“Yes,” she answered in a faint voice.
She was indeed beginning to “fall for him” as she had expressed it.
Demetrio slept badly. He flung out of the house very early.
“Something is going to happen to me,” he thought.
It was a silent dawn, with faint murmurs of joy. A thrush sang timidly in one of the ash trees. The animals in the corral trampled on the refuse. The pig grunted its somnolence. The orange tints of the sun streaked the sky; the last star flickered out.
Demetrio walked slowly to the encampment.
He was thinking of his plow, his two black oxen— young beasts they were, who had worked in the fields only two years—of his two acres of well-fertilized corn. The face of his young wife came to his mind, clear and true as life: he saw her strong, soft features, so gracious when she smiled on her husband, so proudly fierce to-ward strangers. But when he tried to conjure up the image of his son, his efforts were vain; he had for-gotten. . . .
He reached the camp. Lying among the farrows, the soldiers slept with the horses, heads bowed, eyes closed.
“Our horses are pretty tired, Anastasio. I think we ought to stay here at least another day.”
“Well, Compadre Demetrio, I’m hankering for the sierra. . . . If you only knew. . . . You may not believe me but nothing strikes me right here. I don’t know what I miss but I know I miss something. I feel sad . . . lost. . . .”
“How many hours’ ride from here to Limon?”
“It’s no matter of hours; it’s three days’ hard riding, Demetrio.”
“You know,” Demetrio said softly, “I feel as though I’d like to see my wife again!”
Shortly after, War Paint sought out Camilla.
“That’s one on you, my dear. . . . Demetrio’s going to leave you flat! He told me so himself; ’I’m going to get my real woman,’ he says, and he says, ’Her skin is white and tender . . . and her rosy cheeks. . . . How beautiful she is!’ But you don’t have to leave him, you know; if you’re set on staying, well—they’ve got a child, you know, and I suppose you could drag it around. . . .”
When Demetrio returned, Camilla, weeping, told him everything.
“Don’t pay no attention to that crazy baggage. It’s all lies, lies!”
Since Demetrio did not go to Limon or remember his wife again, Camilla grew very happy. War Paint had merely stung herself, like a scorpion.
Before dawn, they left for Tepatitlan. Their sil-houettes wavered indistinctly over the road and the fields that bordered it, rising and falling with the monotonous, rhythmical gait of their horses, then faded away in the nacreous light of the swooning moon that bathed the valley. Dogs barked in the distance.
“By noon we’ll reach Tepatitlan, Cuquio tomorrow, and then . . . on to the sierra!” Demetrio said.