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Saturday, May 3, 2014

PACO (Elegante, Distinguido)

             Paco - Gringo - Mexican
“Hola Maria, are you home?”

“Si Paco, always home to you.”

“Maria I have a strong hunger for some of your food. Do you love me enough to feed me?”

“Paco you know the pot is always on for you. Beans and rice and tortillas with spices to put fire in your eyes.”

“Fire in my eyes?”

“Se, so that the girls will fall at your feet when they look into those blue eyes of yours.”

“How is it that I have blue eyes being a Mexican?”  

“Paco, you’re not a Mexican you have just been partly raised in Mexico that’s all. You still can’t speak the language very well because you’ve spent too much time with the gringos.”

“Where are your kids?” Paco asked?

Maria said, “They are at Rosa’s for the night.  Why do you ask, are you going to spend the night here.”

Paco said, “I better not for after all this food I might not be able to resist you.”

“Paco you are going to have to go to confession for talking like that.”

“Now Maria you have put the fire in my eyes and I’m not myself.”

She said, “Cut out the foolish talk. I have a problem and I need you to help me solve it.”

“Okay Mia Maria, tell me what it is; Paco is ready, willing, and ready.”

She said, “Okay my problem is me and the children have to carry water for one fourth mile because the well she is no good.”

“No good, what’s the matter?”

“Manuel said it is the casing. It has rusted and turning the water red.  I need a new casing but I have no money.”

“That is two big troubles, rusted casing, and no dinero. I’ll see if I can fix both problems. Have your two boys here early morning and have plenty food ready.”

 Campbell was a rich rancher who had a hardware stock as big as most hardware stores. Many ranchers would buy from him for it was easier to get what you needed from him than to go to town.  Paco was well known by Campbell for Paco helped him sometimes.

Long before daylight Maria heard a noise and upon checking she found Paco unloading the casing and other equipment.

He said, “Go back to bed but get the boys up for as soon as I return the wagon we go to work. An hour later Paco returned and they started pulling the old casing out

It was so rusted they were afraid it was going to pull apart and that would have cause several more problems.

Paco said, “When we finish you will have water in the house because they had ran a pipe into the kitchen but you should wait a couple of days before using the water.  Let the windmill pump the rusty water out and then enjoy.

Maria said, “Paco I would marry you except it would break the hearts of too many young ladies on this side of the border.”

“Yes that is true,” Paco said, “But life is hard on the young senoritas.”

The next day Campbell found Paco and said, “Paco someone took some casing, pipes, and some other fittings from the store warehouse, would you have any idea who did that?”

Paco said, “No, I don’t think so, maybe no.”

Campbell said, “What about maybe yes. Someone told me your friend, Maria needed some new casing, and now it seems she has it. Do you still know nothing about what we are talking about?”

“Well maybe yes, maybe a little, but not very much.”

“How much would that be Paco?”

“Maybe someone borrowed your wagon and took some pipe to, maybe Maria’s place?”

“Paco I know it was you so quit fooling around and admit it.”

“Okay I took it but it was only because Maria needed water that wasn’t rusty.”

Campbell said, “I understand Maria needed some casing but it is wrong to steal from friends.”

Paco said, “Friends don’t count it as stealing when they have a need for something.”

“Well Paco I’m not gong to banter back and forth with you but tell me how you are going to pay me for the stuff you took.”

“To be fair I should work it off so I come to work in the morning. Only you must feed me and give me a place to sleep for I don’t have any money.”

“I have a job that I think you can handle for me and I need you to start as soon as you can get ready.

Apparently about fifty of my steers have wandered south of the border. I have been told three Mexicans helped them cross here into Mexico. What I need you to do is to figure out how to get them back.

I can’t send some of my men down there for they might get thrown into jail and you know how bad that can be.”

“Se, I know how it is. There are two ways to get your steers back. One is for me to find the bandito’s and rescue the cattle. The other is for you to give me fifty dollars and I will get the soldiers to find the cattle and deal with the thieves. For the fifty dollars they will help me.”

Campbell said, “Okay here’s the fifty do it that way. Get what supplies you need from the store and maybe you better take your guns. Tell the store keeper I said you could have them. You still owe me for the money I loaned you on those guns and… I guess if you get my cattle back we will call everything even, casings, and all.”

An hour later Paco was loaded and on his way. It took him a day and a half to find the cattle and he studied them for an hour. With his plan made he got in front of the herd and turned them back toward the U.S.

One of the rustlers came up to Paco and started to speak when Paco cut him off.  “I see you have found my cattle, mucho grasis amigo. I was afraid they had scattered over the land and I would never have found them.”

The other two rustlers rode up and Paco greeted them and said, “I will take them off your hands now and if you ever get up to the Campbell ranch he will reward you for what you have done.”

They looked at each other as Paco’s hands tighten on his two pistols. They were thinking about whether to challenge him when he said, “Adios amigos, vaya con Dios.”  He pulled his guns half way out of his hostlers and cocked them as he smiled.

They hesitated for a few seconds and then took of at a gallop. It took Paco two days to get back to the ranch hands where they were waiting at the border.  

Campbell asked where the soldiers were and Paco said, “I didn’t need them.”

Campbell said, “What about the fifty dollars?”

Paco said, “I need it so I will keep it if that is alright.”

Campbell said, “I get it, you never intended to give it to the soldiers, did you?”

Paco said, “Si, I guess not.”

To be Continued


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