Five minutes afterwards the fugitive was sleeping like a log. The night came on without Salvador’s awakening from the deep slumber into which he had fallen, his bones aching and his nerves being unstrung by the fatigue and emotions he had endured.

Pedro had improved the time by bathing the horses in the neighboring river and giving them a good feed of corn. This task ended, he took a nap for a couple of hours, which was sufficient to restore to his muscles the necessary energy; and as it was not two o’clock in the afternoon, he shared the frugal dinner of his host.

Reality of the situation

On hearing the church bells of San Mateo tolling “Las animas” he resolved to awaken Salvador, which was not an easy thing to do. For all that he shook him, it was impossible to overcome the stupor which held him fast. Finally he opened his eyes, looking about in a dazed way without comprehending, until Pedro’s voice insisting on the urgency of taking the road made him remember the reality of the situation. Salvador got up with difficulty; each movement that he made aroused a dormant pain in his body, which was agitated by a painful, feverish sensation. A little glass of cognac produced the necessary reaction, and the odor of supper already served began to remind him that he had been fasting for many hours.

While Salvador was devouring a chicken, which at Pedro’s request the daughter of ’Nor Josd had cooked, the latter, seated on a bench, observed him closely. Naturally keen, he had scented the fact that beneath the short jacket was hidden a person who was not accustomed to wear it. The attentiveness of Pedro to Salvador, the respect with which he talked to him, were indications that this man belonged to a higher class of society than his garb would imply. This was evident; but looking well into the matter, what difference did it make to him that the stranger was who he was?

A five-dollar bill which Salvador put in his hand completely con him.

“No matter, Pedro. It is my duty not to allow this poor woman to die. Let us go at once.”

The old man, who returned hurriedly, heard these last words. “May God pay you, senor,” he said again in a low voice. Pedro took the old man behind him on the crupper and Salvador the girl. After fifteen minutes of fast riding, the four stopped in front of the jefe politico’s office.

Mustafa
istanbul@istanbulday.com

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