Esto hombre joven tied his bay in front of a shallow, adobe all-service store on the plaza.
It was one of the businesses — including several cantinas — sheltered under the portales (arcades). It faced across the plaza to the presidencia municipal. So few gringos showed up in Cerro Alto at that time that people stared.
At the store he bought a pack of crap Faro cigarettes, and a piece of newspaper daubed with grease for doctoring humans (cold-weather cracked hands and especially feet — the universal winter condition of huarche wearers), and usos externo veterinario. He led the bay across to the plaza to a hitching post in front of a cantina known for being friendly.
Easing against the well-chipped wall, he pulled out large one-peso coins and ordered a cabllito of Cuervo – still a gently priced tequila. He watched the bartender. The young man gave his wrist the faintest twist that disguised a bit extra. The gringo nodded, adding a tip to the one peso coins.
“Local folks touchy about livestock in the plaza,” the barkeep said. “Horse manure.”
The gringo nodded, squinting at the path he’d taken. “Let’s see. There’s cattle, sheep and dog manure, droppings of the flock of buzzards perched on the post office.” He took sip of Cuervo, smiling politely. The four men watching him seemed surprised at this summary.
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