T he swarms of mosquitos in Vera Cruz were taking a toll on those who survived the sea voyage. The group of bedraggled travelers now faced a long treacherous march west to the capital of the Mexican territory known as New Spain.
“Get a move on,” a soldier said.
“¿Y por què? Why bury them?” Sal asked. “These bodies will only rot in this jungle, like all of us.” The deaths were so frequent their travel was delayed by weeks. Sal rolled the body of one of the Brothers into a shallow grave. For a moment, the dead man looked like Blas. Sal couldn’t help himself from murmuring a prayer in secret.
“Please let us survive,” Sal said. Did he still believe God heard his prayers? No! “Mìra,Blas, these holy men die too. Where’s their precious God now?” He knew Blas still believed in his religious training. How could he believe in a God who let so many men die? The ship lost half the crew since the day they set sail in Cadiz. Many of the men were already buried at sea.
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