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´╗┐Title: Mex
Author: Janifer, Laurence M., 1933-2002
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Mex" ***

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    _Talented William Logan, though he hails from Dodger territory,
    tells a quiet story from down near the Mexican border, where men are
    very close to ancestral memories and to the things which dwell in
    the shadows. Logan is one of the more interesting of the newer
    writers._


mex

_by ... WILLIAM LOGAN_


 Perhaps it was just as well that I
 did not tell them what I was....


What they called me, that was what started it. I'm as good an American
as the next fellow, and maybe a little bit better than men like that,
big men drinking in a bar who can't find anything better to do than to
spit on a man and call him Mex. As if a Mexican is something to hide or
to be ashamed of. We have our own heroes and our own strength and we
don't have to bend down to men like that, or any other men. But when
they called me that I saw red and called them names back.

"Mex kid," one of the men said, a big red-haired bully with his sleeves
rolled back and muscles like ropes on the big hairy arms. "Snot-nosed
little Mex brat."

I called him a name. He only laughed back at me and turned his back,
waving a hand for the bartender. Maybe in a big city in the North it
would be different and probably it would not: this toleration we hear
about is no more good than an open fight, and there must be
understanding instead. But here near the border, just on the American
side of the border, a Mexican is called fair game, and a
seventeen-year-old like me is less than nothing to them, to the white
ones who go to the big bars.

I thought carefully about what to do, and finally when I had made my
mind up I went for him and tried to hit him. But other men held me back,
and I was kicking and shouting with my legs off the ground. When I
stopped they put me down, so I started for the big red-haired man again
and they had to stop me again. The red-haired man was laughing all this
time. I wanted to run, back to my own family in their little house, and
yet running would have been wrong; I was too angry to run, so I stayed.

"My sister," I said. "My sister is a witch and I will get her to put a
curse on you." I was very angry, you must understand this.

And of course they had no idea that my sister is a real witch, and her
curses are real, and only last year Manuel Valdez had died from the
effects of her curse. Of all people, sometimes I wish I were my sister
most of all, to curse people and see them shrivel and sicken and choke
and die.

"Go ahead, half-pint," one of the other men yelled. "Get your sister to
put a curse on me. I bet she knows who I am; I been with every Mex girl
this side of the border."

This made me see red; my sister is pure and must be pure, since she is a
witch. And she is not like some of the others even aside from that. I
have heard her talk about them and I know.

I called him a name and ran up to him and hit him; my fist against his
solid side felt good, but some other men pulled me off again. Yet it was
impossible to leave. This was wrong for me, and I had to make it right.
"I shall get my father to fight you, since he is a giant ten feet tall."

The men laughed at me, not knowing, of course, that my father is a giant
ten feet tall in truth, and my mother a sweet siren like those in the
books, the old books, with spells in her eyes and a strange power. They
did not know I was not a daydreaming child but a man who told truth.

And they laughed; I grew angry again and told them many things, calling
them names in Spanish, which they did not understand. That only made
them laugh the more.

Finally I left; it was necessary for me to leave, since I was not
wanted. But it was necessary, too, for me to make things right. Nights
later they were dead for what they had said and done.

For I tell the truth always, and I had told them about my sister and my
father and my mother. But one thing I had not told them.

I am sorry they could never know I was the winged thing that frightened
and killed them, one by one....



Transcriber's Note:

    This etext was produced from _Fantastic Universe_ January 1957.
    Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S.
    copyright on this publication was renewed. Minor spelling and
    typographical errors have been corrected without note.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Mex" ***

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