A disease causes no work for Mexicans and an ambitious young man pulls off a heist.
|Pedro was going into convulsions and was foaming at the mouth. Two doctors held him down as a nurse injected him with a clear solution. He jerked his head from side. He remained this way, thrashing and kicking his legs until a few minutes passed. Gradually he was sedated into a shallow sleep. The doctor walked away from the patient’s bed and wiped the sweat from his face and took off a mask.
“Dr. Lopez, we are running out of beds for the patients,” said a nurse.
“Blast this disease! Scientists still have not found a cure. So many families are in need of cotton jobs in the states. Now they do not need us because of it. And my nephew went to the States but he was rejected a job just because he was Mexican. He was not even sick. Tell Dr. Juarez. Let him deal with it.”
Outside, a United States journalist was interviewing a nurse who spoke English. “Nurse Gomez, about how many patients do you currently have?”
“At last fifty.”
“And how many arrive each day?”
“Do you have any family members that are trying to get cotton jobs?”
“Most of my family.” The nurse began to tear up.
The journalist put away his pen. “We can finish some other time. I’m very sorry mam.”
Meanwhile near the US Mexican border, groups of Mexicans were huddled together pleading with the border guards in broken English.
“Please amigo, I need work to help my family.”
“We do not need your diseased kind. Now get,” answered a guard.
Another approached a different guard.
“Please we are starving.”
The guard pulled out a shotgun and fired in the air. Everyone pulled back in fear.
“Everyone leave now!” he ordered.
Most of the people abandoned their places but some lingered.
A young man named Juan sat in his pueblo wiping his sick father’s forehead with a white, damp towel.
“Oh the pain! Ack!” his father said.
“I know father. Don’t worry. Soon I’ll have a job doing something in the States.”
“But this disease, no one can get through the border. So many have died from the plague.”
Juan clenched his fists and frowned. “I don’t care papa, I’ll get work. You’ll see.”
The determined young man exited the small house and waited until dark to make his move. He took the one-half mile walk to the border. All the guards were out. But one was asleep on a chair with his pistol hanging out. He was about twenty meters from him. He crawled very slowly, an inch at a time. He tried his best to keep his heavy breathing from being heard. His hands and his palms were sweaty. Juan bit his lips. After thirty minutes of creeping, he was about ten feet away from the guard.
“Just a little more. There.” Then he crept up to the guard and took out his pistol and pointed it the guard who awoke with the gun to his head.
“Shh! Stay quiet! You’re going to help me past the border.”
“Okay, whatever you say!” whimpered the guard.
“Now turn around and walk,” Juan ordered.
The guard led him past the border where no one was and then Juan was forced to do another despicable thing. It seared his conscience but he knew it was needed.
“Give me your wallet,”
“Here. Please don’t hurt me!” the guard coward.
“Turn around and get on your stomach and count to sixty.”
He did so and Juan fled into the night as fast as he could. Soon he was stopped at the check point kiosk.
Immediately Juan took out most of the money in the wallet and kept the rest. “I’m not infected. I’ll give you this if you let me pass and give me a passport.”
“Two-hundred dollars? Give me that dandy Smith and Wesson you have there and we have we deal.”
Juan promptly gave him what he asked for.
“What is your name?”
The man wrote up a passport and gave it to him.
“Now get. Before I change my mind.”
Juan smiled and slept under a tree a mile from where he was. In the morning he was startled by a large man.
“You Mexican! How did you get here?”
Juan pulled out his passport.
“You could have forged this.”
“But how? I can barely speak English. I’m part of a special government program,” lied Juan.
“I have never heard of it.”
“How else did I get it?”
“Eh, fine. It must be those stupid Republicans! Soon this place will be filled with your kind, disease or not.”
“Where is the nearest cotton field?”
“Three miles west.”
He boarded a bus and soon arrived at the field.
“I’m here for work for a government program,” he said as he showed a cotton master his passport.
“Really? Strange. You’re so young. You could have stolen it or forged it.”
“How could I? My English is so horrible how could I write so well then?”
The cotton master eyed him suspiciously, looking at him up and down. “I suppose you’re right. But if this is a trick, you’ll be severely punished. You can start tomorrow.”
Just as he was filled with elation, a ranger pulled up In a Jeep. A man in a uniform rushed at Juan and put him in cuffs.
“You’re under arrest for perjury, threatening an officer and for theft. Get in the car!”
“Oh, father I failed you!” Juan cried.
“Sorry young man but we don’t need your kind no more. Nice try though.”