Marta liked the little nun. The men were afraid of her. They said she was a leper. She did not know what a leper was but was glad to see the men afraid. She liked it when the men looked stupid or foolish or afraid and this nun’s making them this way pleased her. The little nun never looked up from the ground and spoke into her chest in a tiny, afraid voice. This amused Marta too.
“Where is the one named Jesus?” the little nun spoke into her chest.
“The fat one or the thin one or the tall one or the short one, or the very ugly one who stinks?”
The little nun was not certain which to choose. “The maestro said he was to guard the remuda.”
Marta breathed her smoke and her answer at the little nun. “That’s the thin one.” She pointed with her cigarette butt, “He is over there, in the blue vest.”
Marta went back to working on her tatting as the nun approached the thin Jesus. The group of men saw her and gestured for her to stop. “What do you want, bitch?”
“The maestro said that I was to tell Jesus to guard the remuda tonight.”
The men laughed at Jesus, who looked on forlornly. It would have been better for him to know this sooner, as he’d have gotten a little sleep and not had so much to drink. He looked at the nun and grunted, pulled himself up from his bed at the campfire, gathered up his saddle and blanket, and prepared for a long night. The Mule Tamer II, Chica's Ride