Papá trudged forward like a burro, a donkey. After a day’s walk, he drank his night away. What were they really heading toward? Sal expected to see one long beach when they reached Cadiz, but the place seemed to be a puzzle of alleys and roads leading to the port. Like most of the other southern towns in Spain, North Africans—Moors—with black faces, turbaned heads and thick accents congregated in the streets. Papá seemed to know his way around the neighborhoods. At the end of a narrow alleyway, he disappeared behind a low wall. Not really a barrier, just a pile of stones and a collection of rubbish. Even the gate was only a few twigs tangled in a low opening.
“Espèrame, wait here,” Papá said.
“What’s over there?” Sal said. The boys peered through the gate toward a sandy slope with a crooked house on one side.
“Just a shack and a bunch of children running around,” Blas said. “Hey, one boy looks a lot like you, but younger.” They spotted a woman cooking over an open fire pit. Were these all of her kids? “She’s hugging him! Mira, look, your Papá knows her,” Blas said. As soon as he said this, Sal looked away.
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