.

Then Cuevas stops
exchanging letters with them...

and is eventually left on his own.

Dear Gege.

This is just to tell you
that we all think of you.

All the time It's as if you had never left.

Each of us dedicates a song to you,

according to his or her personality

I he first one is mine my dear.
Get ready to dance1.

Cuevas goes back to living with his mother.

And works for a federal
entity that regulates.

The entry of wild foreign animals.

Something like an Animal Migration Service.

Maybe some activity similar
to that developed in Africa.

There are few traces of this stage.

Official letters letterheads,
old cards, some recorded tape.

Almost no photos, no images.

Eventually. Cuevas gets involved..

In the illegal traffic of wild animals.

The Mona Lisas And Marco Polos...

are wild animals.

Cuevas apparently
doesn?t have to do anything.

Simply make introductions and phone calls,

and receive commissions
of thousands of dollars.

He doesn t meet his associates
or know his clients.

He is just a link, a guarantor.

That same year

he asks to be transferred
to the Federation.

The mystery begins to clear up for Z.

Cuevas is smart.

The job at the Federation
is a cover a hiding place.

At his last job he was
a bull's eye for suspicion.

At the Federation
a lost office in a lost town

he is anonymous, a ghost.

He no longer needs the other job

to keep his business running.

For years he remains hidden
unnoticed by all.

Obsessive, systematic, fearful,
he manages to become invisible.

He invents new names
and identities for himself.

He gets fake documents.

No one knows where he lives or where he is.

He uses remote places
that hardly appear on maps

as mail addresses.

He designs a labyrinth
for those who want to find him.

The same labyrinth
Z finds himself in right now.

When the investigation ends,

Z writes down his remaining questions.

Can Cuevas' money be recovered?

Is it lost for good?

It is impossible to know for now Too risky.

What was Cuevas saving up for?

That whole operation what for?

Was it possible he saved it all up.

Without dreaming of how to spend it?

Was he a miser? A slave to his own system?

Was Cuevas' business still running?

Is somebody still sending him money?

Does anyone know he is dead?

And still another enigma.

The symbol and the three letters.

"The Pyrenees Horse Farm"
What is this about?

Z can t bear the excitement any longer.

"Either something to do
with the office or with Cuevas"

he thinks "If it's the office it's nothing.

If it's about Cuevas, it's important".

He thinks Palomeque I'll ask Palomeque.

First thing in the morning...

And before turning
he light off like a child..

He thinks Only eight hours to go...


Yes, speaking.

Hello, how are you'?


But the next day Palomeque
doesn't come to work.

His daughter calls very early
d explains that her father..

Woke up the middle of the night

with a strong chest pain and the doctor

diagnosed it as the onset
of a heart attack.

But has this ever happened before?

Palomeque is okay His life is not at risk.

He just needs a week's rest

and to quit smoking forever.

No please. He shouldn't come in.

More to the right. Back there Let's see.

No it's a bi er book

an important book with a binding.

Good I see you found
someone to work for you.

Are you still on about that book, Dad?

It's gone!

That book is here!

It's been gone for at least
a year and a half.

And last week he became
obsessed that the book was.

My dear, that book is here1
It has been by my side.

Z spends the afternoon
at Palomeque's house.

There is hardly any talk
of history or geography.

Palomeque talks non stop.

But in a more relaxed and knowing way.

The topics are less solemn
and more ordinary.

Outside the Federation.

Palomeque is a different person

I am not serving you sugar!
I'm serving him sugar1.

Strangely, Z finds
he is having a good time.

At some point Palomeque
says he has a headache

escorts his daughter.

To the drugstore to buy medicine.

When they return Palomeque is asleep in bed

hey both talk.

For a couple of hours while he sleeps.

When they part company.

Z realizes this afternoon as the best

he's spent in months.

As he gets in bed that night.
In Cuevas' lousy little room..

He tells himself he has been isolated.

For too long thinking about a dead man,

living the life of a dead man

and he finds he is sick
and tired of Cuevas.

And doesn't want to think of him anymore.

One. One. Two Here you have it.

That is from last month The head, yes.

Four hundred and thirty-two with 53 cents,

plus tax.

At first not thinking
about Cuevas isn't hard.

His work at the Federation
without Palomeque

is not the same.

Z works like a slave

two or three times harder than before.

He begins to feel differently.
to enjoy his work.

He decides he needs to get out more

make friends, and meet other people

ne morning he decides..

It's time to stop living in that hole.

He asks Mrs. Gavilan...

to help him find a place to rent.

If possible, something large and well lit

far from the Federation.

He begins to visit Palomeque's house

several times a week.

Of by chance he thinks..

Of the mysteries that filled his head...

just days earlier, he feels a little silly.

S if this whole time

he had been playing like a child




The certificates .. which ones?

Last month s.. Let's see.

Yes they were sent. Yes, here it is..

No, we don't include the date.

That very day someone phones,
a Caceres or Casares guy.

He's demanding a certificate.

That should have been ready a week ago.

It was Palomeque's responsibility,

but no one knew about it.

How it's an urgent matter..

And there is no way
to deal with it from there.

There's nothing to do

but go to sign the document in person.

Look, this is what we can do.

Someone will bring a new certificate

once we confirm they're missing.

Before leaving.

He finds the place
he must go to on the map.

"It's fate" he thinks.

The spot s less than 30 km away

from Cuevas' sign.

Less than 30 km from The Pyrenees...

Z smiles and thinks Back in the game...

Story three.

H has decided to follow
the steps of the stranger.

He will inform the guy that hired him..

Of his situation the next day

that Factorovich guy..

Is little more
than an abstraction to H now.

The whole situation s all so illogical.

That he finds it hard to think
he is there..

For some tangible reason

that he's actually being paid to be there.

The stranger kills time
throwing stones into the river.

At one point he even puts can in the water

to use it as a target.

H intends to stay up all night of necessary

to figure out who this man is
and what he's doing there.

In less than half an hour he falls asleep..

And won t wake till morning,

when a few meters rom where he sleeps.

Another explosion occurs.


Very well Back here again.


Where do you come from?

Looks like Zamudio's little trick..

Didn't turn up so well!

Zamudio's trick, and yours.

Zamudio sent you.

He gets nothing!

Clear enough?

I! D say I won the game,

and when you see Zamudio
with the remains of the boat,

send him my regards

send him my regards.

He gets nothing!

Explains to the stranger.

That he has no idea who Zamudio is.

He explains who he is
and what he is doing there.

He explains as best as he can
about the monoliths.

The stranger goes on about Zamudio.

When he hears about the monoliths,

he shuts up.

The stranger thinks for a moment.

He seems perplexed

he finally ends up admitting..

He had received identical instructions.

Many years ago. He had worked
for the La Plata River Company.

A couple of days ago,

someone had contacted him rid hired him

to destroy any evidence
of the Company's project.

The stranger admits
he received no explanations.

He doesn't know why he is doing
what he is doing either.

They simply offered him a lot of money.

The stranger also describes
the man that hired him.

Though neither one knows it

it's clearly Bagnasco he is describing.

Bagnasco. Once again was winning the match.

That was it.

That's why the stranger
was destroying the monoliths.

Who Zamudio is
H will never know nor will we.

All we know is that due to this Zamudio.

H is left without a boat

cheer up1 Cesar.

Cesar and H take off together.

Even though they have opposing missions

even though one's victory
is the other one's defeat.

Cesar explains, They hire me to dynamite

I dynamite of someone wants

to take photos before then let him."

Before H can reply,
Cesar starts the engine.

He lets out a chuckle
and announces, ", it's a deal"

Cesar had been born in the Leeward Islands.

