“Villa? Obregon? Carranza? What’s the difference? I love the revolution like a volcano in eruption; I love the volcano, because it’s a volcano, the revolution, because it’s the revolution!”
El Paso, Texas, May 16, 1915
My Dear Venancio:
Due to the pressure of professional duties I have been unable to answer your letter of January 4 before now. As you already know, I was graduated last De-cember. I was sorry to hear of Pancracio’s and Manteca’s fate, though I am not surprised that they stabbed each other over the gambling table. It is a pity; they were both brave men. I am deeply grieved not to be able to tell Blondie how sincerely and heartily I congratulate him for the only noble and beautiful thing he ever did in his whole life: to have shot himself!
Dear Venancio, although you may have enough money to purchase a degree, I am afraid you won’t find it very easy to become a doctor in this country. You know I like you very much, Venancio; and I think you de-serve a better fate. But I have an idea which may prove profitable to both of us and which may improve your social position, as you desire. We could do a fine busi-ness here if we were to go in as partners and set up a typical Mexican restaurant in this town. I have no re-serve funds at the moment since I’ve spent all I had in getting my college degree, but I have something much more valuable than money; my perfect knowledge of this town and its needs. You can appear as the owner; we will make a monthly division of profits. Besides, con-cerning a question that interests us both very much, namely, your social improvement, it occurs to me that you play the guitar quite well. In view of the recom-mendations I could give you and in view of your train-ing as well, you might easily be admitted as a member of some fraternal order; there are several here which would bring you no inconsiderable social prestige.
Don’t hesitate, Venancio, come at once and bring your funds. I promise you we’ll get rich in no time. My best wishes to the General, to Anastasio, and the rest of the boys.
Your affectionate friend,
Venancio finished reading the letter for the hundredth time and, sighing, repeated:
“Tenderfoot certainly knows how to pull the strings all right!”
“What I can’t get into my head,” observed Anastasio Montanez, “is why we keep on fighting. Didn’t we finish off this man Huerta and his Federation?”
Neither the General nor Venancio answered; but the same thought kept beating down on their dull brains like a hammer on an anvil.
They ascended the steep hill, their heads bowed, pen-sive, their horses walking at a slow gait. Stubbornly restless, Anastasio made the same observation to other groups; the soldiers laughed at his candor. If a man has a rifle in his hands and a beltful of cartridges, surely he should use them. That means fighting. Against whom? For whom? That is scarcely a matter of importance.