The Second Grave

“Ferreyra, Marcos Maldonado. Sorry I missed your call. I don’t read the Buenos Aires Tribune; you always dig up the past like we never did anything right. You want background? A lot has been happening; Mme. Quiroga’s inauguration as President, the spectacular Dolores kidnapping, and now her rescue. I assume that’s why you’re calling. Your name rings bells. Was your father in the Malvinas 7th Infantry? I remember a Lieutenant Ferreyra; we arrested him when he rescued a rebel general from a firing squad just before dawn. He broke easily under torture. Ferreyra deserved a long drop into the South Atlantic, but we shot him instead.”

“Where was I? Oh yes, Dolores. I had nothing to do with her. I retired 20 years ago, and lately Septima Infanteria has drawn hotheads who weren’t even born in our day. The Dolores stunt was typical; a limpet mine blew off the limo door, right there on Avenida del Libertador during rush hour; amazing how they got away. A fast Ducati, I’m told.”

“Why Dolores? The papers said she’s a cultural affairs attaché, coaching the US President for Quiroga’s inaugural ball. Probably just his fancy girl. I hear she taught tango in Charleston at the Hotel Fakir, run by the traitor who’d betrayed us in the Malvinas. For years he’s been conjuring intrigues from the safety of exile, or so he thought. I’m told an old-fashioned Molotov cocktail incinerated the Hotel Fakir and him along with it. Good riddance; I sleep a little better these days, believe me.”

“Oh yes, you want background. Let’s see. I was an officer cadet when I married Graciela. She was radiant and carefree, but her tentative blushes when men caught her eye angered me. Years went by and we never had children. I rose in military intelligence, Graciela became distant, and one day she got an annulment and was gone, stolen away by a brother officer who later turned traitor. Leftists and secularists with no respect for God and family are scum.”

“I was bereft, but kept close tabs on everything. Their daughter Charlotte was always in the paper with scholarly accolades. At last, in the Malvinas campaign, I got my chance. Ignatio Quiroga went missing in action, and Graciela and her daughter fled to the States. Charlotte somehow made it to Harvard, and now she’s President of Argentina. Tango is her disarming overture to the free world.”
“You’ve got your story, Ferreyra, and a Glock 45 awaits me in my desk. Confucius said those who embark on vengeance must first dig two graves…”

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