In the Atlantic.

He looked about 70 years old,
but could be much older.

He was the son fa German merchant

and a French woman
who died when Cesar was a boy.

He had spent almost
all of his youth traveling,

accompanying his father on business

around Venezuela and the Guayanas

he said with pride...

he had never set foot
in a school or church.

At 18, he had married Venezuelan girl

and had a son with her.

Soon after, he had set sail
on an English tanker.

He never heard from them again.

He had worked at an oil plant
on the Orinoco delta.

He had been a supervisor
on the Panama Channel.

And though not an engineer;
he had been Chief Engineer

on a pipeline in Brazil.

He had lived in Arabia for a year

where he had another son.

At 40 while working
on dredging a river in Guyana

he met a man, an Argentine,
a Mr. Pehaflor or Penafort.

Who took him south to work
for the La Plata River Company.

He had made a good career
for himself there.

He had been director or manager.

And even had his own office.

However, he returned
to working on the river.

Of his own free will.

In Argentina he had remarried,
but had no children.

He said he didn't remember
that last wife's name.

Susana or maybe Zulema.

The last project he had worked on.

Had been precisely the Pampas River Canal.

Since then he had been dedicated

to "investments and private projects".

In any case" H thinks

it's not like
he looks particularly wealthy".

When the day is over;
H resigns himself to feeling...

things are completely ut of his frame.

Of logic and understanding.

Let's go on " he thinks God willing".

Against all odds things
improve the following day.

H can finally do the job
he has been sent to do

Cesar knows the exact
location of each monolith.

With him, the trip
is much quicker and easier.

Perhaps running into him
wasn't so bad after all.

Yet H can't help wondering
of they are really doing.

What they're expected to do.

Z is on the road again.

This time he is much farther

from the paths he already knows.

These roads are different from his.

They are bigger.

There are more towns
more traffic and activity.

Z realizes he world of the road

is a kind of shelter for him,

a landscape he must return
to over and over again.

Every once in a while,
half joking and half serious,

he asks himself of the whole Cuevas thing..

IS just a strange excuse to be there.

Having dealt with he bureaucratic problems

that brought him there, Z studies the map.

To reach the farm,

he must follow he domestic road.

For a few kilometers.

Then take the solitary provincial road..

For 30 or 40 km to a dirt road.

Then just follow that
until he reaches the farm.

There are no more explanations.

"Now what?" Z thinks.

He hadn't thought of it until now.

Here I am Now what do I do7
I can't leave or go in.

How could I? What if there are people?"

He decides to hide
and wait to see what happens.

Three hours later he thinks
There's nobody here

"I'm going in".

Okay here's the deal.

Z's going onto private
property, an unknown place.

He has no idea
what he's really looking for.

Maybe it's time to go
over the strange events.

That brought him there,

he odd sequence of events.

Which led him to that state of affairs.

The place he is entering is a loose end.

The last link on a map full of names

that form a kind of code, secret system.

Designed by a dead man.

Whose life Z seems
immersed in and can't escape.

A life that carries the promise of a large,

mysterious sum of money
no one knows nothing about

no one but Z.

So what is he doing there?
Looking for the money?

Does he think it's there?

Does he think he can recover?

Or is he simply going

without really understanding why?

It's not clear

ut it's good to know.

The series of events that led us here

because what is about to happen
s so weird and crazy

we could easily get confused...

and think that it's all random or mad.

So after walking for twenty minutes.

Finds a row of sheds.

Surrounded by a forest
of cypresses and pines.

The Pyrenees Stud Farm at last.

There are no signs of recent activity.

Like it had been abandoned
nastily as if the staff

had to flee for some reason

ut in one of the rooms..

He finds signs of recent activity.

Syringes, chemical products,
veterinarian implements

and a box with the name Colonel' on it.

Z asks himself, "Who is this Colonel?"

Are there still
more characters in this story?".

Z hesitates. It must have been
the wind he thinks.

For a few seconds there is no noise.

Then the whining continues.

It repeats, each time getting stronger.

Like a call for help.

Z thinks "The Colonel!".

The "Colonel" is a lion


First he freezes.

Then he realizes
the lion is no threat to him.

It's old and sick and about to die

Clearly the staff ad taken away

all the other animals and left the lion

He must have been too sick.

For such a fast and dangerous move

They wanted to ensure a dignified death

Z spends many hours
sitting next to the lion.

Strangely since he arrived...

the lion has stopped complaining.

His mere being there soothes the lion

forgets he is next

to a fierce wild beast and relaxes

He reflects on his life.

And the absurdity of the last few months

He lets his memories wash over him

He thinks about his childhood,

stuff he hadn't thought of for ages

A passer by would take them
or two old friends

who don't need to talk

Z feels so comfortable
to full of friendly feelings..

That he can't help thinking
of the lion as a dog

or even a person.

At some point this idyllic
situation is cut short

From far away he hears an engine.

It gets closer by the minute

Hello, my friend1

How are you7


It's cold

What's wrong7 You have a fever?

Let's see


Well, what can you do, comrade?

What can you do, buddy7

Everything in life has its end.

Am I wrong?

Don't worry, old man

It's almost over

You can't complain.

You lived a long life

You lived so many years

I remember you were around before Popeye

Yes, before Popeye's arrival.

I remember it too well

Some beauty, that animal.

Popeye. I hear they've got
him in the north, in Brazil


What a treat!

Colonel, my Colonel the lion

My colonel, the lion a majestic warrior.

African by birth and Creole by adoption

Today I sing you this farewell song.

I made for you on my own
because as a good Creole..

I know how to address a king
in his dying hour

A few minutes later, he lion devours.

The contents of the plate.

After that. X witnesses
the lion's long agony.

First there is total silence
for a quarter of an hour.

Then the lion begins to breathe heavily

as though he is agitated

Suddenly this agitation becomes fury

and the lion roars like thunder

He roars for a while, ten minutes or more.

No one would think then he is about to die

He acts like a lion
in the prime of his life.

Majestic and imposing.

He's quiet for a while like a statue.

He remains that way. Immobile.

Then he begins to deteriorate
and emits a long loud groan

An almost human moan
that lasts for several minutes.

Maybe half an hour

Finally he stops.
You only hear his breathing

It is more and more quiet,
until it is almost inaudible

The lion curls up
as though preparing to sleep

His body is still except
for some slight movements.

On the head. the belly and the tail.

He lets out a last roar
that seems to defy everything

loud and hair raising roar.

That resonates for various minutes

Then there is silence.

That silence means the lion is dead.

After the lion dies things happen rapidly

Z can no longer see clearly
what is happening.

The situation becomes confusing

Z's memories become chaotic.

He remembers a horrible
feeling of drowsiness

He remembers fighting to stay awake

awakening in the midst of a fire...

not having the strength to stand,

walking through the flames.

Being outside he storage shed

and not knowing how he fled the place

He remembers hearing
the shed collapse behind him

He remembers running aimlessly
for hours in the open field.

He remembers. and this is strange.

A vague sense of euphoria,
due perhaps to the chemicals

he inhaled in the fire.

He remembers lying down
in the middle of the field

and waking to an odd noise and light

like that of a tank or tram.

Then he remembers nothing else.

Come and eat as much as you can1

This winter, in Mundo Universo
everybody went crazy!

Come and check our winter sales'

Gloves, scarves. turtleneck sweaters!

Everything for your home heating!


FM Etoile star in the lonely night...

X has lost count of the days..

He has been locked up in the hotel

The room is now his world

Like a zoo animal, all he can do is watch

the bit of earth that fate gave him

This is X's life: the window that looks out

on the village square. the bathroom window

that looks onto the back of the hotel,

and the wall that he shares
with the next room over

This is now his home. his kingdom

He does little more
than look out of the window,

all day long.

