Filomena Xabregas Caldeira, after faking her own death with the help of Arturo, took the name Ermelinda Pega (Pega is Portuguese for Magpie). After Eric Husch found her in Brazil and wrote to Jen Heyward about his discovery, FXC wrote a letter to the pair concerning their quest to know the truth about V.M. Straka and Ship of Theseus. Her letter is the insert between pages 416-417.
Below is a transcription of her letter. I left the line breaks in the same place in case there were clues there. Note that the letter contains exactly 19 lines.
To my new friends:
I hope I have been helpful to
you. These are, of course, matters that
interest me. Please remember, though,
not every question must be answered.
Matters of the past may be allowed
to remain in the past; matters of the
present and future may be allowed
to go unexplored. The world will not end
in any case.
I will tell you what matters most
(although you must know this
already, as you know my story): it
is love. When you fall in love, friends,
let yourself fall. It is my fondest
wish that this note finds you both
happy, healthy, and falling.Beijinhos, meus amigos –Ermelinda Pega
- FXC’s letter is found on the same page as a teasing footnote and in-text mention about the treasure of Covarrubias. This is no coincidence.
- Covarrubias’ insignia (the frigate bird) is painted on the grotto wall as a bird of empty space (“painted in black on a field of red” p410).
- FXC closes her letter with Beijinhos, emus amigos, which means Kisses, my friends. Often, XOXO is written at the end of a letter to communicate “hugs and kisses” – the X is generally thought to mean “kisses.” Is FXC telling us that X Marks the Spot? Remember, after Eric found FXC in Brazil, he sent a postcard to Jen that said, in all caps, I FOUND HER!
- Compare this letter to the poem Rain by William Carlos Williams that Jen mentions int he margins of p232. Here are the opening and closing lines…
As the rain falls so does your love…
Love is unworldly and nothing comes of it but love
Following and falling endlessly from her thoughts