Page 173 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                 153
                I filled his glass again, looking the while into those dark eyes that
             pleaded for me to see their secrets without his telling me. But I wanted
             to hear him out, even at the late hour. He sighed and sank back into his
             chair. For a long while he did not speak.
                “The next day was declared another fiesta and early in the morning
             a bull was let loose in the streets. The brave young men tried to hang
             their ladies’ scarves on his horns. Three of them were gored and one the
             devil crushed to death against a wall. Nothing was low-key that day and
             blood-lust ran high.
                “The bull was killed, señor, torn apart by the mob, in front of the
             police garrison. And the timing was perfect. Before they could even think
             on what they had done, the prisonero was dragged into the street with two
             of his cabinet ministers. The one did not look half-alive even then. They
             were hitched like stupid oxen to the former General’s official car and made
             to drag it through the jammed streets.
                “There were words on the car that should have made the women turn
             away in shame. But they did not. Wherever they passed, on their descent
             to the plain outside the city there was music and laughter and young men
             spitting and shouting General! General! And when the procession had
             gone, they turned back to their women. It was not every day such a greedy
             one meets the peoples’ justice they said.
                But one there was one who did not spit at him. She stood behind the
             mob lining the streets. The General did not see her, but I heard she was
             there. It was from her that he drew his Indian blood that excused all this.
             She was alone because, as I said, the General’s father had been killed by
             the Presidente and the General himself had never married. He did not even
             keep a woman. And many held even this against him.
                “Halfway to the edge of the Capital, the cabinet minister, the one
             I thought to be dying, fell into the street. Lying there, he was missing,
             anyone could see, the fingers from his left hand. He must have died while
             they kicked him because they threw his body into the car . . . I can tell no
             more.”
                He stood up to leave and his chair fell backwards to the floor. “I am
             sorry.” he said. “I should tell you this not at all. Por favor, excuse me.”
                “Please,” I asked, “I must know the rest.”
                “No,  señor.”
                “You can’t expect to lead me on for a whole evening, then tell me
             nothing.”
                “I promised you nothing, amigo, but to share your bottle of wine. The
             wine is gone and it is late.”
                “You mean you made the story up?”
                “Ojala! That do I wish.” He held his hand to his head.

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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