The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind


Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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The Shadow of the Wind: City of Shadows: Chapter 26 Summary & Analysis

On the way home, Fermín and Daniel stop at a café to talk over the day’s events. Fermín manages to eat a spectacular amount of food, especially considering his skinny frame—he says it’s a hereditary trait. Daniel asks if he misses his family, but Fermín just says cryptically that “few things are more deceptive than memories.” Fermín says he only remembers his mother’s smell, while Daniel can’t recollect anything about his own mother. Fermín suggests that Daniel’s quest to “rescue [Carax] from oblivion” is really a way to prevent his mother’s memory from slipping into obscurity.
Neither Daniel nor Fermín knows much about their mothers. These women suffered banal deaths, while Penélope seems to have dramatically disappeared; but all three are helpless figures of mystery. Even though Daniel and Fermín sometimes objectify women in daily life, they identify strongly with these vanished female figures and seek to help them, showing that they’re confused about how to behave towards women.
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When Daniel returns to the bookshop, Bea is waiting for him, having told Mr. Aguilar she was going to mass. Both are overjoyed to see each other, but Bea is worried lest they be seen together in public. Bea gives Daniel a card with an address and tells him to meet her there at four. It’s only after she leaves and Daniel opens the card that he recognizes the familiar address of the Aldaya mansion.
Bea’s unexplained access to the Aldaya mansion is a gesture of friendship and love for Daniel, showing her investment in his quest. It also means that the house is a landmark cropping up in many narratives, connecting Daniel’s life to Carax’s.
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