Episode 1: The Letter|
The story begins at La Gavia, a sixteenth century estate near
Mexico City. Dr. Julio Morelos, the family doctor, has been called
to see the owner of the estate, don Fernando Castillo Saavedra.
Don Fernando is very ill and very old now. He has three sons
and a daughter. One son, Ramón, and the daughter,
Mercedes, live in La Gavia. Another son, Carlos, lives in Miami.
The remaining son, Juan, lives in New York. He is a professor
of literature at the university. Don Fernando's wife, Carmen,
Don Fernando, aware that his life is coming to an end, is worried
about resolving a secret from his past in Spain. while looking
at some old photos, he recalls his days in Spain during the Civil
War. He decides to call all his children and his brother together
for a meeting at La Gavia. He has received a letter that pertains
to his secret.
Episode 2: The Secret
Don Fernando's son Ramón calls his brothers and his uncle.
He tells them that don Fernando wants the family come to La Gavia.
Carlos, who lives in Miami, and Juan, who lives in New York,
are en route. Juan's wife Pati works at the theater; he goes
there to tell her about the family meeting. Ramón also
calls his uncle Pedro in Mexico City.
The family members gather at La Gavia. Ramón, his wife
Consuelo, and his daughter Maricarmen are already present, because
they live at the hacienda. Carlos, his wife Gloria, and their
children Juanita and Carlitos arrive from Miami. Juan arrives
from New York with his wife Pati; they have no children. Mercedes,
who is a widow, lives at La Gavia. Pedro, don Fernando's brother,
also arrives from Mexico City. Upon their arrival, they all greet
Lupe, a longtime family employee.
During the family gathering, don Fernando reveals the secret
from his past. During the Civil War in Spain Fernando had married
a woman named Rosario. When Guernica was bombed, Fernando thought
that Rosario, who was pregnant, had died. But he has recently
received a letter from Seville, from a woman named Teresa Suárez,
saying that Rosario didn't die. It is possible that Fernando
has another child in Spain.
Pedro, a lawyer, asks for help from a colleague, Raquel Rodriguez
from Los Angeles. She goes to Mexico and then reviews the names
of the members of the family. Don Fernando's second wife, Carmen--
mother of Ramón, Carlos, Juan, and Mercedes--is dead.
Is his first wife dead? Does he really have another child? That
is the great mystery.
Cultural information: The Spanish Civil War: Guernica,
Episode 3: The Beginning
Raquel travels by plane from Mexico to Sevilla, Spain, to look
for Sra. Suárez and to find out what she knows about Rosario,
don Fernando's first wife. At the hotel the receptionist informs
her that Calle Pureza, the return address on the letter sent
to don Fernando, is in the Triana district. Raquel takes a taxi
to the address but finds no one home. She learns from a neighbor
that the person who resides there is at the market and will return
soon. The taxi driver takes Raquel on a brief excursion to a
nearby church to see the statue of the Virgen de la Esperanza.
When they return to the house two children named Jaime and Miguel
arrive, and they inform Raquel that Teresa Suárez is their
grandmother but that she no longer lives there. They take Raquel
to find their mother, Elena Ramirez, who is still at the market.
After meeting Elena, Raquel explains the story of don Fernando
and Rosario and explains why she needs to see Sra. Suárez
Elena's mother-in-law. Elena knows nothing of the story, but
they agree to meet later in a bar so that Raquel can talk to
Miguel Ruiz, Elena's husband and the son of Sra. Suárez.
Later on they pick up Elena's children at don Pepe's barbershop.
The geography and regions of Spain
The culture of Seville: churches, music, bullfights, pottery
The processions of Holy Week in Seville
The Church of Santa Ana and the Virgen de la Esperanza
Episode 4: Lost
Raquel meets with Miguel Ruiz, his wife Elena, and their two
sons, Jaime and Miguel, in the Cervecería Giralda. Miguel
tells her that, while he knows nothing about Rosario, he has
spoken with his mother who now lives in Madrid. She insists that
Raquel come to Madrid to speak with her. But she shouldn't depart
until the day after tomorrow because Teresa Suárez is
currently in Barcelona visiting another of her children. Miguel
recommends traveling to Madrid is by train. Elena suggests that
Raquel spend another day in Seville. They all walk Raquel back
to her hotel and the boys talk about school and the subjects
they study. Miguel is in the eighth grade; he likes natural sciences
and gets good grades. Jaime, a first grader, likes physical education
best but really doesn't like school. He wants to be a tour guide
like his father. They drop Raquel off at her hotel and promise
to come by for her tomorrow and take her to the animal market.
