There's a lot of mystery surrounding the Count. Is he a cultured aristocrat, as he claims, or a good-for-nothing fortune hunter? Clara and her tarot cards are unable to penetrate the secrets of his personal history. And after Blanca destroys all of his photos, Alba the narrator is left with nothing to corroborate any of the contradictory stories she's heard about him, erase the nightmares she's had about him dying in the desert, or help her to identify his body in the morgue. In fact, she begins to doubt his very existence. This might be frustrating to Alba, but it's great for us, because it makes the Count an excellent example of how memory functions in this novel (check out our discussion of this under "Themes").