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Sheets, Geo M. (ed.) / The Wisconsin literary magazine
Vol. VI, No. 1 (October 1908)

D. F.
Propinquity: The engineer and the Mexican girl,   pp. 6-13


Page 12


THE WISCONSIN LITERARY MAGAZINE
   "At the end of the year the work was done and Johnson, the
engineer, was going with me back to the States. He made all
the plans for our departure secretly. One evening as I was sit-
ting outside smoking a last cigarette after Colita had gone to
bed, a boy came running with a message from Johnson asking
me to come at once to his 'dobe. When I got there, he gripped
me by the hand.
   'Cort," he said, "W\e're going to leave this place just exactly
one hour after moon rise.  D)o you understand ?"
  I did. He knew that with Colita awake and pleading, no
power on earth could tear me away from Agaa Caliente. I stood
there looking away to the East where the foreglow of moonrise
shone faint behind the Panoche Peaks.
  "Do you understand ?" he asked again, fiercely.
  At last I managed to tell him that I did and that I would go.
  "In an hour then," he sai(d, and he turned and walked into the
house.
  I went back slowlav to our little home-Colita's and mine.
When I got there the moon was already clear of the horizon.
It lighted up the ugly little village gloriously, and the 'dobe was
not nearly so repulsive then as in the glaring sun. The, concrete
of the dam showed like a white scar across the black depth
of the vallev. I remember thinking it was not the only scar the
year had made in Agua Caliente.
  I took off my shoes and sneaked stealthily around the little
rooms, gathering my few belongings together. Several times when
I heard Colita stir uneasily, I stood for minutes in a cold sweat
of hope that she would awaken and fear lest she might. When
I was packed and ready to leave, I looked at my watch-it was
light as day outside. Five minutes remained of the hour. And
then I went back to say goodbye.
  She was sleeping peacefully now; her breathing was slow and
regular. One bare arm and half of her moist, flushed face were
in the strip of moonlight that came through the deep set window.
I tried to go without entering the room-but I couldn't-
I couldn't. I can't tell Vou any more."
12


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