Back in her room, Raquel calls Pedro and tells him that she has
to go to Madrid. The next day at the animal market Miguel buys
a dog named Osito for the boys. While they are in a pastry
shop, the dog escapes and both the dog and Jaime become lost.
The family members and Raquel search for them.
The Spanish omelette
Spanish secondary schools: typical subjects, the grading system
Bargaining in the Seville animal market
Episode 5: The Farewell
Raquel and the Ruiz family are searching for Jaime and Osito,
his dog, in the narrow streets of the Santa Cruz section. A blind
man who sells lottery tickets for O.N.C.E. (the National Spanish
Organization for the Blind) is the first to find Osito and then
Jaime. Raquel eventually finds them, brings them back to the
cathedral square and, after a bit more confusion, they are reunited
with the other family members. They plan to show Raquel the Alcázar
but find it closed, so Raquel returns to her hotel. In the evening
Raquel and the Ruiz family dine in a restaurant with a beautiful
view of Seville. They have paella, a typical Spanish dish.
The next day they all accompany Raquel to the train station for
her trip to Madrid. After buying her ticket, she boards and bids
many good-byes to the family. The younger Miguel gives her a
photo of the children to give to their grandmother, Teresa Suárez.
Mexico and its capital
The O.N.C.E. lottery
The cathedral of Seville
The Alcázar of Seville and other Andalusian Arabic monuments
Spanish paella, a typical dish
Episode 6: Teacher?
While riding the train from Seville to Madrid, Raquel uses her
laptop computer to begin a report of her progress to date. She
recalls what Pedro Castillo told her about the letter from Teresa
Suárez. It revealed that Rosario, don Fernando's first
wife, hadn't died in the Civil War as he had thought Raquel describes
what happened in Seville when she met the Ruiz family: Miguel,
Elena, Jaime, and young Miguel. She discovered that Teresa Suárez
was the mother of Miguel, but that she no longer lived in Seville
nor had she told anyone anything about Rosario. Sra. Suárez
insists that Raquel go to Madrid to speak with her. Raquel remembers
that while in Seville she visited some interesting places, ate
some tasty food, and had a scare when Jaime got lost after trying
to find the runaway Osito. Everything turned out all right and
Raquel now has a funny story to tell Jaime's grandmother.
During the trip a TV reporter shows up in her compartment thinking
that Raquel is a sixth-grade teacher who has won the lottery.
When he learns that she isn't a teacher but a lawyer, he sees
another possible story, but Raquel won't reveal the purpose of
her trip. Alfredo Sanchez, the reporter, sees don Fernando's
letter and later finds out some information about him.
Episode 7: The Wallet
Upon arriving at her hotel in Madrid, Raquel discovers that she
has left her wallet in the taxi. Alfredo offers to look
for the taxi and recover the wallet. Raquel goes to her room
and checks the clothes she has brought to see if she has enough.
Then she calls Pedro, but since he isn't in she leaves a message.
Meanwhile, it turns out that the teacher that Alfredo was looking
for is actually Sr. Diaz, a man whom Raquel met on the train.
Federico Ruiz, another son of Sra. Suárez, comes to the
hotel and a series of mix-ups ensues stemming from confused names
and room numbers: The bellman and the receptionist have mixed
up the names of Alfredo and Federico. The latter finally manages
to talk with Raquel and invites her to come to his mother's apartment.
Alfredo has returned with the wallet, but he and Raquel are unable
to find each other, so Raquel and Federico leave for Teresa Suárez's
apartment without it.
Madrid, capital of Spain: boulevards, fountains, squares
The Spanish political system and some Spanish monarchs
Episode 8: The Encounter
Federico takes Raquel to meet Sra. Suárez at her home.
There Teresa tells Raquel the story of Rosario. She says that
Rosario didn't die in the war, but Rosario had believed her husband
don Fernando had died. She had a son, Angel Castillo, who was
born in Seville where Teresa and Rosario met. After the war Rosario
and her son moved to Argentina where she married an Argentine
rancher, Martin Iglesias. Teresa Suárez gives Raquel some
letters from Rosario with a return address at the Santa Susana
ranch near Buenos Aires. She also gives her a personal letter
which she has written to Rosario.
