42 - ¡Amor!

31 9 4

Felipe Altamirano Alvarez Espadachín

"So, you're not in good terms with the Aymara family?" I asked the father of Kantuta Willka, as I sat on a bench in his hut. One of the villagers told me, through Luismar, my translator, that the Aymara and Willka family weren't on good terms with each other.

"No, we are not on good terms," he said.

"Why? What is the reason for the hostilities between you two?" I leaned back, interested to hear the reason for the hostilities between the two families.

"The thing is sir, I have three chickens in my home. My chickens always eat what I feed them, but when they lay eggs, they lay eggs in his coop," Atahualpa Willka (the Willka family patriarch) complained.

"So it's only a matter of chickens?" I scribbled notes about the bone of contention between the two families.

"Whenever I tell Apurimac that he must give me my chickens' eggs back, he argues that the eggs are being laid in his coop, so he is the rightful owner of them." Atahualpa adjusted the cloth on his body.

While I was conversing with Atahualpa, Amor came wagging his tail, asking for a pat. I patted him, after receiving licks from his tongue. "Enough, go now!" I told Amor after patting him for a while. Satisfied, Amor left.

"Is there anything else that is the reason for contention between your two families?" I inquired.

"Yes, sir. I have a tree that bears fruit growing exactly near the fence between my land and his land. The thing is whenever the tree's fruit falls, it falls into his land. He takes it. When I ask Apurimac to give me back my fruit, he argues that it is his because it fell into his land. But I watered it."

"Do your children know about this rivalry between your two families," I asked Atahualpa.

"No, sir. We are not on good terms, but it's against our culture to let the hate of one generation pass down to another generation. So, we never stopped Kantuta from being friendly with Rina Aymara. Moreover, when Rina came to our house, we always treated her well. Only that Urpi, wife of Apurimac, doesn't pay us back the same way. Whenever Kantuta goes to Apurimac's house, Urpi mistreats her."

"So because of a chicken and a tree, you kidnapped Rina, and faked the kidnapping of your daughter?" I asked, looking at Atahualpa straight in the eye.

"That's an outrageous accusation, sir. How could we? The tribe is a family, originating from one common ancestor. Harming a person from our tribe is like harming someone from our own family. We could never think of that! Moreover, Kantuta is my daughter. Even if I wanted to harm Rina, why would I kidnap my daughter, keeping her away from the tribe?" he protested.

"You don't think you couldn't have hidden Kantuta to take the blame away from you?" I asked.

"I don't understand you, sir." He leaned forward.

"Did you hide Kantuta while you kidnapped Rina, so that noticing that both the girls are missing, the village won't suspect you?" I leaned forward too.

"No, sir. You're slandering me."

"I'm doing my job."

After asking a few questions, I thanked the Willka family for helping me with the answers I was looking for. Atahualpa didn't like me. The questions I asked him towards the end infuriated him. As much as I don't like asking questions like the ones I asked him towards the end, I must ask those questions because looking at how people react to those questions, I can deduce crucial things about their character and about the possibility that they might be the criminal responsible for the crime I was investigating.

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