ver $1 1 0 Million Insurance In Force Gail d -0e, de a ie INSURANCE COMPANY P. 0. Box 8098 Houston, Texas BO K ON BALLAD OF GREGORIO CORTEZ WITH HIS PISTOL IN HIS HAND, by Americo Paredes, University of Texas Press, $5. With His Pistol in His Hand is a new book with a highly readable first half that should appeal to anybodyexcept, of course, the friends and relations of the men the hero shot. The last half is the stuff that scholarship is made of: a study of the versions of a certain Mexican border ballad that celebrates defiance of gringo law by one Gregorio Cortez. Even more interesting than Gregorioto me, at leastis his biographer, Americo Paredes, who could lay claim, if he wished, to defiance of the law of averages: he learned to write literary English after being born to speak first the Spanish of an old province, once named Nuevo Santander and now split between the designations of South Texas and Tamaulipas. No less amazing is Paredes’s acquisition of a doctorate of philosophy in English and a post at the University of Texas without serious damage to his writing ability. In choosing the ballad, or corrido, of Gregorio Cortez, Paredes found a truly noble theme and piece of music. By some happy circumstance, this ballad is a folk masterpiece. It contains more than any other folk product that I know to have been composed since they stopped building castlesthe clarion challenge to cornbat that sounded so good in the time and place of El Cid Campeador, or for that matter, Rob Roy McGregor. Since this ballad had been confined largely toits local theatre; that is, to cantinas and mesquite fires between San Antonio and Cerralvo and to the friends of Brownie McNeill, it is well that some description of its medieval purity be put on paper so that the world at large may have an inkling of what it misses since newsprint replaced the oral and musical record of history. THE ORIGINAL ACTION that precipitated the ballad began when Sheriff Brack Morris of Karnes County rode up in a buggy with a socalled interpreter to arrest Gregorio Cortez, resting en famine on the front porch, with his head on his wife’s lap. Speculation as to what exactly happened was dragged subsequently through the courts and will never be known for sure, but certain results were all too easy to discover. Sheriff Morris and Gregorio’s brother were both mortally wounded; Gregorio, who had been law-abiding, was on the dodge; and the interpreter \(who as I see it was the only one who really dethe -brush. As an example of the interpreter’s crime, he stated that Gregorio had said “No white man is going to arrest me,” although it seems certain that Gregorio actually said, “I can’t be arrested for nothing.”* The sheriff had a pistol; Gregorio had one of his own stuck in his belt behind his back. “In those times,” as one old brush country hand put it, “each man carried his gun like the bandits of the movies.” Like the action itself, the ballad breaks forth without prologue or ceremony, into the first bloody verse. El el condado del Carmen Miren lo que ha sucedido; Murio el Sherife mayor Dejando a Roman herido. In English: Down in old. Karnes County Interpreter’s version: “A mi no arreste nadie.” More likely version: “A mi no me arrestan por nada.” Look ye what befell: The high sheriff is dead. Roman is dying as well.* AT THIS TIME in the history of our state \(the time of the de chauvinism was the order of thinking, and those Christians of the area who prayed in their variety of Castillian were regarded by most of the supporters of Rooslow in the social order to catch the eye of justice, as fit only for herding livestock, and ignorant of the English language by malicious intent. The fact that one of these serfs had shot down a minion of their law startled the Englishspeaking fraternity by sheer novelty to an extent that only a new idea startles a community today. To combat the solitary fugitive, posses of pursuit were organized in numbers that had once been enough to deal with Santa Anna’s army. They surrounded the fugitive sheriff-killer more than once, but he broke out of the corral leaving other sheriffs dead, to the geometrically augmented dismay of the Anglo-Saxon and the lyric satisfaction of the Azteco-Spanish community, who took down guitars and began to sing. The verse from which the title comes is like this: Dijo Gregorio Cortez Con .su pistola en la mano; $A very free translation: it costs the Observer nothing. CLASSIFIED STUDENT wants light bookkeeping. Preferably to be done at home. Ph. GR 6-5978. Austin. LEGALS NOTICE of Intention to Incorporate a Firm Without Change of Name. The State of Texas County of Travis TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: NOTICE is hereby given that William K. McAfee doing business under the firm name are style of FUTURA PRESS intends to incorporate such business without a change of firm name, effective as of April 1, 1959. William K. McAfee FUTURA PRESS CITATION BY PUBLICATION IN DELINQUENT TAX SUIT THE STATE OF TEXAS COUNTY OF TRAVIS In the name and by the authority of the State of Texas, Notice is hereby given as follows: To: Sarah Woods, if living, and if not, her heirs, known and unknown, who claim some interest in the following described property delinquent to Plaintiff herein, for taxes, to-wit: FIRST TRACT: All that certain lot, tract or parcel of land lying and being situated in the County of Travis, State of Texas, known and described as follows: Being a tract feet off the West end of the South in the subdivision of Out-lot Fifgovernment Outlots of the City of Austin according to the map or plat of said subdivision recorded in Volume 1, page 3 of the Plat Records of Travis County, Texas, such tract being enclosed within the following metes and bounds: Beginning at the Southwest corner of said Block therly