From THE MEMOIRS OF "MALARKEY" JOHNSON
"They told me later how they gradually made their way to the Pacific seaport of Mazatlan, Mexico. Probably in the hope of catchin' a ship bound for the Hawaiian islands. Or, maybe even South America! But, Fate seemed to have different plans for these young lovebirds."
"With the last of their combined funds, they bought themselves an equally meager supper. And, while eatin' it (as slow as possible), they watched a couple knife dancers perform. It was durin' the applause, afterwards, that a tall, white-haired mestizo approached 'em."
" 'Hola, senor y senorita. Mi llamo El Peyotero.* May I join you?' "
"Becky nodded, and Dooley gestured to one of the two empty chairs at their table."
" 'Mil pardones for my asking,' the old man continued: 'But, are you hombre y esposa, by any chance?' "
"Dooley squinted at him, real suspiciously and slowly crept his right hand towards his Peacemaker."
" 'Why you want to know?' "
" 'Because I am shaman for a village of the Huichol tribe, in the foothills of the neighboring Estado de Nayarit. And it was long ago prophesied, by my one of my predecessors, that there would come to our village two people. Un indio y una gringa. The gringa would have red hair and green eyes. While the indio would be her warrior consort. Furthermore, it was stated--in the prophecy--that the gringa would be the reincarnation of our patron goddess, Nakawe'. Also known as Bisabuela Crecimienta (Great-grandmother Growth)!' "
"I have been searching for just such un duo these past two years. For the conclusion of the prophesy states that our village would need their help...as a result of sheltering another tribe. Which we did, two years ago!' "
" 'They came to us as remnants of a Yaqui indio village, whose people had been captured by slavers from La Costa Oriente. Selling the hombres into slavery, as sugar cane harvesters, in Cuba. And, the mujeres...as wives for los labradores chinos engaged as same.' "
" 'Now, not two days ago, those same slavers have captured both the Yaquis and my people! So, if, indeed, you are el duo of the prophesy, I beg you. Ayuda me, por favor!!' "
"Dooley looked at Becky, who nodded...without the least bit hesitation."
* * * * *
EL CANON DE COBRE (1875)
As soon as Red Bear had uttered his death threat, he immediately reached behind him and removed something from a rawhide archery quiver. Something that the San Blas Kid immediately recognized (via his gunsmithing experience) as a Remington/Beals Model 1868 revolving rifle in .44 caliber. And, factory-refitted for conical bullets, at that!
Evidently, Valdez's Comancheros had not been stingy with what they had traded to Red Bear in exchange for rustled cattle and horses.
"Uno momento, jefe!" Becky suddenly exclaimed: "There's no need for anyone to die, this day. All we want is the white woman you recently took captive."
She nodded toward the Kid, who slowly reached into his right-hand saddlebag. Whereupon, he just as slowly removed a wooden-framed photograph of two people who had apparently just gotten married. Namely; his adoptive parents!
Echota and Yvette Reardon.
The Kid gave the photograph to Becky, who then gave it to the seven foot-tall Comanche chief. And Red Bear's eyes lit up with triumph.
"Ah, si! Her father was a man of many winters. Yet, he killed six of my finest braves--warriors more than half his age--before we finally killed him! I shall therefore take her as my next wife. And, between her father's seed and mine, the Penateka Comanche will be supreme!!!"
"A thousand pardons..."
"...man and wife...?"
"An Indian and a white woman."
"...The East Coast..."
"...the Chinese laborers..."
"Help me, please!!!"
The Canyon of Copper.
Comancheros: those who used to supply guns, ammunition, and whisky to the Comanche Indians of Texas during the 19th century. And, more often than not, illegally so!
"A moment, chief!"