"Oh no," said his best friend, Don Lauro Aguirre, the great
Engineer, on one of his regular visits.
"There was a young man from Guamúchil," Tomás recited,
"whose name was Pinche Inútil!"
"And?" said Don Lauro.
"I haven't worked it out yet."
Tomás rode his wicked black stallion through the frosting of
starlight that turned his ranch blue and pale gray, as if
powdered sugar had blown off the sky and sifted over the mangos
and mesquites. Most of the citizens of Sinaloa had never
wandered more than 100 miles; he had traveled more than anyone
else, 107 miles, an epic journey undertaken five days before,
when he and his foreman, Segundo, had led a squad of armed
outriders to Los Mochis, then to the Sea of Cortés beyond. All
to collect Don Lauro Aguirre, arriving by ship from far
Mazatlán, and with him, a shipment of goods for the ranch,
which they contracted for safe delivery in a Conducta wagon
train accompanied by cavalry.
In Los Mochis, Tomás had seen the legendary object called
"More green than blue," he'd noted to his companions,
already an expert on first sight. "The poets are wrong."
"Pinches poets," said Segundo, hating all versifiers and
They had gone on to greet the Engineer at the docks. He
fairly danced off the boat, so charged with delight was he to
be once again in the rustic arms of his bon ami très
enchanté! Under his arm, carefully wrapped in oilcloth,
Aguirre clutched a leather-bound copy of Maxwell's Treatise
on Electricity and Magnetism. In Aguirre's opinion, the
Scotsman had written a classic! Don Lauro had a nagging
suspicion that electricity, this occult force, and magnetism,
certainly a force of spirit, could be used to locate, and even
affect, the human soul. In his pocket, a greater wonder was
hidden: a package of Adams's Black Jack chewing gumthe
indescribable flavor of licorice! Wait until Tomás tasted that!
The ship looked to Segundo like a fat bird with gray wings
floating on the water after eating some fish. He was delighted
with himself and pointed to the boat and told one of the
buckaroos, "Fat bird. Ate some fish. Floating around." He lit a
little cigar and grinned, his gums and teeth clotted with
shreds of tobacco.
Segundo had the face of an Aztec carving. He had Chinese
eyes, and a sloping Mayan forehead. His nose was a great
curving blade that hung down over his drooping bandido
mustache. He thought he was handsome. But then, Aguirre also
thought himself handsome, though he seemed to have inherited
the penchant for fat cheeks that was supposed to be the curse
of the Urrea clan. He tried to remember to suck in his cheeks,
especially when he was being compared to his friend Tomás
Urrea. Where had Tomás's cheeks gone? In bright light, you
could see his cheekbones casting shadows as if he were some
Indian warrior. And those eyes! Urrea had a ferocious gleam in
his eyesa glare. Men found it unnerving, but women were
apparently mesmerized. They were the only green eyes Aguirre
had ever beheld.
Oldest romance writer in the world dies aged 105. Books #124 and #125 to be published next year(Dec 10 2013) Ida Pollock, author of more than 120 books, and believed to be the world's oldest romantic novelist, has died at the age of 105.