“I am required to collect your dock receipts for the monthly accounting,” Private Valdez said.
“My receipts? Those are our private accounts. Who requires this?” When Alicia spoke, Manuel looked directly at her, inspecting her dungarees and boots.
“Excuse me, miss?” The youngster snickered. “The tax clerk collects them routinely. It is regulation.”
“Well, he can’t have them.” Alicia was uncomfortable under Manuel’s gaze.
“I am happy to come back tomorrow to give you a chance to create copies,” Manuel said.
“Yes, tomorrow. We always report up to the minute. Right?” Clara gave a gold coin to Maria Rodriguez. “We thank you for your work in our home today. Please return.” The tension broke and the children piled into the old wagon with Private Valdez.
“Until tomorrow,” he said and turned to leave.
The next morning Alicia copied the original dock receipts and thought about the business of Rancho Refugio. Maria freshened Mother Mary’s shelf. The saint looked very content among new candles on Mama’s altar. Roberto, ready for his dock job, swept up the patio while he waited.
“Clara, do we have enough gold to cover new taxes on these shipments?”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish