“I see you are in jail, Chica.”
“Oh, Pendejo, I got too much whisky the other night.”
He did not speak to her as they rode back to the hotel. He told her to wait for him down the street, while he gathered his belongings.
“Are you ashamed to be seen with me, Pendejo?”
He glared at her as they rode out of town. He felt that every eye was on him. “Not now, Chica, I don’t want to talk about this now.”
She sulked for a while, then tried to tease him.
“I don’t want to talk right now, Chica. Please keep your mouth closed. I don’t want to discuss anything; I don’t want to hear your voice right now.”
She had never seen him angry. She didn’t like it. They finally stopped for the night at a boarding house just south of Flagstaff. He got them separate rooms. She left him alone for a while, then knocked on his door. He would not answer.
He had just begun to fall asleep when he realized she was in his bed. He sat up with a start.
“How did you do, that, Chica?”
“I come in through the window.” She grinned.
“You’d better go back to your room, Chica.” He turned away from her.
“Wha’ is wrong, Pendejo?”
“I am just tired, Chica. I am tired of all this. I am not cut out to live the way you live. I missed you, you go off, you don’t tell me where you are. Now, I have used my influence as a Ranger to get you out of jail. I constantly…” He was too angry for the words to come.
“I am sorry, Pendejo. I should not have had so much whisky.”
He looked at her. “You don’t get it, girl. You just don’t get it, do you?”
“I see that you are sad, Pendejo. I am sorry that you are sad. I like you a lot better when you are funny.”
He put his hands over his face and rubbed his temples. “I have lost my wife, my child, my Sally, and now I am constantly thinking of you.”
“Sally? Who is this Sally, Pendejo?”
“Pendejo, you need a get a grip on yourself. Sally was a beast of burden.”
“Well, I loved her.”
Chica shrugged. “I am sorry if I make you sad, Pendejo. I din’ never mean to make you sad. If you like, I will go back to jail and take my medicine.” The Mule Tamer