Summary of the previous part: The three minions, Plones, Borgovo and Pacheco, turn to Estela, one of the widows of tent 53, to help them capture the double evil. But Estela disappears along with the double through the revolving door of the Provincial Hotel.
In the morning the three stooges returned to the Bristol baths, to tent 47, in the hope of receiving sympathy from the hall. They looked like three lost children, at the discretion of the applause of the inhabitants of the arena. But indifference, even a little contempt, far from subsiding, spread, also affecting Borgovo and Plones. Widow Estela from tent 53 was missing.
Her companions commented -not specifically to the Three Stooges, with whom they hardly spoke-, in voices between muffled and indignant, the handwritten message left by Estela in the spa administrator’s mailbox: that they shouldn’t wait for her to the rest of the day the season. Had he seen each other, they complained, angry, had he hit a boyfriend? And that’s why she leaves us?
Somehow, they blamed Pacheco. As if in a phantasmagorical ubiquity, he could be in two places at the same time: with the runaway widow and right there, with the solitary harem abandoned by his friend. An ill-thought would have deduced that they partly envied the absent woman, and let themselves be carried away by resentment like Estela for Pacheco.
But the three minions are joined by an enigma: the strange disappearance of the widow Estela, discarding the handwritten message as relevant data. It was more disturbing than anything else.
They resisted falling into mere interpretative wickedness, but they didn’t believe in that sudden love, in that presumed love at first sight. Why would Estela ditch her friends instead of rushing to share the evening’s events? It is true that the widow could not have been Dominguín, the bullfighter who, after meeting Ava Gardner, and running out of the still warm room, when the diva asked her where she was marching in such a hurry, replied: “To tell my friends .”
But… to be excluded from the group and from the tent from one day to the next, with no more news than a piece of paper written in pen? There was something strange there, the three botarati were brooding.
For some reason, their combined efforts didn’t improve their individual abilities. Plones, the time expert, an inveterate watchmaker condemned by the Powers Above to never again be in love, had worked judiciously with Borgovo on more than one case. Borgovo, in turn, had known him for a lifetime and had coupled here and there with Pacheco. But the three together did not make one. However, they persisted. In the autumn of their adventures – carreras was a word that didn’t call them – they preferred ridicule to surrender.
Since the three refused to use sunscreen and the investigation forced them to stay on the beach, by late afternoon they looked like Comanches, their skin like raw shrimp. It must have been five o’clock when they resigned themselves to munching on the chipacitos: the wafers were no longer sold, there were no more street vendors selling croissants, the churro scared them.
But they hadn’t finished eating a third of a bag when Plones and Borgovo discovered that the boys in tent 38 needed two each. Pacheco was rejected, as was already known; but the stain of the ninguneo hadn’t gone so far as not to welcome the other two into that compulsive (at least up to that moment).
Borgovo injured each front, or irregular parietal closure, with the Octopus rubber ball. Plones hit him in one case with the back of the neck and he nearly passed out. But between one defeat and another, going in search of her to the infinity of the arc of the beach, they managed to extract from the teenagers something of the mystery of the double Pacheco.
Yes, it was true, Pacheco’s behavior was bizarre, careless, at times hostile. At the same time he was nice, available, outgoing. For the traditional neighbors down the hall, Pacheco’s sudden change in behavior had decreed their excommunication; but in the history of the brothers, all that Pacheco had as a misanthrope and hermit, Pacheco had as a gregarious and conversationalist.
The sand didn’t bother him, it didn’t hide his trade. Astounded, the weather pundit and writer-turned-detective learned that Pacheco presented himself with exponential pride as the cartoonist of May 5th. He didn’t hide his signature in that key position of the comic; he showed it in the chapter on the devil and the angel, and he boasted: I am the Uderzo of the DiMaggios. Borgovo, with the method of arriving at the truth through casual investigations, asked the brothers if they had read Il 5 Di Maggio.
Martín and Ezequiel answered no. But Martín was also a twin, the two were not with them that summer, invited by the bride’s family to Miramar. Damián, the twin brother of Miramar, was an avid reader of Los 5 Di Maggio, and a frequent visitor to magazine exchanges and outlets.
It would be commonplace, not necessarily exact, to state that Borgovo and Plones resolved with Pacheco, in tent 47, more disconcerted than before to play ahead. All three had learned, at the cost of serial failures, that telltale clues announced their truth long after they were collected.
On the path of knowledge, the seeker had no choice but to accumulate evidence, without much order or concert, with the hope that in some unexpected and modest future they would form the constellation Eureka. Estela’s departure with a cynical and servile double, a scene as old as that of the snake and Eve, did not convince them of her prosaic evolution: it irritated the curiosity of the three veterans.
Pacheco had sold off his bag of chipacitos and half of each of his companions; frustrated and heavy. Plones and Borgovo were about to scold him, with a aching head, spending most of the afternoon on the beach, around 19:00, when they heard the cell phone conversation between the father of the family from tent 38 and his son Damián: Pacheco He had appeared at Miramar, accompanied by a lady, in tent 52 of the Sol spa.
The next day, after one of the most beautiful walks along the coast, the Mar del Plata/Miramar stretch by bus, the three stooges arrived at Mentado beach. That was definitely Pacheco, in tent 52. But accompanying him was not the sixty-year-old widow Estela from tent 53 of the Bristol in Mar del Plata, but some kind of supermodel in her thirties, an enormous beauty who made their mouths dry, each of them them at the same time.
It cannot be conjectured whether it was envy – as they suspected of the widows in tent 53 of the Bristol – that decided them, or their perennial commitment to the truth; but they prevailed, with a strength that hadn’t assisted them in their first intention of simply helping Pacheco, by either solving that case or dying trying.
(This story will wrap up next week)
Charles Hurd is an entertainment journalist for News Rebeat. He brings a fresh and engaging voice to the world of pop culture, covering the latest developments in film, television, music, and more.