Día de los Muertos: Chapter 27

Twenty-Seven Base of the Tecate Range / 11:45 P.M. T he full moon hung west of them like a headlight itself. Calhoun had taken a jeep track that ran east toward the Tecate range. The desert had opened to a flat pan that was free of even cactus. He was able to get the jeep up to a good speed, seventy miles an hour. He’d moved Celeste into the passenger seat next to him and put Castro on Vasco, afraid she would try something. “You don’t love him,” Vasco said. “Look at him. He’s getting old. Look at him. He’s finished. I’m young.” Celeste turned around and looked at her. She did look young...

Día de los Muertos: Chapter 26

Twenty-Six Sonoran Desert / 11:35 P.M. Which way are we going?” “What difference does it make?” Calhoun said. He was looking into the jeep’s mirror. They’d moved Guzman all the way to the back. The girls were holding hands, Celeste comforting Vasco. They’d left Vasco’s father on the plaza. He wouldn’t come. He’d gone mad and wouldn’t leave his wife’s body. “What’s in the bags?” Calhoun asked. “None of your business,” Vasco said. “Just drive.” “It was all bullshit. The whole story about Chile and the bank… all of it was...

Día de los Muertos: Chapter 25

Twenty-Five The Plaza Tijuana / 10:25 P.M. The boy had followed Calhoun across the street from the Escondido. Calhoun had sent him away twice. But the boy wouldn’t go. He’d wandered off into the plaza as if he were watching out for him. The plaza was still full of people and music. The mariachi band still played on the bandstand. It was pure Mexico for the musicians to ignore the riot. The holiday was reaching its drunken crescendo and no riot was going to stop it.Calhoun looked at the boy and waved him away. He kept scanning the street, expecting a taxi to pull up with the Vascos. They were late. It was 10:25 and they were...

Día de los Muertos: Chapter 24

Twenty-Four Banco Popular / 10:00 P.M. Banks in Mexico close late. The Vascos had counted on that to make the difference, but, being foreigners, they hadn’t counted on the holiday. Customers, who had come in to cash their checks before the weekend, were queued up at the counters. The bank was packed when they walked in the doors. Now, five minutes later, the guard at the Banco Popular was dead. He was lying in the middle of the bank’s brightly lit lobby, his entire face cratered from the impact of the M16 bullet. Paloma Vasco had shot him. The guard, in plainclothes, had shot her mother as soon as they walked into the bank....

Día de los Muertos: Chapter 23

Twenty-Three The Escondido Bar / 10:00 P.M. No one knew where the riot started, exactly. By the time Calhoun drove down from El Cumbre, the streets around the city center were in chaos, bands of men smashing windows, people running out of businesses with television sets and pieces of furniture and boxes of sodas and Pampers. As in the Los Angeles riots, the police had retreated from the streets. Calhoun drove on, one hand on the horn, swerving, driving fast, the jeep with its big black bumper intimidating, the horn loud. The fat man lying in the back asked what was going on. You could hear the sirens and the fire alarms on individual...