Bellamore’s Triple Theft
(El triple robo de Bellamore)
by Horacio Quiroga
Some days ago the courts sentenced Juan Carlos Bellamore to five years in prison, for robbing several banks. I have some relationship with Bellamore: he is a thin and serious young man, carefully dressed in black. I believe him quite incapable of these deeds, of any deed whatsoever that requires keen nerves. He knew that he was an eternal bank employee; I heard him say so many times, and he even added sadly that his future was a dead end; there would never be anything else. I also know that if there is an employee who is punctual and discreet, it would certainly be Bellamore. Without being his friend, I held him in esteem, regretting his misfortune. Yesterday afternoon I discussed the case with a group of acquaintances.
“Yes,” one of them told me, “they have given him five years. I knew him a little; he was quite reserved. How did it not occur to me that it should be him? The accusation was prompt.”
“What?” I asked, surprised.
“The accusation; he was denounced.”
“Lately,” someone else added, “he had lost a great deal of weight.” And he concluded gravely: “Me, I no longer trust anyone.”
I quickly changed the subject. I asked if the accuser was known.
“It was made known yesterday. It’s Zaninski”
I very much wanted to hear the story from Zaninski’s lips. First, the peculiarity of the denunciation, with absolutely no personal interest; second, the means that he used for the discovery. How had he known it was Bellamore?