He finds out that the life of the town..

Is a clockwork precise mechanism.

A man crosses the square every day at 9

He wears either a blue or a grey suit

Each day, X waits or him to go by

and bets on which he will wear.

Along the back wall

he notices the light
in two rooms is identical.

He guesses rooms 308 and 415

are watching the same TV channel

These sill things amuse him
and fill up his hours

One day he sees a man with a girl

who works in a bar on the square.

He talks a lot

But nothing happens They remain distant.

The same thing happens a few times

One day X sees the man
hiding behind the fountain.

He's waiting to see if she comes along

X realizes the man is trying
to force an encounter

When she sees him

he resumes his performance
and they keep walking.

A few days later X sees...

how she discovers his trick and avoids him.

X feels for this man He wants to advise him

He wants to tell him, Not yet1 Patience!"

For a few days they don't show

X looks for them but they do not come by

A week later they appear again
together, and seem relaxed

They sit and talk happily.

He puts his hand on her leg
and she doesn't remove it

Then his arm round her shoulder

and she lets him.

For a couple of days. they do not show

A week later

X sees them on the square. hugging, in love

This is X's love life,
watching women with other men.

Arguing with other men,
ailing in and out of love...

with other men, making love to other men.

Once, he finds a more lasting love.

She stays one of the back rooms

where only traveling merchants

or old married couples usually stay.

Like him. She seems to spend
all day at the hotel

spies on her all the time.

And quickly memorizes her routine.

She never has breakfast
She gets up around noon.

She sunbathes from her window

Around lunchtime she leaves.

She comes back at dusk

She chain smokes until it is night.

Around 8 she usually gets a call.

She talks for about half an hour

She talks and argues violently.

After the call she takes a bath.

She takes an hour long bath

She throws herself on the bed.

For a fairly long time, X barely sees her.

Then she writes for hours.

He goes to bed before she is done

What does she do?
Why does she live in a hotel?

Where does she go when she goes out?

Who does she argue with

What is she writing? X somehow
feels that he knows her

He knows when she is in a good mood..

And when she is not

He knows when something worries her...

and what kind of things make her laugh

In some ways he feels they are alike

One day she goes out at noon
and doesn't return till late

When she finally shows up.
X finds he is jealous.

She has become a kind of companion for him,

someone who shares his life

She doesn't even know he is alive.

Nor has she even seen him.

Yet she makes his days go by easier.

And makes him feel less lonely

One day at breakfast

X notices his neighbour is there too

It's the first time he has had breakfast

since X has known her

For half an hour X watches her write

read the newspaper and sip her coffee

When she is done she passes nearby,

but their eyes never meet.

X does not like this change
He feels it is a bad omen

By nightfall the neighbour is gone

the news on the Armas' case.

Begin to subside in the newspapers

The reporters forget about him

Only X follows his trail
through sporadic news.

And anonymous crimes

A stolen car someone ho breaks into a house

and takes nothing, someone
reporting intimidating calls

X sees Armas' shadow
in each of these cases.

Each new incident is an excuse
to stay in the hotel.

It's not time yet" he thinks.
He's still out there"

What is really going on
is that he likes this life

he doesn't want it to end.

Everyday he listens to the news.

And reads the paper as a ritual

He asks himself over and over
What does he want?

Why does he want the file?
What is he really looking for?"

One day something the newspaper

catches his eye

The article says "Mysterious
disappearance of a woman."

X has a hunch and starts reading it

He reads it over and over the next days.

He becomes an expert.

He analysis it

He doesn't rest until he believes.

He finally has an answer

The case is as follows.
Lola Gallo 28 years old.

Married to a farm machine salesman.

No children, disappeared leaving no trace

She was last seen leaving home in her car,

carrying a sports bag.

The car was found abandoned
by the roadside.

50 km from the town

There were no signs of violence.

Declaring their relationship was perfect

the husband was desperate.

Different theories emerge
but the same facts remain

Lola Gallo disappeared...

as if earth had swallowed her

Some days later. the announcement is made.

That renowned inspector
Raul Sera in takes the case

His credentials are impressive.

Era in quickly shows...

that he is good at what he does

It's enough for him
to question the husband...

to give the case a whole new dimension

The photos after the interrogation.

Show him looking triumphant

In an impromptu press conference,

he reveals his findings

First Lola Gallo nd her husband

were not legally married

Apparently she never wanted to

Second. The husband knows nothing..

About Lola's past...

aside from a few childhood
and youth memories.

About which he didn't know much either

Third The man ad never met her parents.

Or anyone that knew her

He had never asked questions
He had simply fallen in love.

Fourth. There were no photos of Lola

Not a single one.

According to her husband she hated photos.

A couple of times He took a photo of her.

Without her realizing,
and when she found them.

She burned them

Fifth (and here is
where Sera in outdid himself)

the husband couldn't be sure
he had ever seen her ID

He didn't know her name.
Lola is not a name."

Sera in told him

The husband didn't know how to answer

There wasn't any Miss Gallo
that matched her description.

Sera in's final words
We don't know who she is,

where she is what she looks like.

Why she left.
what her story is or her name.

We know nothing"

X closes the newspaper.

He spends days trying to solve the case

He is sure the Gallo
and Armas cases are related

He doesn't know why but he believes this.

He goes through the the folder.

Through the clippings
on Armas and on Lola Gallo

and draws and writes on them

He comes up with a long list
of questions and hypotheses

The correct theory ill be the one

filling all the gaps," he thinks

Three days later he comes up with a theory

First the facts Oyarzun dies

in the Massacre of the San Martin Mill

However. the gold never appears.

Ardiles. Oyarzun's relative.
Is unfairly sent to prison.

They never find the gold

The Armases, who do participate
in the robbery, are free.

However, a confidential dossier
can send them to prison.

Orlando Rey,

who for some reason has kept the dossier

receives the news
that someone wants to buy it.

And he contacts this person

Who wants to buy it9

Who profits from the Armases1
going to jail?

Someone who wants Ardiles free?

Someone who has the gold

from the Massacre of the San Martin Mill...

and fears the Armas will find it?

In which case Armas knows...

there was someone else at the massacre

Armas knows that person has the gold

Armas wants the gold.

And that's why He has to find this person

Armas knows that finding the person

who wanted to buy the dossier

will mean he finds the gold.

In short * This person needs
the Armases to be in jail.

This person lives hidden away.
under a false identity..

Til he finds the dossier...

that will put the Armases in jail

This person reads bout the Rey's death

and concludes that Armas
already has the file.

This person knows
he has lost his last chance.

That he is unprotected.

And the only thing he can do is run.

That person is Lola Gallo

Lola Gallo, or whatever her real name is

participates without the Armases' knowing

in the Massacre of the San Martin Mill.

Perhaps she is Oyarzun's lover
or daughter or an accomplice

In any case Lola manages
to escape with the gold..

And disappears.

She invents a new identity,

gets a poor fool to fall in love with her

and hides away for years

But Lola knows the Armases
don?t stay put forever..

And knows she won't be safe
while they are on the loose

She finds out about a file
that Orlando Rey is hiding.

Lola contacts him and offers to buy it

She reads about Rey's death...

and worries he gave the Armases
the little data he had on her

They are close." she thinks.

She stops being Lola Gallo
and disappears without a trace.

A few days later
a newspaper publishes a story

Lola Gallo's case is closed

The husband has decided
to withdraw the missing report

He says she called and was fine

She was visiting some relatives
broad and said

she would stay there for a while

The story was absurd,
obviously a lie fabricated...

by the husband's poor imagination

et he insisted..

On withdrawing the missing report.

A furious Inspector Sera in declared

Someone's been pulling my leg"

Thrilled, X thinks

She's done it he managed to escape"

The case is closed She fooled them all"

Then adds with some pride, "All but me"

But this isn't really the case

X is wrong about everything.

He will never know it
but his entire theory is wrong

Lola's case has nothing
to do with the Armas case

The Armases know nothing
about Lola and vice versa

except in X's imagination.
The truth is far different.

Meanwhile hundreds of kilometers away

the real Lola Gallo calmly
finishes breakfast

breathes in the morning air
gets in her car and drives on.


It's true he had never asked
or known anything about her

The way she came
into his life was so strange...

that he had wanted to avoid
asking about her life,

making any decisions,
demanding anything of her

He didn't want to do anything alarm her.

Or to make her leave
as suddenly as she had arrived

Deep down, he had always known
things could end this way

But as long as he could
avoid that or put it off

he would do anything necessary

Within the week of their first date,

they were living together

He always felt she was hiding.

That he was a piece of wood
he used to stay afloat.

After a shipwreck

This somehow assured him leveled things out

and gave him a way to handle things

To him she had always been.

A luxurious gift given to him by mistake

a creature of another world,
an undeserved blessing

There was an unspoken pact
floating between them

They didn't fool themselves

She stayed with him.

But was always distant.
enigmatic like a cat

That was the best she could do.

It was more than he had ever had

It was the happiest time in their lives

Everything she did amazed him

The way she spoke.

How she looked at him in the morning

always awake before him

the way she listened to his news every day

like a mother touched by her son

That's why hen she finally left..

And he made such a fuss.
he almost felt like a traitor.

Those were the rules."
he kept telling himself

It was always dear this would happen.

However, he couldn't just let her go..

And return meekly to his world of men,

tractors, earth and mud.
It was too much to ask, Lola

Will she think about me again?

Or have I just been a part of her disguise?

Did I ever exist to her??

He clung to this question
as though it were sacred

Because he knew is time with her

was the only time in his life
when he had been somebody

when he had really existed

Then she called Drop this whole scandal."

she told him like a mother
talking to her child

Calm down Come to a certain place...

at a certain time on a certain day..

And I will explain it all."

Then she hung up and disappeared once again


When the old man
saw her for the first time,

she wasn't even 15

He thought "I won't do this
there must be a limit

I have made many mistakes
but I won't make this one."

A week later

they had traveled together all the roads..

From one end to the other

and the old man hardly remembered...

what it had been like to be without her

These things happened with Lola

Once she arrived, it was like
she had always been there

The old man liked to think
of himself as a gambler,

even a strategist

He didn't work to make money
nor did he want t he rich.

Or prosperous, or settle down

He enjoyed gambling, inventing goals

enemies and battles.

He always gave advice like a teacher

The key not to settle down..

And never need anything from anyone.

You must know when to leave
You must always be ready to go

When they blink you are already gone

The key. Babe is to be
always ready to lose it all...

in one strike

Never forget it because
that's what will happen to you."

They traveled from one side
of the province to the other

over a hundred times

There were days hey didn't have a cent.

And days when they were rich.

They loved each other dearly.

But acted cold towards each other

What did they want to prove?

Could they live without each other?

The old man thought

Nobody makes her laugh Like I do.

And no one ever will."

And he was right about that

after all that happened

and all the paths er life followed

Lola never laughed again
like she had back then.

When the old man left why'd he go?

One day perhaps he thought
I can't live without her"

The next day, she had already left.

He realized he hadn't been alone for years

He felt vertigo

For the first time in his life he felt old.

But one of his mottos made him feel better

My friend, once again,
he road is all ours."

For months he avoided ny chance.

Of crossing paths with her

Then hopeless. he searched for her

He looked all across the province.

He who knew her better han anyone

was about to give up

"She really is good She's
better than me" he thought.

When she finally appeared
married to some poor fool

who sold tractors in a town out west

the old man realized He was nervous

as though before a first date.

What would he say?
Might she not want to see him 9

He left her a small note on the front door

I missed you a lot," without a signature

Why9 The old man realized
he felt like a 15 year old boy

But she didn't show up.

He waited for her for hours

and at night he went to find her

But she had already gone

When she finally was in touch
with him and gave him a place,

a day and a time to meet her
he found he was scared

I'm too old for these games"

He looked at his watch
and found he still had time

Hello How are you?

Did you introduce yourselves?

Sort of No


When she finally had them together

she couldn't help laughing.

The situation was dramatic ut when she saw

the two standing together next to the door

he thought of two boys

waiting for the teacher to arrive.

There they were.

The two men of her life.
The fool and the know-it all

The one who had shown her
He world and the one

who had saved her life.

And she explained to them
how her life had been

telling it as if it were a story

First to one. Then to the other

This is the man that came before you."

This is the man who was
with me when you left"

The old man, of course

dealt with the situation better

He was more mature and made her laugh

but for the first time
she saw that he was artificial.

Even ridiculous.

Years have passed" she thought

For him as well."

The other was more childish and clumsy.

But also more sincere

Lola found she had missed him a lot,

and she adored him.

She realized then and there,
when it was too late

Time to let bygones be bygones
To move on to a new life

She knew she would get up
and they would be left..

Watching her go like two dogs in the ram

Well, she thought. "It's time
or them to become men"

I'm leaving...

Go. Babe

Which one of us will you go with?

Certainly not with you


From this point on the end begins

The stories become more vague,

but also head towards
some sort of conclusion

However, there are still events
waiting to happen

There's still a long way to go

X has to leave the hotel
and come across Salamone

Z has to meet two sisters
and spend some time

in the old man's farm.

H and Cesar must lose their way
and get arrested

at a military base

The end is beginning,

but there's still some more road ahead


At this point in the trip,
H can hardly stand Cesar.

Cesar is arrogant a compulsive liar

in love with himself, annoying.
complete chatterbox.

And a non-stop joker.

Nothing no tiny event,
escapes his comments or irony.

Any little thing
triggers an anecdote in him.

It seems like he's lived
all possible lives and..

Each of his stories

he talks about himself
as a hero, as some author..

Of admirable deeds.

However each time is finally..

On the verge of denouncing
his insanity or idiocy,

when he is reaching his breaking point,

Cesar surprises him

He always has an ace up his sleeve.

He says something funny or smart

or exhibits a new ability or trick.

Ironically these small moments of triumph

are the most annoying to H.
They are the worst

Suddenly. Cesar begins to act strangely

He is worried and silent like never before.

He stares at the horizon for a long moment

Then he begins speaking in German

which H can't understand.

There's no time for monoliths.

We have to get out of here now,

because it's going to pour ram

We need to find shelter, now1

Let's go now*

H doesn't understand

It's a sunny day not a cloud in the sky.

There's no breeze.

But there's something
in Cesar's attitude...

that commands him not to protest

Strangely, H believes him

Cesar doesn't talk all day

He is silent, concentrating.

He doesn't tell jokes anecdotes nothing

They pass by several monoliths.

Cesar doesn't even look at them

He watches the sky and worries

Around five in the afternoon,

clouds begin to gather on the horizon

At sunset, when the first
lashes of lightning..

Can be seen. Cesar
decides to pull the boat over

The spot looks like any other

but he seems so confident

that H obeys

They walk through the field
for a few minutes

Suddenly a little wood house
appears out of nowhere

Cesar kicks the door in
without hesitating and enters.

From some sort of a big annoying child

Cesar has become the authority figure

H trusts everything he says and does

Now he is the child.

H has a tough night.

It rams outside like never before

He dreams of storms.

