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claim its virtues to the world of science. Without it I would not be able to help some of my patients at all. They come when their disease is far advanced. A poor woman with tuberculosis comes in a pitiful state, nothing but skin and bones. I tell her she must have rest in bed. But who will take care of my children, she says. Get such and such a medicine, I say. But, doctor, I have no money. You must eat this and that, I say. But I cannot afford those things. Very well, then, I tell her, there is but one thing to do. And I prescribe the Backward Flip. “A week or so later she comes to my office, embraces me and bursts into tears. She trembles with emotion. How can I ever thank you, doctor, she cries. The Backward Flip has cured me. I no longer feel any pain. \(Of course not. Poor woman, she was daughter to you; she’s sick too. So she brings her daughter, a mere girl, who is already in the same stage of the disease. I prescribe the Backward Flip. They go their way, singing and skipping. That was several months ago. I have never see them since. Poor things, I very much fear the cure is complete.” And he made the sign of the Cross. The dispensary was in an old building with a carriageway, which had the insignia of the national highways of Mexico over the door. The Bear took the keys from the fumbling Blond, and they entered a room not much larger than a cubby-hole, switching on a small hanging bulb, which sufficed to show that everything was clean, although the walls were cracked and the ancient floortiles broken. There was one of those reclining couches that doctors examine their patients on, and the upholstery was so worn, the stuffing showed through in spots, but the metal rods gleamed like polished bone. The Blond took shiny instruments out of a cabinet, fingered them lovingly, one by one. He fingered lovingly the stained and dog-eared books. All the time an inner door to the room kept opening just a crack and shutting. Someone in there was uneasy. “If we only had more books, more equipment,” the Blond went on. “We have done wonders with what we have. Frankly, I’m a genius. Here, take my name and address, maybe you can send me something from your country.” He gave the Gringo a slip of paper and they walked through the quiet streets to the hotel, past a grove of palms where someone was tinkling a guitar. Before, or maybe it was after the abrazo, the farewell embrace, the Blond said, “I invite you to a fiesta. It’s harvest time, and the farmers’ cut the cane all day and sing and dance all night. Did you ever see them dance the huapango?” “You. mean they can dance after working all day in this heat?” The Gringo thought of the noonday glare, that left no shade in the streets. “Why not? They are sons of the sun. It does them no harm.” Suggestions were made that the jobless and “hungry” men go rabbit hunting to put food on their tables and cull tomatoes damaged in recent freezes and now being plowed under in some fields. Valley Morning Star \(Brownsmeeting of a local committee that was considering whether Cameron county should accept federal surplus foods. La Joya, this nondescript Texas settlement along the road, five miles from Mexico . . . board shanties pink or green or paintless, palm trees and cactus, junk heaps, an old trailer, a woman jack-knifed over a washboard and tub in her grassless yard, old cars, a footpath leading into the scrub thicket . . . a rural slum. The mexicanos work when there is work for them to do in the cotton, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, cabbage, beans, corn . . . but this is winter and there have been two freezes. The proprietor of the town is a bigaround Latin-American named Leo J. Leo, the grocer, income tax consultant, home financer, social worker, and politician.His grocery store, a onestory structure with a gas pump in front, is the meeting place for the boys who do not have work. On cold days they warm by the stove; when it is warm outside they sit in front on the wood benches, scarred by much carving; sometimes they shoot marbles with the little kids. Leo leaves the light on out front at night, and But the Gringo Who Thought He Was a Mexican made excuses, like a Gringo. He had commitments, things to do. He stood outside thehotel and watched the other Gringos padding about in the lighted lobby. “As effectively sealed off in their tight, illuminated, air-conditioned compartment from the warm tropical night, the land, and the people as so many fish in a glass tank.” That is what he thought. He was young then. That slip of paper keeps turning up among my things. I ran into it again the other day. I should have written him. I should have sent him something. they horse around noisily there, much to Mrs. Leo’s displeasure, but he does not send them away, as they have noplace else to go. They are good boys, not delinquents like they might be in the cities, Leo says; but there is no work for them to do. He called them into his cluttered office from the front of the store one by one until there were four, three of them on the plastic-covered couch and one on a folding chair beside them. R ICARDO LIMAS, 19, was the first, an almost demurely polite boy in a blue sports shirt. He said that when his father was laid off, at the age of 50, at the gravel pit a mile to the west, \(there were many boys willing and eager to take his father’s eighth grade and went to work in the fields chopping cotton and pulling carrots. He made 50 cents an hour, the going farm labor wage around here. In 1961, at 17, he became a migratory worker, one of those “mobile serfs” of whom San Antonio’s Archbishop Robert E. Lucey speaks. He rode to California with a cousin and drove a tractor in the California fields six months at $1.10 an hour; but for a seven-day week, nine or ten hours a day, he made, he says, about $50 a week. He lost a month between various jobs; some employers were more March 7, 1963 5 Four Boys in La Joya