Blas spoke with real excitement about the plans. Sal envied his commitment to something new and grew angry. Would Blas hear how doubtful and bitter he felt?
“You said all our other plans went wrong because of me. Maybe this plan will go wrong if I stay,” Sal said.
“Once you followed my plans. Maybe now you think you need to save me, like one of your Indian slaves. I did my best, but God didn’t provide for me.”
Years of friendship were on the verge of being crushed into dust. Blas dropped the writing stick and took a step back. He made a quick sign of the cross on his forehead.
“You remember our first risks?” Blas said. “We were boys, barely escaping our mothers’ control, and it’s true, we were full of el diablo. We called it curiosity.”
Blas paused, looking Sal straight in the face. “We schemed to steal food from the ship because we were hungry and desperate. You kept me from death in the prison and again on the long passage across the Atlantic. Remember how we sang for our supper when we reached the Nuevo Mundo?”
They remembered and grinned. “Do you really think I blame you for anything or want to make you my slave?” Blas said. Sal stayed quiet, ashamed of his attack on Blas. “No amigo. We were just boys. We owe our escapes to the grace of God. From tonight onward, we are men, and we will always be hermanos.”
“Brothers,” Sal said. “Lo siento, sorry. How could I have doubted your friendship?” The two friends reached out, like men, to shake hands, but it soon became a boyish arm-wrestling match.
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