He dreams someone hires him to guard a fort

on the edge of the desert

There's going to be an invasion
and he must watch the horizon

The fortress is hard to define,

but some of its turrets remind him

of the river monoliths

He hears explosions from afar.

He thinks. "The invasion"

but then it's a hurricane.
not an invasion he awaits

He finds the rest have left him
alone at the fortress and fled

He begins to explore and realizes.

He is only familiar..

With the side facing the desert.

But the other side faces the sea

He sits next to Cesar.

Who is suddenly in the dream too..

And they both contemplate the sea

The last image of his dream
of the two of them..

Watching the horizon over the sea

Then he wakes up

It is sunny outside

The storm has passed
There's not a cloud in the sky.

But the river is not there anymore

An hour later. Cesar
and H are off traveling again

H is sure he knows the way
but after yesterday

Cesar's authority is hard to refute

An hour later what Cesar
predicted hasn't happened.

The river bed is lost completely...

under an immense mass of water.

Two hours later; it's clear
they are going the wrong way.

But Cesar isn't talked out of it
and goes on

Three hours later, Cesar's
argument begins to show

the first signs of weakness

He won't admit it yet ut it's clear.

He's not as sure as before

Four hours later almost sunset

it's clear Cesar is wrong.

Eight hours later,

their propeller gets stuck in a wire fence

and the engine goes out

They walk in the dark
through rushes in water.

Up to their necks
until they reach dry land.

For two hours, they walk
without seeing anything.

Guided by a fence in the middle
of a cloud of fog

At midnight they find a locked cabin.

Though H doesn't like the idea.
Cesar kicks the padlock open

While Cesar sleeps soundly

H thinks. 'Something strange is going on'.

There's something don 11 ike..

Something wrong..."

All clear.

Cleared shotgun

Remington brand shotgun Used

Case without false bottom

Fishing gear

A detonating device


Some kind of distinctive marking

Male, arrested or carrying weapons

Ten hours later and Cesar are arrested.

For entering a military base
without authorization...

in the middle of the night,
carrying explosives and arms

and forcing entry into a storage unit

where war weapons are usually stored

As they are being taken to their cell,

Cesar stealthily gets lose to H

and whispers in his ear

Don't worry It's okay
They ll let us go right away

Trust me"

Back to Z's story. Finally

Z wakes up with no idea of where he is.

He's on a farm two or three plots away

from the Pyrenees Horse Farm

Z will live there for a while.

Saponara the farm owner also Z's savior

and he will play a key role
the events that befall Z

upon leaving the farm.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves

For now, the only necessary information

is that after his adventure.
Z wakes up at Saponara's farm

Saponara is a half Italian man
ho lives with his nephew..

And two daughters


In a few minutes Saponara explains to Z..

How events had unfold

Saponara was working on his tractor

in the middle of the fields
on the night of the fire

First, he says he saw ow the fire spread

to all the buildings of the horse farm

Then he saw a truck leave.

(He assumed why he wouldn't say)

the fire was intentional.

He decided not to get involved
and continue working

At one point, he said
He found a big long animal..

Strewn out in the middle of the grove

It was Z, who had passed out
smelling of smoke and chlorine

Saponara manages to revive him a little.

Helps him walk to the tractor
and hides him.

In a storage shed
on the other side of the farm.

Where no one in his family ever went

Saponara says, I know about these things.

I don't ask questions

I don't get involved where I am not invited

I never wanted to know that happened.

At the horse farm It wasn't my business

They were always good people
to me and that is enough.

Here I am when I'm needed. That's how I am"

The next day the police
had shown up asking questions

But, he had known how to scare them off

He kept repeating the same phrase

No one's gonna teach me about this

I know all the tricks"

Intrigued he had looked
around the horse farm

In one of the old entrances
that no one used anymore,

he had found Z's car with the keys inside.

He had waited until the night fell...

and had hidden it

He didn't even want to tell Z where it was.

Saponara insists on playing the wise one

He insists in making it clear to Z.

That it's not the first time.

He deals with this kind of situation.

One thing is clear

he is ecstatic bout the situation...

and happy to intervene

Z wonders. Who must he think I am?

What must he think is going on?

Look, I don't want to know anything

The less I know, the better.

If anything, I'm discreet.

But if you ask me,
he best thing you can do.

Is stay here for a couple of days

That car was outside or a long time.

And they may arrive
when you are trying to leave

No one will look for you here.

I already spoke to the girls.

I told them you were
the son of a buddy of mine,

that you had had an accident,
that you had to get better

Who knows what I told them1

I don't know if they believed me,

but they won't ask questions

They're like me that way.
Neither will my nephew

Nobody else needs to know
what you and I know

That stays between us

Incredibly, Z discovers
that the old man is right

Who knows what he thinks of me?" he says.

But if he thinks it. anyone could

The police, the people
from the horse farm, anyone"

They did ask me your name.
Since I didn't know,

I told them your name was "Raul"

It was the first that came to mind.

So if they ask you,
remember your name is "Raul"

What a name to think of: Raul!

Aside from Saponara's imagination

the idea of spending few days on the farm

isn't an unpleasant one.

In any case " he thinks
if I tell him the truth

He ll never believe me."

So he resigns himself
to being Raul for a few days



Z fits into the life
on the farm immediately

A repetitive and methodical life

like a play in a theater.

Chicho! Time to get up, Chicho.

Each person plays his or her role

Each one does what they have to do..

And what is expected of them

Chicho, prepare the liquid!

Chicho, did you load up the boxes7

When are you going to Cangallo?s?

Right now. I have to leave now.

That gives me no time
to do anything else, does it?

To finish this.

Maria Luisa, the younger sister.

Cares for the house the orchard

the birds and the dogs,
makes the marmalade...

and the butter and does the cooking

She is patient, methodical,

and nothing seems to ever upset her

Did you tie the crates to the truck9

I have to leave right now Do it now.

How are you Chicho?

How many jars are you taking?

What are you doing? I'm tying the crates'

Alicia, the other sister.

Takes the place of the older brother.

She leaves early in the truck
to do the deliveries..

And pick up supplies.

He mends broken fences

and does all the carpentry
and mechanical repairs

Do you want to finish it now?

No. I will take it to them during the week.

She is the only one in the house..

That gets around on horseback

There is a lot of complicity
between the two girls.

It's as if they knew
that they ran the house,

not the men

Pepa remember the route First, Pedahno.

Then. Cangallo Last the lady.

Please write the route down.

Pedahno, Cangallo. and the lady.


Pepa Pepa

Did you grab the pots of honey for Pedalmo7

Please, take the pots

Gerardo only takes care of the bees

He's a bit of a clown
and a little ridiculous,

and the solemnity
He wears his uniform with.

Reminds you of a child playing make-believe

Here, sharpen this for me

He is just as old as the sisters

but no one takes him seriously

The only one who takes him
seriously is himself

Pepa, when are you going to mend this?

I mended it this morning.

Can you go outside to do that?

You have to check it again OK. Father Bye

Pepa are you not carrying this with you?

Did you see where
my gardening scissors are9

They were over here

Pepa. Look what you are forgetting

Was she forgetting the eggs?

Saponara acts like a king ho wanders around

from one end of his domain to another.

Without having too much to do.

Each day he sets out to do a new activity,

but he quickly gets tired.

The rest of the time he drinks
Paraguayan tea reads,

listens to the radio
and watches from his chair

how everyone else does their work

and gives them orders.

Throughout time, He has realized

that he must exercise his authority gently

eventually letting people
laugh at him or ignore him.

He is an aristocrat A good,
peaceful and harmless king.

The two sisters are very different.

