The guards shoved them both outside to the jail yard and left them squinting in the blazing sun. The white walls around the yard, smeared with dark dripping stains, looked like a place for firing squads. Sal heard a faint prayer chant. A huge St. Peter, draped in a shining robe, appeared in the yard between two monks. Was this their moment of execution?
“Blas, brace yourself, amigo,” Sal said. “We’re bound for heaven’s gate, sentenced to death by this enormous saint.” He murmured his last rites, “Have mercy, Lord, forgive us.”
“Hey, Sal, who’s the fatso in silk? Look how his robe stretches on his round belly,” Blas said. He picked this time to regain his humor and called toward the fat man, “Hey, you, your dress is enough for my mother and my five sisters.”
“Shhh, listen!” Sal said. How could things get much worse? A bell rang three times; a monk stepped forward.
“These men volunteer for service, Excelencia Gàlvez, your excellency,” the monk said.
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