Teresa asks Raquel why she was searching for Rosario. Raquel
tells her about her relationship to the family and about don
Fernando's illness. Afterward, Teresa tells Raquel that she discovered
don Fernando's whereabouts through a magazine article. After
the conversation Teresa prepares dinner for the two of them and
Federico, and they chat about Raquel's stay in Seville. Before
she goes, they agree to see each other again the following day
and Raquel accepts Federico's invitation to visit him in his
guitar workshop. Back at her hotel, Raquel calls Elena in Seville
to ask her to obtain a copy of Angel's birth certificate. As
she hangs up, the bellman delivers a telex.
Regional differences in Spain: Madrid-Sevilla; Castilla-Andalucía
Episode 9: Seasons
The telex Raquel receives from Pedro Castillo indicates that
she should call him because don Fernando is in serious condition.
She speaks with Pedro and learns that don Fernando has improved.
She gives him the information she has obtained thus far.
The next day Teresa Suárez goes out to do her daily shopping
and Alfredo arrives at the hotel to return Raquel's wallet. He
also wants to extract information about don Fernando for a story.
Raquel refuses to give out any information, but Alfredo discovers
the truth about the teacher, Sr. Díaz, so he can finally
complete the story he originally planned to report.
Raquel takes a taxi to Federico's where she meets some young
people from a university musical group called a tuna Federico
invites her to go with him and his mother to his girlfriend María's
dance school, and then out to dinner. Raquel accepts because
she wants to give them the photo of the boys in Seville. Afterward,
Raquel goes to a travel agency to pick up her ticket for a flight
to Argentina. She realizes that it's spring in Argentina, so
she goes shopping to buy some appropriate clothing.
Teresa Suárez's daily routine
The tuna, a typical Spanish musical group
Seasons of the year in the Hispanic world
Episode 10: Paintings
Raquel, Federico, and Teresa Suárez watch María,
Federico's girlfriend, in a flamenco dance rehearsal. From there
they go to dinner and afterward, when they say good-bye, Raquel
gives Teresa the photo of Jaime, Miguel, and the dog. Teresa
reminds Raquel that she will always have friends in Madrid.
She also tells her that one must dedicate some time to the heart.
Raquel's flight doesn't leave until 5 P.M. the following day,
so she spends some time visiting the Prado Museum. After
passing through several rooms containing Spanish art, she meets
Sr. Diaz and Alfredo Sánchez, who are touring the museum
as well. They say their farewells
at the front of the Prado and Raquel goes to Retiro Park, where
she writes a postcard to her parents who live in Los Angeles.
When she returns to her hotel she finds the copy of Ángel's
birth certificate from Elena Ramírez and a message
from the travel agency about a problem with her flight to Buenos
The Prado Museum in Madrid
Some famous Spanish painters: El Greco, Diego Velázquez,
Retiro Park in Madrid
Episode 11: The Delay
Raquel decides to go to the travel agency and discovers that
because of a delay she has several more hours to wait until the
departure of her flight. She returns to the hotel and decides
to rest in her room. She asks the receptionist to wake her in
an hour. During her nap she dreams of the events of the past
few days. She dreams of the train trip to Madrid and Alfredo's
error regarding the lottery-winning teacher.
Her arrival at the hotel made a strong impression because she
lost her wallet. Mfredo found it but he tried to pry some information
out of her regarding her client, don Fernando Castillo.
She also dreams about her activities in Seville with the Ruiz
family and about her conversation with Sra. Suárez at
her home in Madrid: she found out that Rosario didn't die and
that she now lives in Argentina with her son, Ángel Castillo.
Teresa also gives her the address where Rosario lives with her
The telephone awakens her and she takes a taxi to the airport
where she boards the plane that will take her to Buenos Aires,
the next stage of her search.
Episode 12: Revelations
Raquel arrives in Buenos Aires but discovers that the hotel has
not reserved a room for her until the day after tomorrow. They
do have an available suite, however, so she takes it. The following
day Raquel travels by taxi to the Santa Susana ranch. A gaucho,
her that Rosario no longer lives there but has moved to the city
to live with her son, a doctor.
Raquel returns to Buenos Aires to look for Ángel at the
address Cirilo gave her.
A psychiatrist, Arturo Iglesias, lives at the address indicated.
