An elegant ending

‘Till the end, he cultivated the art of dressing finely


La llamita Carretera arequipa a Puno, Perú
The baby llama
Highway from Arequipa to Puno, Peru

So, it was not a surprise that when he was detained on his way to the beautiful river port of Honda, this illuminated master of the occult sciences had discarded his British accent and adopted a most convincing German one. The blonde hair had transformed itself into a reddish kind and he wore an eyepiece, while he had never worn one, during all his stay in Bogota..

El altiplano Carretera de Arequipa a Puno, Perú
The highland
Highway from Arequipa to Puno, Peru

Happily, the port authorities did not fall for his tricks, and he was duly arrested. Next morning, he was taken to Bogota, with his eyepiece and his accent that was as false as the colour of his hair. There, he resided for many years as a guest of the State Penitentiary System and he wrote his memoirs, splattered with lies as long as the years that he spent in prison.

La ribera Carretera de Arequipa a Puno, Perú
The shores
Highway from  Arequipa to Puno, Peru

In the end, they found him one morning, as he was hanging from a rope in someone else’s cell. There are those that affirm that it was the spirits who grew tired of his using them for his own personal motives and took their revenge. Others do not agree. They propose that this ambassador from the other side, had a very mundane encounter with one of his fellow prisoners. The opinions may vary, but the truth of the matter is that the rope contained thirty and one perfectly well tied knots, and if that were not enough, on the occasion, he was wearing his favorite tie.

This was but one of the many spiritual experiences with which Felipe grew up during his childhood and later youth.

En el camino Carretera de Arequipa a Puno, Perú
The road
Highway from Arequipa to Puno, Peru

 

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Ties, and the proper ways to tie them

The art of tying a knot, requires the corresponding skill to undo it.


Vista al lago Carretera de Arequipa a Puno, Perú
View of the lake
Highway from Arequipa to Puno, Peru

The alleged, so-called professor, knew the twenty-two forms to make tie a knot, as so carefully described by Honoré de Balzac, in his book: The art of wearing a tie. In his untiring passion for these elements of elegant manners, he had actually invented nine more of his own design. Consequently, this aforesaid minister of the beings from other spheres of existence could boast that even in the long month of thirty-one days, he would never repeat the same knot in his ties in the same month.

Los picos nevados Carretera de Arequipa a Puno, Perú
Snow caps
Highway from Arequipa to Puno, Peru

As was the case with these elements of fine dressing, this erudite on spiritual matters, also maintained a long list of names and pseudonyms with which he travelled through the assorted countries of America and Europe, always moving in the highest spheres of society, and particularly among the gullible ladies of this segment of the social circles.

Paisaje lacustre Carretera de Arequipa a Puno, Perú
Lakeside landscape
Highway from Arequipa to Puno, Peru

When having to flee a country, due to problems with the authorities and the enforcers of the law, he would discard his name, change his haircut and the colour of his hair, and quite amazingly even his personality. As it happened, among his many other peculiarities, he curiously maintained a wealth of foreign accents, which even surpassed in quantity the number of ties he kept carefully folded and tucked away in his travelling trunk, gaily decorated with emblems of many countries, each one, representing a land he could never return to.

Paisajes de la Puna Carretera Arequipa a Puno, Perú
Grazing
Highway from Arequipa to Puno, Peru

 

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An artist of elegance and deception

Many colours wears the stalker so to attract his prey


La Peluquería Tupiza, Potosí, Bolivia
The barber shop
Tupiza, Potosí, Bolivia

Years later, Felipe found out how his father had a discreet conversation with the Chief of Police, on the next day. Acting quickly, they detained the alleged professor. He had prematurely left the city, and he was on his way to the Honda river port seeking to buy his passage on a steamboat heading to Barranquilla.

El patio Tupiza, Potosí, Bolivia
The railroad yard
Tupiza, Potosí, Bolivia

Oddly enough, he was carrying a large quantity of valuable jewels in his personal baggage, apparently “donated” by the spiritual group’s ladies in order to cooperate for the expenses of this distinguished representative of the hereafter.

El puente del ferrocarril Tupiza, Potosí, Bolivia
The railway bridge
Tupiza, Potosí, Bolivia

This accomplished intermediary between mortals and the inhabitants of the ethereal regions, of those who no longer breathed the air of this world, kept an impressive collection of ties. Unique items made and imported from different countries of the world.

He was able to tie without requiring the aid of servants. This was an incontrovertible fact that he would brag about, whenever there was the chance to do so.

Paisaje de altura Carretera Arequipa a Puno, Perú
High lands landscape
Carretera Arequipa a Puno, Perú

 

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The spirits and their languages

How many matters could be discussed with those that passed through before us


La Estación Tupiza Tupiza, Potosí, Bolivia
The train Station
Tupiza, Potosí, Bolivia

“Bosh, Felipe, always joking. I am talking quite seriously. This ghost knows the ancient secret of eternal life! Can you imagine? Of course, in order to get him to share it with us, the professor has asked us to cooperate for the expenses this involves. And we have gladly decided to do this. This matter, being of such a transcendental nature, I believe that it has cost us next to nothing and has been well worth it. Wouldn’t you agree?”

Señales del tren Tupiza, Potosí, Bolivia
Train sign posts
Tupiza, Potosí, Bolivia

“We shall see how you will most definitely pay serious attention to our conversation next week. By then, we will have a most fabulous session and the spirit will have revealed this priceless secret, and more importantly, I will finally be this close to establishing contact with the dearly departed.”

El vagón de carga Tupiza, Potosí, Bolivia
The freight car
Tupiza, Potosí, Bolivia

“Interesting, how a spirit that died so many years ago, and so distantly, has learned to speak Spanish, don’t you agree? As for the money, how is it that you will send to the other side? Perhaps you will transmute it, using the philosopher’s stone?”

Caminando las vías Tupiza, Potosí, Bolivia
Walking the tracks
Tupiza, Potosí, Bolivia

 

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