Alicia, the elder, is hard and defiant

with a sharp, cutting gaze
like that of a Soviet

or of a Partisan

She stares for long moments
asks many questions

is opinionated, stares off
into space thinking,

thinking and smoking

However, she is not masculine

She is full of energy

but not the rough violent energy of a man

She is simply strong

Sometimes she seems like a bird of prey

like an expectant eagle, poised to attack

She becomes beautiful and stunning then

Maria Luisa is the opposite. She is silent

It is hard for her to look
people in the eye

She is awkward with people.
naive and she blushes easily

However. after the first impression

she slowly shows
to be witty and perceptive.

She is amusing. with a sense of humor..

That she advances slowly...

but ends up captivating everyone

Behind the shyness,

she hides an unsettling
and surprising grace

She has a secret kind of beauty,

elusive belated and sudden.

With Z's arrival, this closed.
autonomous world.

Begins to change

Z rediscovers he is a sociable guy

capable of starting a conversation,

even able to be interesting,
and able to make people laugh.

During the first meals,

Saponara dominates over everyone else.

Z's arrival is something
like a party to him.

Finally he can retell is stories

as though for the first time

He can speak with impunity for hours

exaggerate and invent

knowing that they won't deny
what he says or shut him up.

At one point Z's revelation occurs

Z somehow interrupts Saponara
and says something funny

He makes them all laugh for a lon time.

At the next meal

Z notices everyone
expect him to do it again

The situation is new to him too

but he finds he can pull it
through effortlessly

that the character hey expect from him is..

As amusing to him as it is to them

Z understands that living
with a man their age..

Is completely new to them

Their world has changed with his arrival

The first times they have lunch together

Maria Luisa practically doesn't look at him

as though he didn't exist

Alicia, on the other hand.
makes advances on him.

She advances in a carefree
manner like a tank

As Z becomes the center of every meal.

He begins to discover
that Alicia's invulnerability...

disappears in any funny situation.

When he says something funny,
Alicia who seems stone cold,

turns into a little girl

She drops her defenses.

Z discovers he is flattered
by this reaction

He feels like it is a triumph
he likes to make her laugh

Maria Luisa, on the other hand
hardly says a word.

When Z starts joking

she laughs a lot but looks down
timidly, barely looking at him.

The next day while he is talking.

She interrupts him with a witty remark

She blushes immediately

There's a brief silence.

Then, everyone bursts out laughing

As days pass, this duel
between them goes on

Clearly she likes it

She anxiously waits
for that moment of the day

Z begins to note signs of flirtation in her

a vague but evident change
in how she cares for her looks

She also begins to act
strangely and unpredictably

Every once in a while,
she acts cold and offended.

Sometimes she doesn?t speak
to him for the whole meal.

Suddenly, the storm louds clear

and she becomes fun again.
and looks for his complicity

To the man who has lived
a long time without them

the mere proximity of women is a blessing

Z resigns himself
to their eccentricities...

and enjoys them

Then there is Gerardo,

who distrusts Z from the beginning.

Upon saying his name
(his assumed name., 'Raul').

Z notices Gerardo repeats it strangely.

Uttering each letter oddly.

During the meal
when Z makes them all laugh.

Gerardo laughs as well.

But Z notices he laughs
in spite of himself,

that he would prefer not to laugh

For him laughing is in a way
a sign of weakness

a capitulation.

Z notes Gerardo's hostility
towards him is growing.

He feels he is under continual observation

After each funny comment Z makes,

Gerardo glances at Maria Luisa.

As though he wanted to crack
the code of her reactions.

If the funny one is Maria Luisa,

he looks at Z or at both of them.

Z also notices Gerardo hangs...

on Maria Luisa's smallest gesture

that he passes the time
secretly surrounding her...

looking after anything
ny unnecessary activity.

Just to be near her and see her.

Once the relationships are set
things go along calmly.

Without too much novelty

One day Z accompanies Alicia
on the afternoon deliveries

He doesn't stop telling jokes
and she laughs all the time..

And she even falls asleep on his shoulder.

On the way home.

Z has a restless night. ut by the next day

everything has gone back to normal..

And it's as if that afternoon
had never happened

One day Z offers to help
Gerardo with the wood

At first he refuses and tries
to show how superior he is...

and how good he does things

Z realizes he is taking revenge on him

However, when they finish
Gerardo begins to talk

They talk for hours

They talk. without volunteering names..

Of their experience
with women life, destiny

They philosophize

Z implicitly understands
that he has conquered him,

that they are friends now

One rainy afternoon,
while they all take a nap,

Z spends time in the kitchen
with Maria Luisa.

They don't joke as much
as usual, they barely speak.

Z simply watches her knead and fry

Z sees a subtle craftswoman in her

A meticulous and delicate person.

He finds he also kind of likes her

Another day, Z finds
he sisters walking together

at dusk below the evergreens
deep in a long conversation,

laughing and playful.

What could they be talking about?

'Me?'. Z asks himself.

Z soon finds himself thinking
of the sisters all the time.

Trying to escape Gerardo and his jealousy

and fleeing from Saponara
his stories and his favors.

He finds that the world and those people.

Who he didn't even know
a little over a week ago.

Re becoming natural to him.

As though this had always been his life.

Listen to me for a second.

I want to tell you something.

It's nothing bad..

Every five months.

I have to go to the hospital for a check-up

Don't worry, it's no big deal,
a hospital near Bertran,

about 200 km from here

And the thing is.. You know

I'm fine now, but the doctors
insist on my check-up,

The thing is I don't want
to tell the girls.

They won't understand.

There's no need to go telling
them these things

And I always go alone,

for years I have been going alone.

Without a problem.

But. Do you understand?

If you would

It will be two nights,
ne night at the hospital

and one night to sleep

I always stay at this little hotel...

at the joint of route 74

It's not expensive,
it's calm, and you'll like it.

Can't be much worse than here

Anyway. we'll talk it over later.

Doesn't say anything.

But inwardly he accepts immediately.

On the road again " he thinks.

That night, or the first time in weeks

he opens Cuevas' map again

When he sees he name of the hotel.

Where he will stay with Saponara

he finds out that place has a cross,

one of Cuevas' crosses

Next to it is the name
Axel Andres Alexanders

That was one of the places on the map

he hadn't visited,

one of the loose ends on Cuevas? route

Axel Andres Alexanders."
Z thinks with a smile

I had forgotten about Cuevas'
sense of humor"


Francisco Salamone
is born in Catania. Sicily...

at the end of the 19th Century.

Before turning 10, his family
moves to Cordoba Argentina

He begins college at 18

and at 20 has already graduated
as an architect..

And as a civil engineer.

The same year, he submits
couple of projects

at the Milan and Barcelona trade fairs,

and wins a gold medal at both

Since childhood Salamone as been aware.

He is cut to construct buildings

In his brief time at college,

he begins to realize

At 24 he clearly understands
that he is a genius,

someone for whom action
and invention has no limits.

During the same period,

he becomes interested in astrology.

An astrologist at some point, tells him

You are meant for big things

You are the greatest at what you do.

You will change history

You will be a turning point
in your business

Don?t worry. Glory awaits you"

He asks, "What must I do9"

Nothing Just wait When the time comes

you will realize."

He waits for almost ten years
He doesn't build a thing.

He just studies, designs, ends designs..

Under fake names to trade
fairs around the world

He observes the work of others.

Listens to the praise hey receive..

And sees the prizes they win

They will soon hear from me.
They will know who I am"

Finally the time comes.

The governor of the province
of Buenos Aires

calls on various architects.

To modernize the public
buildings in the province

The most famous architect
chooses to devote himself.

To the monuments
of the Argentine resort towns.

