Dead Tortillas
Dead Tortillas justice stories
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bernardtwindwil
bernardtwindwil Granddad & story teller, tomthepo8.com
Autoplay OFF   •   2 years ago
This is a series of stories about Northern Mexico during the age of caudillos (strongmen) at the end of the 19th century. It is a tale of the bloody border between the US and Mexico.

Dead Tortillas

The majestic dappled white stallion was immense compared to the mustangs in the livery corral. He stood four hands taller at the withers than any other horse there. He was clearly the alpha lead stallion. It was beyond rare to see a Lippazaner in this wild part of Sonora. Maximillian had brought a contingent of Austrian Cavalry with him in his attempt to usurp the governance of Mexico.

This breed was desperately coveted by horse breeders in Mexico and the United States. Those who were fortunate enough to own them were protective and would spend whatever it took to retrieve them. In the age of Caudillos, Mexico followed the law of the strong man.

He sat alone at a small wrought iron bistro table along the dusty alameda. His elegant silver on grey sutach sombrero rested on the back of the chair next to him. This municipality was not like the others in this hardscrabble corner of Sonora. The buildings were not low-slung adobe huts with scrap wood vigas for their ramamdas.

The Mormons who built this community used kiln-fired bricks and their ramadas were of finely joined lumber wrought from pine logs brought down from the mountains. The mercantile had a brightly painted false front. The bank wad decorative hand wrought iron bars protecting its treasure.

Facing the alameda on the fourth side, stood a Mormon church with two spires reaching heavenward. There was a gazebo with impressive hand-carved filigree in the center of the well-shaded alameda large enough for the small brass band that was gathering under its roof.

Pretty women in modest ankle length long sleeved homespun cotton dresses made their obligatory paseo around the edges of the square. The women moved clockwise the young men in their homespun rough work fabric bibbed overalls moved counterclockwise. Among these children of Zion were sprinkled mestizos

The Catholic women wearing colorful full circle skirts with lace at mid-calf and heavily embroidered off the shoulder capable blouses. The men in their white peasant pantaloons and bloused pull-over camisos provided a sharp contrast to the parade. All the men wore straw hats. The Mormon men and boys wore grass woven fedoras and the mestizos wore grass sugar loaf sombreros.

The more adventurous young ladies of both types would deviate their routes to pass by the handsome guera in his exquisitely tailored dove gray kid leather chaquetta and cordovan riding cut pants all adorned with silver conchos. He would arise and bow with a flourish and bent a knee to the groups of tittering and giggling coquettes. He had a smile on his smooth clean-shaven face that came from deep inside.

His hair was strawberry blonde and cut at a military length. He had assembled a following by just sitting and doing what an aristocrat does. The notice came from both the ladies and the dour older men hugging tables under the ramadas. The notice came from both the ladies and the dour older men hugging tables beneath the shaded ramadas.

A column of dust resembling a dust devil came from the south river road. It was moving toward the plaza. A troop of scruffy looking mounted men in a quasi-military formation rode onto the edge of the town square. At the head of the coterie was a Coronel dressed in a resplendent if not clownish uniform of the late Emperor's French Dragoons. His face was hard chiseled obsidian.

There were sunken orbs reflecting the ambient light where living eyes should have been. His cohort paused at the entrance of the paseo. The Coronel rode the perimeter glancing here and there leaving soot where his gaze had fallen. His head pirouetted around on his shoulders like a barn owl. He focused on the handsome young man and slowly dismounted.

It was as if brightly colored molten glass was flowing from the saddle.“Gringo, show me your papers.” He hissed as he stood like a multi-colored wraith above the smiling man. The man reached into his chaquetta and produced a small leather portfolio and handed it to the Coronel. Still smiling, “Coronel, permiteme a ver sus papeles tambien.” in perfect Castillan Spanish.

“Por favor hagame la amabilidad de sentarme comigo. Algo a tomar?” The Coronel did an excellent job of hiding his tell of surprise. The Coronel dropped the portfolio on the table and noisily kicked out the chair and sat rigidly. Refusing to speak Spanish, the Coronel said, “I am Colonel Balderas, the District Commander of all police and military forces in this part of Sonora.”

“Con mucho gusto en conocerle.” The man refusing to speak English continuing in Castilian as opposed to the colloquial Spanish spoken by the Coronel. “Me llamo, Miguel de Los San Patricios Oconor y Diaz” “You are the son or grandson of a San Patricio?”

“Both.” Chaniging approach, Miguel said, “I am here both as a hacendado and the Deputy Commander of the Federal Police.. One of my cousin’s horses is in your livery as we speak.” “How do you know it is his? Have you any documents proving it is his?” “Coronel, por favor. Are you a horse breeder?”

“Don Miguel, I respect what you say but if you will just see what is around you, you will see my men have you completely surrounded.” The Coronel swung his arm stiffly as if manipulated like a marionette.

The Coronel did an excellent job of hiding his tell of surprise. The Coronel dropped the portfolio on the table and noisily kicked out the chair and sat rigidly. Refusing to speak Spanish, the Coronel said, “I am Colonel Balderas, the District Commander of all police and military forces in this part of Sonora.”

Please go to the continuation. I obviously had trouble with my pages.

“Con mucho gusto en conocerle.” The man refusing to speak English continuing in Castilian as opposed to the colloquial Spanish spoken by the Coronel. “Me llamo, Miguel de Los San Patricios Oconor y Diaz” “You are the son or grandson of a San Patricio?” “Both.” Changing approach, Miguel said, “I am here both as a hacendado and the Deputy Commander of the Federal Police. One of my cousin’s horses is in your livery as we speak.”

“Con mucho gusto en conocerle.” The man refusing to speak English continuing in Castilian as opposed to the colloquial Spanish spoken by the Coronel. “Me llamo, Miguel de Los San Patricios Oconor y Diaz” “You are the son or grandson of a San Patricio?” “Both.” Changing approach, Miguel said, “I am here both as a hacendado and the Deputy Commander of the Federal Police. One of my cousin’s horses is in your livery as we speak.”

“Con mucho gusto en conocerle.” The man refusing to speak English continuing in Castillan as opposed to the colloquial Spanish spoken by the Coronel. “Me llamo, Miguel de los San Patricios Oconor y Diaz” “You are the son or grandson of a San Patricio?” “Both.” Changing approach, Miguel said, “I am here both as a hacendado and the Deputy Commander of the Federal Police. One of my cousin’s horses is in your livery as we speak.”

“How do you know it is his? Have you any documents proving it is his?” “Coronel, por favor. Are you a horse breeder?” “Don Miguel, I respect what you say but if you will just see what is around you, you will see my men have you completely surrounded.”

“Con mucho gusto en conocerle.” The man refusing to speak English continuing in Castilian as opposed to the colloquial Spanish spoken by the Coronel. “Me llamo, Miguel de los San Patricios Oconor y Diaz” “You are the son or grandson of a San Patricio?” “Both.” Chaniging approach, Miguel said, “I am here both as a hacendado and the Deputy Commander of the Federal Police. One of my cousin’s horses is in your livery as we speak.”

“Con mucho gusto en conocerle.” The man refusing to speak English continuing in Castillan as opposed to the colloquial Spanish spoken by the Coronel. “Me llamo, Miguel de los San Patricios Oconor y Diaz” “You are the son or grandson of a San Patricio?”

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