direction with the West Thence easterly with the South line of said alley Seventy-five Thence Southerly One to the North line of New York Avenue. Thence Westerly Seventy line of New York Avenue to the place of beginning, together with all improvements thereon situated. SECOND TRACT: All that certain lot, tract or parcel of land lying and being situated in the County of Travis, State of Texas, known and described as fol!ows: Part Twelve Division “B” of the government !No corran, rinches cobardes, De un solo mexicano! In English: Up spoke Gregorio Cortez With his pistol in his hand: “Don’t run, you ranger cowards, From one lone Mexican!” To this day in counties like Gonzales, where Cortez shot his way out of enough men to have eaten him at the rate of one hamburger each, Cortet’s exploits are belittled by the not implausible explanation that the sheriffs shot each other, having more concern Thomas Sutherland with the obnoxious traits of their intimates in office than with those of a vaquero from a neighboring county. \(Now comes word that the poet laureate of Gonzales County has replied in kind to Paredes’s book by writing a ballad titled “With His Bottle in His All of this is of relatively little importance compared to the fact that somebody wrote a noble song about the affair and like Shakespeare captured the true mood rather than the detail s, an achievement that is hardly ever seen in print. Despite much ‘scholarship and all that, the best part of With His Pistol in His Hand, I judge, is the presentation of how Mexicans of Texas view the gringos hereabouts. This outlook has not been previously put in good English. For example, the Span ish-speaking denizens of our border, with their rich imagery from the animal world to describe human traits, conceive the gringos as cockroaches. A WORD OF JUSTICE may be 11 properly said here for those gringos who have had, over a number of years. an exclusive interpretation of justicethose gringos who come off with such little dignity in this book and in the song. While the rinches \(rangers, as somewhat less bold than their television versions, their eminent historian, Dr. Walter Prescott Webb, is described by Paredes as more than a little biased in his history of their conflicts with the border Mexicans. I will not quarrel with this point of view in the book; for after all, men. are at times subject to frailty of the spirit, and when they write are capable of too much devotion to their theme. This same devotion was moving said property. You are hereby commanded to appear and defend such suit on first Monday after the expiration after the date of issuance hereof, the same being the 30th day of March A. D., 1959 \(which is the fore the Honorable District Court, 53rd Judicial District of Travis County, Texas, to be held at the courthouse thereof, then and there to show cause why judgment shall not be rendered for such taxes, penalties, interests and costs, and condemning said property and ordering foreclosure of the constitutional and statutory tax liens thereon for taxes due the Plaintiff and the taxing units parties hereto, and those who may intervene herein, together with all interest, penalties and costs allowed by law up to and including the day of judgment herein, and all costs of this suit. Issued and given under my hand and seal of said court in the City of Austin, Travis County, Texas, this 13th day of February A. D., 1959. O. T. MARTIN, JR. Clerk of the District Courts, Travis County, Texas. By 0. T. MARTIN, JR. THE STATE OF TEXAS To any Sheriff or any Constable within the State of Texas Greeting: You are hereby commanded to cause to be published, ONCE, not less than ten days before the return day thereof, exclusive of the date of publication in a newspaper printed in Travis County, Texas, the accompanying citation, of which the herein below following is a true copy\(but if there be no newspaper so printed in said county, then that you cause the said citation to be posted for at least TEN days before the return term thereof as required by THE STATE OF TEXAS TO ALL PERSONS INTEREST-ED IN THE ESTATE OF Lillie Scott, Decease d. No. 119,385, County C o u r t, Travis County, Texas. W. E. Phillips, Administrator with the Will Annexed in the above numbered and entitled estate, filed on the 9th day of February, 1959 his annual account and his verified account for final settlement of said estate and requests that said estate be settled and closed, and said applicant be discharged from his trust. Said application will be heard and acted on by said Court at 10 o’clock A. M. on the first Monday next after the expiration of ten days from date of publication of this citation, the same being the 9th day of March, 1959, at the County Courthouse in Austin, Texas. All persons interested in said estate are hereby cited to appear before said Honorable Court at said above mentioned time and place by filling a written answer Americo Paredes. I say that is how it should benot all the sheriffs always brave, not all historians without some excess of enthusiasm; for perfection is dull and passion is a fine thing on paper, or anywhere that men do not have pistols in their hands. Paredes has rewritten his doctoral. dissertation with commendable enthusiasm and talent. \(The writer, Mr. Sutherland, teaches English at Arlington State. Subscribe to The Observer 504 West 24th, Austin $4 per year contesting such application should they desire to do so. The Officer executing this writ shall promply serve the same according to requirements of law, and the mandates hereof, and make due return as the law directs. Given under my hand and the seal of said court at office in Austin, Texas, this the 10th day of Feburary, A. D. 1959. Emilie Limberg Clerk of the County Court,
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