The western trek turned into months of hard labor—bushwhacking their own trail and disposing of the malaria victims. Finally, they arrived at the capital, Ciudad de México.
“Oigan jòvenes, you young men, get yourselves over here quick!” the soldier in charge said. The soldiers still spoke to them like they were kids. This one ordered Sal and Blas to follow other workmen toward the Presidio. The Spanish fort protected the settlement, housed the troops, stabled the best horses and stored all the weapons.
“¡Blas, milàgro! What a miracle! All this equipment,” Sal said. Sal got a glimpse of the well-supplied fort. He felt like a real military man delivering more supplies. It gave him the opportunity to look over the whole settlement. “I’ve counted four workshops, a huge stable, an armory and barracks all around the fort.” Sal’s imagination filled with the possibilities of a good life here. “Imagine if we lived at this command post. Even the enlisted men get a bed and food. All they do is march around in fancy uniforms and intimidate los ìndios.”
Blas counted the horses and officers. “Si deseos fueran caballos…,” Blas said. “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” Blas had to listen to a new round of Sal’s dreams for glory and wealth all day long.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish