making a fresh start in life

Making a Fresh Start in Life

A court summons, and off you dash to Mexico where you’re plucked out of a cantina and held for ransom.

Six months later and no response to the ransom note. Well, at least you’re learning some Spanish, and the banditos who abducted you have grown fond of you. They feed you, ply you with red wine, and have given you a woman to pass the time with. Then a pistol and a passport. They send you north to settle a grievance. You return festooned with flowers.

You begin kidnapping gringos for ransom yourself. You open a night club in Guadalajara with chorus girls. You have children with the woman they gave you, and not a one of them can speak English. Then the people who failed to pay your ransom hear about your success and write for money — your senile father, your child bride and your lawyer. The banditos roll on the hard earth holding their sides and laughing their heads off. Then they fire their pistols in the air and ride off to cause mayhem. You stay behind, you’ve got a club to run, three children and a wife to look after, two wives counting your child bride in el Norte. You’re a bigamist and a killer and a business man. There’s talk you could run for office, and with this in mind they pay off the right people and make you an honorary citizen, give you another wife, well-bred and soft-spoken, someone suitable for a man who one day may be president of Mexico. You keep her tucked away in a hacienda in Monterrey.

You send a hit man north to take out the judge who issued the court summons on you years ago. A simple matter of protocol.

You forget how to speak English.

You’ve made a fresh start in life.

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