In Mar del Plata, he builds
He immense 'Casino'..

And 'Provincial' buildings

Too easy, too predictable, too many people,

too much activity," thinks Salamone

He asks to be in charge

of the projects rejected by the others

The smaller forgotten towns in the province

scattered throughout the map

lingering on the infinite plains

I like this," thinks Salamone,
like a wolf sniffing its prey

For two years, he works restlessly

He hardly sleeps he works on Saturdays,

on Sundays, on holidays
and even at Christmas

He plans, draws, personally
supervises the building sites

He doesn't hesitate.

He thinks. Here
in these miserable villages.

Lost at the end of the world

I will plant the most amazing
buildings ever built.

These towers and porticos will be famous

as famous as the Chartres cathedral

They will come from all over,

they will cross the deserted
grasslands to see them

In each one of them. will tell them.

Here I am This is Salamone

He designs cemeteries, public offices

slaughterhouses, town halls.
town squares and dock towers

He designs the benches
the furniture, the streetlamps.

And the sidewalks.

He always asks for more.
bigger, taller, even taller.

More display of resources,
more excess more fury,

more violence

More glory1 " he once screamed. More glory1"

The projects are done
in practically no time.

In May they finish
the Gonzalez Chavez Town Hall

the Guammi slaughterhouse
and the Salhquelo cemetery

In June they finish
the Balcarce slaughterhouse

the town square and the schoolhouse,

as well as the Rauch / own Hall.

In August the Guammi

and the Carhue Town Hall's towers

the Tres Lomas
and the Azul slaughterhouses,

and the Azul and the Coronet
Pringles town squares

In September the Laprida Town Hall

and the slaughterhouse,
the Tornquist. Pellegrini,

Puan. Pirovano and Urdampilleta
Town Halls were all finished

In October one of the masterpieces

the giant wheel that served as a portico

to the Saldungaray cemetery
above the Sauce Grande stream

In January. the second masterpiece.

The giant cross in the Laprida cemetery

A few months later in November,

the ultimate masterpiece.

The massive portico
in the Azul municipal cemetery.

Legend has it that Salamone
and the mayor of the town

spoke on the day of the opening

It seems to be something bad and dark,"

the mayor had told him

horrified as the rest
of the town people was

like something built by the devil."

Don't be naive, doctor." Salamone is said..

To have replied with a satanic cackle.

The devil would never have gone so far"

At some point, however.
Salamone's trail dries up

His projects are canceled,
their architects take on

his unfinished work.

And the towns resume
their dull slow rhythm.

Time goes by and no one remembers him

There's no testimony
to his volcanic journey

through there except
for his excessive towers.

Rising up alone in the middle
of the horizontal landscape

Slowly, the townspeople.
ho used to look at them

in astonishment and even with hatred.

End up becoming accustomed
to those eccentric skyscrapers.

Which erupt violently into the scenery..

Of those turn-of the-century
low houses and buildings

Ten forty, seventy years pass
Salamone's name is forgotten

At some point during some dark
rehab project for the province

a bureaucrat notices Salamone's name

all over the blueprints
or more than 200 buildings...

in over twenty districts.

This bureaucrat asks
the deputy?s consultant

who asks the planning consultant

who asks the undersecretary
of cultural heritage.

They hesitate They are afraid

Demolition is put off

for an uncertain period of time

They decide to retain
he services of a surveyor

to write up an expert's report

on the condition of the buildings..

To go along with the submission
of the project

The company retained to draft the report

which has had a long history..

With the provincial government
decides to act cautiously

and to avoid associating heir name...

with any kind of project

with the remodeling of public works,

and decides to turn once again
to some expert.

To handle the work
and the on-site check-up.

Granting him total freedom
of time, order, priority

and work methodology.

This independent expert precisely the man

who arrives at the hotel
early one winter morning

with a four night reservation

and whose stay is prolonged mysteriously

for more than five months

One morning, believe it
or not the phone rings

The caller is an employee of the company..

That has retained X.

The reason for the call purely bureaucratic

(his license number as to be included.

(in some pre-report or something like that)

but the employee hints
at the effort it has taken

to find him saying he tried
to track him down

at over ten hotels before finding him

Considering the list of places
X had to visit;

he says he expected to find him..

At a more advanced stage of the trip

He says, jokingly, that at one point.

He was about to report him
missing and notify the police

X makes up an excuse.

But when he hangs up the phone
he realizes how sensitive

absurd and inconvenient his situation is.

He suddenly understands

that irregular and abnormal
situations are suspicious.

On the other hand that which is in place...

and works as expected
is actually invisible.

He has to leave.

There is no better disguise

than doing what is expected of him

Finishing his work,
being where he should be

returning to his routine.

Two hours later five
months later than scheduled

he crosses the town square
in the opposite direction.

However the routine
doesn't come back to him

Something has changed

X arrives at some town, stays at some hotel

as he has done hundreds of times before.

But now things feel charged
with a different energy.

As though in each
of those grey, everyday places

wonderful things could he in store for him

X understands, after several
months of confinement

that the province will never be the same

He can't help feeling like a sailor.

Moving from one miracle to the next.

From one fabulous city to the other

He visits cemeteries, porticos,
abandoned slaughterhouses..

Minarets which seem to have cropped up

from diabolical mosques

His journey becomes almost an allegory,

almost a mystic experience.

He rarely thinks about
what happened at the hotel

Every once in a while.

While reading local newspaper..

He runs into one of the many names

he found during his investigation

The Armases. Oyarzun he Mill Massacre...

the complicated gallery
of characters he lived with...

for such a long time

One morning he wakes up
thinking about Ardiles

the Chilean unjustly accused
of the crime at the mill.

And he tells himself that. like himself

Ardiles must be living
in some dream-like state

not understanding the path
his life has taken

I must do something for him," he thinks

A few days later, he goes
into some little post office.

Looks for the address of a court of law

and says goodbye to the dossier.

Like someone who throws
a bottle out to the sea


Z's trip with Saponara ends up
lasting three or four days

The day they are supposed to arrive

Maria Luisa makes sure
to finish her work before noon

She is nervous and distracted

In the meantime Gerardo has asked her

an inordinate number of questions

He watches her every
movement and cracks jokes

I wonder what's wrong with you.

Do you miss someone? Are you in love?'1

and that kind of things

Alicia tries to be the head of the family

but looks somehow weak

Neither her nor her sister says it.

But it's clear they both miss
the men of the house

For long periods, Alicia feels melancholic,

thinking about things she never did before

She constantly tells herself,
How silly1 How silly!'1

When the sun begins to set
hey walk to the gate

and stand watching the path for a long time

They talk about anything

They somehow try not to appear impatient

They arrive late after twelve.

The two sisters have had
a bath and are well dressed.

So is Alicia.

Saponara spends he whole night..

Telling each detail
of every little thing they did

He tells every event of the trip.

Z is surprisingly quiet, and hardly speaks

Finally, Saponara says he's tired..

And the after dinner chat is over

Only Z and Maria Luisa
are still in the kitchen.

It's odd, you went to eat
at the Fishing Club!

That place is very old1

I don't know..

From the Stone Age1

And that German waiter there, or Russian..

All he's missing is the club...

anyway. I wonder

There must have been
something special in the food.

Because somebody I know is acting different

By the next morning Z's gone.

What happened why did he leave so suddenly9

The truth is Z knew All night long...

that by the next morning he'd be gone.

It was something..

He had decided several days earlier.

For some reason,

on the trip with Saponara

Z has a strange impulse
to share his story with him.

While he was alone. I was easy

to keep his adventures a secret

ike something that was his.

And nobody else could understand.

