“It does you no good to go to pieces when you’re angry,” a man affirmed earnestly from below a hat that covered his head as a roof does a house. “When I was up at Torreon I killed an old lady who refused to sell me some enchiladas. She was angry, I can tell you; I got no enchiladas but I felt satisfied anyhow!”
“I killed a storekeeper at Parral because he gave me some change and there were two Huerta bills in it,” said a man with a star on his hat and precious stones on his black, calloused hands.
“Down in Chihuahua I killed a man because I always saw him sitting at the table whenever I went to eat. I hated the looks of him so I just killed him! What the hell could I do!” “Hmm! I killed. . . . The theme is inexhaustible.
By dawn, when the restaurant was wild with joy and the floor dotted with spittle, young painted girls from the suburbs had mingled freely among the dark northern women. Demetrio pulled out his jeweled gold watch, ask-ing Anastasio Montanez to tell him the time.
Anastasio glanced at the watch, then, poking his head out of a small window, gazed at the starry sky.
“The Pleiades are pretty low in the west. I guess it won’t be long now before daybreak. . . .”
Outside the restaurant, the shouts, laughter and song of the drunkards rang through the air. Men galloped wild-ly down the streets, the hoofs of their horses hammering on the sidewalks. From every quarter of the town pis-tols spoke, guns belched. Demetrio and the girl called War Paint staggered tipsily hand in hand down the center of the street, bound for the hotel.
“What damned fools,” said War Paint convulsed with laughter! “Where the hell do you come from?..... Soldiers don’t sleep in hotels and inns any more....... Where do you come from? You just go anywhere you like and pick a house that pleases you, see. When you go there, make yourself at home and don’t ask anyone for any-thing. What the hell is the use of the revolution? Who’s it for? For the folks who live in towns? We’re the city folk now, see? Come on, Pancracio, hand me your bayo-net. Damn these rich people, they lock up everything they’ve got!”
She dug the steel point through the crack of a drawer and, pressing on the hilt, broke the lock, opened the splinted cover of a writing desk. Anastasio, Pancracio and War Paint plunged their hands into a mass of post cards, photographs, pictures and papers, scattering them all over the rug. Finding nothing he wanted, Pancracio gave vent to his anger by kicking a framed photograph into the air with the toe of his shoe. It smashed on the candelabra in the center of the room.
They pulled their empty hands out of the heap of paper, cursing. But War Paint was of sterner stuff; tirelessly she continued to unlock drawer after drawer without failing to investigate a single spot. In their absorption, they did not notice a small gray velvet-covered box which rolled silently across the floor, coming to a stop at Luis Cer-vantes’ feet.