Pan American Trails part 7

Side trips out of Mexico City bring new adventures on a long solo tour Being more of a trip from St. Louis to Managuz in Nicaragua

By Jose Porta, Photography by Jose Porta

I thanked him but I told him that I had to see the Presidente first and abide to what he had to say. It way my duty to report to the Presidente of every village that I passed. The ranchero showed me the house of the Presidente and I rode there. At the noise of my motor half a dozen men, armed to the teeth, came out of the building. It was the police force of El Rosario. The Presidente made himself known and I showed him my credentials. I had noticed at first glance that he was drunk and so were the men with him.

He threw the papers back at me (he couldn’t read) and he asked me what I wanted. I told him who and what I was and that I hoped to find shelter for the night in his village, and probably a dish of beans.

“Shelter?” he hollered. “Beans? Who do you think I am? Get out of here. Keep going.”

“But I’ll pay for it, Mister Presidente,” I said politely. “It is dark and I can’t go any farther.”

“Get out of here, you dog! I don’t want strangers here. Get out!” His voice rose into a fury. The men joined him and formed a circle around me. Hostility was evident in their faces. They were drunk and not conscious of their actions and as I said before, beware of a drunken Indian.

I realized suddenly that I had no business being there. It was hopeless to reason with those people. I was still sitting on the saddle of my motorcycle which I never left during the altercation. A nauseating stench of liquor was emanating from the six stinking mouths of the six men. I wanted to get out of there. I kicked the motor. I gave her a lot of gas. I made a tail spin sending the Presidente and his henchmen sprawling to the ground and before they could recover from their surprise I was out of sight.

I heard a shot, and another one, and I reached the door of the friendly ranchero as he flung it wide open, alarmed by the shots.

He guessed at what had happened and he shut the door behind me.

“I guess you were meant to stay here after all,” he said as he took me to the dining room, where he and his family were having supper.

We had just finished eating when we heard a commotion at the front gate and somebody hollered to my protector to go outside. He went, and after a few minutes of heated confabulation he came back with a note in his hands.

He laughed as he showed it to me. It was a warrant for my arrest duly stamped and signed by the Presidente, requesting the ranchero to immediately deliver the prisoner to the proper authorities.

“I think I’d better go and straighten things out. I don’t want to get you in trouble,” I said.

“Oh, no you don’t,” he answered. “They are too darn drunk to listen to reason. They are liable to shoot you first and then be sorry afterwards.”

“But what about you?”

“Don’t worry about that. They won’t dare do anything to me. The Presidente and his gang are nothing but a bunch of drunken outlaws, and I know how to handle them.”

By Jose Porta
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