But now he has travel companion

and he knows that at some point..

Cuevas awaits him

He feels disloyal if he doesn't talk,

an imposter

Who knows what he thinks

He spends hours explaining
every detail to Saponara,

the complicated search or the treasure

in which he has been involved for months

But something happens here

Z tells the story with shame, as if to say

Look at the stupid situation
got myself into.."

as though he fears Saponara
will think he is crazy

Saponara, on the other hand,
listens to him seriously,

asks questions and requests clarifications

He is fascinated by the story.

When Z is done Saponara is thrilled

He interrogates him for miles
asks questions

he has already asked.
speaks with satisfaction

For a long stretch, however,
Saponara is silent.

Finally, very seriously. he says.

Listen to me carefully.
That money will be ours."

When they finally get to the hotel.

Saponara can't stand the anxiety.

He is crazy, like a little boy
ho wants to know..

The end of the story

What does Z find?

Four or five letters
from an African country,

written in English.

The usual Letters
of no interest except for one

There's no need to worry
about what the letter says

Besides, Zs translation
is not to be trusted

His English can't be that great

what is important is that...

he sender, a Cassidy guy..

Seems to know Cuevas and his business

more than anyone else
in the course of the story

The tone of the letter
is relaxed and confident,

even affectionate

They seem to have known each other..

For many years. and although the letter

talks mostly about money

it is clear that they
are partners and old friends.

As he reads it Z finally
discovers something new

Cassidy is the missing
link in Cuevas1 story,

the only one who understands it all,

the other half of the treasure map

Listen carefully.

You have to go to Ensenada in three days.

Ask for this person,
who already knows everything

He will tell you whom
you need to speak with

There won't be any problems.

The "Sugar Loaf leaves this week.

Otherwise there are other boats

It won't be longer than this week

In twenty days you will be there

Z interrupts Saponara

He says he doesn't know
what he is talking about

and that in any case, it's a crazy stunt

That he's not willing to waste
more time on Cuevas' story

That thanks, but Saponara's
proposition is insane.

That he's sick and tired
of walking around the world...

and getting involved
where he doesn't belong to

That is enough there is always a limit

It's over.

A week later

Z boards the merchant ship 'Sugar Loaf.'

It flies a Peruvian flag

and the final destination is Bombay,

stopping at Cape Town, Durban,
Mombasa, and Karachi

A few weeks later,
the ship reaches destination.

However, once there Z finds out
Cassidy has died..

Of a rare illness a month or two earlier.

He can't find much information.

Apparently Cassidy as retired..

And had worked or the government...

his whole life, in customs.

His daughter had never heard of Cuevas.

Z as she tells him,
was the first South American.

She had ever seen.

And it was hard for her to believe..

That he was not European

Finally, she suddenly remembers something

She runs inside and comes
back with an envelope.

This came days before his death

I think it is from South America."

The return address no the envelope.

Reads "Axel Andres Alexanders"

Inside Z finally finds Cuevas

Dear Derek.

You don't know ow sorry I am

that your health is not improving

It's hard to imagine you sick.

There are people we tend
to think of as invulnerable,

as though nothing could ever happen to them

When you are a child, you think
of your parents that way.

I have always thought of you that way

I remember seeing ne of the films

I loved as a child, so long ago

A woman wanted to avenge
her husband?s murder,

and she looked
for the criminals to kill them

All of them even the strongest
and smartest,

ended up dying by her gun.

The same is happening to us, Derek.

Even the strongest and the smartest

Even you Derek, even me

You know what7

A few days ago something strange happened

I turned sixty. When I woke up, surprised,

I felt as I had never felt before,

that nothing bad could happen to me

I don't know if you will understand,

but I felt I had won the game

I felt I had dealt my cards so well

that I was completely safe

Safe from any harm and any problem

I had won the game You know7

That night I cried myself asleep.

I haven't done anything
but think ever since

I don't want this
to be my life anymore. Derek

Is it too late to start over?

I remember a story someone told me once.

A man is born into an enormous fortune.

He is handsome, seductive, and athletic

He lives on the fast lane.

He gets married over and over
to beautiful women

but he cheats on them
His marriages fall apart

His debts build up, he swindles.

And gives in to drink and gambling

One day he finds he is alone and unlucky

and decides to kill himself

As he is about to jump, God speaks to him.

What is wrong with you? What a waste

I gave you everything and you threw it away

It's a shame. You will begin again.

And you will do things right this time.'!

The man comes back to life,

but this time he's thrifty and prudent.

He makes a lot of money
but he is careful with it

He avoids surrounding himself.

With people that can lead him astray.

He is cautious in love

and lets no one deter him from his path.

He never makes a mistake,
never does anything wrong

But one day he finds..

He's as lonely and unlucky as before,

or even more

When he is about to jump,
he hears God's voice again.

Jump1" God tells him

You are hopeless.

You are an idiot"

What about me. Derek9

I hope your health improves soon.

I will write again about business

Affectionately, Eugenio

So that was Cuevas " Z thinks
after he finishes reading

And for the first time,
he feels his journey is over

Third story H and Cesar,

the third day locked up
at the military base

Now, I remember a really good story

It's really good

Hey, grumpy

Don't you want to hear \P

It's really good.

You don't know what you're missing

Don't you want to hear \P

I'll tell it anyway1


For hours, while H sleeps,

Cesar sets out in what seems to be.

The story of his childhood. during the war

He speaks of his father for the first time

He describes his life as a child in detail.

Going from one place to the next

arrested once and again.

Hund, can you read that map or not?

Chief, I told you I am not
good at reading maps.

We have already walked this path

Let's walk on.

What do you make of it?

Too risky

You go first.

Do you see anything?

Something moving.

But I'm not sure

Let's go, Vayan.

This changes the whole situation

Jolly Goodfellows.

It's late. We have to carry on.

Let?s go on Walk on!

Do not fall behind. We must walk on

Just like this?

Grab his gun.


David Smile,

Johnnie Short,

Jack "The Pakh",

Blind Pew" Moran

Charlie London.

Cesars story ends
with the improbable image...

of himself alongside the Englishmen

happily singing that magic song

If H had listened to
or understood the story

he might think it was
another of Cesar's fables

But Cesar's world, here English soldiers.

laugh and sing,
where victory is celebrated..

With heroic songs, it's much more than H

or anyone, can tolerate at this point

In any case when H awakes
Cesar is already gone


And now, more music on FM Etoile

A possible end for Xs story

X reads in the newspaper,

at one of the many gas stations

on one of his trips

about the latest news on the Mill incident

t?s too loud...

You can't smoke in here, but who cares

There's no one here anyway.

There's never anybody

The same people always come by


Then the five o'clock bus

Be careful

How long have you not smoked?

A long time.

Smoking does you good

You're on a trip, right7

Always on the road.

Always on the road.


According to the newspaper,

the Chilean had returned to his country.

And had refused to comment

However a court clerk said

We cannot give the details
of his release from jail

The only thing we can say
is that this man was lucky

You could almost say
He had a God of his own"

So it seems X's dossier..

Had fallen into the right hands

The whole adventure had served
a purpose in the end

Days, or perhaps weeks later;
after some light paperwork

H is freed.

The petty officer charge of taking him...

to the nearest road tells him.
It took a while for you.

Things got complicated.
There was no way around it

Your roommate, instead, he got out at once,

and he was a foreigner

So you see, it's all about luck"

Meanwhile on another road,
fairly close to or far...

from the other an old foreigner

returning who knows where to,
remembers a song he learned

when he was a child

It's a song that's meant to be sung

after accomplishing some great feat

after surviving danger
and arriving safe and sound.

Or after returning from a long journey