“President, what? Who in the devil, then, is this man Carranza? I’ll be damned if I know what it’s all about.”
At last they reached Lagos. Blondie bet that he would make Demetrio laugh that evening.
Trailing his spurs noisily over the pavement, Deme-trio entered “El Cosmopolita” with Luis Cervantes, Blondie, and his assistants.
The civilians, surprised in their attempt to escape, re-mained where they were. Some feigned to return to their tables to continue drinking and talking; others hesitantly stepped up to present their respects to the commander.
“General, so pleased! . . . Major! Delighted to meet you!”
“That’s right! I love refined and educated friends,” Blondie said. “Come on, boys,” he added, jovially draw-ing his gun, “I’m going to play a tune that’ll make you all dance.”
A bullet ricocheted on the cement floor passing be-tween the legs of the tables, and the smartly dressed young men-about-town began to jump much as a woman jumps when frightened by a mouse under her skirt. Pale as ghosts, they conjured up wan smiles of obsequious ap-proval. Demetrio barely parted his lips, but his followers doubled over with laughter.
“Look, Blondie,” Quail shouted, “look at that man going out there. Look, he’s limping.”
“I guess the bee stung him all right.”
Blondie, without turning to look at the wounded man, announced with enthusiasm that he could shoot off the top of a tequila bottle at thirty paces without aiming.
“Come on, friend, stand up,” he said to the waiter. He dragged him out by the hand to the patio of the hotel and set a tequila bottle on his head. The poor devil refused. Insane with fright, he sought to escape, but Blondie pulled his gun and took aim.
“Come on, you son of a sea cook! If you keep on I’ll give you a nice warm one!”
Blondie went to the opposite wall, raised his gun and fired. The bottle broke into bits, the alcohol poured over the lad’s ghastly face.
“Now it’s a go,” cried Blondie, running to the bar to get another bottle, which he placed on the lad’s head.
He returned to his former position, he whirled about, and shot without aiming. But he hit the waiter’s ear in-stead of the bottle. Holding his sides with laughter, he said to the young waiter:
“Here, kid, take these bills. It ain’t much. But you’ll be all right with some alcohol and arnica.”
After drinking a great deal of alcohol and beer, Deme-trio spoke:
“Pay the bill, Blondie, I’m going to leave you.”
“I ain’t got a penny, General, but that’s all right. I’ll fix it. How much do we owe you, friend?”
“One hundred and eighty pesos, Chief,” the bartender answered amiably.
Quickly, Blondie jumped behind the bar and with a sweep of both arms, knocked down all the glasses and bottles.
“Send the bill to General Villa, understand?”