When Carl von Menen boards the Cabo de Hornos for his voyage to Argentina, his mind is full of the dangers he faces in his new and uncertain role as a double agent. But no sooner has he set foot on deck than he meets a welcome distraction, in the form of the beautiful and intelligent Dr Maria Gomez.
Maria introduces herself as a junior doctor who has just finished her general clinical training. Her father’s family can trace their Argentine heritage back to the sixteenth century; her mother’s side are of Italian descent. Carl may initially have been attracted by her deep brown eyes, long dark hair and flawless smile, but he finds her intellectually attractive, too:
“Von Menen wooed her ceaselessly. As the days and weeks marched on, he sensed he had found the kind of woman he had always dreamed of and she felt the same about him, a man who respected and valued her opinions, not some polo-playing, pleasure-seeking machismo… they felt as if they had known each other for years”.
When they arrive in Buenos Aires, they find a secure means of writing with each other and Maria invites Carl to a family celebration, for her father’s sixtieth birthday party. And it is there that the two elements of von Menen’s life intertwine, in the form of Maria’s uncle, the ambitious and feverently nationalistic Colonel Filipe Vidal.
Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com