I really hate Beltrán. He is the kind of person that does whatever he wants without giving any thought about what others feel. He is so selfish, and even though he also shows genuine feelings at some points, he is never selfless. What he feels is what brings him pleasure.
He finally finds out who sends the letters. It is her cousin Mara herself, who thought that with the letters he would have a reason to stay with her. So when he confronts her with the photographs that the police superintendent gives him, showing Mara posting the letter, the woman reacts coldly. He admits that what she wrote in the letters is true. Her eldest son is Beltran’s as he looks just like him. She also confesses that the last messages, urging him to leave Lele, were her jealousy talking as he realises that she is the one who has managed to get to him. Mara says that it is Lele who has Beltrán in a way that neither she nor Sonsolas have, but I think she is wrong. I think Beltrán is nobody’s, only his own desires’, and the people he has in his life is because of what they bring to him, nothing else. I like it when Mara asks him to stop hurting Lele because she sees what he is doing, destroying her life, but naturally, Beltrán is too selfish to hear him. Then he has his revenge on her, which I think that despite the letters, Mara doesn’t really deserve. He has sex with her, and then after picking up her underwear, he goes to her husband and leaves the garment there, telling Alfonso to control his wife, and there is nothing else he has to say for the meaning to sink in.
The political situation in Spain is really unstable, and as a privileged man, giving funds to the Acción Nacional, he is given a tip of what is to come. So he knows that on July 17, 1936, there will be a coup d’etat. So Beltrán makes his arrangements for his family to leave, but he also wants Lele to go with him. So even though Lele refuses at first, she can’t say no to him, so in a very peculiar way Beltrán takes his family and also his lover to a hotel in Gibraltar. The man doesn’t care what his wife feels or thinks, and Sonsoles knows… has known for years, and even though that first night in Gibraltar she begs him to stay with him, he ignores her. He also ignores Lele when he comes to her as she says that it is immoral to have her while his wife is two floors under them. Yet, Beltrán only hears what he wants and nothing else.
I have to say that I find the attitude of these women so outrageous. I can understand that back then women were nothing, but subservient to men’s desires. This is exemplified and magnified in the figure of this man. I really dislike him, and I don’t find this love story beautiful at all. The novel is really interesting, but it is really frustrating to see this man trampling over women’s lives for his own selfish interests. I really hope that Beltrán gets his comeuppance, and Lele gets to have a real life with someone who loves her for real.