“I want to believe you,” Blas said. Having accused Sal of murder, he burned with shame. “Forgive me, amigo. This New World has cast its spell on all of us. One thing I know, God has made a way for both you and me. And now we are back together, for life.”
“A spell? Don’t worry about it. Maybe you and God can help me move this load,” Sal said. He liked to tease when Blas got overly serious and religious. “I’m sure ready for some good food.”
The friends worked together to move the old cart toward the Mission grounds. They did not speak again until a stranger appeared on the pathway.
“Who is the man blocking off the trail?” Sal said. The most threatening native he ever saw approached. His hunched shoulders and beaklike nose reminded Sal of a vulture.
“It’s Joseph, here to help,” Blas said. He could be relied on to think the best of everyone.
“An Indian named Joseph?” Sal said. Something about the native man threatened Sal.
“Joseph is his baptized name,” Blas said. “He helps us with everything and brings more natives to the Mission to work every day.” Joseph stood astride the path like a man who owned the territory. His eyes were locked on Sal.
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