Yusef Elías remained in charge of the store and Manuel Varela travelled to town in the wagon, sitting beside the reporter. The road seemed never-ending to Manuel, despite having such good company. Acuña was like an encyclopaedia: he knew everything about the history of his family and the circumstances that had obliged him to emigrate. He talked about Spain and Galicia just as Héctor spoke of his own country and region, with a self-assuredness that made it seem as if he had invented those lands himself, and all the people that lived in them.
Yusef Elías the Turk, a travelling merchant, arrived at the store in the midst of a blinding snowstorm, in need of shelter from the weather. Varela and Julián helped him loose his horses in the corral and unload his wagon; and thus he became an unwilling guest with little hope of continuing on his journey home, way up north. The need to sell had compelled this weather-beaten man to venture further south than prudence recommended.