It all started with a sightseeing trip to the coast of Venezuela. The young graduates: Brigitte Bergh, Nancy Barry, Elvis Greenfield and Christopher Nielsen, decided to celebrate their university degrees on the tropical beaches. Their online friend Joel Smith would be waiting for them. He would be their guide throughout their stay in the South American country. Joel is the son of an English adventurer with a mulatto woman from the town of Ocumare. He plans various tourist activities for his internet friends. He was anxious to show them both the natural beauties and the human warmth of that town. But Joel's curiosity for certain unexplained phenomena and legends would turn a pleasure trip into an unplanned adventure...
The boys arrived safely from England to the foreign country. They spent the night in their capital. The next day they would board a bus that would take them to Maracay. From there they would take another bus to the town of Ocumare de la Costa, where their host was waiting for them. During the trip they saw small waterfalls, lush ferns, yagrumos trees (also known as cecropias) and orchids. The bus stopped at an open-air roadside kiosk. There they would enjoy a simple Creole breakfast. It was difficult to choose between a pepiada queen arepa or a freshly fried empanada stuffed with dogfish and, of course, they would accompany it with Venezuelan coffee and chocolate. They all got out of the vehicle and contemplated the panorama. There they heard the singing of birds and another sound they did not identify...
Briggite, a nature lover and advocate since her high school studies, asks curiously:
-What is that?
The waiter answers:
-They are araguatos, some monkeys that are around here nearby....they also call them howler monkeys.
Everyone quickly finishes their breakfast. They get back on the bus with their backpacks, which they had been warned not to leave alone. They had been warned to keep them permanently by their side to avoid loss or theft.
When they arrived in town, they quickly identified Joel. Nancy was struck by the bearing of this tall, dark-haired man, with big eyes, who had something in his eyes that she could not decipher. A perfect model for the fashion catwalks....
-Good morning! How was the trip?
-Fantastic! the ladies reply.
-Now I'm going to take you to an old cocoa plantation that nobody knows about. It is abandoned, its former owners died without leaving heirs. As you told me you wanted something different, I thought it would be ideal for you. We will spend the nights there. I will be with you at all times. We have to walk to avoid being followed, there are always curious people around. .... Joel clarifies.
They headed towards the ranch. The road was full of brush. They all wore short-sleeved shirts. When they arrived, they left their backpacks on the ground and set up their mosquito nets and mosquito nets. They checked their arms again.... many little red dots had appeared.... They had no idea what bug had bitten them. They hadn't seen anything....
Joel reassures them:
-They got ticks on them...they're tiny.
Elvis and Christopher comment to each other:
- Those bugs you don't even see.
They didn't know them; they had only seen ticks on dogs. ....
After they had everything settled they set out to take a nap; then they would swim in the nearby river. The river water was clear. They dived in and felt something.... some small fish swam between the feet of the visitors..... The refreshing bath woke them up. With renewed energy they began to take pictures of everything. Suddenly they saw something moving in the distance.... They all watched in amazement as a male figure, mounted on horseback, disappeared without a trace...
Joel is amazed. He remembers the legend of the town, the burial of Don Francisco. He immediately reacts and unintentionally says out loud:
-It's true... we all saw it. Then the one who can clarify all this for me is Doña Eufrasia, everything can become true.
Her friends did not understand anything. They asked her in bewilderment:
-What's going on?
Joel answers without thinking:
-Tonight I will leave you alone. It's only for a moment. I have to visit an old lady. Don't move from here until I come.
Joel ran off. He thought that Dona Eufrasia was the right person to tell him the legend of Don Francisco's burial. Besides, everyone said that she had gifts for guiding others.
When he arrived, he found Doña Eufrasia at the door of her house. The old woman, about 70 years old and a little bent, welcomes him smoking a cigar:
-Come in, I was waiting for you. They are all full. Five people are needed, and four of them must be foreigners.
-Good evening, Mrs. Eufrasia, sorry for the visiting hour. Joel answered apologetically.
-You did well to come. There is no time to waste. The burial is for you. I will give you the instructions. You have to follow them all. If you fail in any of them, there may be problems.
After giving him all the explanations, he sends Joel away saying:
-Hurry up, you have to do it tonight!
Joel runs to tell his friends. He hopes that they will understand and believe....
When he arrives he finds the ladies asleep. In the meantime, he decides to explain to the men what "burial" means.
-Here a burial means a treasure. It is usually full of morocotas (gold coins), others of jewels and gold. Today we have to dig it up. It is the only chance we have. I need the help of all of you. I will guide you. We all have to be present.
Elvis and Christopher were not convinced but found it exciting to give it a try. They woke up the girls. They all went together...
A blue light appeared flashing, as the legend goes.
-That's the sign. We have to follow it, says Joel.
They all follow it. The light stops. They don't know what to do.
-We have to wait. She has to give us another sign, says Joel.
Half an hour had already passed. They were in a state of discomfort when, suddenly, Elvis says:
-Look, the light came into the earth.
-That's another sign. We have to dig there. Joel says
They all set out to help. They dug quickly, they were tired...suddenly a supernatural force came out of nowhere and pulled the small trunk out of the ground.
-Open it. Said the taciturn Christopher
-Ah! It is the treasure, you were right, Elvis pointed out.
-We have to leave immediately. I will guide you, follow me. We can't turn on any lights until we get to the hacienda. Says Joel
When we get there, he finishes explaining:
-We will share the treasure, but you must leave the village tomorrow. That is the last condition. I am not responsible for what may happen if you do not comply with this requirement.
Everyone packed but something would happen....
Nancy, the first day at the beach, had bought an amulet from Dona Euphrasia. Old Euphrasia had told her:
-That amulet will bring you love.....
The town police had been looking for thieves for some time. Accidentally they arrived at the hacienda. Everyone had hidden their treasures except Nancy. On seeing him, they search him and see the papers. Nancy is taken into custody. After what happened, Joel reassures them:
-I will guide her, go away calmly. I will keep you informed.
Six long months passed between visits to the jail and conversations on the phone. After that time, Nancy's innocence was proven. She is free of charges but tied to her love for Joel.
The guide, the treasure and love by María del Carmen Sánchez Copyright © 2022
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)