Daniel and Bea plan to meet again at the house a few days later. As they separate, Daniel tells Bea that he loves her, but she only shakes her head.
Daniel’s ability to express his emotions shows his similarity to Mr. Sempere and differentiates him from most of the novel’s other men, who view strong emotions as signs of weakness or femininity.
The next morning, Fermín tells Daniel that he’s made some inquires about Miquel Moliner. Although Nuria claimed he was in prison, none of Fermín’s contacts, who are well-informed of goings-on in Barcelona’s prisons, have ever heard of him.
Fermín’s deep connections in Barcelona’s seedy underbelly are a reminder of his past as a leftist operative, and strengthen the extent to which he contrasts with right-wing villains like Fumero.
Fermín decides they should track down Jacinta, and that afternoon they travel to a badly-run hospice on the edge of the city, an old building which has served as an art studio, barracks, and brothel. Now it’s closely guarded by nuns, and the inmates are generally mistreated and neglected. Daniel notices a disgusting smell permeating the air as they drive up.
Like The Angel of Mist, the hospice is an old building that has seen many identities and inhabitants. In both cases, the buildings’ long histories seem to manifest and repeat themselves in the lives of current occupants, usually with negative consequences.