When they arrived at Arroyo Cantova, Joaquin was convinced that his ruffians had not been without something to do. Some hundreds of horses, many of them broncos, were grazing peacefully in the fields. In the camp, good-looking tents were set up, which, all together, resembled a small city. Seated all about, the bandits were peacefully killing time, some playing cards, others smoking cigarettes. A short distance away, seated on the short grass were eight beautiful black-eyed girls with their sweethearts, talking, laughing and singing with all the joy and natural vivacity of their sex and age.
Joaquin was greeted on all sides by his comrades. At the same time two lovely arms encircled his neck, and the beautiful eyes of Clarita gave him a loving welcome. She was so overcome by her emotion that she could not speak. After having thanked his companions for their warm reception, Joaquin retired with his sweetheart to a favorite tree, under whose boughs he had chosen to spend his leisure moments. When they were seated away from the eyes and ears of others, Clarita said, “Joaquin, you have been gone so long! Oh, so long! And I have been very sad in your absence as I was lonely in the midst of so many people.”
“Is it possible, Clarita? Lonely and sad among all these pretty, happy girls?”
“Ah, that is just the reason I was sad.”
“Really? Tell me then, sweetheart. I want to know the cause of that sudden change. What! Are you crying? Is it as serious as that?”
“Yes, Joaquin, I am crying,” she said, laying her head upon her lover’s breast. “I am crying because I cannot hold in my tears. I feel as if my heart is almost breaking. Do you remember your promise to me? Oh! When will you abandon this dangerous and unhappy life to go to our own beautiful and peaceful country?”
“Our country! If only I had never left it, I would not have been what I am today. But come, Clarita dear, do not lose heart. A few