He is Rosario's second son, Ángel's half brother. He finds
don Fernando's story difficult to believe because he was under
the impression that Rosario's first husband had died in the Spanish
Civil War but is
convinced when he sees the letter from Sra. Suárez. He
informs Raquel that Rosario is dead and that he lost contact
with Ángel some time ago. He takes Raquel to the cemetery
where Rosario del Valle de Iglesias is buried and tells her that,
whereas Ángel had wanted to be a painter, his stepfather
had wanted him to study economics. They fought and the father
suffered a fatal heart attack. Ángel then left Buenos
Aires and never returned. Arturo thinks it is time to forgive
his half brother, and so he decides to help Raquel with her investigation.
Buenos Aires: population, the national government, politics,
some points of interest
The ranches (estancias) and gauchos as tourist attractions
The voseo in the Argentine dialect
Episode 13: The Search
Arturo picks Raquel up at her hotel and the two of them initiate
the search for Ángel in the La Boca district, near the
port of Buenos Aires, where Arturo last saw his half brother.
Arturo has found a photo of Ángel and they begin by asking
the storekeepers if they recognize him. No one recognizes him
but the owner of an antique store recommends they see José,
a sailor who is a longtime resident. José doesn't recognize
him either but he recommends they ask Hector, who has lived there
even longer. He offers to look for Héctor while Arturo
and Raquel have lunch in a nearby seafood restaurant.
José returns without having found Héctor but he
informs Raquel and Arturo that they can find him in the Piccolo
Navio bar the next evening. Arturo thinks of Ángel and
pictures him in a ship, but he isn't sure whether it's a memory
or his imagination.
Arturo and Raquel leave with plans to return the following evening.
Arturo invites her to have brochettes at his house. She stops
back at the hotel, calls Pedro with a report, and that evening
returns to Arturo's house for dinner.
Geography of Argentina and its location in South America
The various regions of Argentina
Episode 14: Abroad
Raquel arrives at Arturo's house for dinner. Arturo tells her
that he has lived alone since his divorce from his Peruvian wife.
They sample a red wine and some cheese, then try the brochettes
which Arturo made with various meats. After dinner Raquel looks
at some photos while Arturo prepares the coffee. They chat awhile,
and then Arturo takes Raquel to
her hotel. When Raquel calls her parents in Los Angeles, her
mother recognizes her obvious interest in Arturo.
The next day Arturo and Raquel go to the Piccolo Navio to look
for Héctor, who is the life of the party. They finally
get together with him outside the bar and learn that Héctor
does remember Ángel. He says Ángel was a sailor
and that they were good friends. He gives Arturo a painting done
by his half brother. He thinks he went to the Caribbean, possibly
Puerto Rico, on a freighter. He remembers having received a letter
f rom him some years ago, but he isn't sure where the letter
is now. He needs a couple of days to look for it.
Arturo and Raquel return home to have coffee. Arturo is saddened
by the situation.
Typical Argentine dishes
José de San Martín, Liberator of Argentina, Chile,
Episode 15: Guilty
Raquel and Arturo return to Arturo's house. Arturo, distracted,
reveals that he has had a bad premonition and that he thinks
that Ángel is already dead. She tries to convince him
that it isn't true and that she will find Ángel in Puerto
Rico, but Arturo persists in his pessimism and
admits that he feels guilty for not having looked for Ángel
before now. He takes her to the hotel and they plan to go shopping
the next day.
They shop on Calle Florida and see Jaime Bolas, a fruit juggler.
They enter a leather goods store where Raquel buys a purse and
admires a jacket. Arturo goes to his office for an appointment
with a patient and Raquel returns to the hotel after buying a
few more things.
Arturo calls and says that Héctor is going to give them
the letter the following day so they have the rest of the day
free. Raquel wants to go to the Rosedal Park and, although he
isn't enthusiastic about the idea, Arturo agrees and buys fruit,
bread, wine, and cheese for a picnic. They take a ride in a horse
carriage and another in a boat before eating. They enjoy themselves
a great deal. Back at the hotel Raquel receives a special gift:
Arturo has bought her the jacket that she had admired. It's obvious
that they are very much attracted to each other.
Calle Florida in Buenos Aires
The leather of Argentina
A large park in Buenos Aires, the Rosedal
Episode 16: Faces
Arturo and Raquel wait at Arturo's house for Héctor's
call. Raquel finds a humorous photo of a face made with vegetables.
Arturo afterward tries to take a photo of the two of them. The