“Goddamn you! You’ve taken my gun away! Christ! As if I needed any gun to beat the hell out of you.”
Flinging out his arms, beating and pummeling, he felled everyone within reach. Down they rolled like tenpins. Then, after that, Luis Cervantes could remember nothing more. Perhaps his bride, terrified by all these brutes, had wisely vanished and hidden herself.
“Perhaps this bedroom communicates with the living room and I can go in through there,” he thought, stand-ing at the threshold. At the sound of his footsteps, War Paint woke up. She lay on the rug close to Demetrio at the foot of a couch filled with alfalfa and corn where the black horse had fed.
“What are you looking for? Oh, hell, I know what you want! Shame on you! Why, I had to lock up your sweet-heart because I couldn’t struggle any more against this damned Demetrio. Take the key, it’s lying on that table, there!” Luis Cervantes searched in vain all over the house. “Come on, tell me all about your girl.” Nervously, Luis Cervantes continued to look for the key.
“Come on, don’t be in such a hurry, I’ll give it to you. Come along, tell me; I like to hear about these things, you know. That girl is your kind, she’s not a country per-son like us.”
“I’ve nothing to say. She’s my girl and we’re going to get married, that’s all.”
“Ho! Ho! Ho! You’re going to marry her, eh? Trying to teach your grandmother to suck eggs, eh? Why, you fool, any place you just manage to get to for the first time in your life, I’ve left a hundred miles behind me, see. I’ve cut my wisdom teeth. It was Meco and Manteca who took the girl from her home: I knew that all the time. You just gave them something so as to have her your-self, gave them a pair of cuff links . . . or a miraculous picture of some Virgin. . . . Am I right? Sure, I am! There aren’t so many people in the world who know what’s what, but I reckon you’ll meet up with a few be-fore you die!”
War Paint got up to give him the key but she could
not find it either. She was much surprised.
Quickly, she ran to the bedroom door and peered through
the key-hole, standing motionless until her eye grew
accustomed to the darkness within. Without drawing
away, she said:
“You damned Blondie. Son of a bitch! Come here a
She went away laughing.
“Didn’t I tell them all I’d never seen a smarter fellow in all my life!”
The following morning, War Paint watched for the mo-ment when Blondie left the bedroom to feed his horses. . . . “Come on, Angel Face. Run home quick!”
The blue-eyed girl, with a face like a Madonna, stood naked save for her chemise and stockings. War Paint covered her with Manteca’s lousy blanket, took her by the hand and led her to the street.
“God, I’m happy,” War Paint cried. “I’m crazy . . . about Blondie . . . now.”