Alqueria, the personage (Los Recién Llegados)
Of the gentle and not-so-gentle folk of Alqueria, Los Recién Llegados are the most favoured. Their swimming pooled villas sit amidst well manicured lawns and high walls. These luxury abodes occupy the east of the Village between the Río Verde and the Calle Límite.
The wealth of Alqueria, like many other villages of southern Spain derives from its olive co-operative. Olivarera de Alqueria, owned, operated and generally neglected by one Señor Fernando Rodriguez. One could say Rodriguez is a benevolent, even tempered scholar. One would be wrong. He is an obese, foul mouthed illiterate bully his only redeeming feature being wealth and even that was inherited from his Father.
Rodriguez’s had a weakness for Remitroot liquor. A potent drink made from a root which grows only within the ‘El Gente del Cerro’ area of the Village. The last time he partook of the spirit he was unconscious for three days, when he came to he was driving a refrigerated lorry to Düsseldorf.
Olivarera de Alqueria is a desperate place. Once the pride of the Denominacion de Origen Consejo Regulador, now a third rate product from a crumbling olive mill. Rodriguez has squandered his fortune and his energies. Trying in vain to produce his own Remitroots and to pay for his love of Abyssinian Mountain Goat Shirling, an expensive sport.
More and more of the everyday running of the olive mill fell to his second in command, Roberto Robles. If one accepts that one never employs someone of superior intellect to be one’s deputy then Roberto Robles is indeed paddling in a very shallow gene pool. His management style consisting entirely of shouting while his physique was entirely obese. He modelled himself on Rodriguez. He was the sycophant of all sycophants.
The work force, mainly made up of El Gente del Cerro viewed their duties as secondary to misappropriating anything remotely serviceable. The atmosphere in the mill was one of badly concealed hostility, as it was in the Village. Robles has had several nervous breakdowns, unbeknown to him, at the hands of Manuela. This young lady was the heroine of El Gente del Cerro, a girl worthy of the title.
More of her later.