Blas and Brother David sat in the front of the wagon, chatting during a delivery to the grand Catedral near the marketplace. Blas kept his agreement with Sal; he took care of any religious talk with the Brother. After the delivery, Brother David left them to guard the wagon.
“Stay here like good little boys,” Sal said. After Brother David hurried away, Sal mocked his instructions. “Who does he think he’s talking to? Where did he disappear to this time?” No matter how fair Brother David seemed to be, Sal could not bring himself to trust him.
“Otra vez, once again, what’s your complaint today?” Blas said. He secured the remaining cargo while he rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Dios mío. It’s too hot. The road is too rough. The bell is too heavy.” Blas could see Sal would never be content.
“¡Despierta, wake up, Blas!See this crowd, the vendors, the money,” Sal said. He twisted around in his seat and pointed toward all the activity in the crowded market. “Why are we sitting here doing nothing?” Sal said. He poked his finger at Blas’s chest, his patience running thin.
“The money, the silver, the women—all I ever hear is your big talk, ever since the pilgrimage to Santiago,” Blas said. “It did you no good at all. Your poor mother.”
“What have you ever done except follow me around?” Sal said. “I always protect you and figure out our plans.” Sal peered into the crowd looking for opportunities for easy profits.
“Who would you kick around if not me?” Blas said. “I’m the one who got us on the galleon with the Franciscans.” He eased toward the edge of the buckboard, ready for Sal’s temper to flare. “I even got us jobs and our food. You’re beginning to remind me of your dad, the drunkard.”
Sal threw a wild punch. Blas made a quick move to protect himself. “Cállate, shut your mouth. Enough of this,” Sal said. “Tell Brother David…,”
“Tell your own lies,” Blas said. He held his ground. “Okay, you’re the hero. Bueno, go ahead and find the silver.”
“I found it already,” Sal said. They both stopped to look into the crowd of shoppers. “See the chica, that girl over there?” Sal pointed to a young woman in the market with a basket of flowers on her head—her two silver earrings flashed in the sunlight. “Remember when Brother David told us to stay away from the Indians who work the silver mines, ¿y por qué, why? He wants all this for himself,” Sal jumped off the wagon.
“You are shameless,” Blas said. He grabbed for Sal’s sleeve to hold him back. “You know, I would have done anything to go on a pilgrimage when we were boys. They say your Mamà took you to protect you from your father’s drinking and womanizing.”
Those words hurt Sal even though he thought all the pain had faded long ago. “And you’re perfect?” Sal said. He struggled to get away, but Blas grabbed him. “You told lies to the soldiers about magical swords and shields. You lied about us being blacksmiths.”
“Dìos gave me those stories,” Blas said. They wrestled under the wagon. “It got us in our blacksmith jobs with Brother David, didn’t it?”
“God gave you the stories? You’re as crazy as Brother David,” Sal said. Did Blas really believe all this?
“Sure, loco enough to stick with you,” Blas said. “Admit it; Brother David is the most kindhearted man we’ve known. I’m not going to lie to him anymore. And I’m not going to cover for you.” He called out as Sal disappeared into the crowd.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish