Last updateSat, 05 Dec 2015 3pm

Internal bleeding: A gringo expert of El Fresno, and a relative he has badly wounded 

Neto Ruiz was El Fresno’s local gringo expert.  He’d been born “on the other side” when his parents were sugar beet workers as World War II ended.  He was a child when they returned “home” to Mexico.

In the early 1960s he told me of the day a young American stranger brought Pepe Rios, still bleeding, to him.  

The tall American was swearing, he said, leading a sorrel gelding with Pepe in the saddle. blood leaking from waist to his left foot.  

“He told me to bring him here,” the gringo called as I came up from morning milking, Neto recalled.  “I found him in Arroyo Viejo,”  he said.  The stranger’s voice was furious, his red beard scraggly, a handkerchief on his head like woman, a gold loop in one ear.   He said his name was Roberto.  

“Take him to that curandero, Mario Hernandez,” I said.  “He is a healer.”

“He said you were his brother.”  The gringo was like a lost child, but his Spanish was good for a foreigner. 

“No,” I told him.  A gust of wind nearly blew Pepe out of the saddle.  “He’s married to my sister, Ofelia.”  I reached up to steady him,  “We’re cuñados, brothers-in-law.”  

 “Not what he said.”   The gringo clutched a long machete hanging from one shoulder.  

“Was he talking awful English at you?”  Pepe and I picked tomates in Texas a while back. He never got over thinking he could speak English.

“Somebody stabbed him.  He needs a doctor fast,” the American shouted.

Please login or subscribe to view the complete article.

No Comments Available