Jorge’s note, written in an angry hand and a combination of his native Spanish and English, accused Emile of stealing their parents’ affections, possessions, and just about everything else it was possible for one sibling to steal from another. Jorge insisted that his status as an adoptee, compared to Emile being natural born, was the dark secret behind why the younger brother always “gets mas than” the elder.

Emile wrote a rebuttal in a fine flowing hand, but it was returned unopened–whether because Jorge had refused to accept it or because he no longer lived at that address was never clear. Emile displayed the letter in his home, so that Jorge would see it if he ever deigned to return. Whether the letter–which was magnanimous and understanding to the point of being syrupy–was the actual one that had been mailed or a later invention no one who saw it could say.

When Jorge returned, though, it was through the rear window.