One more tale for this travelling taleman’s Suitcase of Stories, collected en route for Lima as I embark on my first South American tour thanks to http://dreamonproductions.com.
Two identical twins grow up in the same town. Because they’re often at loggerheads, one grows a beard to distinguish himself.
One brother earned a modest income but the other was wealthy and lived opposite the foundry he owned. From time to time black cars would roll up outside his house and dubious characters from the city would pay him a visit.
Both brothers would separately go to a cabaret bar and they shared an obsession with the same woman – a red-haired prostitute from Paraguay.
The wealthy brother convinced the woman to marry him and they moved in together. This was a source of unbearable pain for the other sibling.
So, one evening, he went to the other’s house claiming he wanted to settle their differences. They went for a walk outside to chat but out of the blue the one with the beard took a piece of iron that was lying on the ground and delivered a quick blow to his brother’s head.
The man dropped down dead.
After that the brother carried the body away and burnt it in one of the many ovens of the foundry.
Finally, he shaved his beard carefully and dressed in his brother’s clothes.
Half an hour later, he went back to the house where the Paraguayan wife was waiting for her husband to have dinner. The red-head didn’t seem to notice any difference, or who knows, perhaps she pretended not to, out of convenience.
The fact is, he spent the best months of his life, the happiest ones, with this woman until, one day, the men from the city turned up in their black cars and … BOOM! … they finished him off.
Apparently this was to settle an old score. Of course, he’d known nothing about that, and just like his brother’s, his body was never found.
The red-head from Paraguay kept everything.
(This is what I remember of a five minute tale recounted to pass the time when the protagonist and his driver are sat around a fire stranded in the middle of nowhere because of a flat tyre.)
El Ciundadano Ilustre