Chapter 19: Jailhouse Crock

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Sitting on a bench with rusted bars around them, Donnie and Sid held their heads in their hands. The smell of urine and vomit made it difficult to not add their own flavor to the mix, but they managed to hold it in.

"Who were those guys, Donnie?"

"I dunno, Sid. I guess they wanted the kid's wallet worse than we wanted his life."

"We coulda took 'em if there hadn't been so many of 'em."

"Yeah, what were there, like fifty?"

"Sump'm like that. I don't remember nothin' after that one guy hit my jaw with a bat."

"One of 'em hit me in the stomach and another hit the back of my head. I was out only a little while, but as I was tryin' to get you up the cops came. Made me walk and they carried you on a stretcher. Said a doctor would come here to look at us."

"Well, we ain't seen him yet. They don't even have nothin' to keep us for."

Sid suddenly jumped up and stuck his face between the bars, yelling down the hallway.

"Hey! Hey! Somebody come in here! You gotta let us out! This is all just a big mistake!"

A door slammed. Keys jingled as if bouncing on a hip. Boots clipped steadily down the corridor, echoing off smooth concrete walls. A very large man whose girth pressed the seams and buttons of his shirt to their limit stood at the bars with his hands on his hips. His neck wasn't visible, making it appear that his head simply sat on his shoulders. Even his forehead seemed to have ripples in it. His bald head, tattooed arms, and rough knuckles made it apparent that he didn't care about fashion. The expression on his face made it evident that he didn't care about Donnie nor Sid.

"What do you want, cabron?"

"We shouldn't even be in here, officer, this is just a big mistake," Donnie said, trying to be somewhat mannerly.

"Oh, no, you should be in here. You attacked Mexican nationals with deadly force. I have witnesses. I even have video on ..." he paused, thinking for a moment, "youtube." A large grin spread across the deputy's face.

"Barnyard, that little ..." Donnie was cut off by Sid hurling insults at the guard.

"Wipe that smug little grin off yer face, fatso. We were set up and we're gonna get a lawyer to prove it. We got rights."

"Not here, you don't, pendejo. Here, I got the rights and you get what's left. Heh heh. Get it?" He laughed, turning to leave.

"No, no, wait!" Donnie ran at the bars. "My friend hit his head pretty hard when those guys jumped us. We didn't even see 'em comin'! He don't know what he's sayin'." The guard stopped, turned, and looked at Donnie with squinted eyes, sucking his teeth. Donnie begged, "Hey, look, let's just try to get along, okay? Can we get somethin' t'eat? We're really hungry and we ain't eat nothin' all day!"

The grin spread back over the guard's face. "Oh, sure! You want something to eat now, pendejo? I tell you what. You're going to be in here for a while. Trials in Ciudad Juarez don't come up too fast, you know? I will make your stay exactly what you American vatos deserve. My cousin Raul runs a little taco push cart right outside my front door here. Best cabrito in all of Mexico. Raul set you up with dinner and you can think about how to plead your case while tending sus culitos." He started laughing and walking away again, enjoying that his prisoners didn't understand that culitos is "butts" and that they would regret this meal for days to come. They would be less of a problem, anyway.

"Hey! Hey, thanks, deputy! I knew we could count on you!" Donnie slapped his hand against Sid and said more softly, "See? I knew it wouldn't be so bad. That guy's gonna hook us up!"

"I dunno, Donnie. Sump'm don't seem right. Wish I spoke more'n a couple words of Spanish."

The guard walked through the door at the end of the hallway, slamming it behind him, all the while whistling la cucaracha. Once through, he poked his head into the supervisor's office and spoke in Spanish.

"Call your Texas friend andtell him that we can take very good care of his cowboys for a long time. Givingthem the gourmet meal they deserve. They're going to love the goat from Raulevery day. Make them wish they were very good boys." Both the men burst outlaughing knowing that Donnie and Sid were in for several weeks of severedigestive distress.

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