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Newspaper Page Text
SPIKS AND LIZARDS DON'T WORRY GRINGO
SENTRY SPOTS ONE AND STEPS ON OTHER
BY FRED L. BOALT
Vera Cruz, Mex. I mounted my
horse and rode out along the out
posts. At length I came to a sentry
seated on a sandbag entrenchmenton
the summit of 606-kilometer hill.
I sat down beside him and he told
me about a girl in Philadelphia.
"Did you ever hear," I asked "about
a man named Lord Cowdray?"
"No," said the sentry, "I can't say
that I ever did. How would I be
knowing one of them foreign wops
with handles to their names?"
"Lord Cowdray," I explained, "is
a wealthy Englishman who is largely
interested in the oil industry in Mex
"So?" said the sentry, but without
interest, and added: "Ain't this a hell
of a country?"
606-kilometer hill frowns down
upon an expanse of rolling sand, and
the trails which cross it hecorae lost,
finally, in scrub underbrush. Beyond
that are the foothills, and, still farther
away, the snow-capped mountains.
At our back lay Vera Cruz and the
fleet at anchor in the roadstead.
"I believe," said the sentry, "I see
another of them 'spiks " ( and
I saw three dots far away. When
they drew nearer I saw. that the first
dot was a peon pn a donkey. He was
leading two burros the size of goats.
Slung to each burro were two bas
kets. "He's only a charcoal burner, most
likely," said the sentry, "but 111
stop him, anyhow."
"What is a 'spik'?" I asked.
"All Cubans, Filipinos and Mexi
cans are 'spiks,' " the sentry said.
"Do you suppose the 'spik" ever
heard of John D. Rockefeller?" I
The sentry eyed me askance,
"you'd best be hunting jthe shade,"
he said. "It's the heat that's making
A lizard darted across the sentry's
feet I suppose it was hunting flies.
With a dexterous movement the sen
try planted a foot on the lizard and
crushed out its life.
"Got you that time," he said, and
It's fine to be a Lord Cowdray or a
Rockefeller, but it's tough to be a
sentry, a "spik" or a lizard.
The "spik" and his burros were
plodding toward us up the hill. A tall,
spindling structure, far away, caught
my eye, and I asked the sentry what
it might he.
"Oil derrick," he said, and rose to
halt the "spik."
The charcoal burner hated and
feared the sentry. The sentry had
for the charcoal burner a fine con
tempt. To one the other was a
despised "spik." To the other the
one was a hated "gringo."
"What's in the baskets?"
The charcoal burned grimaced,
shrugged his shoulders and broke in
to voluble speech.
"Shut up! I don't know what
you're talking about, anyhow."
There was nothing in the baskets
but charcoal. There was nothing in
the pockets of the "spik" but a gaudy
and dirty handkerchief.
"Beat it!" said the sentry.
The charcoal burner mounted and
drove his bare heels hard against the
lean ribs of his donkey.
"Mucha gracios, senor," he said,
ONE OF THE PEOPLE
We prefer living in a neighborhood
where everybody is poor. Then if we
do get enough ahead to buy a dozen
apples or some such luxury, we can
get them and make the other people
envy ss. Dallas Times-Herald